A podcast for digital entrepreneurs in Latinamerica.
The history of Xtrategia podcast, how the idea was born, how I validated it, and how it started. (Post in Spanish here)
March 13, 2020, most governments in the world announced the beginning of strict quarantines due to COVID-19. The world changed from there, home delivery startups began to experience incredible growth caused by the inability of people to leave their homes and the need for businesses to continue selling and stay afloat.
However, as for some companies, the situation had given them a boost in their business for the vast majority, it was not the same. The crisis caused to the drop in sales was a reality, and I began to see that there was only space in the media for delivery, and logistics companies were keeping the economy afloat (which was true, and fortunately these business models already existed).
Faced with this situation, I thought: “Yes we are in crisis, businesses closing, technology-based startups with a great opportunity but few resources, the media giving visibility to only some of them… why not tell the stories of digital entrepreneurs in the region? Why not make visible thousands of entrepreneurs who have valuable things to tell to the ecosystem?
And that’s where the purpose came from: Telling stories of real digital entrepreneurs and generating content for the Latin American digital entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Testing the idea
After asking myself the previous questions, the idea started to take shape. But as a product manager, I didn’t want to start until I could test the idea, so I decided to validate the intention of startups in terms of telling their story and talking about their experiences publicly.
It occurred to me to make a post on Linkedin with a CTA to a Hubspot form where startups could register and define the topic, the story they wanted to tell, and select the possible recording date.
In a couple of days, the post had ten reactions, four comments, and 773 views, but the most important thing was the conversion: more than 40 entrepreneurs registered in the form to participate in the podcast. At that point, I said, “ok, this seems to make sense.”
Turning the idea into reality
I already had evidence that entrepreneurs were willing to tell their stories, so I started to materialize the idea. And there came more questions:
- Podcast? video podcast? or both of them?
- How do you record a podcast?
- What tools or software do I use to record?
- And as for the editing…how do I do it?
- How do I create a youtube channel?
- How do I get my podcast on platforms like Spotify?
- How do you market a podcast or video channel?
- Should I have a website?
- How am I going to get followers or people who will listen to me?
The branding? etc…..
There were many more! So I decided to keep it very simple and jump into the water, starting using some tools that I already knew how to use. So I created a YouTube channel, and I said: “well, let’s do video and audio, at the same time”; In my head, I had that growing a YouTube channel and giving visibility to the stories could be easier.
I must confess that I invested a lot of time researching for hosting platforms because the intention was always for the content to be in Spanish so I wanted to host the podcast on a platform that was strong in content in Spanish and that also allows me to distribute the content in other popular platforms.
In that process I came across a study on Podcasting in Latin America and Colombia and among several interesting insights that I had, there was one that caught my attention: more than 50% of the respondents used Spotify (nothing new), but around 34% of them used an application called ivoox.
So taking into account that most of the content on Spotify was in English, I went to investigate ivoox, and I discovered that it was a broadcast platform and at the same time a hosting! and that it was also the world’s largest platform for podcasts and content in Spanish… the decision was made by itself.
I had already defined the channels and the hosting, now I had to solve the recording: which tools to use, what were the formats, how to ask the questions, how to start and how to close, in short … again an effort to keep it as simple as possible:
Tool to record: Zoom. (This changed over time, and today we use a cloud recording studio that allows us to podcast remotely with high quality, I will tell you more about this in my next post on how to create a podcast)
One pair of headphones.
Microphones: the one integrated into the hearing aids.
On the day of the recording…let’s improvise! just kidding, I started by researching each guest, their background, and some relevant information that could be found on the internet. With that I designed 3 or 4 questions and voila, to record!
That first episode was wonderful! It may not have had a lot of audiences or listens, but it allowed me to learn a lot from what didn’t go so well or where I had to make adjustments. For example, you are never so aware of the fillers you use and how often you use them; or how to moderate the intonation at certain times so that the episode does not feel so flat, among others.
Launching the first episode
Once the first recording was done, another challenge came: editing. Before, and for other purposes, I had used Filmora, so I decided that it was “better known bad, than good to know” (Filmora is a super tool, I say it more because of the learning curve that would have implied using a different tool). The tool allowed me to edit audio and video simultaneously, which represented a saving of time and effort.
And here the learnings continued. I uploaded the audio to ivoox, and once it was complete, it asked me for a title, a description, a thumbnail, a category … anyway! information that neither knew nor understood its importance. So good, again to learn and investigate the best practices to include this information, define the category of the podcast, design a logo, and a thumbnail to be able to have an image that identifies the podcast.
This information is key in terms of positioning the channel and the podcast, it is how users will be able to decide whether to listen to your episode or not, if you saw it within your conversion funnel it is the upper part of the funnel;)
After that first episode, everything has happened very fast, we have had guests from different sectors, different profiles, some early-stage startups, other serial entrepreneurs with a lot of experience, all incredible stories. We improved the tools, we created a couple of monetization schemes, in short, we have raised the quality of the content.
And now I spoke in the plural! because we have linked some people to this dream. We have been in several weekly and monthly compilations of ivoox, and we were invited to be part of ivoox originals, the largest catalog of podcasts in Spanish worldwide. It is an exclusive catalog with the most relevant podcasts in the world in all categories.
We have more than 30,000 listeners per month, on all continents … and we are working to consolidate the community of subscribers and continue offering them valuable content.
And I tell all this not to enlarge the ego, or to advertise my podcast, I tell it because this evolution, these small victories, are the ones that bring us closer to the main purpose every day: to make visible the stories of real digital entrepreneurs, without smoke, without more interest than showing them to the world to generate a positive impact on them and on everyone who listens to us.
So far I come with this post, I hope I have added value with this story, and from now on I will be sharing all the learnings in this world of podcasting, strategies, tools, and more!