Written By : Laura Mignott
As the classic movie Field of Dreams states, “If you build it, (s)he will come.”
I’m a firm believer of that sentiment, and about a month ago I started a podcast, The Reset, sponsored by Bose. My goal was to give listeners a real podcast that got to the meat of the issues in business and marketing. No sugarcoating, no hype, no bluster. I knew that if I created it, listeners would come.
It wasn’t until I got into the industry, however, that I realized that I was one of the only women podcasters. This shocked me – in the days of shattering glass ceilings and conquering the world, how have we not conquered the airwaves? According to Forbes, a study from February 2016 released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington-based think tank, showed that there is a significant “positive correlation between the proportion of women in corporate leadership and firm profitability,” and more and more companies are taking note, hiring women in the C-suite and other executive level roles.
Conversely, according to a 2013 study when looking at the top 100 podcasts, eighty percent were hosted by men, 10% were men and women, and 10% were only women. While the statistics remain, years later, woefully similar, there have been positive movements in this area – with several breakaway hits including Serial, but it is still not enough. I want to change this and level the playing field. As women, we have a unique voice, and there are people out there who want to hear what we have to say. We must champion this cause, make our voices heard, and stand out – only then will we be truly equal. We NEED more women in podcasting.
Think about your unique voice.
When I started thinking the theme of my podcast, I began by browsing iTunes and looking at things that I wanted to hear. I knew that I wanted a smart and informative podcast about marketing, but nothing existed. As an expert in helping brand’s find their voices and tell their stories at my agency, DigitalFlash, I knew that I was uniquely poised to create this type of content. So give it some thought – where is your area of expertise? What do you think is missing from the podcasting space? Now go and create it!
Make a Plan.
While passion is a great – and critical – foundation to every project, you also have to be organized and have a plan. I know that it’s the less “sexy” side of business, but without it you’ll be lost. I co-founded DigitalFlash over coffee at Starbucks without a plan other than making events like the ones I like to go to. The same thing happened with the podcast – I was having a drink with a friend and decided that I wanted to make a show that I wanted to listen to. But from there I sat down and created a real business plan and structure including the guests that I wanted to have on the show, and the schedule of how I would approach getting sponsors and how frequently I’d release the content. Without these guidelines and goals you’ll find your work may go off the rails (or never get off the ground in the first place!).
Remember – you ARE the company, and no matter how uncomfortable you may be, you have to put yourself out there. Marketing your business is a never stops, you have to use social media, PR and your network. From there, celebrate the things that you like about yourself, and your successes. For example, since starting the podcast I have learned that I like the sound of my own voice. Don’t be afraid to share key learnings, triumphs and failures – they will make you relatable and human, and get the word out that you are in the game and making a difference.
Ask For Help.
Do not be afraid to ask for what you want in business, whether that’s introductions, help, networking or money. Female entrepreneurs sometime think it’s a sign of weakness, but rather, it’s the most important thing you can do for your business to grow. I always try to get as much advice as I possibly can and consider who in my network could be helpful – you may come across sponsors, partners or others who can put you on the path to success.