Podcasts are thriving so does it make sense for a Virtual Assistant to start one? 

The decision has to be a combination of personal and professional factors. 

Is it something that appeals to you? Do you have an idea for one? Can you set aside time to do a podcast? Is there a clear business purpose behind doing one? What do you want your podcast to achieve? 

There is always the danger of ‘shiny new object syndrome’ – as the stampede to join the latest audio platform Clubhouse might illustrate. 

But podcasts have been around for almost two decades. They’re not new. They’ve just become fashionable. 

And it’s easy to see why. 

10 Reasons to Start a Podcast 

1. Popularity 

Podcasts are everywhere now. 

It feels as if they have become the audio equivalent of the magazine. There is one for almost any subject under the sun. 

My own podcast Virtually Amazing is for an audience of VAs, EAs and PAs. It covers training and tips in using Microsoft Office and 365, and guest expert advice for building a VA business. 

During the global pandemic, many people have been looking for entertainment and distractions. Podcasts have proved a popular means of achieving that. There is a market out there for whatever you want to talk about. 

2. Global Audience 

Podcasts are available to people anywhere in the world where there’s an internet connection or space to download episodes. 

Since launching Virtually Amazing in 2020, my co-presenter Jo Brianti and I have discovered our episodes are being watched or listened to in Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. 

It’s brought a whole new audience to what I do, training in Microsoft applications

Podcasts are a way to reach way beyond your locality or home nation. 

3. Easy Access 24-7 

One of the reasons podcasts are so popular is how easy it is to access them. 

People can subscribe free through their favourite platform or directory. The big players are Apple, Spotify and Google but other audio streaming spaces include Pandora, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn and Deezer. 

People can have podcasts delivered by email or add them to their RSS feed. They can also, as they do with Virtually Amazing, watch the video version on YouTube

4. Simple Set Up 

The choice of podcasting platforms for hosting (and publishing) is much wider now than it was five years’ ago.  

This means you can find something that is more tailored to your needs and abilities. Whichever brand you go with, the setting up is getting easier and easier. You don’t have to be a techie to get started. 

Some of the hosting platforms out there include Podbean, Buzzsprout, Transistor, Simplecast, Captivate and Castor. 

5. New niches will emerge 

Despite their popularity and range of subjects covered, podcasts still have a long way to go to ‘fill the bucket’ to full. 

This means there is room for new casts in an existing audio space and new niches are likely to be created. Space to give your take on matters as an assistant. Space, perhaps, to be the first – or best – podcast in a niche if you’re in a specialist field. 

6. Flexible formats 

One of the great things about doing a podcast is you can run it so many ways. 

You can go solo and present a monologue-style recording, setting yourself out as the expert. You can have a co-host (like I do with Jo Brianti on Virtually Amazing) or multiple hosts. It can add an extra dynamic, make room for discussions and swapping opinions, and give you support. 

You can have an interview format, where you invite a guest along and ask them questions on a topic. This can be extended into the narrative format, which combines interview and monologue. A story is woven over a series of episodes. 

You can go for a round table option. This is like having a panel show with questions and discussion by different guests on a set topic.  

Another style, though perhaps less likely to be used by an assistant, is documentary format. This is a behind-the-scenes approach and may require more research and more time to produce.  

But who’s to say you won’t be the trailblazer for creating a unique podcast in your field?  

7. Search Trends Favour Podcasts 

One trend out there is the growth of people using voice search. This is your Alexa and other devices in the home which allow you to literally say what you want. Plus, of course, Siri and Bixby on your smartphone or tablet. 

Increasing numbers of searches are being done via voice and Google has already begun to include podcasts in its search results – without people having to type ‘podcast’. 

This could make it much easier and faster for people to find you, if you’re podcasting about topics related to the work you do. 

8. Linking with Live Streaming 

Live videos have proved popular in recent years. It seems every other person is doing a Facebook Live these days. 

Entrepreneur and marketing expert Neil Patel believes live streaming is going to be a USD $70.5 billion industry this year (that’s about £50 billion in UK money). 

With the increase in interactive content and advances in technology, live podcasts will allow presenters and audiences connect in fresh ways – such as Q&A sessions, contests or phone-in debates. 

9. Potential for Advertising and Sponsorship 

Usually, people get a bit fed up with adverts interrupting their content. Just ask a Spotify user on a free subscription. 

But studies of podcast listeners suggest they are more receptive to hearing ads on their favourite shows. It may be because there are typically fewer ads on a cast than on radio or television. 

There could be the potential for you, as you grow your audience, to secure advertising or sponsorship. It’s one way to pay for podcasting costs and boost your income. 

10. Market your New Skills 

If you find setting up and running a podcast comes naturally to you, you might want to consider offering that as part of your suite of services to clients. 

If your episodes get heard by the right people, you might even find they are seeking you out to help them with their casting aspirations and objectives. 

Who knows, podcasting could be another string to your bow. 

The Final Word 

Podcasting is not my area of expertise, yet I’ve set one up that is working well for me as in IT trainer in Microsoft Office and 365. Plus, it’s great fun to do. 

You may not have thought a podcast was something for you. Perhaps so but it could be worth exploring the possibilities. You never know where things might lead. 

Posted in TomorrowsVa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes