After fathering twins in his fourties, Hatch graduate Jason Caffrey wanted to impart the legacy of following one’s passion at any stage of their life despite potential instability, so he left his senior role with the BBC to found his podcasting agency, Creative Kin.
Jason uses his extensive experience with storytelling and media production to level the playing field for smaller brands in the multi-billionaire dollar industry of podcasting.
Read on for Jason’s advice on launching and sustaining a podcast.
"Pace yourself. It's a marathon, not a sprint."
One of the main reasons podcasts end production is because they run out of steam.
To avoid this, make sure you build your content before launching, and set yourself a reasonable pace so that you don’t run out of material.
“Something that you hear a lot in podcasting, in small businesses, in entrepreneurship; is about pacing and consistency.
“And quite often what you see is people going into a podcast, they come out with a fast, unrealistic tempo.
“The fact is that most of the now millions of podcasts out there probably have less than ten episodes, and they’ve stopped producing.”
If you have the resources, Jason also advises looking into agencies to outsource some of the production processes to help you stay on track.
"Do your homework."
Be clear about who you want to reach, what you want to say, why you’re doing a podcast, and what resources you have.
This will help you find a sustainable tempo to start with and identify the areas you need support with before and after your launch.
“I had a previous career as a musician and there was a saying, that ‘all of the answers are in your record collection’.
“Listen to other people’s work and ask yourself when you hear a podcast that you like, why do you like it?
“Break it down a bit. There’s a huge amount of learning there.”
Networking with other people and organisations who have podcasts can also be a great resource for advice.
"Your content and audience deserve the best."
In a now multi-billion industry with several big name competitors with six figure budgets, it is worth investing in quality production.
Depending on your budget, you may not be able to sustainably book a studio, or soundproof any of your rooms, but buying a microphone for quality sound is a must for the success of your podcast.
Additionally, allow yourself sufficient time to prepare for your episodes in advance to ensure the best production once you’re in the recording session.
“Sitting down in front of the microphone is maybe 10% of the task and almost all of it is before you get to the microphone.
“When you’re on limited resources, go short, keep it tight, because it forces you to cherry pick your best material.”
"Get some brain space, get quality time."
In order to avoid burnout and build a sustainable journey for your passion project, make sure to draw boundaries and practice self care regularly.
“What I personally have found is that I kind of had a a little bit of a crash personally, and I realised that I wasn’t practicing self-care, I wasn’t looking after my wellbeing, I wasn’t covering all of my bases.
“ I could see that the way that my work was encroaching and spilling over into my personal life was actually unhealthy.
“It’s better to implement self-care in the early stages because then that’s just your norm, and hopefully you won’t burn out and you can sustain that business for as long as possible.”
To maintain a healthy work-life balance, Jason uses techniques like time blocking, doing his cognitive heavy lifting in his most productive waking hours, and not opening his emails until 11.30 in the morning.
When starting out, try out different working patterns and techniques whilst considering how you are normally productive to find your unique working style and build your sustainable journey from there.
Jason Caffrey with Hatch Enterprise
Jason first encountered Hatch Enterprise when researching business incubators as a potential market for his podcast agency.
He had just left the BBC after a very long career with them, and was in the overwhelming process of setting his business up.
“I saw the programme and I thought to myself, actually this is what I need.
“Hatch’s Launchpad programme just jumped out at me because it seemed perfectly pitched for where I was, which was very early stage.
“I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, but needed to somehow wrestle down all of the priorities into something that made sense and chart a logical path.
“I went into it wanting to gather some skills, help learn how to prioritise the million things that were buzzing around my head in the earliest stages of putting my best needs together.
“What I hadn’t really bargained for was how I stepped into this astonishing support network.
“It was just brilliant. If you are looking at a Hatch programme and you’re wondering [whether to apply], it’s a complete no brainer. It is a total no brainer. Just do it.