You’ve already scrolled to the bottom of your Twitter/Instagram/Facebook feed… for the third time today. Quarantine has got many feeling a little stir-crazy, but this newfound time can be used to do something productive. Learning new topics, gaining new perspectives and starting something cool is just a few taps away with a good podcast.
Unlike watching a movie or reading fiction, podcasts take place in real-time, with real people. In a time when socializing can’t happen, they give us access to the conversations we’ve been meaning to have. Entrepreneurs in the Koffman Incubator have been sharing some of their own conversations, producing podcasts on topics ranging from self-care to marketing to graphic design.
Roger Brooks is a master of the interview. He runs a branding company, Incubate Media, out of the Incubator. In his popular podcast “American Real,” Brooks shares conversations with pioneers in marketing, social psychology, mindfulness, and many other areas on a weekly basis. The goal of Brooks’ podcast is to share self-development tips and inspire its audience, or as Brooks puts it, to help its listeners “realize their own hero’s journey.”
“It’s that adventurous journey that lives within each of us, as we aim to become that hero that we know we can be,” Brooks says. “The most important thing that stories teach us, is that we should go beyond what we’re told is possible.”
He recently had a conversation with Forbes Featured keynote speaker Mark Metry, who shared his uplifting story of overcoming social anxiety and shyness.
Brooks isn’t the only business leader in the incubator making waves with podcast content. Two business students at Binghamton University, Andre Haykal and Christian Bonnier host interviews with young professionals in their podcast Real Talk University. Haykal emphasized the accessibility of podcasting for college students:
“I think in today’s age, the most important quality and trait of an entrepreneur is to take action,” Haykal wrote in a recent blog. “I know for sure that everyone in college can do what Christian and I are doing.”
Rachel Jenks is the founder and creative director of local branding firm Brand Boss Studio. A brand strategist with years working in communications across the world, Jenks graduated from the incubator’s accelerator program in 2019. Most of the time, Jenks shares expert business advice in her show The Brand Boss Show, but she also uses podcasting to share personal stories and inspiration with her listeners. In the most recent episode of her show, “Start Messy,” Jenks shares how she braved a new start in podcasting.
“How about the fact that I recorded the first-ever episodes of my podcast literally standing in my closet? Which was freezing, because it was winter — hoping that my cats wouldn’t make noise for the fifteenth million time.” Jenks said. “But if I hadn’t started messy, I wouldn’t have started at all.”
Most of their guests on the show are college-aged entrepreneurs who found success beyond the classroom. In one recent episode, Andre and Christian talked to a college senior who wore hats in credit consulting, real estate investing, and digital marketing.
Beyond sharing success stories, providing inspiration, and giving business tips for college-aged entrepreneurs, some of our community members have discussed how the lockdown has changed consumer technology. The first Koffman graduate and co-founder of Binghamton-based media agency Key Branding Labs, Adam Sabol, talks with local business leaders about trends in media, advertising, and branding in his podcast A/B conversation. In a recent episode, Sabol talked about how the lockdown will change the balance between streaming.
“There’s going to be huge disruption,” Sabol says. “I’ll be shocked if movie theaters are blockbusting. There’s such little reason to pay ten bucks to sit in a dark room and not talk to anybody when you can just do it at home.”
staying informed and mentally strong is more important than ever. Podcasts don’t just offer information and analysis — they can give audiences community distraction. It’s no surprise that passionate entrepreneurs in our community have stepped up to provide quality content free to the startup community. Listen to their past podcasts and keep an eye out for upcoming content!
– Max Samson