In this episode of our I’ve Heard That podcast on the Hurrdat Media Network, host Meghan chats with Pat Safford and Jill Thomas of Hurrdat Media about the sudden rise of podcasting, as well as what you need to know about starting your own podcast.
If you want to start your own podcast, what does it take?
Safford: Anybody can start a podcast. You can go to Best Buy or wherever and get the equipment that you need. You just need a microphone. You need headphones because when you’re talking to guests online, whether it’s Zoom or wherever, you’re going to have to be able to hear them. And then you can record right on your laptop. I mean, you can actually do it yourself.
Thomas: But if you’re doing one for your business, you want to make sure the editing is good and smooth. You want to make sure that your transitions are smooth. If there are things that have to be fixed, you need to learn how to edit. You need to learn how to master the podcast before you release that episode. And that’s where businesses can get frustrated because that’s a full-time job. That’s what we do at Hurrdat Media.
How does a business owner who wants to start a podcast tackle the content side?
Safford: We can help them with that.
Thomas: We do. We’ve got everything from bankers and doctors and lawyers. We’ve got agriculture. We’ve got a little bit of everything. Really, it comes down to what topics you’re wanting to cover, and the overall theme. Then, break it down to ten topics or five topics. That way, they’ve got a topic for each episode.
Safford: They have all of the information in their heads. It’s just helping them organize it and just getting it out there. But these business owners that come in, their biggest fear is actually hosting. We’ve had people come in and say “I want to do a podcast, but we’ve got to find a host because I can’t host.” But it’s your business. You’re the expert. So they have all that knowledge. It’s just helping them organize it in a way that makes sense.
How did we move from radio into podcasting?
Thomas: Getting to go in-depth and not having a time limit on you is a big difference. And that’s a hard adjustment coming from any radio because you have to take four to six breaks an hour. So you get to talk for two or three minutes, and you have that internal clock. When we first started our podcast, doing ten minutes was hard. In a podcast, you can let the topic breathe. You can take it to its natural conclusion. You don’t just have to wrap it up. You can take the little side roads.
Safford: Or, on the other side of it, if there’s a topic that’s maybe ten minutes long, you don’t have to extend it to 20 or 25 minutes long because a sponsor said to. You can just let it be over. Also, the on-demand aspect of a podcast is different. In radio, you’d be like “Listen tomorrow morning!” or some other stuff to try to get someone to stay in their car for an extra two minutes—to extend the time spent listening for your ratings. You don’t have to do that anymore because people aren’t going to miss a meeting because you’re talking about something on a podcast.
Thomas: They want to be able to hit pause. We’ve finally gotten to that tipping point of on-demand listening. Appointment listening is out the door. You bring the information people are looking for. If someone is seeking out your podcast, it’s because they intentionally searched for the type, style, or information that you’re giving. So it’s intentional. It’s not just a drive-by, where they’re just going down the dial and hope they hit something that sounds interesting. They’re looking for you, and then they listen intently. You’re not background noise, like what most radio and music listening is. And now, it’s like they’re really hanging on your words.