• Ti'Anna Davis

Podcasting in Tampa is on the rise and we can’t get enough

Katy Rey is a mother of three who began the podcast "Not a Great Whisperer"

Photo credit: BKN Creative

If you haven't noticed, podcasting is hot right now.

Everyone from stay-at-home moms to the Obamas are leaning into the platform, as it proves productive in a low-cost way to reach new audiences... fast.

The total podcast audience is growing at an average growth rate of 20%. There is a podcast for every audience,from comedy to business and entertainment-- and locals are hooked.

Tampa has become an underground hub for podcasting, with local podcasters building strong communities that keep listeners coming back for more. So, what’s the secret?

“There’s a different sort of direct connection and I think because there are so many interesting diverse and creative voices in this area, it was just natural that it would become a hub for that,” said Robyn Sayles, founder of Launching Your Own Success.

Robyn Sayles of Lunching Your Own Success

Robyn has had her share of guest appearances and hosting numerous podcasts since 2016. She created her business to help creatives, especially podcasters, learn how to brand themselves.

“We’re the leader in several industries, but nobody knows it. Unless you’re one of the huge businesses that happen to be headquartered in the Tampa Bay area, you don’t realize that those kinds of businesses are here.”

Robyn credits Tampa's booming business scene as a reason podcasting has grown in the area. She says that many businesses have discovered the way to reach new audiences and spread their messages is through this platform, and so far, it's working.

Tampa resident Katy Rey is the host of Not A Great Whisperer, and she uses her platform to bring untold stories to the forefront.

“I have the president of a homeless empowerment program in Pinellas County who comes on a couple of times. She works with a lot of veterans and families and helps them get back on their feet, and my podcast is a way for her to spread that message."

Hosting the podcast has connected her to everyone from dignitaries to athletes to celebrity chefs, like Chef Rosana Rivera who won season 22 of The Food Network's show Beat Bobby Flay.

"It's so crazy how this works. I can reach out to anyone and say, 'I have a podcast and I'm touched by your story. Do you wanna be a guest?' and most times they say 'yes'. And the interview leads to conversations, friendships, and business opportunities. It's wild."

Katy Rey of Not a Great Whisperer

As a mother of three, you'd think Katy wouldn't have time to build the platform. But with the help of her husband Chris and family and friends, she steals time to go to her Ybor City recording studio, BKN Creative, to "batch" episodes (record several shows at once), which allows her to take maintain a flexible schedule.

“My whole goal from this is hopefully to be able to give back to the community and where I live, and my kids live. It’s so important to me to build a strong foundation for helping others.”

Podcasting has become so popular, that there are entire businesses dedicated to showing people how to start and grow their own.

Jessica Hurley owns Instapodcasts, a company that helps entrepreneurs with the production and publishing of their podcast content. However, she realized that podcasting allowed her to have a larger reach than any other job.

Jessica Hurley, podcast host and Founder of Instapodcasts

As a host of her own podcast, The Stranded Phase, Jessica creates an intimate environment that many people gravitate to because of her motivational content and open talks about her struggles , personal growth, and past mistakes.

“I built relationships with these entrepreneurs and business owners that I wanted to work with by having them as a guest on my podcast. From that, I was asked to speak on stages, and I’ve hosted four of my own sold-out events since I started my podcast two years ago.”

The fourth event was held earlier this year in Tampa and it was the largest one attended. Next month, Jessica will be speaking at PodFest Global Summit, which is a virtual conference that is expecting at least 5000 viewers.

“Tampa has such a unique opportunity for young people in careers who are looking to be the best version of themselves. The community here respects young talent and they really want them to grow.”

And with the number of podcasts cropping up each day, she might be right.

If you want to be a part of the podcasting community, join the Florida Podcasters Association that has a virtual meet up every month in Tampa.

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