Can’t bear the thought of commuting without a podcast on the go? You’re not alone. According to Edison’s annual study on podcasting, over 67 million Americans listened to at least one podcast a month this year, a 23% uplift on 2015. Here’s the thing, it’s really easy to start your own podcast. It’s also the most compelling way to bring your brand voice to life… literally.
The idea of broadcasting your musings for the wider world to digest might be a little daunting. Trust us, you need to push those thoughts away. Podcasting is a massive opportunity to build your profile within the creative industries by sharing insights into the creator behind the work. It’s the ultimate form of personal PR. You’re telling your story in your own words, transforming the audience’s perception of you from just another tile in their Instagram feed to an IRL human being.
Think about your favourite podcast hosts. Over hours of binge-listening, you get to know their idiosyncrasies and they actually start to feel like friends. Imagine how powerful that is as a branding tool: prospective clients feeling like they already get you – before you’ve even met.
Get your pod on
Find a theme
Building a brand voice requires consistency. It’s all about creating a bond with your listeners, helping them get to know you and showcasing the passion points you want them to associate with your brand. Identify your tempted-to-miss-my-tube-stop-to-cram-in-another-episode-worthy angle and run with it.
Our favourites? 99% Invisible covers the ‘unseen and overlooked’ elements of design and architecture, from ancient Roman concrete to California’s swimming pool skateboarding movement. The Jealous Curator’s Art For Your Ear collects stories from contemporary artists before they’re immortalised in future history books. You could even go as niche as The Pen Addict: surprisingly entertaining (you guessed it) pen-related chat.
Use your network
The company you keep is just as important in defining your brand voice. Take the pressure off yourself as a solo host by inviting a guest on board. Digital commentator Emma Gannon’s interview podcast Ctrl Alt Delete is a great example of using a network to showcase your authority and create awesome content. A witty exploration of our love/hate/dysfunctional relationship with the internet, it boasts a stellar roll call of guests from Gillian Anderson to Tavi Gevinson – and over 1 million downloads.
Just getting started? Your guests don’t need to be A listers, in fact, it’s sometimes better if they’re not! Think about the people who inspire you, challenge conventions in your industry or have intriguing opinions around your podcast’s theme. As your episode stash piles up and your brand voice grows, you can reach out beyond your immediate community to hook evermore influential names.
Keep it real
Remember the rash of Instagram influencers revealing the mundane reality behind their perfectly curated feeds? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Podcasting is all about being honest – and that’s where brand voice comes into play. Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality as it’s the charmingly off-piste moments that keep them coming back again and again.
Look to Andy Miller’s Creative Pep Talk for a living, breathing example of an authentic voice in action. Covering everything from the futility of chasing Instagram likes, why your creativity matters in a chaotic world (shoutout to 2017’s looming nuclear war) and how to actually make money from creative endeavours, his mission is to help listeners make a good living, making good art. Building on years of experience as an illustrator, Andy’s candid, engaging advice has cemented his position as an industry authority. Tune in and learn.
Just Get On With It
Stop thinking about it! Grab a mic and get chatting. Eventually, you’ll get bored of recording from the relative peace of the broom closet and want to take your podcast to the next level.
Introducing Huckletree West; White City’s new coworking space for startups and creatives disrupting the digital and lifestyle industries. Based in the former BBC Media Centre, Huckletree West is bringing together London’s thought leaders under one roof, to learn, build and create. Members enjoy exclusive cultural and wellbeing events, plus a no-tech meditation yurt, inspirational breakout areas, a VR/AR studio and White City Place’s on-site podcasting pod.
The first mobile studio for public use in the UK, The Pod pulses with LED lights and is patterned with over 350,000 printed ‘pixels’. A broadcasting in-joke, each pixel is generated by a digital script translation of the first spoken words transmitted by radio: “One, two, three, four. Is it snowing where you are Mr Thiessen?”
Fully-equipped, it seats up to six people and has technical support on hand to help you get up to speed. Best of all? White City Place is on a mission to champion the airwaves by offering up free recording slots to creatives. Looks like you’ve run out of excuses…
Want to join West London’s new creative hub? Get in touch to discuss hotdesking, flexible workspace and private studio membership at Huckletree West.
Emily Prichard, Brand & Content Manager at Huckletree; @emiprichard