In just 18 months, Basecamp’s Rework podcast has recorded 1 million downloads — a big achievement for a company podcast, especially since Basecamp, a SaaS-based software company with millions of users, hasn’t done any external promotion for the show.
More than 73 million Americans listened to a podcast each month in 2018, a figure that more than doubled over the previous five years. So, naturally, a lot of businesses want to start their own podcast.
Wailin Wong, a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and now a producer and co-host for Rework, say it isn’t so easy. For most businesses, she says, it’s not worth the effort and they’d do better telling their story by getting booked on established podcasts.
But for those who do want to make their own, she’s got some advice on how to make it work. For example:
• Don’t sell: There are more than 600,000 podcasts today. Simply touting the success of your products and services will not stand out. Find a unique topical niche your audience will find compelling.
• Be ruthless: Each episode needs to tell a story with a narrative arc, and that’s accomplished through merciless editing. Don’t be afraid to cut interviews down dramatically, leaving just the most interesting bits.
• Avoid thought leaders like the plague: Professional “thought leaders” are easy to book, but they give boring, rehearsed, polished interviews with no surprises.
Rework recently did an episode critiquing the use of violent rhetoric in business, and another on dropping all ties to Facebook as a company. And it’s working.
You can listen to episodes of Rework HERE.