to pod or not to pod
Safaraz Ali - Canny Conversations

To Pod or not to Pod?

To Pod or not to Pod? That is the question (to coin a phrase).

An insight into my experience podcasting.

That is the question I pondered on just over three years ago and continuously asked myself, whether I should launch a podcast or not? I felt some way that I had missed the boat or had little to no value to offer!

That may have been my view but then like me you have heard that this medium and audio in general has been doubling in size over the past few years.  It is a great way for people to connect with you as a host whilst going about their daily lives. Not only that, but it is also known that it has become a valuable piece of any business, individual brand or ecosystem. A very powerful way to amplify one message and get heard.

I have been aspiring to launch a podcast for more than three years. Now that I have launched my podcast named Canny Conversations, I fully understand why its regarded as one of the best ways to make a solid impact, raise your influence and reach.

I have read and heard that audio and podcasts are growing above any other medium. The penetration rate in the UK is still around 20%, when it could easily be doubled. The number of podcasts, listeners and general awareness about podcasts is growing each year, it will double again soon with no signs of slowing down despite the feeling that many have that we are near saturation.

When I speak to people, generally they do think that every man and his dog seem to either be hosting a podcast, appearing in one or thinking of one.  The likes of Spotify are investing heavily in this marketplace, and they are correct for many reasons. Podcasts are in their infancy compared to video, there is a sense of connecting to the host which helps build trust which we all know is ‘the secret’ to anything these days.

In terms of listeners, over half of them are recent audiences, and it allows one to reach places and people that are beyond your normal domain.  We know that listening can be unobtrusive as you can listen in the background and not just while driving which is an advantage with time limitations.

In terms of my own podcast, I have made some observations that have led me to decide for now not to go down the route where I will be collaborating or interviewing others. There are many opportunities if you were to do so and there is great leverage there if decided to go down that route.

Interviewing and collaborating allows the host to justifiably contact, speak to and associate oneself with people that one may not have normally come across or have access to. Podcasts elevate your visibility, create waves, and take you down paths that you may not have done otherwise. If somebody were to choose to have guests, they would need to be chosen very carefully with regard to value added and the benefit that one will have of growing their knowledge and reach.

It may seem that most are jumping on the bandwagon and there is endless choice of content out there. The way I see it is, if a friend came to me now and said:

“I am looking to do videos, launch a website or write a blog”, would I say no that there is too much out there already or encourage them and say yes go ahead but plan wisely? This is the advice that I have given myself.

In my own view, my podcast is not about perfection, it is journey of continuous improvement where I will converse openly and share any evolving viewpoints. Yes, there may be some contradictions, and change of thoughts and even possible U-turns.  In terms of the listener’s experience there is an  element of erm’s and hesitations, at the end of the day it is not an audio book, it is me sitting down and sharing my views, experiences and attempting to communicate a message.  

to pod or not to pod

In the past I have been a little conscious of my voice and accent but over the years, I have become more comfortable in my own skin. For me this has been about challenging myself and above all striving to add value and enjoying the experience. Even though you could argue that I was slightly late, it is always better to start something now rather than never, particularly if it holds value to you.

I don’t think there is any right or wrong way, it really is what works for you. Podcasting is on the verge of being monumental. I think it is vital to any ecosystem if you want to connect, grow and influence people, then go for it.

I have recorded series one of Canny Conversations podcast which is a collection of 10 sessions and then I am looking forward to reflecting, reviewing and gaining feedback and then returning to series two when the time is right. This way, this becomes more sustainable for me and at the same time and I can return even better “Meliora”!

Safaraz Ali

Get in touch

Is there anything you would like me to mention on future podcasts? Or invite me as a guest on your platform then give me a shout.

I am always open and genuinely seeking feedback to improve and deliver more impact, so please share your thoughts (don’t hold back).

Anyway, I’d love to hear from you…

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