02.04.19 / Podcasting (for designers) 101 — Episode 2

Before beginning any project, you need a reason to begin.

The first step, much like the product-design process, is to do a little market research into the competition.

What can you offer in terms of design podcast content that hasn’t been covered by the hundreds of existing design podcasts, and the several world-changing design podcasts that already exist?

While thinking on that, let’s spitball what topic/topics the podcast might cover. Let’s see… Find something that motivates you and talk about that. Seems reasonable. So, in keeping with this logic and after much thought, I’ve decided on a topic that most motivates me: “Discuss what you can do as a student/grad to get industry ready. All the tricks, all the failures, all the time.” (Working title.)

Now that we have a subject matter, how about the format? I don’t much care for the sound of my voice, so I’ll want others cleverer than I to do most of the talking. This means the format should consist of me chatting with creative-types about, in particular, but not exclusively, “what you can do as a student/grad to get industry ready. All the tricks, all the failures, all the time.”

Right. That’s the bare bones of the content taken care of.

What editing software to use? I need easy, and I need free.

Just downloaded and installed Audacity as the audio editing software. It seems the easiest and free-est to use for Windows 10. I use a PC — stop judging me. We’ll see how user-friendly it is. Although this is not a major detail of the experiment, so we won’t spend a bunch of time on it — if the editing platform is useable it will be fine.

Now to find a host.

I’m going to use the internets to help me again to find the answers, here. But it would be daft to ignore the wealth of knowledge the lads over at Aus Design Radio have in the bank, so I’ll ask them, too.

Let's get back to the question of “Why start a podcast?”

In this world of information overload, our senses are constantly hammered with short-form content. However, where blog posts and social media are limited to a few hundred words or 280 characters, a podcast allows you to go deeper into your content.

According to Salesforce, "Three per cent of monthly podcast consumers listen to the beginning of a podcast only. By and large, podcast listeners are loyal and committed to hearing out the full episode." This means there exists the opportunity to showcase our guests’ expertise in a way that other formats can't accommodate. If we can build a listenership (is that word?), then our guests may benefit in several ways. Our guests may become more visible and well-known (this might not be important to some, but may be important to others). Listeners will get to know the guest more intimately — hear of the flaws, failures, and lessons learned — increasing the level of trust.

Successful podcasts are rarely scripted and only lightly edited (although the first few might be edited pretty heavily). As such, the host's and each guest’s personality have a chance to shine through in an unfiltered way. Kind of like video, podcasts might be one of the quickest ways to build personal connections and trust between a host and an audience. At a time when we have endless options for all our information-consumption decisions, trust is essential to building loyalty, and giving people a voice and a personality to connect to your, let’s say, brand, helps to foster that trust.

Like a newsletter (Quick Squiz, for example), when listeners subscribe to your podcast, they are opting-in to hearing from you on a regular basis. The key here is to stay consistent with how often you post and what kind of content you share. By being consistent, you'll to stay at the front of their minds and continue to develop trust and personal connection toward an even deeper level of loyalty.

It seems there are loads more benefits than first thought to starting a podcast. If you have the content to support it — that’s the plan — and some time to dedicate toward recording and promoting your content — again, the plan — a podcast can go a long way toward growing your brand. Brand, huh? I just noticed that we started speaking about you and me and I and us — people, in other words — and ended speaking about brands, or intellectual property. It seems, no matter what you do, you can’t escape the biznizz side of life.

Onto the next episode!*

— QS






*Tone Loc, from The Next Episode, from Loc’ed [sic] After Dark, 1989.

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Heath Campbell

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