Creating Quality Podcasts with Gidyon Lankers

Information, entertainment, humor, education- these are some of the qualities people expect when listening to a podcast. For Gidyon Lankers, who’s in the Digital Marketing industry also echoes the same sentiments. Working in the marketing sphere, specifically within a company that helps share information with people so as to also benefit from it has been of great interest and importance for Gidyon Lankers. For him, podcasting is a great tool for sharing information if you do it right.

Gidyon Lankers owns DISRUPT X which gave birth to DISRUPT Podcasts. DISRUPT Podcasts is a podcast production company for leading brands and influencers to create captivating podcasts that build brand equity. Mr. Lankers realized an opportunity to help create high-quality podcasts, which then led to the inception of DISRUPT Podcasts.

Here he shares with us about his journey with podcasting and gives tips on producing high-quality podcasts.

1. When did you become interested in podcasts?

When I was sort of between the ages of 20 and 23, I started listening to a lot of podcasts and interviews and debates and stuff like that on YouTube, and the information that I picked up from those videos helped me massively in my studies in figuring out what I want to do with my life and where I want to go. I just figured that it would be cool to work within the marketing sphere and specifically within a company that helps share that information to more people so that they can also benefit from it.

2. Describe your journey in developing Disrupt Podcasts and what it focuses on?

I started DISRUPT X, which is the parent company of DISRUPT Podcasts, at the beginning of 2020. About half way through 2020 I realized that there was an opportunity to create high-quality podcasts for brands and influencers in SA, so I created DISRUPT Podcasts as a separate business. I built up a small group of loyal customers and then hired my friend Andrew Garside to join the team as a full-time content producer.

Since then Andrew has been leading the company and we’ve grown month on month. Our focus is on helping brands and individuals plan, produce and manage world-class podcast shows. Some of the brands we’ve worked with include Old Mutual, OUTsurance and Investec.

3. What makes DISRUPT Podcasts stand out from other podcast production agencies?

We have a stronger digital marketing focus than other podcast production agencies. Although we work hard to create captivating podcast content, we understand that half the battle is in growing an audience, something that requires sharp digital marketing skills. We produce video content to help our customers promote their shows on social media.

Another thing that sets us apart is that we’ve never wanted to build or own a physical studio. We prefer to work with customers who can record interviews at home or in their offices, and then we come alongside them as the technical partner who can edit and publish their content. We just don’t see a future in physical studios anymore and to be honest we think everyone will be recording podcasts from their smartphones in the next few years.

4. Why do podcasters need podcast production agencies to function their podcasts?

 Not all podcasters need to partner with a production agency, in fact some people try and do it all themselves, but our customers enjoy the time saved on their behalf by not having to edit their content every week. It also takes years of experience and training to know how to use the audio editing software like Adobe Audition and Ableton Live. For our customers it’s just far easier to let DISRUPT handle the technical work.

5. Which tools do you offer leading brands and influencers with their podcasts?

 We help people and companies come up with ideas for effective podcasts that will connect them with their customers. We then bring those ideas to life by recording, producing and publishing the content on their behalf. Essentially, our customers record the content and we do everything else.

6. Mention 3 podcast trends one cannot ignore in 2021?

  1. Taking short video clips from your podcast and using that as social media content.
  2. Getting a brand who resonates with your audience to sponsor your show for a season (i.e. 3 months or 12 episodes).
  3. Using WhatsApp as a way to receive voice note questions from your audience, and then using those voice notes in the content to create a Q&A-style episodes. It’s an engaging way to create content and connect with listeners.

7. What are the 3 tips to help one host a great podcast?

  1. Talk about something that people are genuinely interested in and that entertains them or makes their lives better. Don’t just talk about yourself.
  2. Find interesting people to interview. People who have lived exciting lives and who have real stories to tell.
  3. Partner with a team who can turn those conversations into well-produced, high-quality podcast episodes.

8. Which common podcasting mistakes should podcasters avoid in order to grow their show’s audience?

  1. It’s really important to take clips from your podcast and post them on social media so that you can grow your audience. I see a lot of podcasters avoiding this step.
  2. Have patience. It takes time to establish credibility and build a relationship with your listeners. There’s no shortcut to growing an audience successfully.
  3. Don’t invest more than you need to in equipment in the beginning. We worked with an incredible podcast host who built their show by recording from an iPhone with headphones. That show was sponsored by one of SA’s largest banks and only 4 or 5 months in did the host upgrade their microphone.

9. In assisting multiple podcast owners, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve come across and how was it resolved?

Training someone else to take over the operations of the business. Customers build a relationship with you (personally) and you have to work incredibly hard to get them to trust someone who is going to be taking your place. We’ve been fortunate to work with really great people as customers though.

10. In your own practical advice, please mention steps to a successful podcast?

  1. Make sure you have a solid idea. Ask yourself if your podcast is going to make someone else’s life better.
  2. Plan out who you’re going to interview, or if it’s just you, what are the themes/topics you want to cover over the next few months.
  3. Get a producer to create a great intro and outro jingle for you. This will give your show a professional touch.
  4. When you host interviews, give your guests the chance to speak. DON’T keep interrupting them.
  5. Make sure your show is available on all streaming platforms (i.e. Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music etc.)
  6. Be consistent with your uploads. Don’t leave your audience hanging for months on end. Try to publish a new episode every week if you can.
  7. Enjoy the process! Have fun and be patient. Let your real personality come through and don’t worry about acting “cool.”

11. Where do you see podcasting going in South Africa?

It’s hard to say. I think podcasts will keep growing in popularity over the next 5 – 10 years. We tend to follow the same pattern as the US (only a few years behind). I would love to see more public figures and brands launching high-quality shows though. Podcasts could be an awesome way to share information with people in SA who can’t go to university or who don’t have laptops to watch YouTube.

According to Gidyon Lankers, what’s interesting and unique about podcasting is that, it gives you an opportunity to build a personal connection between either your business or yourself as an individual, and the people who are listening to you.