Emma Clark and Tess McCabe record a podcast called ‘The New Normal’ about parents running creative businesses.
Emma Clark and Tess McCabe record a podcast called ‘The New Normal’ about parents running creative businesses. Photo: Pat Scala
Once a fortnight Tess McCabe and Emma Clark sit at Clark’s kitchen table and record a podcast about running a business and parenting.
They don’t have any fancy equipment and make the recording using an app on an iPhone with the occasional baby gurgling in the background. Nevertheless, The New Normal podcast has managed to amass a small but loyal following with over 10,000 downloads.
If you are running a business you can’t talk about it with your employees. We try and share warts and all, but that might be the beer talking.
As podcasts continue to gain in popularity in Australia there are an increasing number of options for small businesses to listen in to, each targeting a particular niche audience.
Steve Sammartino, Sean Callanan and Jim Stewart combine beer, business and podcasting.
Steve Sammartino, Sean Callanan and Jim Stewart combine beer, business and podcasting. Photo: Supplied
While there are no available figures on exactly how many people listen to podcasts in Australia, research by Edison in the United States estimates 17 per cent of Americans have listened to at least one podcast in the last month, putting the podcast audience there at an estimated 46 million people.
If you’re a parent who runs their own business, a business owner who loves a beer or looking for tips on building an online audience, there’s a podcast for you.
The New Normal
Darren Rowse has started podcasting alongside running his Problogger business and blog.
Darren Rowse has started podcasting alongside running his Problogger business and blog. Photo: Supplied
The New Normal features interviews with business owners like Sarah Chapman of Tribe Communications and Joyce Watts of Cycle Style along with McCabe and Clark’s own musings on balancing business and parenting.
“Both being small business owners we really like to interview our guests and ask ‘How do you do the thing you do amongst the whole parenting life?’,” McCabe says.
“When I was a new parent I felt like I wouldn’t be taken as seriously by clients if I let on that I had a little one at home and maybe doing the podcast was a way of owning that. Just saying, yes we do it all, or at least try to. This is a part of my life and it will be forever.”
McCabe runs her own graphic design business while Clark co-owns furniture business Gratton with her husband.
The pair say while they don’t make any money from The New Normal, recording the podcast has “unquantifiable benefits”.
“For selfish reasons we’ve got a lot out of it, in terms of tips and you also feel like you’re part of a community,” Clark says.
McCabe says podcasts are the perfect medium for entrepreneurs with families who work for themselves from home.
“That’s why we call [The New Normal] the podcast for multi tasking parents because you can listen and do other things at the same time.”
Beers, Blokes and Businesses
At the start of every Beers, Blokes and Businesses podcast hosts Sean Callanan, Jim Stewart and Steve Sammartino all review a beer together before moving on to the day’s topic.
Conversation can touch on anything from Facebook advertising, to building a team and what Shane Warne’s beer really tastes like.
“If you are running a business you can’t talk about it with your employees,” Callanan says. “We try and share warts and all, but that might be the beer talking.”
Beers, Blokes and Businesses has been downloaded over 120,000 times and has benefited from the growing popularity of podcasting which Callanan attributes to a few factors.
“Podcasting has been around for at least 10 years but it has only been the last two or three years where you don’t have to worry about data,” he says. “Apple putting in the podcasting app was a big win as it’s just getting easier and easier for podcasters. Things like Serial [a true crime podcast with over 5 million downloads] have helped people understand what a podcast is.”
There is no advertising on Beers, Blokes and Businesses but Callanan says making money has never been the primary objective off the podcast.
“We get a lot of business from speaking opportunities that we get and referred business love from it,” he says.
Beers, Blokes and Businesses enables the trio to expose their personal brands to a wider audience and also to pick up tips themselves.
“I’ve learned personally so much from doing the show, from what others bring to the podcast,” Stewart says. “From tools to management techniques.”
Australia’s most popular blogger, Darren Rowse, is another business owner jumping on the podcasting bandwagon.
Rowse presents the same sorts of tips, analysis and information he writes about on his Problogger blog.
“I started a podcast because I started listening to them,” Rowse says. “There are definitely pros and cons of doing them. The thing that made me resist podcasts is I thought people wouldn’t spend that much time listening and it’s quicker to read content, but there’s something about podcasts that is much more personal.”
The Problogger podcast has been downloaded 740,000 times since Rowse started it in July last year.
Rowse says while some of his blog readers have pushed back and said they prefer text “those embracing it are much more engaged than I get from the articles I have written”.
Rowse has run some advertising on the podcast but says the best way of monetising it so far has been by selling his own products such as ebooks.
At this stage he says the podcast costs more to produce than he makes from it but it is “getting to a tipping point”.
Rowse says he believes Australia is still behind the United States in terms of the audience for podcasts but “is catching up pretty quick”.
“The embryo of an industry is starting to form,” he says.
“In Australia [podcasting] has certainly taken off in the last six or so months because we are seeing personalities with existing profiles now jumping on,” Rowse says. “People are also discovering that podcasts are great for listening to while you are doing something else and that’s very attractive to commuters, people exercising, people at home with kids.”
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/managing/warts-and-all-podcasts-for-entrepreneurs-20160218-gmxhyc.html#ixzz41HV73mmQ
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook