Freelance social media marketer and C4DI member Matt Johnson started the My Journey Podcast earlier this year and, since then, has travelled all over the UK interviewing those who inspire him, unearthing their stories and discovering how they got to where they are today.
Podcasts aren’t a new thing, but their popularity has soared in recent years, with now over 700,000 shows totting up 29 million episodes. Numbers are only increasing, with more and more individuals and businesses realising the power of connecting with their audiences by delivering value, entertainment and insight to headphones across the world.
We caught up with Matt to find out more about his experiences creating a podcast and what he’d recommend for anyone who wants to start broadcasting their own.
Hey Matt! Can you give us a brief description of your podcast?
Matt Johnson: The My Journey Podcast seeks to explore how inspirational and successful people made it to where they are.
I talk to people who have pursued alternative career paths and have built a name for themselves within their industry. Within the interviews we travel through their careers, focusing on key moments.
As I progress with the podcast, I'll hopefully continue to attract bigger names, which will allow me to explore the personal branding angle more.
What made you start The My Journey podcast?
MJ: When I was in Sixth Form, I created an initiative that saw people from alternative careers come in and talk about how they got to where they were. I felt we only ever heard how to get into traditional career routes, such as accountancy and the legal industry.
A little while later, at University, I began following lots of different podcasts and have done ever since. I also started to develop an interest in personal branding. When listening to a couple of different podcasts, I didn’t feel like the interviewers were asking the questions I wanted to hear. I wanted to know how the interviewee got to where they are; the challenges they faced in their career and how they built their personal brand. That’s when I remembered the initiative I set up in Sixth Form and thought it would make a great podcast.
Would you recommend creating a podcast for businesses wanting to branch out with their content?
MJ: Yes! It’s a great way to show to your audience you’re an expert in your field, create a personal relationship and delve deep into topics you might not otherwise be able to in an e-newsletter or social media post. It’s also great for those who are camera shy!
What are your tips for getting started?
MJ: Pick up your phone. Download the Anchor app. Start recording.
It’s that simple.
You can literally podcast on any budget, anywhere in the world, at any time!
As with anything, if you can put more strategic resources behind it, then you increase your chances of success. If you’re looking for some strategic foundations, I would consider these four things…
What are you going to talk about?
How can you reach your audience?
What format is your podcast going to take?
How often are you going to podcast?
What podcasts would you recommend?
MJ: Here’s a varied selection…
Dear Lovejoy – Hosted by Tim Lovejoy, this is one of the podcasts I’ve listened to the longest and actually inspired me to start my own. Dear Lovejoy started off as a type of Agony Aunt podcast but has slowly developed into a series of interviews around a different topic each week. I particularly enjoy the interviews with Drew Povey – Episode 56 (he’s also been a guest on my podcast), Peter Bleksley – Episode 65 & 66, and Jonny Vegas – Episode 85.
Off Menu – This podcast is set in a dream restaurant where guests can choose their favourite meal of all time. Fronted by comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble, where James takes the self-appointed role of a genie waiter, guests chat through their choices, which are sometimes controversial. This is one to avoid when you’re hungry!
The Reggie Yates Podcast – Formerly known as Talk Stew, this is simply a few lads sitting down around the mic, talking about anything and everything! It’s not for everyone, but this podcast - which sometimes features a guest - is great at making you feel like you’re in the room and part of the community.
We’re currently looking for C4DI members with inspiring stories and projects to feature in our weekly newsletter. If you’d like to see yourself and your business here, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.