#LetsTalk2021 Winner: Soul Sistas, The Podcast Interview

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This past winter, the Podcast Host initiated a podcasting challenge, to help more people make podcasts about kindness and positivity. Registrants for #LetsTalk2021 got access to our 7-Day Bootcamp, and Alitu, the all-in-one podcast maker, for the challenge. Participants who made a podcast trailer and pilot episode were eligible to get people to vote for their shows. We’d like to introduce you to the winner for #LetsTalk2021. Meet Soul Sistas, produced and hosted by Katelyn Bernard, Helen McGrath, and Quincie-Alysha Taylor.

In Soul Sistas, they share their experience in life and in the dance industry as young women in their twenties. They describe it as, “The big sisters you wish you had, giving you tips on relationships (both romantic and platonic), dance, and figuring out life.”

What’s the easiest way for people to hear you? Do you have a website for the podcast? 

Our podcast episodes release every other Friday on Spotify, Apple Music, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Pocket Cast, Radio Public, and Breaker. We do not have a website for the podcast however, we have multiple social media channels. Find us @soulsistaspod on Instagram, Twitter.

Is this the first time that you (any of you in the group) have made a podcast?

Yes, this is the first time any of us have tried our hand at podcasting. 

What was your first, or most memorable, experience with podcasts? What attracted you to the medium?

Quincie, Katelyn, and I all began listening to podcasts more frequently during the pandemic. When our city was in lockdown, podcasts were a way for us to interact with the outside world and stay productive. We were driven to put out our own content when we began to see people like us, being represented in the podcasting world and having massive success.

The idea of actually starting a podcast was proposed by Katelyn one night, during a video-call with our group of friends. After many hours of insightful conversation, Katelyn, Quincie, and I were the only people left on the call. That’s when the idea was born. The three of us felt the conversations we were having on these calls were something other young women could benefit from hearing as well. So, we started the Soul Sistas Podcast. 

How did you find out about #Let’sTalk2021? 

After agreeing to start a podcast, I began researching how to start a podcast. I stumbled across an article by The Podcast Host, and saw an advertisement for the  #Let’sTalk2021 contest. I sent a picture of the advertisement to Katelyn and Quincie and we began making plans to enter right away. 

What in particular stood out about the 7-Day Bootcamp for you? Was there an experience or a part of the course that changed things? What was most useful?

Something that stood out about the 7-Day Bootcamp to us was the insight into establishing an audience, and thinking of our podcast as a solution to the audience’s problems. This coaching allowed us to streamline our content, and focus in on how we could serve our listeners. Which, ultimately lead to more successful episodes and simplified the episode planning process. The 7-Day Bootcamp gave us the ability to release the podcast with confidence in the quality of our content. 

Did you outsource any of the work (i.e., logo, website design, editing, transcripts)? Or, did you do all of it yourself?

Almost every aspect of our podcast is created from scratch, by us. I took an introductory graphic design course in university. So, I created the logo, and currently assemble all of the promotional videos that are uploaded to our Instagram. I also created our intro audio, in collaboration with Katelyn. All of the audio editing is done in house by Katelyn. When the episode is ready to release, I write the episode description. Then, either Katelyn or Quincie upload and publish the episode. Quincie is responsible for running our social media accounts. She posts both the promotional videos I edit as well as her own content. Finally, the three of us come together once a month to plan and record episodes. 

There are only two aspects of our show that are not created from scratch, by us. The first is the instrumental music you hear in the intro audio, which is Royalty free. The second is the formatting of some of our social media posts. Quincie uses a graphic design platform called Canva which allows users free templates for social media posts. Quincie uses these templates for our Instagram posts, editing and adjusting them to include our content. 

Alitu: the podcast maker

Did you use Alitu to work on your podcast? What stood out about it for you? if you didn’t use Alitu, what do you wish was different about it, that would get you to use it? 

Katelyn currently uses Adobe Audition to edit the podcast episodes because we already had a subscription to the platform. However, we would love to use Alitu in the future. We have heard that it drastically simplifies the audio editing process. It would allow us to release more content with less effort.

Do you plan to continue making the podcast? 

Yes, we do! So far we have recorded 7 episodes and released 4. Our 5th episode, “Being Single 101,” will be releasing on February 26th

What podcasting tips, tricks, or tools do you feel you can’t work without?

One trick we feel helps simplify the podcasting process is to plan out episodes prior to recording. Before we sit down to record, we have a meeting to discuss what larger topic we would like to discuss. We briefly outline some sub-topics to cover in the conversation. Additionally, each episode we take turns facilitating the discussion, to make sure we cover all of our sub-topics. These two tricks help us stay on track, and created a cohesive episode. 

Another tip that we regularly use is one that we picked up from the Podcast Host, to create an audience persona. Our audience persona is a little sister, between 18-20 years old. When we brainstorm topics to discuss in our episodes, we try to think about what this “little sister” would want to hear. 

Finally, a tool we feel we can’t work without is Zoom. Since our city has been in lockdown for many months, all of our meetings and recordings must occur online. Zoom allows us multiple options for recording both the audio and video components of our show. Without this, we would not be able to release content.

What do you hope to see happen with the Soul Sistas podcast? What’s next? 

The first thing we plan on doing with the Soul Sistas podcast is finishing our first season, which will be 10 episodes long. Within the next few months, we are looking to expand the Soul Sistas Podcast from a passion project into a business. In our second season, we are looking to bring other young women, particularly those from our group of friends, onto the podcast. We would love to increase our listener engagement by introducing a Q&A session at the end of each episode. And finally, we hope to incorporate sponsorship and expand our content to more social media platforms (i.e. YouTube) in the near future. 

Competing for an audience isn’t easy. maintaining and growing your audience, post-launch, is one of the hardest parts of podcasting. When promoting your podcast (especially with a voting situation). What was your strategy?

We had a lot of help from friends, family, and mentors, who shared the voting link all over social media. Prior to releasing our first episode, we also had a variety of promotional materials set up, such as social media accounts and episode trailers. This allowed us to quickly grab people’s attention and votes, even before they listened to the entire episode. We also tried to make the voting process as simple as possible for our followers by pasting the links to the voting page on our social media accounts.

In summary, I believe the key to our success was short, attention grabbing promotional material, simplifying the voting process for followers, and utilizing every network we had at our disposal to self-promote. 

Soul Sistas is a cup of comfort.

Congratulations again to Soul Sistas, for their attention to detail, patience, and their constructive mentality. Podcasting is a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be onerous. In The Podcast Host Academy, we have courses, downloadable resources, and more, to help you launch and grow. Plus, our Weekly Live Q&A sessions can help unravel any podcasting mysteries in your path. Won’t you join us?