So you have an interesting question you want to explore or an idea on how to inject your unique voice into an ongoing conversation. Maybe you are tired of hearing the same voices on issues about which you are passionate; such as politics, healthcare, culture, entrepreneurship, or technology. Perhaps it’s an idea that will empower people and lead change in your community, country, or just inspire someone. But how do you go about it?
The problem for many of us is that we don’t know how to start, build an audience, and bring a diverse perspective to conversations that trigger our curiosity. Today’s social space is quite noisy, and finding and establishing your voice can be daunting. It is also hard to find an appropriate outlet for sharing your voice and engaging people on issues. Podcasting allows you to cut through the noise and tell your story, in your own unique way.
Over the years, podcasts have developed as media of communication that allows people to reach large global audiences from the comfort of their home. Podcasting is rapidly taking the lead in the future of online media, allowing people to engage in journalistic activity without formal journalism training. Here are five reasons you should start a podcast.
One of the obstacles that content creators have to overcome is getting their content to the intended audiences. In the world of digital media, that is less of a problem, with access to the internet. By its nature, podcasts are accessible on-the-go. This feature allows listeners to multitask while listening to podcasts. For example, a run in the park, a taxi ride to work, or an evening in the kitchen while making dinner, can all be spiced up with a good podcast story in your ear. With this in mind, you are certain that your podcast will reach people. Moreover, podcasts can be downloaded and accessed at any time with a lasting effect.
#2 Ease of creation
You do not need formal training in audio production and intense technical know-how to start and host a podcast. Most podcast hosts often take a master class like this one at the Leaders of Africa Institute, to learn the art of podcasting and storytelling. It does not take additional tech or costly equipment. With your smartphone and a voice recording app, you start and create content for a podcast on any idea or topic of your choice. In Africa, with increasing development, adoption, and use of mobile technology, as well as internet penetration, podcasts are fast becoming a means through which people and changemakers insert themselves in everyday conversations.
You may think it is expensive to get your podcast out there for others to discover and enjoy. These days, you can host and run a podcast on a zero penny budget. Most of what you would need is an idea and the motivation to tell stories that will have audiences begging for more. That being said, if you want to create a good quality podcast, you can do it with a little over $200 or less. Podcasts do not also cost much to maintain. Most basic podcasting platforms are free. But, if you decide to monetize your podcast, you may need to invest in marketing or more sophisticated equipment, to compete and grow a larger market share.
#4 Build an audience and a voice
Podcasting is a way to cut through the noise on issues, topics, and questions that trigger your passion, and establish your authority on those topics. Once you start and grow your podcast, some listeners can become a loyal audience and come back for more once they listen. However, it takes more than having a story to tell. You have to learn how to tell the story in a way that attracts the people who are looking for content to consume. Your style, depth, consistency, and dynamism in discussing issues on your podcast can all make the difference. If your podcast includes interviewing credible and reputable guests about the issues you discuss, you’ll soon find that your network (and its value) has expanded. It is also helpful if you find consistent ways to interact with and solicit feedback from your loyal audience. Again, it all depends on how you position yourself and your content within the everyday experience of your audience.
#5 You can earn some cash
If you produce great content that attracts a large audience (regardless of location), you can decide to monetize your podcast. While this is what most podcasters hope, beginners tend to focus more on creating attractive content and building a listenership. If you have a sizable audience, monetizing may become easier. For example, your marketing plan could include sourcing adverts from enterprises that may be interested in leveraging your market share to promote their business.
Are you ready to start your podcast, tell your stories, and lead change in your community? Leaders of Africa Institute is offering a two-month master class on podcasting and audio storytelling. With mentorship as a key component, this small-sized master class will equip you with the skills, tools, and techniques that you need to start and run your podcast. Spots are limited. Reserve your today.
By Pechulano Ngwe Ali, Professor of the Leaders of Africa Institute’s Podcast Master Class 2021.