There were so many gems dropped!
This weekend, we had the pleasure of attending The PodCon, a first-of-its-kind event focused on educating attendees about launching and monetizing podcasts. The brainchild of influencer and “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” host Wallo 267, the event focused on the future of media platforms, tips and tools for creating a podcast, and, of course, how to make money and monetize your own unique platform.
The event was sponsored by Wallo’s ArplnsNHotls (pronounced Airplanes & Hotels), Rap Snacks, and Unique Kreations Studios, a Philadelphia-based content firm. Featured speakers included an array of industry game changers, including Angelica Nwandu, the founder and creator of The Shade Room; Damaris Long and Herman Dolce Jr., CEO and founder of Bella Sloan Enterprises, a distinguished business management firm; Brian Anderson, the Global Head of Music & Podcast Ad Sales for YouTube; Tori Dunlap, the founder of “Her First 100k”; Charlamagne Tha God; and Dollie S. Bishop, the founder and president of The Black Effect Network.
Attendees were excited to connect with one another and eager to learn insider tools of the trade regarding podcasts. While not a novel idea, the Black community is still severely underrepresented in the podcast space, a space that’s leading the charge in media platforms. The discrepancy is particularly noticeable on platforms like YouTube, where Anderson says they’ve seen an uptick in what they’re calling “vodcasts,” video-first podcasting.
Held in Philadelphia, Mayor Cherelle Parker opened the event with some words of advice for attendees. She praised Wallo, calling him a “chief connector” in the city and admired him for his efforts to give back to the community. His co-host Gillie was also in attendance, thanking everyone for the support of their podcast. Popular personality businessman, Gary Vaynerchuck, sent his advice and well wishes via video.
“Make 2024 the year of accountability,” Vaynerchuck told attendees.
In celebration of this groundbreaking educational summit, here are five things we learned from “PodCon” about starting your podcast with little to no resources.
YOU DON’T NEED A BIG TEAM, JUST BE CONSISTENT.
Wallo spoke about his humble beginnings into podcasting, emphasizing the importance of consistency above all else. While Long and Dolce Jr. shared insight about ways to fund your podcast using business loans–revealing that a little can go a long way–Wallo emphasized that the most important thing is consistency, not a large team or money. While resources may be scarce, having a camera phone and consistently making content, is the best way to build your podcast and ensure it grows tremendously.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT FIRST. YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT BEST.
Nwandu echoed those sentiments, revealing that she was actually unemployed when she launched The Shade Room. One of her key focuses was taking up space not already occupied by media, hence TSR’s 24-hour news cycle. She focused on not being the first site like hers but the one to do it the best, doubling down on a niche that was specific to her, speaking to the community in a unique way, and disrupting the industry by building a community where there previously was none.
Nwandu says it wasn’t until she was about to be evicted, 8 months later, that she decided to monetize her efforts. By then, she had grown nearly half a million followers, a testament to what you can do even before the money rolls in.
DEVELOP YOUR FORMULA.
Most of the guests also agreed that a standard formula is key. Paying attention to what your audience enjoys is key to developing this formula, along with a consistent posting schedule. It doesn’t take money to develop a formula, but it is key to brand identity within the podcast. In this new vodcast space, where video content is key, Anderson encouraged attendees to find their niche, find their topic, find their voice, build an audience, and then come up with a formula and stick to it.
PODCASTS SHOULD BE EDUCATIONAL, ASPIRATIONAL, & ENTERTAINING.
Tori Dunlap, host of one of the top business podcasts in the country, Her First 100k, also shared tips and tools she had learned. Dunlap echoed the sentiments of niching down but also emphasized what she thinks are the three key tenets of a good podcast. Dunlap shared that they must be educational, aspirational & entertaining. The good thing is, those can all be done for FREE .99!
Still, the most important thing we learned–the thing every speaker echoed again and again–was just to get started. Many people look at money as an obstacle to creating content or launching a podcast. But the truth is, if you have a phone, that’s really all you need. Starting your podcast isn’t about the money, that will come. It’s about launching. Actually, manifest your idea in real life. So grab your phone, press record, and upload. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
For more information about The PodCon and future events, visit www.thepodcon.com.
Cover photo: 5 Things We Learned From ‘PodCon’ About Starting Your Podcast With Little to No Resources/Photo by Amanda Taylor/Because Of Them We Can