Whether it’s true crime, motivational stories, or a recap of our favorite reality TV show—it seems like these days, we all love a good podcast.
Share Your Genius is a full-service agency guides companies through launching, producing, and promoting podcasts.
We asked Share Your Genius President Rachel Downey to share why she launched the business and some tips to make a successful podcast. If you’re looking to start your own podcast, read on for Rachel’s tips on what to do—and what not to do.
FROM LAW SCHOOL TO ENTREPRENEUR
When her daughter arrived three months early, Rachel Downey found herself at a crossroads. After spending her days at the hospital in the NICU, trying to balance being a second-year law school student with caring for her child, she knew something had to change.
During this time, a friend and former business partner reached out, asking if she’d help promote his podcast. It was an easy “yes.” She could work on the project at any time, which enabled her to be at the hospital and still attend classes. As his business grew, in part due to the success of the podcasting strategy, she knew it was something other brands could embrace.
“When my daughter was born, I went from being in discovery mode in law school to provider mode. My priorities shifted, and I changed my life to enable both things to be true—being a mom and having a rewarding career,” Rachel said.
A year later, Rachel decided to leave law school to focus full-time on creating her podcasting company, in part because of the flexibility it afforded her to spend time with her daughter. The decision to make such a dramatic change was a difficult one.
“The main thing I was afraid of was losing momentum with my career and taking a risk that wouldn’t pay off,” she said. “My fear was rooted in other people’s opinions of me. I didn’t want anyone to think that if I dropped out of law school, it was because I couldn’t handle it, or because I wasn’t smart enough. Those were the things that I was worried about. It motivated me to be intentional about making this a real, reputable business. It became less of, ‘I quit law school, what will people think about me?,’ and it became more about, ‘I don’t care. I’m taking care of my kid and pursuing something I enjoy.'”
My priorities shifted, and I changed my life to enable both things to be true—being a mom and having a rewarding career.
THE BIRTH OF SHARE YOUR GENIUS
Rachel pushed through her doubts and officially formed her company in 2017. Based in Indianapolis, Share Your Genius is a full-service agency that creates podcasts for B2B brands. She named the company “Share Your Genius” because the business’ goal was to create content that adds value through the brands and voices of her clients.
Her goal was, and still is, to make sure that the content the brands are creating is worth listeners’ time. Since its inception, the company has seen rapid growth and was recently acquired in 2021 by marketing consultancy firm Element Three’s CEO, Tiffany Sauder, as an unrelated venture. The acquisition is a great opportunity to help Rachel and Share Your Genius add more resources and infrastructure while making great content.
DO YOU WANT TO START A PODCAST?
A lot of interest, investment, and resources are poured into the podcasting and audio industry, which is great news for creators. So if you’re thinking of taking the leap and creating a podcast, now might be the time. Not only is Share Your Genius located in Indianapolis, but PODCHASER is another company that was founded in Fishers, and Casted is an Indianapolis-based, woman-led company that partners with Share Your Genius in the audio space.
If you are interested in starting a podcast, here are some of Rachel’s tips on how to get started:
- Decide how you will use audio as a platform.
Not everyone needs a podcast, but everyone should be thinking about audio strategies for their brand.
- If you are going to invest in a podcast, make sure you invest consistently.
a. Stick to a release schedule.
b. Evolve the show based on your workflow, experience, and audience feedback.
- Don’t jump on a mic and ramble, and hope that it turns out okay.
Instead, make sure you have a plan in place before you begin:
a. You want to know who you’re talking to.
b. You need to know why you’re talking to them.
c. You want to know what you hope the outcome will be.
In other words, what do you hope is different for listeners after listening to your content?
- Don’t get hung up on episode length.
Instead, focus on the value-added. You can check your assumptions on this front by looking at consumption numbers.
- Remember that there is a person behind each download, and who you are speaking to matters.
Rachel believes Indy has a wealth of talent and potential, and who knows — Maybe the next big thing on the local podcasting scene will be you.