My name is Jaime Black, and I’ve been podcasting since 2005. My podcasting career over the last fifteen years hasn’t just been about creating audio—It’s also been an entrepreneurial journey. I’ve been able to utilize my passion for podcasting as a tool to connect with a number of career opportunities.
This entry is going to focus on podcasting as a portfolio tool. You may hear the term “portfolio” and think of stocks, or an elaborate web site that takes months to perfect. While those are examples of portfolios, podcasts can be a simpler and more accessible portfolio tool for creators and entrepreneurs.
Oftentimes, I use my podcast series as examples of my work when pitching clients, partnerships, and even other podcast guests. A podcasting portfolio could be any of the extended platforms where your podcast lives (your website, Facebook Live, Twitch, Instagram, Medium, etc.), or simply your show’s Apple Podcasts or Spotify page. Linking to one or more examples of your podcast in a pitch email demonstrates that A: you’ve built a body of work, whether that’s ten episodes or fifty or 500. B: you can speak about your podcast’s subject matter at length. And C: your podcast is an opportunity to the partner, client, or guest you’re pitching.
Quality content is a big part in making your podcast portfolio stand out. This can mean the production value of your podcast, or the caliber of guests interviewed on your show, or even the themes and topics discussed in your episodes. Guest and content information should be clearly stated in your episode summary section when you upload your episodes. Noteworthy guests and compelling conversation go a long way in making an impression when sending your show to potential partners or guests.
Going a step further, creating a one-sheet for your podcast is a great way to quickly and succinctly summarize your show or network’s accomplishments. (My podcast’s one-sheet can be found as an example here.) This can live on your website, be a standalone PDF, or both. Adobe design programs or comparable software can create a succinct deck that visually conveys your podcast’s focus, accomplishments, statistics, brand, and more. To get a sense of your podcast’s analytics, you can utilize Simplecast’s analytics dashboard. A one-sheeter is super easy to send to interested parties–and then it’s easy for them to forward to their bosses or other potential opportunities, too!
Brands, partners, sponsors, or potential guests are going to want to know who you are and what you’ve accomplished when receiving your outreach. A professionally presented podcast, website, streaming platforms, and/or one sheet can all demonstrate your accomplishments and professionalism. Even better if you have more than one of the aforementioned portfolio elements. And of course make sure your email pitches are direct and succinct. Less is more. Tell the receiving party who you are, what you do, and why you’re emailing them. A link or two to your show, website, and/or one sheet goes a long way. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t need much more than that in an initial email outreach.
For me, my podcast portfolio opened the door to a career in teaching. Throughout the early 2010s, I was invited to guest lecture in media courses at Columbia College Chicago. I would speak to students about developing an independent media company, which led to a position teaching in Columbia’s Business & Entrepreneurship department. Years later, teaching my Podcasting 101 workshop led to a two year role as the podcast producer at Crain’s Chicago Business, which today is opening new doors for me. I have seen again and again that podcasts can serve as an impactful professional portfolio.
Developing and presenting a professional portfolio doesn’t have to be a daunting task–especially when you already have your podcast, and have therefore done most of the heavy lifting for it! Taking a professional approach to your podcast’s content, visual presentation, metadata, and more means others will see that professionalism reflected in you and your work. Which of course benefits podcast hosts and entrepreneurs alike.
Jaime Black has been podcasting since 2005, and has worked in the creative industries for over two decades. He is the host and founder of Dynasty Podcasts, the first ever and longest-running music podcast in Chicago’s history, and teaches a Podcasting 101 workshop. He also teaches in the Business & Entrepreneurship department Columbia College Chicago, in addition to developing his own creative industry courses at www.dynastyacademy.com.