Pop the Trunk Episode 1: Steve Bland & Tom Fordyce

In the very first episode of our brand new podcast, Pop the Trunk, we interview Steve Bland and Tom Fordyce – two podcast superstars with some tips for newbies. 

Steve is an experienced journalist-turned pro podcaster, and has worked on pods like the BBC’s ‘Hooked: the Unexpected Addicts’ and the multi-award winning ‘You, Me and the Big C’. He now runs Bambi Media, helping businesses navigate podcasting, media and PR – a fab first guest for our new series of Pop the Trunk. 

Joining him is Tom Fordyce, most recognisable for his role on one of the most popular podcasts in the UK, ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’. An award-winning broadcaster and writer, he spent 10 years as the BBC’s chief sports writer before turning to podcasting. He’s now creative director of podcasting company Crowd Network, which will launch 7 titles before the end of 2020.

This week, Steve and Tom joined Adam to discuss how they initially got into podcasting, and the importance of knowing your audience when it comes to crafting the perfect pod. Their main tips? Be original, be personal, and understand exactly what your audience will relate to most. The key to podcasting is choosing a topic that you’re passionate about, and that has some longevity – the audience is constantly growing, with the total number of monthly podcast listeners growing to over 100 million for the first time in 2020. 

For brands, podcasts need to be considered as more than a marketing campaign. As Steve points out, “like any bit of content, getting it to the right ten people is better than to the wrong thousand people.” Knowing your industry, your niche, and your ideal audience means that you can completely tailor your content to appeal to the listeners you want – vital for making your podcast stand out among the 850,000 that currently exist! 

Equally, positioning your podcast as an advert for your company is a big no-no. “Podcasts can’t be an advert – you just aren’t going to get the engagement if you’re immediately telling your audience, ‘by the way, this is an ad’,” Adam points out in the episode, “People don’t want to listen to adverts, they want to be entertained”. 

Final word of advice? Don’t waste your time creating a perfectly polished podcast, and then just throw money at it until your audience grows. To gain listeners, you need to be bringing something new to the table. Tom says that podcasts “are more word of mouth … it’s making someone feel like they’re inside the club”. 

“If it feels really polished, you can lose some of the charm, and you can lose some of that intimacy.” And without intimacy, you can’t build the connection that you need with your audience. However, not keeping it too polished doesn’t mean sacrificing quality – it just means that you don’t necessarily need to sink time, money and effort into the latest equipment – a good idea (and a half-decent microphone) are all you really need to get cracking. 

Hungry for more tips? Episode 2 of Pop the Trunk is coming next week – featuring Head of PR & Mischief at Paddy Power, Lee Price. Don’t miss it, streaming on all good podcasting platforms soon. 

Follow Tom: @tomfordyce

Follow Steve: @blandsteve

Follow Trunk for updates: @tweetsbytrunk

Stream the first episode here!