Last week, my podcast hosting company, Spreaker, interviewed me on their blog. Check out my responses to why I chose the medium of podcasting (great if you're considering starting your own), how I prepare for guests, and how I grew an engaged audience over the last two years.
Heroine podcast is where to tune in if you want to be inspired by creative and amazing women from all over the world. Sailors to CEOs, artists to authors – there are women from all fields of work and all walks of life. This week we’ve been chatting to its founder and host, Majo Molfino, about how she got into podcasting.
You work, among the other amazing things you do, as a coach focused on women’s creative leadership. What made you decide to start a podcast that in some ways is related to the topics that you face in your job as a coach. Why did you choose this medium?
I chose this medium because it focuses on the voice and not appearance and I was a bit tired of the Instagram craze. Voice only felt minimalist and refreshing. Because podcasting is based on storytelling, it elicits quite a bit of emotion, which is a beautiful thing. I want the people listening to feel deeply touched by the stories of female leaders and to see themselves reflected in them. I really liked the idea of being in somebody’s ear, and having them feel like they were eavesdropping into intimate conversations. I was also frustrated by the lack of female-hosted podcasts in the Top 100.
Since your show debuted with an interview with Roz Savage, the first woman to journey solo across three oceans, you have hosted on the Heroine podcast, award-winning artists, NY Times bestsellers, CEOs etc., how do you prepare before interviewing these guests? What’s your schedule?
Typically, I have an assistant gather some basic info about the guest, like biographical data and some sense of chronology, or majors works, projects, or articles they’ve written. I will review them, and have a sense for a focus (or a group of themes) for the interview. I think about what listeners would like to know. I’ll write out all the questions and then flow through it. I always have the same basic opening question (“What were you like as a little girl?”) and closing question (“What have you reclaimed for yourself?”) that helps create anchors and a sense of arc.
When you submitted your show to be featured on this #YEPS project, you wrote to us that you enrolled the help of a freelance radio editor. How important was his help?
The freelance editor is actually a she, and her help is crucial. She will cut the interview from about 60-80 minutes down to 40 minutes. She’s good at deciding what should stay and what should go, and she’s quite good at smoothing out transitions with music. Because she’s also a trained journalist, she’s been able to help me think about my interviews, what’s most interesting about them, which in turn, helps me create the best intro.
Choose one of your episodes: either the one which you feel most personally attached to, or the one which took the longest to create or the one which has a particularly special memory for you. And tell us why!
My favorite episode is the one with a personal heroine of mine, Latin American author and storyteller Isabel Allende. I have been reading her novels my entire life, and for me she represented the epitome of a true writer, and my own potential, the kind of woman I could become if I completely let go of any inhibitions. I was so nervous interviewing her, but everything went well. She is such a strong woman, to have lost her daughter, and to also be fighting for girls and women worldwide, all the while being an prolific fiction writer who communes deeply with her imagination. What a LEGEND.
Tell us one thing that you learned after starting your podcast and that you wished you knew before starting it. It could be useful advice for new wannabe podcasters that are reading this!
Don’t do it alone. I asked my listeners for support on Patreon. I have an assistant to help me with scheduling (that I pay through with my coaching client work). I also have an editor, as already mentioned. And then I ask someone to help me with social media! Lots of contractors, lots of help. When I started out, I was also doing weekly episodes, and there were no seasons, so it was just going on forever, and that was not very sustainable. So, I decided to do bi-weekly episodes instead and have seasons. Don’t burnout. Have fun with it and be realistic!
How did you start finding and growing an engaged audience?
I featured guests with audiences who promoted on their own channels. I’m also regularly featured by ApplePodcasts which is wonderful. I fondly remember the time Spreaker featured me once too, that was a nice boost as well. And of course, word-of-mouth.
What is the most interesting feedback you remember receiving from your listeners?
I asked my listeners to take a survey and was amazed when they said most of them listen to the podcast while commuting. I knew there were commuters, but it was actually more than the majority which was surprising. It made me think about the value of making the episodes a bit shorter. When I read my reviews, what always brings a smile to my face is that these stories help women feel less alone, and like they don’t have to have it all figured out in order to lead.
Original article available on Spreaker here.