Podcasts advance the horticultural Industry

By Daniel Fuller

Are you inclined to listen to the radio when on the job, either in the nursery, on a landscape job, or in the ute on the way to a job? I get that. It’s relaxing and you can just carry on with your work. Just think how much you could build on your knowledge if you switched from radio to a horticultural industry podcast.

Good podcasts not only educate listeners but can also advance the career of featured guests and creators. If you’ve never heard of a podcast, it’s like a talkback radio program that you can listen to whenever you want. The best way to follow your favourite shows is to download a listening app such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or iHeartRadio on your phone.

Unlike videos, audio content doesn’t require your full attention and can be consumed by anybody, particularly while performing mundane or repetitive tasks. You and your staff can be learning, for example, about such things as the art and science of plant care or building on their knowledge of soil science and tool maintenance while you’re driving between jobs, push mowing, or hand weeding.

The Australian horticultural industry would benefit from encouraging professionals to up-skill through listening to podcasts, whether they need to learn the basics, or they’re a seasoned veterans filling in knowledge gaps and gaining an insight into where the industry is heading. It’s about time we shook off the perception that working in horticulture is only for students that aren’t competent enough to participate in other industries, and education through audio content is one of the easiest ways for us to become more skilled and passionate about our trade.

But podcasts don’t only benefit listeners. They can also help advance the career of anybody that features on one as well. After all, you never know who’s listening to a podcast; it could be your next employer or customer, especially if the podcast is relevant within your industry.

When you teach what you know, you build trust with your listeners who will want to hear more of what you have to say. If you solve a problem that they’re experiencing, and they hear you speaking about that problem on a podcast, they have an incentive to seek out your service or product.

Each podcast episode can provide multiple links within the episode description, or “show notes,” so you can send listeners to your social media, your website, or to a landing page, so listeners don’t have to search for where you’re sending them.

Share podcast episodes that you have featured on with your social media following and prospective clients, to build trust and authority and educate people on why your offering is important. If you have featured on a podcast, include it in your resume so employers know you’re engaged and in demand within the industry.

If featuring on a podcast as a guest isn’t enough for you, you can start a new show of your own. There is a lower barrier to entry with audio content when compared with video content on platforms like YouTube, which is why some brands like Stihl are launching new podcasts to start their own conversations.

But podcasting isn’t easy. There’s a lot of theory around what works and what doesn’t, and most podcasts experience “pod fade,” which is when a podcaster gives up shortly after launching their show.

Most truly good podcasts don’t cater to everybody but to a specific group of people with a defined set of beliefs and goals. If you aren’t creating content for a target audience, you risk creating haphazard content where each episode pleases a different audience, and you won’t be able to keep anybody engaged long enough to turn them into a super-fan that checks for new episodes every week.

My podcast, Plants Grow Here which is sponsored by Hort Journal Australia, caters to a niche audience such as people working within a green industry that value having a broad base of knowledge between the various horticultural sectors. Some of my episode topics have been based on TAFE units I’ve completed, such as plant biology, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), plant identification, and others.

These episodes could help people with hands-on work experience gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) toward a qualification. They can also help tradies brush up on what they learnt years ago.

If you’re going to start a podcast of any genre, check out the existing ones and find a gap within the market. You’re unlikely to be successful if you’re trying to solve a problem that’s already been solved.

Remember that it’s the podcaster’s role to ensure they’re providing up-to-date, relevant information for their listeners and that they aren’t contributing to the general misinformation found on the internet, which is a genuine issue in the world today.

Because the podcast format is maturing, and there are now dozens of high-quality, educational gardening podcasts available, there’s never been a better time to take advantage. Start by searching “Plants Grow Here” on your favourite listening platform and go from there.

For more information, or if you would like advice on starting a podcast, or feel you are a good fit to be a guest on Plants Grow Here, please feel free to contact me.

Daniel Fuller

Plants Grow Here

M: 042 6169 708

E: hello@plantsgrowhere.com

W: plantsgrowhere.com

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