Kia Commodore had absolutely no intention of becoming a professional podcaster, but the best things in life often take shape in mysterious ways. “I’d always had a keen interest in finance and when I went to university I gave lots of tips and guidance to friends on how to manage their money,” she explains. “I started to realise that more people needed help and there came a point where I decided just to give podcasting a try.”
Skip forward to today and Pennies to Pounds is a full-time occupation for Kia; part of an online financial literacy platform that combines the podcast with multiple social media channels and a subscriber email newsletter. Pennies to Pounds averages around 50,000 downloads per month, with its loyal subscriber-base lauding the pod’s engaging, straightforward and frequently indispensable financial advice. Kia herself has featured on LADBible, BBC 1Xtra and BBC Radio 5, and taught numerous workshops to brands like Barclays, Monzo, NatWest and TATE Britain, among others.
Moreover, Kia is offering TOG members a rare chance to learn the art of podcasting from her first hand. Starting this week, she is hosting a four-part ‘podcast like a pro’ workshop for members to attend either in-person or virtually. The sessions are designed to take you from complete beginner to your first published episode and beyond.
To give you a taster of what to expect, Kia has also shared five tips she’ll expand on in the series here. For in-depth insights into all this and more besides, sign up to her TOG Sessions through the link at the end of this story.
1. Don’t be afraid to be niche
“The first thing to do, obviously, is to figure out what you want to focus on. I think it’s a lot better to go niche – the more niche the better. Avoid broad, generalist subjects. Choosing a specialist topic gives you a clear focus to start your podcast with; you can own it with authority and it will help your audience to understand exactly what they’re coming to listen to.”
2. Figure out a clear structure
“Podcasts are relaxed in nature, but regardless of the relaxed tone your podcast should take, you need to figure out how to give the audience useful information. I think it’s super-important to create a structure or episode layout that allows you to be both clear and entertaining. I realised this a few months into producing my own podcast. Initially I’d just chat away, but in following a certain structure your listeners will always know what to expect. Consistency is key to building listener loyalty over time.”
3. Invest in your kit
“When you reach a good point with your own podcast it will pay to invest in your audio equipment, although you can record good quality audio with some pretty basic kit when you first start out. When you do make the leap it will take the quality of your product to another level, and it’ll help you to take yourself more seriously too.”
4. Take some time out
“Podcasting is a creative process. If at any point you feel like you’re losing your spark, it’s okay to step away for a while to recharge. I took some time away last year; announced to my audience I wouldn’t be podcasting for three or four weeks and went back to the drawing board. It helped me to revisit why I launched the podcast in the first place and it gave me the head space to evolve the format – to start bringing in guests and things like that. It’s fine to change things up and simply say to your audience ‘the podcast is still here but we’re doing it in a different way now’.”
5. Take your branding seriously
“This is one of my killer takeaways – it’s so important when you have a podcast. People should be able to look at your logo and know instantly what the podcast is about. Get the branding right from the beginning, make it engaging and as you grow people will want to share it.”
Sign up to Kia’s four-part TOG Sessions podcasting course here