I've been enjoying the content that Justin Rhodes has been making and in a thing he recently put out (I'd share the link if I could find it) where he said that he just invested a bunch of money into purchasing podcasting equipment and then he went into why he wanted to start a podcast and he said some things that I'd never really considered before. I feel like the impression that a lot of people get when they see someone wanting to start a podcast is that that person is doing it for money and fame. Now Justin is an entrepreneur so I'm sure money was a part of his motivation, and to be clear there is nothing wrong with that, but his main motivation was much more interesting and frankly this benefit of a podcast is something that I think everyone should be aware of, if not considering. It gives him an excuse to talk to people.
Now it is important to mention that the style of podcast that Justin and I are talking about are conversational/interview podcasts, podcasts that are more of an audio essay (such as Not Related) of course have their benefits as well, but those benefits are a bit more obvious to us and likely require more effort to come by. Conversational podcasts open the doors for opportunities.
We live in a world where people don't often have long conversations with their peers, and while I feel like the world has always been like this to some extent I think social media has accelerated our social de-evolution to a point where we are surrounded by NPCs who don't know how to carry a conversation longer than five minutes. It is rare, especially within younger generations such as mine, to find someone capable of having an interesting hour long conversation and even when you are with somebody who can it is hard to actually have it because of things such as the time or setting. A conversational podcast provides the time and setting for you to have a long interesting conversation with another person so that you can learn from each other, opportunities like that rarely come up organically but as long as you invite the right people you can have these great conversations with people virtually on demand.
Another insight Justin had on the benefit of having a podcast is that it can be used as a networking tool. If you were to send an email to a stranger on the internet saying that you wanted to have a conversation to learn something from them then you probably won't get a response, but if you were to invite that same person onto a podcast you may actually get a chance to talk to that person. Justin Rhodes is quite well known and respected in the homesteading/regenerative farming community so already he could easily get people that do that kind of stuff onto a podcast with him, but he figures that if he had an established podcast he could get the opportunity to talk to and develop friendships with people who do other things (health and business gurus were his examples) that would otherwise be outside his reach.
Of course those of us who don't have hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers don't have nearly the same reach as Justin and wouldn't immediately have access to the kind of people he does, but we still have some sort of a reach and we all know interesting people, and when you do interesting things like starting a podcast you eventually attract more interesting people to you. By having this website I've been contacted by people I would have never known existed.
But even if you don't want to reach out to other people a conversational podcast can still be rewarding if you do it right. A number of months ago a childhood friend of mine started a podcast with another one of his friends and I watched part of an episode or two and all it is is the two of them just sitting and chatting about whatever they feel like for an hour or two and since they are still doing it they obviously enjoy it. I don't know how many of their videos have more than six views on YouTube and I'm not sure how much they actually care about that but the question to consider is would those two be able to talk to each other like that for as long and as frequently as they do if they didn't have that podcast together? Maybe, but probably not. Podcasts give people the opportunity to have long interesting and rewarding conversations that they otherwise may have never had with both people they know and people they've never met.
Now after reading all that you might be expecting me to announce that I'm going to start a podcast, but I don't have much interest in doing that right now so I'm not. I guess I have a few friends who if they were to approach me wanting to start one together I might hop onboard, but I have no plans to start one on my own and no plans to approach anyone to start one, but I'd likely be willing to be a guest on one if I ever got the opportunity. My reason for writing this was really just to get this idea out there because it is something I'd never considered before and it has opened my mind to some things and I feel like it may open yours a bit as well, so I guess for anyone out there wanting to start a podcast I wish you good luck, be interesting and I hope you find some interesting people.