Are you a business owner or entrepreneur thinking about starting a podcast? For tips and guidance on the topic, we recently talked with Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) members who launched podcasts in 2019.
Sarah Bartholomeusz is a member of the EO Adelaide chapter and founder of You Legal, a law firm that provides tailored corporate and commercial legal solutions. Erik Olson is a member of EO Southeast Virginia and the founder and CEO of Array Digital, a website design and digital marketing agency.
With the help of Bartholomeusz and Olson, we walk you through three key questions you need to answer before pressing record. In the second article in our podcast series, we talk more with these podcasting entrepreneurs.
1. ASK YOURSELF, WHY A PODCAST?
People launch podcasts for a variety of reasons—from wanting to document their stories and share their perspective on life to establishing themselves as thought leaders and marketing their organization.
No matter what the reason, there’s no denying that podcasts are omnipresent. You can find one on any and every topic, and their audiences cross demographics.
“People are very busy with life these days, probably more than ever,” says Australian entrepreneur Sarah Bartholomeusz. “People are also thirsty for knowledge and hungry for inspiration. Podcasts make it so easy to tune into topics of interest while we are doing our routine tasks and activities.”
Bartholomeusz had been intrigued by the idea of creating a podcast years before launching Accountants on Purpose.
As a legal expert in Australia, Bartholomeusz is often interviewed. When a member of her team suggested it was time for her to be on the other side of the microphone, she decided to make her dream into a reality. “As an entrepreneur, it was the right ‘next step’ for me to take,” she says.
For Erik Olson, the initial driver for launching his Journeyto100million.com podcast was marketing. “The concept was to be the voice of digital marketing in our region and hope to attract the attention of our target audience.” He kicked off his daily podcast in early 2019.
2. WHAT FORMAT MAKES SENSE FOR YOUR TOPIC, YOUR INDUSTRY AND YOUR PERSONALITY?
Take the time to figure out what makes sense for you and your target audience.
For example, does your topic lend itself to daily briefs? Or long-format weekly episodes? Are you a born storyteller with a gift for talking off the cuff, while still relaying a coherent message? Or maybe you’re a research whiz who prefers to present your analysis on a subject?
The answer came naturally for Bartholomeusz. “The format really came down to my personality and how I prefer to be interviewed. I like our guests to feel comfortable and willing to talk―my questions are about business, but I love finding out other interesting things about my guests, as they always surprise me.”
Bartholomeusz’s episodes average around 30 minutes and are posted once a week.
By contrast, Olson posts daily episodes using Amazon Flash Briefings, a relatively new audio format. “There are over 750,000 podcasts, but only 10,000 flash briefings. Using this platform was an opportunity to get in early on a platform that others weren’t yet taking advantage of,” he explains.
“To keep the format compatible with flash briefings, each episode needs to be less than 10 minutes. It’s also common that flash briefings are published daily.”
Olson tried different angles before landing on what he calls the “journey format.” “There were issues with the first version of the podcast,” he reveals.
“The show was named Marketers Anonymous, an extension of the brand name we already had for our monthly marketing meetups. However, I almost always spoke about the entrepreneurial aspect of running and scaling the business. Although that’s where my passion is, entrepreneurial episodes didn’t seem to resonate with most marketers.”
The solution came to Olson at an EO Accelerator day. “My co-host and co-founder, Kevin Daisey, and I agreed that our ‘BHAG’ was to grow the company to US$100 million in revenue by 2030. We had also given talks with the title, Journey to $100 Million.”
And so was born the Journey to $100 Million podcast. “Each day, Kevin and I alternate in sharing a business story. Most episodes start by retelling a mistake that we made while growing the business. We then highlight the lessons learned and provide a recommendation for listeners.
“We don’t run our episodes by each other, and sometimes that means we have slightly different takes on topics. Sometimes we outright contradict each other in different episodes,” he says. “But that’s ok. It’s reality, and we believe our audience appreciates the authentic view of how the company is actually run.”
3. HOW WILL YOU PRODUCE YOUR SHOW?
Bartholomeusz records her show at PodBooth, a professional recording studio in Adelaide.
“All the of the production and editing is done at the studio by a very talented producer at PodBooth,” she explains.
Professional studios like PodBooth let you minimize hours spent on technical considerations and instead focus on your content.
For Olson, the right answer was purchasing the necessary equipment, which allowed him the flexibility to record on evenings and weekends. “I spent less than US$100 to buy a nice microphone, a boom arm and some acoustic foam panels to put on the wall.
“It’s a very personal reflection of my thoughts. Although we broadcast those thoughts to the world, I’m ironically uncomfortable recording when people are around.”
Podcast development may inform 2020 hiring at Olson’s firm. “Currently, we handle all of the editing in-house with existing staff. But it can be taxing to edit each episode, write a summary and schedule it out through the podcasting platform on our website and on social media. We’re looking at consolidating the podcasting work and other internal marketing work to a new hire in mid-2020.”
Look out for our next article in this series on becoming a podcaster, where we’ll delve into Olson’s suggestions and surprises.