Jo is an Ex-BBC Radio journalist and has traveled the world creating news packages for 6 Music, Radio 2, 5 Live and Radio 4, plus documentaries and podcasts for international brands. She speaks to us about her experiences in launching a podcast and will be speaking at our HBC Summit to answer all your questions!
Heading up the Smirnoff Experience series in New York, Paris, Moscow and Shanghai Jo created their bespoke audio output and also worked on San Miguel’s Hidden Depths music series.
Ibiza is now Jo’s home and where she also works producing podcasts for her own creative audio outfit, Reset Rebel Productions including her own weekly wellness podcast – THE RESET REBEL. For more info on Jo and the productions she creates or to get a quote: check out her website and send her an email with any questions.
Tickets to listen to Jo at the HBC Summit can be found here.
With your background in radio, you must know the impact audio content has on an audience. Why do you think people dig podcasts so much?
People love podcasts so much because there is always such a unique narrative that opens up through a podcast that rarely can in the same way On Air. It’s almost as if you are privy to a private conversation between two people that is a lot less formal than an actual interview. They are also on demand and radio lovers got a lot more discerning recently.
They know exactly what they want and podcast libraries provide a much easier way to access information and specialist subject matter than dusty old bookshelves.
People are also better at multi-tasking, so no time is wasted on long journeys driving or commuting while they get their daily news hit or favorite entertainment show on the move.
Podcasts for beginners: what are the essential tools or softwares people need to launch their own?
Every iPhone has the ability to record audio, which if you wish to get started with the basics and add a decent microphone, then it is possible to start with very little. To do a semi-pro job, buying a zoom recorder for less then a hundred pounds is a good way to get broadcast quality audio and then to edit there are many free audio editing software packages, like GarageBand on Mac or Audacity that are quite easy to learn how to use for simple topping and tailing of the podcast.
Personally, I recommend and work with Adobe Audition, which is a good investment for the future and once you have the license it is forever.
Once edited your podcast will need a platform to host it and there are so many now, but I use AudioBoom to create the RSS feed which feeds into iTunes and Stitcher etc and all the other platforms which are how the user accesses your audio.
This is a fairly simple process to set up, but might feel more complicated than it actually is. There are lots of guides online for this now to make things easier.
What are the top types of podcasts that you think people resonate with the most (interview, radio show etc)
I think the types of podcast people love the most are interviews and informal chats on topics they are into. It’s not always about having the big guest or famous interviewee. I think if your podcast is niche this is a good thing to have your own take on a certain subject or area and to create a loyal following who get into your subject or spin on an area of interest or expertise. For Example, The Reset Rebel focusses on Ibiza wellness and this has shown to be a huge area of growth and topic people are fascinated by because the island is known purely for partying.
The show taps into a side of the island people probably didn’t know existed through the featured Rebels each week who reset their path in life to live there and work with those needing a reset in life.
How can you make podcasts worth their investment and time when wanting to launch your own?
This is a great question! It is probably the primary reason for many to set up a podcast, because they can prove to be very lucrative. People are less put off by adverts on brand endorsements on podcasts because podcast fans by their very nature are loyal and usually listen to most of the podcast all the way through. If you endorse a product, it’s likely they will respect that as they are into your show.
Something like 65% of people listening to podcasts have bought advertised products on board.
So podcasts can really sell but first, you need a lot of listeners to get a sponsor on board or to get traction to be able to talk up your own products you wish to market. This comes with consistent effort, social media, PR, Marketing and brand partnerships or working with an agency to launch your podcast.
When should you launch a podcast, and when should you not?
I think only launch when you have designed and planned a full series of 8-12 episodes. Podcasts gain traction when they are regular and land on the same time each week in the persons iTunes folder. They come to expect the show arriving and so having your content lined up and ready to go is the time to launch, not when you are still in the process and maybe can’t deliver.
Make sure it is all ready to go and you have a plan mapped out to keep things on track so the listener loyalty is rewarded.
What does in your opinion make a podcast viral?
Almost impossible to answer this, if I did I would be a millionaire already! However, I do think Bryony Gordon’s Mad World podcast is a good example of this. When she got Prince Harry talking about his mental health and depression and grief after the death of his mother, Princess Diana. This is what made the podcast go viral and this was also supported by huge coverage in the press, as she writes for the Telegraph. Sometimes finding a unique angle or guest that you can get talking about something that perhaps they might not be expected to open up about is a way into creating a bigger following.
Are there any podcasts you particularly like at the moment?
Awake at Night. The raw and brutal stories of aid workers in some of the most remote areas is inspiring but also gripping. Hearing the lengths people have been to, to help refugees and going through kidnapping, bombing, loss and trauma is just mind blowing and heart breaking. I had a proper podcast binge a few weeks ago and listened to the whole first series while i was out walking. I am also a bit of a nerd and love the Daniel Pinchbeck series How Soon Is Now named after his recent book that he wrote. I interviewed him on my Reset Rebel podcast last summer and am now obsessed with his work and the guests he chats to on climate change and humanities place in the eco system.
I am also quite dedicated to listening to the new TriYoga podcast. As a yoga teacher myself, I love some of the philosophy chats and teachers they manage to get on board. Russell Brand who I worked with at 6 Music always provides incredible content and insights on addiction in Under The Skin and for business inspiration, The Tim Ferris Show – author of the Four hour working week and the Rich Roll podcast has a once monthly guru corner edition that I adore and never miss for their insights.