The regular weekly listenership for podcasts in 2020 is projected to reach more than 68 million people, with an additional 20 million people to be added in the next three years. The popularity of podcasts has made them an emerging niche prime for distribution of quality content that young and educated listeners tune into.
During these challenging times, it has become a relevant marketing mix that entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes would love to adopt, because it gives us a captive audience that we can build our brand affinity with over time.
Starting a podcast channel has been a dream for Shawn Flynn, host of “The Silicon Valley Podcast.” The podcast launched in April, and has approximately 3,000 downloads. Flynn has great passion for entrepreneurship and is an avid supporter of Silicon Valley’s business community, where he works on a daily basis connecting with both local and international startups.
Following a stint in China, where Flynn started a business in the education sector that grew into a placement agency for foreigners to work with organizations located in various parts of China, he returned to the U.S. and started the “Silicon Valley Successes” TV show, in collaboration with a local TV station. He delivered more than 48 episodes of interviews with top Silicon Valley industry experts, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, who shared their vast knowledge, resources and experience.
From there, Flynn joined the podcast platform The Investor’s Podcast Network, where he has produced 36 episodes with guests who give listeners an in-depth look at the workings of Silicon Valley-based companies.
Through his experience as a host, Flynn found his voice and decided to branch out on his own. He set up “The Silicon Valley Podcast,” further strengthening his role as a podcast influencer and producing content that gives startups and established companies alike a platform from which they can discuss topics ranging from startup funding to the role of investment banking in fundraising, smart cities, artificial intelligence technology and competition in finding engineers.
According to Flynn, the most challenging part in starting a new podcast channel is laying the foundation and deciding on the goal for his show. Once it’s set up, the next essential task is finding the first few solid, elite guests to start things off on the right path. Through his network, he has interviewed Square co-founder Jim McKelvey, Canva CEO Melanie Perkins and Rotten Tomatoes founder Patrick Lee. The three guests served as a launchpad for his show.
“I found that working with more influential people is easier, because their time is locked in when I’ve reserved a specific time to talk to them,” Flynn said. “Making my guests feel special as a celebrity in my show makes them feel good; that builds good rapport for us, resulting in greater collaboration between us with relationships and friendships that last long after the show.”
Building a brand voice
Flynn’s larger purpose for “The Silicon Valley Podcast” is to build a trusted brand voice for information, helping people and the world connect and get access to opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have access to if they were to find them on their own. At this point, Flynn wants to focus on building his brand voice.
“As a host, I not only have to interview guests, I also need to produce quality content that people like to listen to and drive growth for listenership,” he said. “Equally important is driving growth through content distribution using various touch points, such as on my website, Spotify, Twitter and content that can be transcribed easily later for e-book publication, as many of my listeners are not native English speakers.”
Flynn found it was also helpful to develop a content roadmap that gives him flexibility to focus on interview topics for the year, but not so rigid that he needs to focus on specifics each month.
He also shared advice for new and upcoming podcast hosts in developing their brand voice.
“Think of your end goals and focus on producing quality content,” Flynn said. “Spend more time researching the questions that you want to ask of your guests and provide the most beneficial content for your listeners.”
Flynn’s growing popularity has elevated his brand to engage more with a diverse audience. The next step for “The Silicon Valley Podcast” is going global. Flynn is planning several events later this year, in Cameroon, Kenya and Singapore, where he will moderate the events live as a podcast host.
To listen to Flynn’s podcast, visit link.chtbl.com/TheSilicon-ValleyPodcast. For more information, visit shawnflynnsv.com.