Here’s an International Podcast Day special conversation with Bijay Gautam, host of The Inspiring Talk podcast.
Tell us a little about you and your podcast?
Bijay: I host a podcast called The Inspiring Talk where I interview successful and Inspiring personalities every Monday and share my insights every Thursday. I have been fortunate to interview some amazing people like Manoj Vasudevan (World Champion of Public Speaking- 2017) and Vidya Vox (Youtube Sensation and Singer) among others.
This is a podcast for people looking for some inspiration to follow their own dreams and unleash their own potential. As a podcasting coach and consultant, I help individuals and organizations plan and launch their own podcasts. I run a six-week online group podcast coaching program for individuals where I help them right from generating ideas to recording their first ever episode. I will soon be jumping full time into podcasting and quit my job as a Research Scientist at a Pharma giant. (Ssshhh!! My employer shouldn’t know about this yet.)
How long have you been podcasting and why podcasts?
Bijay: I celebrated the one-year anniversary of my podcast back in August and this has been one of the most fulfilling journeys yet. The initial idea was to start a YouTube channel with a similar concept of interviewing people, but that somehow seemed like a lot of work along with a day job.
While I was still thinking about doing something, I came up with this idea to start a podcast and the ease and simplicity of the medium fascinated me. The more I learned about it, the more I fell in love with the idea and I started my own podcast.
How has the journey been so far?
Bijay: Amazing. I started this podcast as a pure passion project like most podcasters. I wanted to network and learn from successful personalities while sharing what I learnt with people who might be interested.
I started getting some amazing feedback from listeners and this kept me going despite the time-consuming process of running an interviews based podcast. It has helped my network grow bigger and has given me an opportunity to have access to some very influential personalities, which is really cool.
What excites me, even more, are the beautiful messages and reviews from listeners about how the show has helped them get a step closer to their dreams.
Your biggest challenges and frustrations?
Bijay: The biggest challenge today I see is reaching out to a lot of potential listeners raising awareness about podcasts in general and about the fact that there are shows like mine, where we creators are putting in a lot of effort to craft immersive episodes. But, recent developments such as Google’s interest in Podcasts, there’s a reason to be optimistic about the future.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to wannabe podcasters?
Bijay: Be consistent and don’t look at stats for at least six months. That’s when my own show started growing tremendously. The problem with us podcasters is that we expect quick results which are not easy to achieve unless you already have a huge following. Keep producing content and getting better all the time. You will evolve as a host and your show will get better and over a period you will build a decent listener base.
What do you think is needed for podcasting to take off in India?
Bijay: Two things: one is more creators who can create diverse content to serve the listeners. When I say diverse, it’s not only in terms of genre but also language and presentation. I am not saying give everyone a microphone, but there are many unserved niches in India, where shows with good content and production could thrive.
Second is the huge opportunity that exists with podcast listening platforms to create a perception that their platform equals podcast, given the fact that a vast majority of people have never heard a podcast. For instance, today watching video equals YouTube, although there are many other options out there. We also need a huge awareness campaign about podcasts. If any of the platforms can crack this and onboard the millions of potential listeners to their ecosystem, this will not only help their platform but also podcasts to really take off in India.