Today the first episode of New Horizons went live - a podcast designed to share the audio recordings of the interviews that provide much of the best content on this site.
The podcast is a collaboration with WiSP Sports - a website and podcast network set up by veteran sport’s broadcaster and journalist Chris Stafford to provide "conversations from the world of women's sports". Before embracing journalism Chris was a equestrian rider and trainer.
The origin story of the podcast illustrates some key principles I believe are essential for anyone trying to make their way in the business of adventure.
1. Network widely
I came across Chris when she reached out to me via Twitter, and asked to interview me for the Amazons series for WiSP - "the amazing stories of women adventurers who have taken on supreme challenges." The result was this podcast episode, talking about my career as a climber and a motivational speaker.
From this I got introduced to the WiSP network and I got content to share on my own social networks (putting yourself up as a guest on podcasts is an easy way to get marketing reach - sign up for services like PodcastGuests.com and RadioGuestList.com.)
But I also got into an ongoing discussion with Chris, and at some point I mentioned that I recorded my interviews with my guests and had them transcribed - that text then formed the basis of my written interviews.
2. Find ways to reuse content
A common modern strategy for building an audience is to provide useful, timely content to your followers for free - and then at some point (hopefully) find a way to monetise further services to your growing audience.
But we all know that generating great content is desperately time-consuming. So It makes sense to reuse / repurpose / rejuvenate your content whenever you can. That may mean updating old blog posts, or reworking a current blog post to share to a different audience. Or it can mean sharing the same content through different mediums - written, audio, video....
I generate audio content as part of my writing process - that's an asset that was waiting to be exploited. But I didn't have the interest or the expertise or the time to add a podcast into my endless to-do list.
3. Seize opportunities and build alliances
When Chris offered to take my audio and turn it into a set of podcasts, it seemed like a perfect answer. I was free of the challenge of working out how to podcast, my material got a second lease of life, my interviewees got another audience for their words of wisdom, and Chris got new content to add to her growing empire.
That being said, I procrastinated hopelessly about executing on the plan, partly because I still felt out of my depth and I was aware that the audio I'd recorded was not top quality and not done with audio broadcast in mind. So - to get my excuses in early - this first season of New Horizons is a test run, using already existing content. Hopefully Season 2 will be more professional.
Which brings me to point 4....
4. Don't let perfect be the enemy of done
If I had waited for a 'perfect' product, this podcast would never have existed. It will (hopefully) only get better from now on, and I learn much more by having the podcast out in the world and working on the systems that get it produced, than I ever would have by doing endless theoretical planning.
One final point...
Why only women's voices?
At this point it is only my interviews with women that are being broadcast. Why? Because WiSP is about Women in Sport.
As an adventurer and climber, I prefer mixed teams to all-women teams - I think they are more fun and bring out the best in everyone involved. At some point in the future I will find a home for my interviews with the boys. But the value and insight that my female interviewees offer is not limited by gender or sex. Anyone can listen and get great tips from inspiring adventurers.
Coming up next week on the podcast: Round-the-world by human-power adventurer Sarah Outen talks about how she structured the Kickstarter to fund the film of her 5 year expedition.