In the year of the outbreak, why don’t you participate in the explosion of podcasts?
2020 is considered by many as a year to be cautious and just hold on until the end of Covid19 while others viewed 2020 as a perfect opportunity to do what they’ve always wanted to do. The project ignored and put off became possible. Inès Makula and Camilla Scassellati set off to make their dream come true by creating Made IT, the expression of the Italian talent around the world condensed in a podcast.
We asked them 5 questions to better understand how a podcast like Made IT came to life.
Tell us about you made Made IT come alive.
We are Inès Makula and Camilla Scassellati, two Italians who live in London. Inès founded a marketing and distribution consultancy company for independent cosmetic brands and she also has a personal Instagram page and a website entirely dedicated to cosmetics. Camilla works for Sard Verbinnen & Co, an international firm for strategic communication and reputation management. We are both passionate about podcasts and as a passion project we decided to launch Made IT in June 2020.
Made IT is a podcast about entrepreneurship and business, born from our desire to tell Italian success stories to make people aware of Italian talent. In every episode of Made IT, we discover the story of Italians who have founded, invented, or managed something extraordinary. In our interviews, we talk to our guests about the most influential moments of their journey, including the most rewarding things to the most difficult moments. We discover how their minds work, what motivates them, and their philosophies of life. Today, having an entrepreneurial spirit in everything you do is necessary. Listening to these stories, besides discovering the way to conduct business, we want to motivate and inspire our listeners to apply this entrepreneurial mindset to all the aspects of their life.
1. How did you decide to create your own podcast?
As often happens, we decided it a bit by chance! We were at a dinner and we started to talk about the fact that Italians always complain about the fact that nothing works in Italy, and also us living abroad for 10 years we weren’t doing much to make things better. We wanted to do something to get closer to Italy. On the same night, we talked about podcasts and about how people’s success stories inspire us. From there we had the decisive spark, which was that there are successful Italians all over the world, so instead of always speaking about what doesn’t work, there needed to be a podcast to showcase Italian talent? We’re both fans of the podcast “How I Built This” where Guy Raz interviews the greatest American entrepreneurs, so we said that it would have been so interesting giving space to Italian entrepreneurs to narrate their stories in a similar way, but in an “Italian-Style”. We had no way of knowing that it was “the right” endeavor, but thinking about it, we decided that it was an interesting idea and we were super excited at the idea of meeting successful Italians to tell these stories. The difficult part was to find the courage and the time to start, but we pushed each other – as long as the lockdown gives us the perfect pretext – the beauty of being two of us!
2. Which is the best platform to start with? What technical equipment do you need to start?
We had no technical knowledge before starting, so we started by watching YouTube videos and then adapting along the way. There are hundreds of blogs that explain how to launch a podcast, but Buzzprout in our opinion is one of the best. The Italian book of Damiano Crognali “Podcast. Il Nuovo Rinascimento dell’audio. Come raccontare, pubblicare, promuovere storie da ascoltare” was very helpful to fix some things later. All of this is to say that there is not only one platform where to start, and a lot of things have to be considered as both Buzzprout and Damiano Crognali explain. Today we use Spreaker as podcast hosting service, but we also recommend Anchor that is free. The hosting service allows you to upload the podcast on every major podcast platform: Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher e YouTube. Spotify is investing heavily in podcasts, and thus we are investing a lot in promoting our podcast on Spotify. There is a world to discover in technical instruments, we started with a Rode NT-USB microphone, and nothing else. Then we bought professional headphones from “Audio-Tecnica” and a sound wall to improve the sound quality during the recordings. We also do all the editing and the post-production part by ourselves using Audacity, a free software. Camilla’s cousin composed the theme song and we created the logo using WordSwag which we also use for our Instagram posts.
- What impact does the podcast have on your life? Does it take a lot of time?
As we said before, we both have full-time jobs, so we have to keep some time to do the podcast when it is possible! For sure it is something that could be done part-time but it still requires time if you think that we have to find the right guests, prepare the questions, do the interviews, do all the audio editing, create the posts for social networks, reply to the comments, and find possible collaborations or new ideas to grow the podcast and to find new listeners! We both love doing it so we willingly find the time also if it means working late or during the weekend.
- Regarding the business side, what budget did you have to start, and what are the potential revenues?
The great thing about podcasts is that they take a low budget to start. We spent €150 apiece to buy our microphones and we started just using free software. Now we have invested some money to upgrade a few things and for sponsoring the podcast, but we are still talking about a few hundreds of euros in all. Then you have to find a way to monetize, but the most obvious thing is to find a sponsor ready to pay for advertising its brand on your podcast.
- The essential ingredient for a successful podcast.
It’s hard to define it! However, we think it’s necessary to think in terms of storytelling, podcasts are literally stories to listen to. So, what story would you like to tell? And why do you think it could be interesting? In our opinion a good podcast, it’s a podcast that leaves you with something: after you finished it you have learned something new or you feel inspired!
Edited by Pietro Del Franco