It’s been quite a while I did an interview here. The last interview I had was with Oluwatobi Adesanya, Founder of Heart2World Publishing, where he talked about his startup Heart2world Publishing.
Some days ago, I published a post about Top 20 Outstanding Podcast in Nigeria You Must Listen to, which was actually the first of it’s kind in Nigeria. Since. I’m still curious about podcasting and the many benefits it holds for Nigerians, I decided to interview a podcaster to tell us more about the relatively new concept.
Apart from Audacity2Lead Podcast which I listen to regularly, Fruitfulujah Podcast is one of those outstanding podcasts I listen to too from time to time.
You may want to ask, what is a podcast?
A podcast is an audio show, usually spread across a series of episodes, which can be downloaded from the Internet and listened to either on a computer or an Mp3 player (smartphone or iPod). The term, which was coined in 2004, is portmanteau of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’.
So enjoy the interview.
You are welcome to MaverickExcel. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Sefa Tsegha, the Lead at Fruitfulujah Project (www.fruitfulujah.com.ng). The host of the Fruitfulujah Podcast, where I simplify technology for everyday people and help you build fruitful internet projects.
A lot of Nigerians still do not know what podcasting is, please tell us what it is all about.
Podcasting is on-demand audio content. Podcasters record their message or content for their subscribers to download at will. You can listen to this type of content while you jug, cook, drive or even shower. It is an easy and effective way to reach your clients or customers who prefer consuming content by listening than reading or watching.
What ignited the spark in you to start podcasting?
Time factor. I lack the time to write frequently so I record my content. Again, I had contents that I wanted to repurpose into another format, so I found podcasting would do the job.
I another reason I did venture into podcast was to improve my communication skills. I wanted a medium to practice….so podcast has helped improve my communication skills a lot.
Lastly, I started podcasting because I knew it is a new medium in Nigeria; it is very ‘easy’ to establish my authority and reach my clients in a way I never did with blogging. And it did.
Tell us what your podcast, Fruitfulujah is all about.
My podcast serves as a media outlet for an already existing brand, which is “Fruitfulujah”. We are using media to accomplish what typical marketing cannot do, or may take a long time to do. We offer free media content to our listeners, we solve their technology problems and sell our products or services to them in return.
It doesn’t look like traditional marketing…as we are just helping them answer technical questions and offer solutions. I cover topics like social media, WordPress, and online solutions on my podcast. On the Fruitfulujah podcast, I simplify technology for everyday people and help them build fruitful internet projects.
How did you come about with the amazing name, “Fruitfulujah”?
Ha ha ha. I get that question a lot. It invokes curiosity, right? This is the story, I believe it was 2012 or 2013 there about. In the Christian Ministry, The Visitation Communication Ministries, Jos which I belong to. The year was declared as the year of fruitfulness, by the Man of God, Pastor Eugene A. Owunwa.
It was a wonderful year for me. So this day I was chatting with my elder brother, who is a medical doctor. He was telling me the successes he was having with his profession. In the course of the discussion he exclaimed “fruitfulujah” to Jesus, instead of Hallelujah. That’s a combination of Fruitful and Hallelujah. I just love the coined word. I knew it was perfect for my business since I am helping my clients build “fruitful” internet projects. I registered my domain and the business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission without wasting time.
How do you get people to listen to you seeing that podcasting is relatively a new concept in Nigeria?
I already had an audience before I started podcasting. So, it was much easier than trying to use your podcast to build an audience. Like I always teach people about launching any project on the internet, build an email list.
I did that.
I had an active list of less than 300 before I launched a podcast. I have grown the list to close to 1000 now after the show was launched. The benefit is that I have loyal listeners every time I release a show all the time.
Another medium I use is social media. Twitter, is my number one, and then my Facebook page and groups. Not forgetting “word of mouth”. These are just a few ways I get targeted listeners.
What are the challenges you face as a podcaster in Nigeria?
It is not always easy to make Skype calls because of poor internet network. That’s has forced me to make long distance calls using my mobile network. That one challenge I believe most Nigeria podcasters are also facing.
When you started podcasting newly, what were the mistakes you made and how can aspiring podcasters avoid them?
Podcasting is an art. It is not rocket science. You get perfect as you do more shows. You learn along the way and grow. So, I will not call what I did not do right at first as “mistakes”, but “stepping stones” that helped me improve. Don’t be afraid to try.
In a basic level (say in a low budget), what are the necessary tools a beginner needs to start podcasting?
You may record with a smartphone and edit with a computer system. I believe with some pads you can edit the whole show and publish. However, I use a computer, with a mic. I record and edit with a software called Audacity. I use Parrot app on my Android phone to record long distance calls, and I use a software called Levellator for quick noise reduction and voice levelling. The good thing is that all these software are free.
What are your resources (tools) for effective podcasting?
Have a website and build your audience. You can use media hosting platforms like SoundCloud, iTunes, etc to host your media, however having my website is the number tool I have to establish my authority. Plan your shows….I script almost all my shows. I use Google docs for writing my scripts so that I can edit wherever I am.
Can someone start podcasting with just a smartphone?
Yes. You can record your episodes using software like Parrot. That’s if you have an Android phone. I believe there are apps for platforms like Windows and iOS also.
Do you make money either directly or indirectly from podcasting?
My shows are free to listen to and download. I hope to make them free as long as I can. I don’t have a monetization plan at the moment. However, I make money indirectly from them.
Like the course, I prepared: Membership Site Simplified (MSS) is a collection of all the episodes I have made about membership sites, in one place. So, if you want to access them in one place, and ask me any question about Membership sites, that you cannot Google, you have to pay a fee to access them.
That’s one way I make money indirectly.
The other way, as people get to know my expertise in building membership sites, working with WordPress etc. I am hired to do a thing or two and get paid. Podcasting is an easy way to sell your skills or services and get paid.
Apart from podcasting, what other businesses (online or offline) are you involved with? If there is any, how do you balance both?
I am a jack of “all” trades a master of many….
- I have a full-time job with the Benue State Local Government Service Commission as Senior Computer Assistant I
- I consult for the College of Education, Katsina-Ala (I manage the school portal).
- I’m Administrator at Fruitfulujah’s web portal for SME’s in Nigeria (fruitfulujah.xyz). We sell domains, hosting, ssl certs, etc…
- I’m an editor at EPiTConsult, a multi-author blog.
- I am the Program Manager, Benue Digital Village, Katsina-Ala, established under Microsoft Nigeria / National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Abuja, 2005 IT agreement.
- I am a songwriter. I play the guitar and keyboard.
- And I pastor a small house fellowship.
How I balance them. One, I thank God for the strength and wisdom. Secondly, I thank God for technology. I automate a lot. Some of the jobs I do mostly using the internet, so I hardly move around. I am always time conscious, so I allocate time for everything and try to keep to it. That’s how I balance time.
Let me not forget to tell you. I rest a lot. So if someone is thinking I am a workaholic. You are dead wrong. I rest as much as I can.
Can someone make a living from podcasting alone and never have to look for a job again?
Well, I think you can ask Dayo Samuel that one…. #smiles. I have other sources of income, not just podcasting. I can’t tell. I have read that there are others making a living out of it. Mostly, not Nigerians… Podcasting is new here. It will take some time for Nigerians to actually appreciate what it is and invest in it.
How much work goes into creating an episode of a podcast? And how long does it take?
It depends…there’s guest scheduling, an actual recording of the episode, editing, mastering, writing show notes, uploading to your site, and sharing…. (It’s not a lazy man’s work). That can take a lot of time for a starter, but as you master the art, it takes lesser time. But do you know, I get my work done and still have time to take work from other podcast hosts who outsource their editing to me. I do that at www.podcastmech.com
How do you conduct interviews? Via Phone calls? Skype? Any special app or software?
I do that via Phone calls.
Who is/are your mentor(s)?
Pastor Eugene A. Owunwa is my mentor. I lost my parents at an early stage in life. He has been a father to me, and my pastor. All that I know now, I learnt it from him.
How has podcasting enhanced your personal brand?
More than you know. I have reached more clients than I ever did with blogging. And people have learnt how to pronounce Fruitfulujah a lot better, as they listen to the show. 🙂
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur and what are the lessons you learnt from it?
Not building an email list on time. Build a healthy email list the moment you go online.
Most people say email marketing is dead. But I don’t agree. If you want, just do a quick survey and you will see. People think that email marketing has been taken over by social media. That’s not true.
Ask yourself, who are the biggest email marketers of today? Social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, etc. When you are not there for a few days, they send an email. When your friend comments they send you an email, etc. Before you know it, you back there commenting and responding to friends… They know what email marketing can do. Build your list, and grow your business.
What is your favourite book? Your favourite author? The last book you read?
Apart from the Bible, my favourite is Hand Me Another Brick, by Charles R. Swindoll…Principles of effective leadership, how to motivate yourself and others. The last book I have read is Courageous adapted from the Courageous movie by the Kendrick Brothers. I just finished that one a day ago.
How is reading important for becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Reading is good. However, I am careful about what I read. I like findings out things myself and then read about them to add to what I already know.
Inspire a young Nigerian entrepreneur out there.
Rome was not built in a day. Start small and grow big. Don’t try to be an expert in one day, it will hurt you in a long run. And don’t be afraid to say you do not know, when someone is ready to teach you. That’s wisdom.
One last thing, be sincere with yourself and your customers.
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