GEMMA STEPHENSON - EVERYTHING ABOUT PODCASTS AND HER NEW SERIES
Creating a platform to showcase your work is easier than ever before. Digital platforms can help you show your art/music/ideas, make sales, or define your personal brand.
If you enjoy talking and discussing topics in an audio format, ever thought about starting a podcast? The TCC Creative Director Yasmine Jobrani interviewed Gemma Stephenson, a popular podcast host of “Let’s Get You a F**kin’ Job,” and asked her about her experience with podcasting.
How did the idea of starting a podcast begin?
The idea for the podcast came to me following conversations I had with my cousin last summer. She was in her final year of a TV and Media Degree when the pandemic hit and subsequently graduated at a time when the world was in lockdown. A lot of the roles/work experience she had lined up was cancelled and she was left wondering what to do next. Having graduated in a creative niche, and competitive sector, I wanted her to connect with a friend of mine who works in the TV industry and had graduated back in 2008 during the recession but still managed to build a successful career. My cousin found the advice from my friend really useful and she has taken that information forward and found herself a job in the TV sector and has started to build a network to accelerate her career path.
Together with her friend/co-host Anna Finely, she started her podcast career. The duo got the idea of starting a podcast over a conversation accompanied by a glass of wine.
Me and my co-host Sarah Finely also graduated during the 2008 recession and we felt like we had an opportunity to get today’s grads the information they need to enhance their job search, as we felt like we didn't have this information after we graduated.
After the pandemic hit and jobs became scarce, people started to get more creative, seeking for new opportunities to deal with the massive changes that happened around the world. During the lockdown, people started to listen more instead of scrolling on social media. This phenomenon reached a new target audience.
Your podcast has a creative, striking name. How did you come up with it and why did you decide to go for it?
Coming up with the name is something that we really struggled with! The “Let's Get You a F**kin' Job Podcast” we settled on was based on something that a university lecturer told me years ago – if you can add a swear word into a creative title, you’ll always catch someone’s attention! We also think it sums up the frustration of job seekers at the moment – especially those who needed to adapt their plans around the pandemic.
What type of equipment is needed in order to record episodes? Do you believe that do you need to spend a lot for it?
Trust me when I say, podcasting takes time and not money. You can learn skills you need for free – we did! The pandemic was a blessing for our podcast as we have been given the grace to record from home and our listeners don’t expect the best sound quality.
We recorded over Zoom, uploaded our content to Buzzsprout (free options available), and we used a free tool called OceanAudio to edit it. We have invested in some affordable microphones, but you can invest in this once your podcast is up and running – it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just need to start!
What things should be done which no one tells you?
If you interview guests like we do, you also need to get them to sign a release form that gives you permission to own the audio and edit it. You can find free templates online for this.
What was your objective when you started?
Commit to creating 10 episodes and see how you feel about podcasting. If you love it, you’ll be able to decide if you want to invest more in your show, or you might decide that it is not for you. You won’t know unless you try.
Plan things at least one week ahead of yourself, it will give you the freedom should one of your interviews not go ahead as planned. I also recommend picking a release day (we picked Tuesdays) and commit to that – so your listeners know that you show up and release content when they expect it to be live.
Which platform do you use for your podcast? And how does it work?
I only have experience with Buzzsprout which offers reliable and budget options. It is a user-friendly platform and its blog section and Facebook community are packed with useful tips and tricks. It really is that simple.
What is the hardest part of running a podcast?
Time! I underestimated how much time it takes but, if you are passionate about your podcast and you love what you do, you’ll probably find that the time whizzes by.
Gemma, what are your 5 tips for someone starting?
1) If you have an idea, even if you don’t think it is perfect, go for it! We all get caught up in the idea phase and it's easy to stay there instead of moving into action. It doesn’t have to be perfect – each episode you release, you will learn something and grow.
2) Network, network, network! Honestly, this is the most underrated step and it opens up so many doors. Connect with people who have podcasts in the same field/idea as yours and see them as your peers, not your competition. Invite some new guests; they can reach a different audience that is like-minded.
3) Get a co-host! Sarah is not only a great co-creator and co-host but we also act as accountability buddies and you get to share the workload.
4) Have no shame when it comes to your friends and family. Ask them to listen and to share your episodes on their social media, send emails to people in your network and tell them about your new show. Your acquaintances may now other people that you don’t.
5) Social Media is your friend. You don’t have to be on every platform to be successful but do consider which Social Media platform your ideal audience spends their time on. Having a presence on Instagram has helped us to connect with our audience and guest. We have built up so many connections in 6 months. You can also join groups on Facebook/LinkedIn about your subject matter and after adding value to that group, you can share your podcast information to gain more followers.
Gemma’s story proves that you can achieve a lot with podcasting and in life if you put your mind to it. Every small step you make is a step towards your goal, and if the goal changes, start podcasting!