Marketing Podcast

Starting a Podcast with Deborah Wallace

Season 3 – Episode 4

Crisis Series: Podcasting is becoming one of the most powerful mediums in the world for communicating. It has taken the original, ridiculously expensive radio show, and made it available to anyone with the desire to communicate or tell stories to an audience.

In this episode, I chat with good friend, and NEW podcaster Deborah Wallace, who is an inspiring woman in leadership, Senior Business Sales Executive at Domain Group, enthusiastic yachtswoman, and founder of the Sailing Women’s Network.

Due to the huge demand for content from her network, Deborah decided to start a podcast – Women in Sailing.  If you are thinking of doing the same, you will get a lot out of our conversation.

We discuss:

  • Planning and managing the podcast
  • Finding guests
  • Promotion and insights on production

Subscribe via: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud | CastBox

Transcript

Fiona:

This is the 2020 crisis series of this marketing life and today I am chatting with Deborah Wallace, who is an inspiring woman, in leadership. And a multi-talented business professional living in Sydney.

In addition to being a Senior Business Sales Executive at real estate tech giant Domain group, she is also a passionate yachtswoman and founder of the Sailing Women’s Network Australia.

The network was launched in May 2018 as a Facebook Group of like-minded women who participate in inshore and offshore yacht racing. Deborah is also a regular contributor to the Sisters Ship, the women on water magazine. To take the Sailing Women’s Network to the next level Deborah launched a new podcast during the global pandemic and crisis called “Women in Sailing” and she joins me today.

Welcome to the show, Deborah.

Deborah:

Hi Fiona, how are you?

Fiona:

I am surviving, through this lock down, how are you doing?

Deborah:

Oh, I’m going really well. Taking each days as it comes. Focusing on my job.

Fiona:

You’re working from home?

Deborah:

I am working from home.

Fiona:

Oh, like so many… How are you finding it?

Deborah:

Look, as I said, I just focus on each day as it comes. I got a list of personal things I wanna get through and some great TV series I wanna get through as well.

Fiona:

Yeah, the streaming services are doing incredibly well at the moment.

Deborah:

They sure are…

Fiona:

So I wanted to talk with you because you’ve done what a lot of people would love to do and you’ve used this crisis is the opportunity to free up your time and get it off the ground. So you’ve started a podcast.

I mean it’s on the back of an existing network that you’ve set up. Just maybe talk me through, how you went about or why you went about setting up this Sailing Women’s Network?

Deborah:

Okay, so normally I sail a few times a week, and during that time, I get to network with a lot of women, and I started the Sailing Women’s Network, as you mentioned, two years ago, today, the first of May.

Fiona:

Oh wow, congratulations.

Deborah:

Yes so, it’s the anniversary today, so I’m very excited.

People had time on their hands, so I needed to keep people inspired and connected and entertained and off the back of the Facebook Group, it’s connecting women from around 82 different cities around the world, over 19 countries. So I’m really, really excited about those statistics.

So what I wanted to do was actually share some insights into some of my mentors and other women from the racing community that have done a lot of fantastic things, so having to keep people and give people something that’s positive, and some great sailing stories and keep them connected.

Fiona:

Deborah, I think women in sailing is quite a very targeted niche. It seems to be a very specific niche area that needs support and community, is that right?

Deborah:

Yeah, that’s very right. We are… you know, with a lot of racing, it’s a very male-orientated business.

Fiona:

I can imagine.

Deborah:

So, women… we get out there. Yeah?

Fiona:

No, no, no, that’s amazing women getting out there… and you’re bringing everybody together having those conversations, keep inspiring people, keeping them connected. I love it, it’s an inspiring mission.

Deborah:

We do communicate very differently as well. On the boat and off the boat, so really, we celebrate our wins differently really, yeah.

Fiona:

Oh, I didn’t realise that. So with everything going on, what made you want to start a podcast?

Deborah:

Well, basically it was something, normally over the weekends, I chair racing information, shots and articles, different videos of current races from all around Australia in the world and with this negative news, it’s about, you know, canceling races… big races around the world as well as the club level yacht racing.

So what I wanted to do was keep people, as I mentioned, inspired, connected and hopefully empower them to do something when they get back on the water.

Fiona:

No, the timing is perfect. It is great, since people have time to listen to podcasts and take on content. It is actually, despite the crisis that’s going on, it’s actually a great time. I mean, was it difficult to organise it and manage it and get the podcast off the ground?

Deborah:

Well, I didn’t know what I was doing when I started, so I hopped on to Google and it provided me with some great insights.

Fiona:

Gotta love Google.

Deborah:

Yeah, love Google. And I read articles I reached out to friends, such as yourself, and had a chat as you know, to you about.. “How do I get this off the ground?”.

I listen to podcasts, which gave me ideas of other presenters and what they were doing, and their general format.

And at this point in time, project managing the podcast is really easy. I set myself up with the target to publish an episode every two weeks…

Fiona:

Okay

Deborah:

Yeah, so I interview a person two weeks in advance.

Fiona:

Oh, I just wanna interrupt you. So, yeah, what tools are you using to run the podcast?

Deborah:

I’m using the Anchor FM platform?

Fiona:

Yeah, Spotify’s. It’s a great little platform.

Deborah:

Great. And there’s still a lot I have to learn. I’m only a few weeks into doing this, but I’ve already… I’ll be in launching my third podcast this week.

Fiona:

Wow, you’re doing it.

I think it’s just like you said, committing to publish at a certain time frame and then just getting in there and just recording them. How are you choosing the people to interview on your podcast? How are you choosing your guests?

Deborah:

I have a great network of friends that I sail with and some of these are just absolutely incredible sailors. It’s relatively… I’m relatively new to the sport of yachting. Taking it up in my late 40s, but because of my Facebook Group, there’s a lot of people that I’ve connected with and met.

And I’ve got some incredible women sailors at all levels and they’ve supported me. So what I did was I created a target list. I’ve chatted to some of my friends in the media, about who would they be interested in actually hearing. So I actually started with Lisa Darmanin, who is one of the Australian Olympic sailors. And funny enough, we had a luncheon organised for a group of ladies, and Lisa was going to come along and do a chat. With COVID19, that all finished up…so then I thought, “Well how can I…”

I just reached out to Lisa, and said, “Look we’ll get the lunch going with the Olympics being cancelled, let’s do a little session, so she was my first, so…

Fiona:

That’s fantastic. You’re so lucky to get an Olympian. Wow, that’s inspirational in itself.

Deborah:

Oh look, some of the ladies… So the second podcast was another lady friend of mine, which is a Karen Gojnich, over at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and she was one of the first women to actually represent Australia in yachting at the Olympics.

Fiona:

Holy moly.

Deborah:

So there’s some wonderful stories when you start poking around on the internet, talking to people and with yacht racing, you very rarely hear about the women’s stories.

So, we all know Wild Oats, and we all know about the Americas Cup and all those sorts of things…

Fiona:

The Sydney to Hobart.

Deborah:

The Sydney to Hobart, which is a passion of mine. So I’m a member of the CYCA and that’s where I race out of, as well, as the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in the Women’s Series as well.

So when you start poking around talking to people about who they would like to hear from, it’s easy to compile a list. I’ve got over 40 people on my list that I… Yeah, so I don’t think I’m ever going to be short of guests.

Fiona:

No, this is fantastic. Your podcast could grow into something truly phenomenal and outstanding as a media of itself. So no, having 40 potential guests, is… Well, you’ve definitely got… Yeah, potentially something really big and amazing that could develop out of these early episodes.

Deborah:

Yeah, so look, I envisaged this is going to go on forever and a day, I don’t see the end of it…

Fiona:

And I don’t think women are gonna stop sailing are they?

Deborah:

Now, and I think we’re going to discover more and more… focus on high achievers in sailing. But also because I came to sailing so late, I wanna find women that have started their sailing career late and motivate others to get into the sport as well.

Fiona:

No, it’s an admirable mission. Once you’ve recorded these episodes and uploaded them, how do you promote your podcast? How are you telling people that it exists and how in terms of getting it out there?

Deborah:

So Anchor FM does most of the distribution of the podcast for me to a variety of platforms. But it’s still…

Fiona:

Oh yeah.

Deborah:

…new for me. And I’ve got a lot to learn about promoting it. I promote it through the Facebook Group to the women. So we’ve thought a healthy contingent of really active yachts women on the Facebook group. And as I said, it goes worldwide.

I’ve also had the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron pick up as well and they share it with their Ladies of the Sea newsletter as well. So, as I said, it’s early days, and we can only move onwards and upwards with the promotion. And at the moment, I’ve only just got it on Facebook and the mediums through Anchor, so I’ve got to do a little bit more with other mediums like Instagram and Twitter, etc…

Fiona:

Well, I’m sure there’s some PR opportunities as well. In terms of…. it’s a good news story and there’s a lot of need out there, I think, for women in leadership, and this could definitely be part of that movement. So, no, I think there’s a lot of PR opportunities there for a podcast like this.

Deborah:

I think so too. And it’s very exciting to see the great responses that we’re getting.

Fiona:

Oh yeah, I mean, what? Have you had feedback? What responses have you seen?

Deborah:

Oh look with the Anchor FM app and the website, I’ve seen… So the greater majority of my audience is coming from Australia, I do have the USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Norway, in the UK are listening in.

And Anchor provide you with some great stats. So my audience is 58% female, and 28% male, and the age demographic is really interesting. So the highest response were rate I have, is from 60-year-olds plus, and then it goes down to 45-59 which is my age group, and that’s really my target audience there is trying get these more mature people into sailing because it’s a sport you can do for the rest of your life.

So…

Fiona:

Of course, you know there’s a lot of fit and active people in their 40s and 50s, and a lot of them are realising new hobbies and things to do, as they’re still fit and active and healthy in their 40s and 50s. So no, I think it is it… Be a fantastic hobby to take up not so much for myself, as I’m not a huge fan of boats, but I don’t mind watching.

Deborah:

No, that’s great, look it is… it’s such a great sport.

Fiona:

So you’ve got a full-time role, and you’re running the network and you’re now doing a podcast. I mean isn’t difficult, juggling all these things. I mean, when do you sleep?

Deborah:

Well, that is the question, Fiona, when do I sleep? But look, I’ve been working from home or based out of my home for over 25 years so I’m exceptionally focused on my full-time job, which I absolutely love at Domain.

And whilst work is amazing, you do need downtime. And I found that through sailing at the end of the day, on a Friday night, you go out for a… not a competitive twilight, but just a gentle twilight race on the harbour. It just, empties your mind and starts the weekend off in a great way. But basically, my passion drives my work with Sailing Women’s Network and the podcasts and the articles I write and they’re speaking that I do do. It’s just a passion, and the old saying is, if it’s a passion, it doesn’t feel like a chore. So I’m lucky that I’ve got a full-time job, which is a passion of mine, real estate, and also the sailing, which is my hobby, and my secondary passion.

Fiona:

Are you doing speaking as well?

Deborah:

Yeah, so I have been asked to, just prior to this…

Fiona:

When there was still events?

Deborah:

Correct, when they were still events, I’d been asked to present at one of the ladies conferences up on the Central Coast. As well as, hopefully if the one in June-July will still go ahead, so I’ll still have that opportunity there.

Fiona:

Yeah, we are watching and waiting, and seeing for what is gonna happen. I mean, is sailing still going on during the crisis?

Deborah:

No, no. Because…

Fiona:

You can’t really social distance on a boat, can you?

Deborah:

Well you can’t… So you’ve got to be all over the boat, I suppose, it depends on the size of the boat, but, no, all harbour racing, other than some casual people going out fishing, which is a recreational.

Fiona:

Sure.

Deborah:

It’s something that you can actually do. Other than that, all the club racing has been ceased.

Fiona:

Yeah, I suppose it’s just a wait-and-see to see if those if and when those restrictions will get lifted.

Deborah:

Once they do the harbour is gonna be jam-packed with yachts. I guarantee it.

Fiona:

I think everyone is gonna be outside, I think no one’s gonna be at home when the lock downs lift.

I just want to ask you, so you’ve planned the podcast, you’ve started the podcast, you have published episodes, you’ve been promoting it, what do you think about podcasting?

Is it what you expected it to be? Is it more complex, is it less complex is it fun?

Deborah:

It’s fun, it’s easy and you’ve just gotta get in there and give it a go.

And I listened to podcasts myself from all areas, motivational through real estate speakers, those sorts of things, and I do listen to podcasts when I’m walking as well. So that’s, sort of, one of the areas when I was doing my research, I was just listening to podcasts while I was walking, and it just gave me different ideas of what I would do.

Fiona:

So it sounds like it’s met your expectations or exceeded your expectations?

Deborah:

Exceeded my expectations, and just talking to some of these wonderful women, it also recorded the history, their journeys and where they’re up to, as well, so that’s another really key thing.

It’s not about me, it’s about these wonderful women of sailing and getting these stories out. So there’s a whole demographic that we’ve missed out on. So that’s another reason why I’m focusing on the more mature women in sailing as well.

Fiona:

Well, you seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Deborah:

Thanks, Fiona.

Fiona:

I just wanted to quickly ask as well, did you have to buy any special equipment to start the podcast?

Deborah:

So whilst… when I was Googling there were also all these lists of equipment and things that I needed, like mixers and all this sort of stuff…

Fiona:

You can spend as much as much as you can think of it, right? There’s enough tools out there and microphones and sound softeners and all kinds of things?

Deborah:

And, look, I did explore all of that, and I was going to go down that avenue, but then when I found Anchor FM, I didn’t need any of that…

All I need is my mobile phone and my headphones, and I was away. So I did invest in a small speaker, which was great. So maybe down the track, I’ll use that, but at the moment, we getting really good quality out of just using my mobile phone and some headphones.

Fiona:

So easy, so simple, so good to hear.

Yeah, I mean what would you… Do you have any advice for anybody who’s thinking of starting a podcast?

Deborah:

Do it. That’s it, just simply do it, download the software and get stuck into it. Make sure you’ve just got some interesting people to talk to and plan… make a plan, write list of people…

Fiona:

Oh, what do you use to plan? Are you just typing it up in Word or Excel?

Deborah:

I just type it up on Excel. I’m also very, very old fashioned, and I’ve got a note book, so I do write lists… I’m a “list person’. So I do write lists and go through checklists, and all that sort of stuff, so I do do that as well.

Fiona:

Oh, amazing… Well, this has been fantastic, you’ve provided so much insight and information into starting a podcast and it sounds like the Women in Sailing podcast is only gonna go from strength to strength. I’ve already listened into the first couple of episodes. And they are really, really good. And the insights from the sailors, the women, is just phenomenal.

So thank you so much for coming on This Marketing Life and talking about studying a podcast, I really, really appreciate it.

Deborah:

Oh look Fiona, my pleasure and I look forward…

Fiona:

Oh, if someone wants to reach out to you or they have any questions, about the podcast or the organisation or anything like that, what’s the best way to contact you? Where can they find you?

Deborah:

They can find me on Facebook through Sailing Women’s Network Australia, and ask to join the group there, and I’m more than happy to chat with them online through those… or they can email me.

Fiona:

Okay, perfect, no that’s great. Again, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, and best of luck with your future episodes, and I hope you get through the lock down and crisis good. It sounds like you’re fairing quite well so far.

Deborah:

Oh we are.

Fiona:

And hopefully I’ll talk to you on the other side.

Deborah:

Great, thanks Fiona. Take care and have a terrific day.

Fiona:

You too, thanks Deb.

 


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