How I Landed My Own Podcast

A story about the importance of networking in creative spaces.

Feb 7 · 5 min read
A microphone sits against a lit backdrop.
A microphone sits against a lit backdrop.
Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

Back in my corporate days, I used to cling to podcasts as a lifeline. When I first started my job, my work was pretty easy. Unfortunately, that also meant that it was pretty boring too. As an understimulated twenty-two-year-old, I discovered the world of podcasts and everything changed. Suddenly, my job was easier than ever — because my real job became listening to popular shows with incredible hosts.

Like most, I enjoyed a wide range of podcasts. I would listen to shows like How I Built This to learn how all of the greats got their start (information that no doubt made me a successful business owner myself a few years down the line), or Invisibilia to explore the interesting depths of the human mind. But like everyone else in my office, I had one podcast genre that snatched up most of my time: true crime.

At work, I used to always joke about starting my own true crime podcast. I loved everything about them. The writing, the stories, the mysteries. They are somehow incredibly disturbing and deeply human in interesting ways. I would marvel over these shows and imagine sharing my own — and hey, at one point my best friend and I wrote some compelling scripts for an audio drama too. But, I left corporate life and I let that dream die until it was nothing more than a running joke I used to make.

At least I did until an opportunity came knocking on my door.

How It Started

About a year into my full-time writing journey, I connected with a new client. He was a podcaster, which I thought was interesting. I had worked with other podcasters before and found the work to be fun and engaging. When he mentioned that he had a true crime podcast, I would be lying if I didn’t say that my ears perked up. It sounded like an amazing gig — and it was — and is. He wanted me to write blog posts on true crime cases for his website.

So, after excitedly accepting, I automatically reached out to all of my friends to tell them that I had just landed the best job ever.

The more I worked with him, the more fun that I had. Every new case was an opportunity to learn and explore something that genuinely interested me. The content took longer to write just because I was having so much fun researching it. It hardly felt like work, and I was really enjoying spinning tales of tragedy and intrigue.

Then, one day, he asked if we could arrange a call.

The Offer

We arranged a meeting, and he dropped the bomb. He wanted to know if I would be interested in hosting my own true crime show.

Apparently, the blog posts that I was writing were quite a hit. People really seemed to be enjoying them and they were getting a lot of attention. They liked my storytelling style, and he wanted to know if I would do it for a show.

It’s a cliche, but surreal is the only word that comes to mind. After all the time spent joking about making a true crime podcast, this client actually wanted to add me to his network. At the time, I didn’t even know he had a network.

We agreed that I would think about it. I mean, the answer had to be yes, right? But, I honestly wasn’t sure that I could do it. It was completely new for me, and I wanted to do it well.

The Agreements

The second I mentioned the opportunity to friends and family, they nearly murdered me for not saying ‘yes’ right there on the spot. Everyone around me was so beautifully supportive — and this support honestly gave me the strength to just jump into the unknown and give it a try.

After all, what did I really have to lose? Hadn’t I wanted this all along?

I contacted my client-turned-producer and we began to discuss the details. There were contracts to arrange and income discussions to have. Honestly, I expected to meet some degree of pushback, but I met absolutely zero resistance with my requests.

They offered me complete creative control.

The show and everything on it is all mine. The social media accounts, marketing efforts, and listener perks are all in my control. They are handling the technical side for me. The posting and production. Their professional expertise is being leveraged for the benefit of my show, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that.

The network provided me with my podcasting setup and is handling all of the costs for production and advertising. I was given an unbelievably generous amount of ad revenue that goes well beyond any contract I’ve ever heard of — and everything that comes through Patreon is all mine. They are even promoting my show on their other shows so I have a great launch.

It’s the creative dream, the one that every baby creative is promised will come if they just work hard enough. And hey, maybe those stories are right to some extent — or maybe I’m just lucky. Maybe it’s just hard work and timing coming together in the best possible way.

I’ve worked in a creative field long enough to know that contracts generally lean in favor of the company, but that just isn’t the case here. They are just great people looking to grow their network, and they want to help me be successful. At the end of the day, I’ve been given a professional opportunity that might very well change the future of my career.

So, what does it all mean?

The Lesson

When I really leaned into freelance writing, my biggest goal was to network with clients that I wanted to support. I really just wanted consistent work and the opportunity to work with people who were working on cool projects — but now, everything is changing.

So far, by just creating blogs and marketing content, I have connected with a wide range of incredibly talented people in creative fields. Opportunities that I once dreamt of are now coming my way simply because my clients know that I work hard and trust in the quality of my work. I take an interest in them and their projects, and new opportunities are coming because of it.

One client gave me a podcast with free access to an existing audience. Another client has me writing a full-length feature film this year just because he liked my short story. And this week, a client that I have been writing investment articles for just hired me to write the story for a video game that he is working on.

When you work in creative fields, people know you by your quality and your commitment — and there is really just no way to know what that will turn into.

If you are a content creator, make sure that every person you work with enjoys working with you. It really can change everything.

For more information on freelance writing or how to be a full-time creative professional, feel free to connect with me on Twitter or Instagram.

If you are a true crime lover (or just curious to see what this opportunity turned into), feel free to check out my new show, Among the Dirt and Trees, on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

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