A few colleagues are interested in starting a podcast, and I'm looking for advice from others who have done this. How did you build your audience? How much production time is involved? Was this a good investment of time/resources for your organization?
I've been podcasting 6 years as Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Friday is our 300th show. I do it to help small- and mid-size nonprofits, not as a nonprofit. I (now "we" for the awesome team helping me), built audience with valuable, smart content that's targeted to our audience and building presence in the social networks, primarily Twitter and FB. I personally spend 3 hours for each studio hour, so 4 hours weekly. We have a terrific social media manager spending several hours weekly and I have a smart tech guy getting the podcast version seen by iTunes (from podcast.mpgadv.com). This has been an outstanding investment. But, ahead of that, it's great fun! I love doing the show. And the feedback proves we're helping our listeners' orgs!
Good luck! T.
Lots of good (and big!) questions here, and of course there are many ways to approach it. I will share my own experience and let others chime in if they have different experiences to share.
My first question is always how this would support your mission. For Reformed Church in America I can imagine several ways, but it may be less clear for other organizations. Regardless, the people involved should be clear and in agreement about why you'd be doing a podcast, and what the goals are.
Because it's a lot of work! If you are going to invest this kind of time then you want it to have an impact. Or, you want to be able to say with confidence that it isn't doing what you hoped, and go a different route.
As I was gearing up to start my podcast, I didn't do a good job of tracking my "planning" time. I know that it took me a solid year, but I did a lot of foot-dragging during that time. The planning stage could certainly be condensed. As for actual production now that the show is up and running -- looking at my timesheet, I can see that I spend around 6-8 hours on each episode. That includes outlining and researching, writing the talking points, recording, editing, writing show notes, publishing, and promoting each episode. I have chosen to do everything myself, but many organizations have a few people involved, and there are parts (especially the editing) that can be outsourced. So that could change the equation. Also the longer your episodes, the more production time/cost is involved, so that is another variable. My episodes around 20 minutes each, as a point of reference.
I have been building my audience very slowly. I started with the relationships I already had, basically telling everyone I know, and talking about it on Twitter. Others hear about it by word of mouth, and of course there are those who find it via a random search or some non-personal way simply because it comes up in a search result, but these are relatively few I think (at least so far, for me).
In the long run, I hope that more people will find my show through it coming up in related content searches. That was why I started it -- content strategy for a person who is much more comfortable talking than writing. :)
But frankly, it's too soon to tell. Everyone I know who has done a podcast (including fully professional podcasters) agrees that it takes a while to ramp up. So you need to do it for at least 6 months or so before you can confidently assess whether it is meeting your goals. That adds up to a pretty big investment of time for an organization.
I don't say this to deter you in any way! I for one want to see more nonprofits podcasting, and as I said, I can see how it would fit neatly with RCA's mission.
Also, I know that 17NTC is 7 months away and your particular timeline may be shorter... but I'd be remiss not to point out that several podcasting-related sessions have been proposed. Please vote for one or more of them if you'd like to see a session on this!http://www.nten.org/proposals/?do=show-all-submissions&submission-keywords=podcast&submission-category=
I hope this helps!
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Alex DiPalma and I are pleased to invite you to consider a new way to learn how to be a podcaster, open to a group of generous and committed students. A virtual program, available wherever there's a laptop and an internet connection. Alex is a successful podcast producer, who has worked on Akimbo">http://www.akimbo.link/">Akimbo, with Minnesota Public Radio, with Cal">https://www.calfussmanpodcast.com/">Cal Fussman, with Food4Thot, among other shows. She knows what's up.
The idea: You should build a podcast. A podcast that captures insights and experiences in an area you care about. By the end of this course, you will develop, record and create an original podcast series. You'll publish episodes.
Are you hoping for a career in urban planning? Make your podcast about that. You can interview leaders in your field. You can capture your thoughts on the big (and small) issues of the day. You can lead and you can teach. And no one can stop you.
It doesn't matter how many people listen to it. It doesn't matter that it doesn't have a sponsor. It matters that you made it.
[Proud to count Jay">https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/upside/id1379955436">Jay Clouse as one of our alumni--you'll find our grads podcasts all over the world! Here are some other alum podcasts. Check them out to give you a sense of what's possible: Morgane Michael, Small">https://smallactbigimpact.com/our-podcast/">Small Act Big Impact; David Nebinski, Portfolio">http://www.portfoliocareerpodcast.com/">Portfolio Career Podcast; Nadine Kelly, Mindful">http://yogimd.net/home/podcast/http://">Mindful Health for the Wise Woman; Agnieska Stostek and Werner Puchert, Catching">https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/catching-the-next-wave/id1434396967?mt=2">Catching the Next Wave]
By the end of the course, you'll have published your work to anyone who cares to subscribe. You'll have developed assertions, made connections and most of all, shared with generosity. You won't be a technical wizard, you'll have something better than that--the confidence that comes from having built and shipped generous work.
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Check in with @Margaux O'Malley – I think she submitted a P101 course for NTC last year that didn't get picked up. She has a wealth of knowledge on this topic! Good luck! T
Tara Collins | RUPCO, Inc. | Kingston, NY 12401
Hello,We started a podcast last year. The manager took a class through Transom. She noted that it was on the pricier side, but definitely worth it. She also said she found a ton of amazing articles on the Transom site, and recommends the site for that as well.
You might also check out this online resource. They offer tips on format, as well as production needs.
We're a few steps in front of you--let me know if I can help answer questions based on our journey.
How to Start a Podcast: Step by Step