By Jordan Harris, Account Director
I have always been a bit of a paradox when it comes to ‘putting myself out there’ - while I love placing our clients in the spotlight, personally I can be quite a shy and reserved guy.
However, I've also been confident enough of certain creative ideas and instincts I've had across my lifetime to go out of my comfort zone and place myself in front of an audience.
I recently started a new project with a friend as a way of scratching a particular creative itch: launching a retro football podcast, focusing on the highs and lows of the England national team over the decades.
While it’s not quite as daunting as my other creative outlet - writing and performing my own music - the process has had its nerve-wracking moments. It’s also helped me look at some of my working practices in a new light - mixing work and podcasting feels a bit more appropriate than mixing work and ‘rock and roll’.
These are just a few of the things starting my own football podcast has taught me about my work and what is really important when creating an online community.
Know your brand: While the concept of my football podcast - two not-so-knowledgeable football fans dissecting England games from decades before they were born - came to fruition very quickly, nothing really made perfect sense until Reeves Media’s fantastic creative leader Akash Bhardwaj designed our logo.
At Reeves Media, we often advise our clients that having a clear visual identity and tone of voice is the starting point for any campaign and although it can be time consuming, it helps everything going forward.
Know your audience: You can’t be all things to all people. It became quickly apparent to me that our audience couldn’t possibly be ‘England fans’ generally, as that is too broad a demographic. Realistically, it was going to be people our age, who had a passing interest in football from decades gone by but have been too scarred by negative England experiences in their lifetime to inflict further punishment on themselves. That’s where we step in…
Is the timing right?: One of the main reasons behind launching ‘Is This England?’ now is that we are in a World Cup year.
Come December time, there will be such a heightened interest around the England football team that - in theory - there should be a greater thirst for content like ours. By starting now, we will be ahead of the game.
Plan ahead: It felt daunting to fill a 12 month schedule but by strategically looking at that period and key dates we can capitalise on, it took some thinking out of the equation, while creating a nice structure.
Building our calendar around key anniversaries of big games, upcoming friendlies and major World Cup related announcements means that the pressure isn’t always on us to decide what comes next.
Appreciate your audience: It’s been great to get a positive response to our first couple of episodes. However, we are knowingly entering a highly competitive market and we know that listeners are being pulled in a million different directions at once.
To show we appreciate those who have joined us so far and those who will do so in the future, the aim is to keep our social media presence exciting, interesting and informative. It’s all about building a community and engagement is more important than size!
Overall, I think the best advice I can give is to enjoy yourself. Be as engaged and enthusiastic as you want your audience to be and you’ll get the right response.