Key takeaways from Birmingham Podcast Festival

 In this episode, I'm talking about some of the key takeaways from the Birmingham Podcasts Festival, which took place on Saturday. The event primarily catered to hobbyist podcasters and those interested in entering the industry, offering practical advice on starting and producing podcasts.

It featured insightful panel talks, workshops, discussions on decolonizing podcasting, and strategies for leveraging podcasting for branding purposes. One notable presentation highlighted the use of immersive sound in podcasts, emphasizing the power of utilizing silence.

With plenty of valuable content, here are the three key takeaways that I believe you'll find most useful:

  1. Narrowcasting for a niche audience: Rather than aiming for a mass audience, consider podcasting as "narrowcasting" for a specific and engaged group of listeners. Even if your show reaches a smaller audience of 10, 20, 50, or 100 people, it can have a profound impact on their lives. Sangeeta Pillai, the keynote speaker at the event and host of the Masala Podcast, described podcasting as quietly whispering in someone's ear to bring about meaningful change.

  2. Podcasting as a business card: While some podcasters may have large audiences with tens of thousands of downloads per episode, only a fortunate few directly monetise their shows. However, podcasting can be seen as a powerful tool to raise your profile and attract business in the long run. Speakers emphasised that podcasting serves as one of the touchpoints that potential clients or customers require when considering your services. It's worth noting that in the UK, the approach to monetising podcasts differs somewhat from the US, where platforms like Patreon are commonly used for generating income.

  3. Crowdsourcing content: Engage your listeners by actively involving them in your show. Crowd-sourcing content helps foster a highly engaged community. During a workshop led by Roifield Brown, host of various podcasts covering politics, American presidents, and Jamaica, an intriguing example centered around "The Archers", a radio soap opera about farmers. Roifield encouraged listeners to record their versions of the theme song and share their thoughts on the show. These contributions were then incorporated into his own podcast episodes. Roifield used an app called SpeakPipe, which allows listeners to leave voice messages that can be included in the show. By utilizing SpeakPipe, you can create a free account and share the link with your community through platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Roifield successfully built a dedicated global community of listeners while generating abundant content for his show.

The Birmingham Podcasts Festival offered valuable insights into podcasting. Remember, podcasting allows you to connect deeply with a niche audience, serves as a powerful business card to raise your profile, and can benefit from actively involving your listeners in the creation process.

If you want to explore further, consider attending podcasting events and engaging with fellow podcasters to expand your knowledge and network.

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