If you have ever watched the movie Matilda, then you most probably shared similar feelings of profound jealousy towards the leading character. Call me addlepated if you wish but that little girl, despite her hardships, really had me donning a green hue of envy each time I came across the film on television. The stations back then loved it.
Matilda was no ordinary little girl. She possessed remarkable abilities that bordered telekinesis. She would wait for her awful parents to leave her with overbearing chores as usual and then she would flail her tiny hand commanding objects to do her bidding. She could arrange strewn clothing and dishes, prepare a whole meal and do laundry using her brain, eleven year old me wanted to commit murder on screen. This feeling was more apparent when I had to choose between Daffy Duck and scrapping a burnt sufuria of ugali. Did I mention Matilda had the nerve to be extremely smart and adorable? Unbelievable!
Of all the quotes from the greatest villain of all time, Thanos, I particularly loved the one where he speaks of how reality can often be disappointing. At one point in our lives, we wish there were shortcuts, some easy leeway that would lead us directly to our dreams and goals. Well, there aren’t any and if there are, they are more often than not red herrings.
If you want to learn to drive a car you have to get in front of a steering wheel, cradle the gear, harass the pedals and learn traffic rules. Afterwards you would be forced to test your capabilities on an actual road so as to be allowed passage to do what you have been investing your time in. Sometimes you flank the test and the only way to redeem your love for caressing the material of the steering wheel is by relearning, retrying.
A few months back, a friend of mine wanted to start a podcast. It seemed simple like trying to make a baby chortle. Well, some babies are born with an insensitive humor bone and making them laugh is next to impossible. Needless to say, the whole process of starting a podcast was not easy.
Here are some hacks to successfully starting and running a podcast;
If you want to start a podcast then you must have concepts that you wish to address. It might be one particular idea or an abysmal of the same.
If it is a single idea then write it down and try drawing a tree from it. Let’s say you want to start a podcast on fashion. Will you look at it on a global scale? Or will it be narrowed down to your local area? Will it consist of one gender or both? Will you focus on trends or merge timelines? The tree will not only provide you with the necessary content you need for your show but it would also show you the berth of what you want to focus on.
Perhaps you have plenty of ideas for a podcast. Maybe you love sports but you also have a keen interest in technology. Maybe you enjoy nature sceneries and at the same time have a knack for engaging youths in fruitful debates. Write them down. All your ideas, get a pen and paper and jolt them. From there create an outlay of trees from the varied ventures you wish to indulge in. This will help you cross out interests that will not pan out in terms of content overtime, acquiring a target audience and passion.
After choosing suitable topics, call in outside troops to provide succor for your dilemma. Do a thorough analysis with your team and pick a concept or even concepts that you will be able to run with during the lifespan of your podcast.
Take time before making this decision because a shift along the way may overturn your voyage. Most importantly, pick an area that you have passion for.
A podcast is a social phenomenon. At the end of the day, in order to bear relevance, you have to possess listeners. After deciding on which area or areas to dip your toes in, you have to do audience research.
This will stem from what you want the podcast to be about. If the podcast is about youths and agriculture then your target audience are the youths who have a feral desire for acquiring a green thumb. You cannot start a podcast on racecars and expect someone who has zero interest in automobiles to tune in on your podcast. You have to focus on people who bear a drive for what you are talking about.
Also keep in mind that a person may have an interest in the subject matter of your podcast but without proper engagement or appeal, a person may end up not listening to your show.
My advice, always try to crack a joke or two. I have no clue how you are going to make animal husbandry funny but people do enjoy a good laugh.
We live in an age where when a child first discovers that ceramic plates do not just suspend in the air when you let them go, that they actually fall down with a crash or clatter and thus either crack or break; it’s just not that exciting. The child later learns that some really smart chap discovered this particular concept centuries ago and even baptized it as gravity.
Nothing is really new under the sun might sound like a cliché but the saying holds water. You will find that the podcast you wish to do, no matter how unique, has a relative somewhere in the world.
Assessing the market will help you compete with podcasts that share similarities with the one you want to begin. As a novice, it is vital to learn from people who have been in this field a while.
Find out what they are doing to attract listeners, read up on their milestones, devour their content. All this will help you stand out. You don’t want to end up sounding like another podcast.
Choose a play
Now that you have in mind the field or fields you want to venture in, your possible target audience and a full evaluation of your competition, it is time to create your limelight.
Picture a room full of red rubies. At first you would gush at them. Picking them one by one and holding them against the light so as to marvel at their sparkle. You would do this to each one of them with matching enthusiasm for hours on end but because we are after all humans, you would wind up bored by these glorious objects. Soon the same shine that lit up your eyes would only result in an eye roll and a scowl. So what happens when you find another piece among the rubies or maybe a ruby of a different color? Chances are you would fall irrevocably and utterly in love.
People are always trying to find something different. You might decide that your trademark would be live bands in your music podcast or maybe instead of normal interviews you will be doing an intense session of questions and answers for your sports podcast. Find a way to make your own unique footprint.
List your content
A good friend of mine introduced me to a content calendar over a year ago. He insisted that as much as I thought I had a lot of information to disburse, without proper planning, I would not succeed. Well, ignorance is bliss and while I enjoyed the elating feeling of a rebel, I ended up failing in what I wanted to achieve.
Creating a feasible content calendar for your podcast shows will ensure you maintain your relevance which is not easy at all. That is why some shows are only popular when they first spring up. Down the road it becomes foggy and they lose sight of their goal. Your content is like your night vision goggles, treading a dark road without them will leave you lost.
Take time and plan your content before starting your shows no matter how excited and ready you feel.
You have your content, an awaiting audience and competitors to instill fear in but you haven’t come up with the means.
There are some numbers to be run and a wallet to be raided for you to run your podcast. Whether you are getting recording and vocal equipment or investing on bundles in order to record the show on an app, you need to come up with a logistics budget.
There is also a matter of marketing in order to reach your target audience. Strategize on how to do so before putting your content out there to ensure maximum consumption.
Finally you need to choose a means of distribution. Do as much research as you can for this particular task. No matter how fervent your content is, without a proper and preferably a simple way of reaching your audience, your efforts are futile.
And that ladies and gentlemen is how you start and potentially run a successful podcast. As you can see the planning ahead really determines how far you will go in conducting your shows.
So, Matilda is in her forties now, surely she won’t mind a little jealousy right?