Authentic content king for podcasts

21/11/2019 - 14:01

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Spacecubed hosted the first ever Perth Podcast Week last month featuring more than 10 workshops, talks and networking events.

Authentic content king for podcasts
Authentic stories are at the heart of podcasts’ appeal. Photo: Stockphoto

Podcasting remains a relatively inexpensive way to get alternative, authentic voices to a wide audience.

Spacecubed hosted the first ever Perth Podcast Week last month featuring more than 10 workshops, talks and networking events.

So well received was the inaugural event that plans for the 2020 iteration are under way already.

Perth Podcast Week speaks to just how important and influential podcasts have become, especially for business.

One of my first pieces for my technology column in Business News was how podcasting had become the new blogging in early 2017.

Speaking to how much interest there is in the subject, it’s consistently been my most read article since then.

Mainstream, alternative

Among the podcasting networks I wrote about in that article was Gimlet Media, one of the first companies to monetise and professionalise podcasting.

In February of this year, the global streaming service Spotify bought Gimlet for $US230 million.

New companies like Luminary are offering a premium app with exclusive content only available on the platform, similar to the Netflix model.

While there is this larger shift towards professionally produced, subscription-based podcasts created by big media companies, there is still huge interest in what made podcasts popular to begin with.

Like blogging, podcasts started out as an alternative, DIY media platform with a relatively low entry barrier for anyone to become a content creator.

The result was access to authentic voices and stories that were not reflected in the mainstream media.

And in the age of fake news, alternative facts and hyper perfect Instagram influencers, authenticity and real human connection are in short supply, but in high demand.

WA Real

Bryn Edwards, creator and host of the WA Real podcast, is a great example of someone who has leveraged the authentic power of podcasts in a business context.

A former management consultant, Mr Edwards was among those who spoke at Perth Podcast Week.

Every week on WA Real, Mr Edwards shares an extended interview with a fellow Western Australian (or someone with a connection to the state) doing interesting and impactful work, and has had to overcome an obstacle (or three) to get there.

With more than 120 episodes already in the can, each conversation is inspiring, instructive and provides value for listeners. (I should probably say here that I’m not only a bit of a fan of WA Real, but I met Mr Edwards when he interviewed me for one of his episodes.)

WA Real has become a way for Mr Edwards to build a powerful personal and professional network of people he may not have met otherwise, yet now they’re people who he has real human connection with.

And this has changed him.

“I’m fundamentally different because I’ve shared the space with 120 people I wouldn’t have normally,” he said.

Mr Edwards said that, in addition to being a powerful networking tool, the podcast has been an incredible learning and positioning tool.

“You create a vehicle that opens doors to learn and take on new ideas and by proxy you become the authority in the space,” he said.

“You start to own that space of authority; people see you going, investigating and then sharing and they see you in that space over and over again.”

Podcasting for business intel

This access to learning is just as important for solo entrepreneurs like Mr Edwards as it is for businesses of all sizes.

“Business is constantly having to evolve, come up with new ideas, learn the latest and greatest skills in the areas they’re quite weak,” he said.

“By creating a podcast, you’re creating a key that unlocks a door that allows you to go and have the conversations with people.”

For entrepreneurs and small businesses thinking about getting into podcasts, podcasting is still a medium where audiences value content over super slick production values.

WA Real is as DIY as they get, with Mr Edwards doing everything, from the recording to the minimal editing, allowing him to focus on the value he’s creating for himself, his audience and his guests.

Real Legacy

Mr Edwards is about to launch Real Legacy, a service that evolved directly out of his work with WA Real.

“I will be taking people through a process,” he said.

“Interviewing them and capturing their stories, wisdom, and legacy so they can leave their mark for their loved ones.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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