When starting out in business, the best kind of advice is that from those who have already walked the path. There may be comfort, then, for our community today to hear the sage advice of Karly Nimmo. From a $100K failed venture, to a no. 1 iTunes podcast, thriving podcasting school and voiceover business, Karly has experienced the highs and lows of being a creative entrepreneur first hand.
We invite you to tune in to her real story, as she shares insights on the benefits of podcasting, starting with what you’ve already got, and how to turn the tables on what it means to fail.
How did you get into becoming a voiceover artist, podcaster and podcasting teacher?
Wow. This is a looooong story (which I'm in the process of writing a book about), so I'll give you the cliff notes. ;)
I was working in radio and loving working with my voice, but hating on the toxic work environment, huge egos and crappy wage, so I decided to buy a mic and see if I could make some money doing voiceovers. I started Killer Kopy back in 2004, while supplementing my income with a day job for the first year or so.
Over the past 13 years I've built it from a side hustle, to a thriving business. We support around 20 voiceover talent across Australia and New Zealand, work with very large corporates (everyone from Telstra, to ANZ, to Coles) and have a really great set of systems and procedures in place so that it doesn't take up much of my time.
This freedom of time made me go a little crazy, and I started seeking more purpose and meaning in my life (which is the basis of the aforementioned book) which lead me on a crazy journey of big, and small, business failures. Including a $100k failed coworking space in Byron Bay.
I was crushed by this business failure and wanted to talk to other entrepreneurs about fear and failure: how it had showed up for them and how they processed and moved through it. After much licking of wounds and working through a tremendous amount of fear and doubt, I started my podcast, Karlosophies.
It was an overnight smash hit. I hit No.1 in iTunes for business, and was featured in ‘New & Noteworthy’ for months. This success lead to people contacting me out of the blue and asking for help to either bring their podcast to life, or make their podcast sound as amazing as mine did. My background in working with audio for over 20 years, and working in radio, meant I knew what good programming looked and sounded like. Plus, also knew how much fear there was around getting one’s voice out there. So Radcasters Podcasting S'cool was born.
How can having a podcast benefit start-up businesses?
There's a couple of elements worth mentioning here.
Firstly, it's a great way to build your own platform and establish yourself as an expert. Plus it helps people to really get to know you and your products or services, but mostly it's about you. Once they trust you (which can happen very quickly with a podcast) they are way more likely to buy from you.
On the other hand it's also a really rad way to get very clear on what your message actually is. And, explore your purpose and passion further. For me, this was the route that I took. I didn't have a business that I was selling through the podcast. It was purely a way for me to explore my purpose and share my message - even though I wasn't sure what it was when I started! There is no better way to figure things out than talking them through. Communication is such a powerful tool. Not just for getting a message out there, but getting clear on what it is.
How easy is it to do create and facilitate your own podcast?
It can be as easy and as difficult as you want to make it. My free flow convo episodes take me around 5 mins to edit and upload. I walk on the beach, with my iPhone and a Rode SmartLav+, whack an intro and outro on (which is prerecorded and the same for each show), upload to my host of choice and voila. Podcast ep.
My interviews take substantially longer. They are an hour to record, then around 3-4 hours of editing and production.
Some people take it very seriously and it's a full time job for them. Not for me. But that's cool. It works for them.
And that's the most important factor, when starting a podcast (beside knowing the purpose of the podcast)... you want to create something that adds value to your life, and your audience. In order to do that it needs to be enjoyable and sustainable. So my advice is always to think about yourself when starting. Figure out what is a sustainable format for you, that still provides entertainment, or education, for your audience... then communicate that very clearly from the beginning.
To have success in podcasting you do need to be consistent... but the good news is, you only need to be consistent to the expectations you set. Your game. Your rules.
As a multipassionate entrepreneur, how important to you is being surrounded by likeminded people?
Multipassionate, or not, I think it's so important to have people around you who hold you to your best self. Whether they are highly driven jetsetting entrepreneurs or stay at home Mums doesn't matter to me. One isn't good and one isn't bad. It's more important to me that someone is happy in themselves. For me, it's more important that I'm around people who get me. And that's not just about what I'm doing with my time. It doesn't mean they have to get what I do. Because what I do doesn't necessarily translate to who I am.
Diversity in your circle is always a good thing. Otherwise you can find yourself operating in a bubble and that's not exactly great for your personal development or growth.
So yeah... I believe it's important that you have people in your life who share similar values. For me, that's honesty and vulnerability. Shared values are important.
From your experience, what is the single biggest tip you can give to someone who is looking at starting their own biz or creative project?
Start where you are with what you have. Things change and grow and you need to be able to roll with that. Having a very clear vision can sometimes be detrimental, as you can become very attached to things needed to look and feel a certain way. And by doing that, you potentially close yourself off to opportunities that are presenting themselves.
Entrepreneurship is like personal development on steroids. It's challenging and might (er, will) take you well and truly outside your comfort zone, but it's so worth it.
I see so many people out there paralysed by the fear of failure, and I can tell you, first hand, having lost almost everything, it's been so worth it.
We have this attachment to failure being a 'negative' thing, but for me, it's wonderful.
So go out there and fail. Fast and hard. Get it out of the way so you can find out what you are truly made of.