This is the fourth in an ongoing series of expert interviews. Check out the earlier ones: A Taxes & Accounting with Amy Northard, the CPA for Creatives, Facebook Groups with Emylee Williams of Think Creative Collective, and Hiring an Attorney with Joey Vitale of Indie Creative Law.
Do you love podcasts? Me too. I have so many I love and not nearly enough time to listen to them all. One of those can’t miss shows for me is The Creative Empire with co-hosts Reina Pomeroy and Christina Scalera.
This dynamic duo’s show features the creative industry’s thought leaders in easy-to-digest 20- to 45-minute interviews. They started their show on May 18th last year, and since then have shared 87 amazing episodes covering a wide range of creative and entrepreneurial topics.
Today, the incredibly sweet and giving Reina is sharing a bit about the podcast’s start, along with some super helpful tips for anyone thinking of starting their own podcast (and at this point, it seems like almost everyone is!).
Q: Why did you and Christina start The Creative Empire podcast?
A: Christina came to me with the idea. She saw a need in the creative industry. There are a ton of creative conferences, but not a lot of other free, reliable educational tools out there. We wanted to interview people who our listeners would be really excited about, and would want to see at a conference but might not be able to pay for. Not just the pretty Instagram feed content, but nitty-gritty tactical things that people can use in their businesses.
Q: What do you love about podcasting?
A: When you take away the frustrations about the technology part, you can actually enjoy the process of teaching and being creative with the work we do. It allows us both to be really nimble in our businesses. It allows us to be ahead of the trends.
Q: What do you like about doing your show with a co-host?
A: People who solo host are so courageous. I think I feel blessed I have Christina. We get to do a lot of tag-teaming and collaborating. We sometimes disagree and that allows people to see two perspectives.
Q: How expensive is it to run a podcast?
A: Podcasting does cost quite a bit of money. I knew there would be some costs incurred, but I wasn’t sure what that meant. We had to pay a designer for branding, buy microphones, build the website, and every single episode is edited and transcribed. We have a paid team to help us create, edit, and market the episodes. I don’t think people realize that.
Q: Why is it worth it to you financially?
A: It’s been a huge marketing platform for each of us. Our voices are elevated because people hear us. If we get 2,000 or 3,000 downloads on an episode, I don’t think I get that many page views in a day on a new blog post.
Q: What did you do right with your podcast from Day 1, and what’s a mistake you made?
A: We wanted branding to be good from the get-go, and I’m happy we made that investment. At the beginning, Christina was editing our podcast to keep costs down and we realized it was worth the investment to outsource that. People who do this all day every day are much faster and efficient.
Q: What are some practical tips you can share for people who want to start a podcast?
A: Think through how a podcast fits into your marketing strategy. Interviewing people willy-nilly won’t cut it. It really needs to fit into the rest of your business. Don’t do it for the fame. The median download is 179 per episode. Most people don’t get past episode seven—that’s an interesting statistic. If you’re going to do it, go full out. Create a content plan and editorial calendar. Create procedures for yourself to actually get it done. There’s so much education out there on how to launch a podcast, which is totally different than producing a podcast. You need to study both.
Q: What’s something that really surprised you about podcasting?
A: Podcasting is a systemized process. There’s a list of 50 different touch points that have to happen on every single episode. Fine tuning that list of actions and having those systems down is really crucial. We have six people touching each episode so it can be confusing.
Q: What do you say to someone who is thinking of starting a podcast but has never been a guest on one?
A: I was on four or five podcasts before we started ours and I loved it. I loved every single one I did. If you feel awkward or nervous doing it, you may just need to grow into it, but it may be that it’s not the way you like to provide content. Find the ways you feel comfortable interacting with your audience.
Q: What advice do you have for people who are wanting to guest on your (or another) podcast?
A: You have to be really good at learning how to pitch. The pitch is not about you. The pitch is about where you’re trying to get your work featured and how you can serve their audience. Listen to the podcast first. You have to know who you’re speaking to if you want to be featured.
Q: What do you see for the future of podcasting?
A: Everyone is going to have a podcast this year. Last year was the year of Facebook groups. This year you’re going to see a lot of podcasts, especially in the creative industry. It went from courses to Facebook groups to podcasts.
Q: What’s in the cards for The Creative Empire?
A: We’re going to keep challenging ourselves to pitch to scarier folks, people who intimidate us but inspire us and that we get excited about learning from.
Visit The Creative Empire podcast website to learn more or subscribe. You can also get to know the hosts better by visiting their own websites. Reina Pomeroy is a life and business success coach for heart-centered creatives, and can be found at Reina + Co. Christina is a consultant who helps creatives streamline their businesses and can be found at ChristinaScalera.com.