Picture the scene: visionary leader, big ideas, gift of the gab. They decide to make a podcast. They find a smart cookie to handle the technical stuff, prepare what to say, and send their revolutionary ideas out into the audio ether…
And no one listens.
It’s a scenario we see time and time again with our clients in the corporate world, and it’s understandably frustrating. Hours of precious time script-writing, recording and editing, go entirely unheard. Eventually they lose interest, and the whole project is shoved into a dusty corner of their website.
It’s not for lack of potential. The podcasters we work with are inspiring thought leaders, with real passion and a wealth of expertise. They often have unique, disruptive products or services that are genuinely interesting. And yet, when they try to communicate their ideas via the podcast medium, the whole things falls flat.
What’s going wrong?
If you google ‘how to start a podcast’, you’ll likely be met with advice to start by doing your homework: find your niche, define your target audience, create a strategy.
But for corporate podcasters, there’s an additional twist to consider: how will this podcast ultimately serve my business? Creating any kind of content is time-consuming, after all. If your podcast doesn’t align with your business model, how will you ever see a return on that investment?
And herein lies the fundamental problem for many a corporate podcaster: what exactly is your business model?
It seems like a silly question – of course any business leader would know what their model is! And yet, in reality it isn’t that simple. What we tend to see in these types of leaders is a deep desire to be innovative, but a real difficulty in communicating their vision to other people. Writer Joan Magretta describes the business model as “the story that explains how an enterprise works”, and even the most ambitious visionary can struggle to tell that story concisely and compellingly.
For podcasters, this missing piece has consequences. Without the core story running like a thread through every aspect of their business, leaders lack clarity on what their podcast should be about, or what its objectives are. As a result, even the most engaging conversationalists can fall into the trap of pontificating, without any real structure, on their various areas of expertise.
No amount of editing can make up for this lack of direction – the show becomes boring and disjointed, and gets lumped into the other 100+ business podcasts already out there. Listeners are left with no real takeaways they haven´t heard before. Bottom line – if your listener doesn’t understand how your podcast gives them something no other show can, they won’t come back.
Do the deep work first
Nailing down the core story, or ‘Vision Sphere’ as we call it, is the piece that we most often find companies missing, and it’s missing because it’s really hard to do. It requires leadership to sit down together and do the deep work of fundamentally questioning who they are. It takes time, and often external support, and it might all seem like a bit much when all you want to do is make a podcast!
But once an organisation captures that narrative about themselves, the effects are incredible. It’s like a light bulb flicks on for them – they see their place in the world, and it defines where they go next. And for budding podcasters, the hook that will keep their listeners streaming your every episode suddenly becomes crystal clear.
 How to Design a Winning Business Model, Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2011/01/how-to-design-a-winning-business-model
By Catie Romero-Finger and Anjalee Perera
Catie is a business consultant, strategic communication expert, and co-founder of Censfera, the pioneering business model consultancy that puts storytelling at its core.
Despite gaining over ten years’ experience in strategic marketing and communications, Catie’s passion for expression and deep thought now drive her to radically change the way marketing as a field is perceived in the business world.
Having worked with leaders and in leadership roles herself, Catie developed a keen understanding that a strong vision narrative is more than a fluffy marketing concept – it impacts the business model itself. By connecting her passion to her purpose, Catie was inspired her to create Censfera with her business partner, Anjalee Perera. She now works with leadership not only to capture their vision, but to become a consistent source of it.
Outside of work, Catie is an avid fitness fan, and loves to try new and challenging ways to stay in shape both mentally and physically. She enjoys reading business literature to stay up to date with current trends, and is outspoken about the need to find balance in life, as she cherishes her time with her two young children.
Anjalee Perera is a business consultant, writer and co-founder of Censfera, the pioneering business model consultancy with a focus on storytelling.
A qualified doctor of medicine and surgery, Anjalee left her clinical days behind her in 2015 to pursue a more creatively fulfilling career. Through her subsequent work in the strategic marketing, communications and broadcasting fields, Anjalee became fascinated by the observation that leadership’s ability to drive a consistent vision had huge impacts on strategy and even the business model itself. With her business partner, Catie Romero-Finger, Anjalee developed the Vision Sphere methodology, which later became the foundation concept of Censfera.
Outside of work, Anjalee is an unabashed historical fiction fan, casual philosopher, careers mentor to medical professionals, and devoted mother to her daughter.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.