In January of this year, I launched a podcast. I had been thinking about it for some time, and lots of people kept telling me it was something I should do, but I kept putting it off. I knew that it could be a good platform to showcase my voice, and of course I already had the necessary equipment and expertise to record a podcast, but I wasn’t sure what it should be about. I knew I didn’t want to do one that was voiceover related because a number of my friends and colleagues were already doing that, (and doing it well), and I wasn’t sure that I could really add anything new or interesting to the subject.
I knew that it could be a good platform to showcase my voice, and of course I already had the necessary equipment and expertise to record a podcast, but I wasn’t sure what it should be about. I knew I didn’t want to do one that was voiceover related because a number of my friends and colleagues were already doing that, (and doing it well), and I wasn’t sure that I could really add anything new or interesting to the subject.
I joined one of Anna Parker-Naples’ podcast challenges in the summer of 2020. I’ve followed Anna for some time – she is a former voiceover artist who has now found her niche in the field of podcasting. Her own podcast ‘Entrepreneurs Get Visible’ has been at the top of the podcast charts, and now she coaches other people on how to get their podcasts out there too. Not only that, but she runs The Podcast Agency which produces podcasts for other people, and she’s written a best selling book on the subject.
Anna’s challenge encouraged me to think about podcast content, potential audiences, podcast names, episode titles and so on, and inspired me to do some research around the ideas I had in mind.
It’s often said that if you are thinking of writing a book then you should write about what you know, so logically in the case of podcasting you need to talk about what you know! Apart from voiceover, the other thing I know how to do well is networking.
I already had some experience of talking about networking because I’d been asked to speak on the subject at The Voiceover Network’s annual conference in 2019, and I’d presented a webinar about it on ‘the voiceover hour’ too. By the time I did Anna’s challenge I was also several weeks into writing an online course about business networking for voiceover artists, which I launched in September 2020 – so it was becoming plain what my podcast should be about!
As I was now getting more serious about launching a podcast, I joined Anna’s Podcast Membership which took me through lots of useful training, and showed me how to research potential competitors, how to brand the podcast, and how to get it into people’s ears.
My research showed that there were very few podcasts dedicated to networking, and those that were, were either American or Australian – there seemed to be nothing for the British market, so I had definitely found my niche!
The next hurdle was to think of a good podcast name. I toyed with names along the lines of networking journeys, or networking adventures, or even the chronicles of networking, but in the end I decided that simple was better, and I eventually arrived at ‘Small Business Big Network’. As the podcast is aimed at small business owners who want to get more out of their business networking, I’m hoping the title describes it perfectly.
I contacted my graphic designer friend Anna Richards and asked her to come up with some artwork for my podcast. I love the design she came up with – it’s different to my voiceover business artwork but related to it through the colours and fonts Anna has used (and the appearance of my signature earring logo).
Once I had my artwork the next task was to find some music and create the intro and outro. I really enjoyed this bit. I have a subscription to Audioblocks which is a catalogue of royalty-free music and after a bit of searching I came across just the right track. I recorded my intro and outro messages, mixed them with the music and then I was ready to go!
I planned the first few episodes to be short and snappy, and these looked at a number of different aspects of networking such as where to find meetings, and how to prepare. Once these were in the can, I was ready to start recording some interviews.
I had been worried that I would struggle to find guests, but this hasn’t proved to be the case so far. In fact originally I only planned to put out two episodes a month but I ended up with such a backlog of material that I quickly changed the frequency to once a week.
I use Cleanfeed to record the interviews. It’s an audio-only platform and is better quality than something like Zoom, though interviewees do need to wear headphones to avoid feedback, and it’s best if they have an external mic rather than using the one built into their computer.
My podcast finally launched on 25th January 2021. It is hosted on Captivate which I’ve found to be very easy to use, and from there my podcast has been distributed to all the platforms I’ve ever heard of – and plenty more that I haven’t!
I told everyone I could think of that I was launching a podcast – people on my emailing lists, social media followers, friends and family, and in its first week my podcast shot to number 5 in the Apple podcast charts for marketing podcasts. I was pretty pleased with that!
I’ve had some lovely feedback about the show from guests and listeners and people seem to be finding it a useful listen, which is what I’d hoped for. If you’d like to hear the show then you can find it on my website here, or just search for Small Business, Big Network wherever you get your podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review – thank you!