So, You Want to Start a Podcast
Podcasts can be a great medium for getting your ideas and messages out into the world. If you’re interested in trying but are unsure where to start, here’s info that may be helpful!
One good place to start, of course, is listening to podcast, including ones by your NVF colleagues. At least three of our fellows have hosted successful podcasts: Bisi Alimi (2014), Sisonke Msimang (2014) and ElsaMarie D’Silva (2015).
Also, last week, Elsa shared her wisdom and thoughts on hosting a podcast with one of our 2020 fellows and generously let me share her main takeaways here:
There are three big first steps for designing a successful podcast:
- Conceptualize the idea.
- Identify your target audience and the main messages you want to convey to them.
- Identify the guests that can deliver on the ideas and messages.
The mechanics of setting up a podcast include:
- Decide how to record it. Elsa uses Zoom. She sets up a Zoom link and uses a setting that enables audio recording on both ends. She finds that even with Internet connectivity fluctuations, it works, as it records it as two separate files. Adjust audio settings in zoom to block the background noise.
- She also uses Zencastr, a cloud-based recording service where the audio files are recorded separately.
- Use editing software to edit mistakes and/or add in background music or filler music. Or you could work with a production organization, as Elsa does with Aawaz.
- Once you have the final audio files, you can upload them to Spotify for another platform.
Tips for conducting interview-based podcast episodes
- Elsa’s podcast focuses on interviews with women leaders. She keeps the segments to 20 minutes and sends the questions to the guests ahead of time so the guests can prepare. She thinks about her audience and the main messages she wants to convey with the podcast when she crafts the questions.
- She sets up a standard format for each episode. Her guests introduce themselves, talk about their work and speak about their future manifesto. She tries to make it a welcoming and comfortable environment for them and that tends to create a richer and deeper conversation.
- She is finishing up her second season now and each season is comprised of 12–13 episodes.
Promoting the podcast
- Elsa promotes the podcast on her social media channels and so does her organization Safecity and the podcast partner organization Aawaz. The guests often promote their episode too.
- Elsa submitted her podcast into a contest (and they won!) and joining a contest can be another way to promote one’s work.
- Guests too can share on their social media and invite their vast networks to listen to the podcast too.
This was compiled by Holly Kearl based on an interview I did with one of the Aspen New Voices fellows.