Speaker Q&A: Gavin Ramjaun, TV Presenter & Journalist
Gavin Ramjaun is a media personality who is known for hosting popular shows and content across sport, news & factual entertainment. These experiences have led him to begin a new chapter in his broadcasting and publishing career, with the start of his multi-channel broadcasting channel Manzilla online and on social. Here he tells us more about how he has launched his podcast and advice on how to do it.
Firstly, tell us about your podcast and this came about?
Manzilla is a men’s identity podcast, which is part of a wider brand I’m developing to help men come through a tough part of their personal and professional lives - arguably the toughest it has been. So many men struggle with who they are deep down, and despite going through most of adolescence and early manhood with a lot of bravado, a lot have problems voicing and understanding their environments and social circumstances. I found there was a lot of fallout from the changed world which we are all rightly now adapting to and improving in terms of diversity and representation. A lot of men are resistant to change, and therefore more often than not their behaviour and mental health suffers as a result. I want this podcast to speak to a generation who need to hear issues they may be dealing with, and to give reassurance that if they take action to help themselves there will be a support network out there for them.
What’s your planning approach to each podcast in terms of themes or guests etc?
It’s a case of seeing what guests we have who are free to record on the dates that align with our diaries (I have to plan with my own broadcasting rota, the schedules of the other co-hosts and the studio availability)…. but generally speaking I come up with an overarching theme related to the specialism of the guest that fits with our editorial agenda - and plan out the show structure from there. For example, we had Tinder’s most swiped right man last year, and our theme was ‘how to get the best out of online dating’, there were so many knowledge hacks in this show, I urge you to have a listen!…The chat is usually really lively, with so many voices - which can make for a fun if intensive edit!… on the whole though, I really try to put the guest at ease, to get the best content from them.
Do you have to be tech savvy to launch a podcast?
I think you do a little bit. Unless you have budget to outsource the process of producing, recording, editing, distribution and promotion! Personally I manage about three elements in that mix, mainly the hosting, production and execution. But I think a knowledge of the production process - editorially and technically - will really stand you in good stead if you want to launch a podcast. There was a lot to learn in the beginning, and the industry is constantly evolving to what tastes are current and in vogue. I wouldn’t discourage anyone at all - just do the homework on what you want to achieve (brand awareness, sales, journalism etc), and be prepared to spend a lot of time on it.
How have you built your audience and over what period of time?
I’ve been running the podcast for the last 9 months or so, I’d worked up a plan of action and had 10 weeks worth of shows in the bank before releasing, to have some slack in the schedule when we missed a week. Social media has been the biggest builder of the audience - each week our guests, co-hosts and myself promote the show across Youtube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with links to the programme. The podcast has it’s own social pages too which are shared out, though this is very much growing. Organically we also get traffic on recommended lists on Apple, Spotify and Acast, and hopefully we covert this to subscribers.
Does podcasting take a lot of time?
Yes it does, depending on how involved you are. I’m in the process from start to finish - planning, writing, hosting, and editing the shows. The records are usually handled with our studio partner, but I also have equipment to remote record with full kit now. It allows flexibility in locations, and it’s a multi-person set up so can be transported around with no problems. I also film our shows, so I man a two-camera setup to capture the films for social media too. If a production company is involved though, then the load is significantly lightened.
Can you make money from podcasting?
I’ve not made any money from podcasting at the moment, but I still consider myself very new to the arena and very much learning how it all works. It is something I’m interested in long term. The business models are quite opaque, and the numbers needed for any sort of half decent ad revenue are quite daunting at first. The sector is constantly changing though, so if you have a clear vision and strong idea the world really is your oyster as the industry is flourishing and is only set to grow bigger as more players enter the field.