From November 2022 to April 2023, two of my favourite people, Felix Ochefu and Kennedy Assoumou, teamed up with me to host The Work in Progress Show, a podcast about some of our challenges and successes as young men in London on our own respective journeys.
Life is not easy, so it was fantastic to have a space where we could be candid and vulnerable about how our experiences were going.
The idea came to us as we were having one of our regular co-working days at an informal restaurant we liked. At that time I did not have my current full-time job, Kennedy had a different career path as a copywriter, and Felix was still working on the superapp for group travel, Kahana. We decided to go for a podcast and made it happen, learning so much along the way.
After six months, we ended the project because our priorities changed, but it was a massively successful experience for all of us and I wanted to write this to reflect on some of our collective reflections, highlights, and failures.
Some of the successes and highlights from our podcast journey:
Adaptability & Guests
The podcast journey tested our ability to gather feedback, stay flexible, and to develop our internal support systems. We successfully brought on some great guests, including our friends Jonathan Sun, John Jang, and Marie Ochefu. I think they enjoyed not having to talk specifically about work. Rather, we provided an opportunity for them to expand on what they’re enjoying at the moment, or discuss the challenges they’ve been experiencing. This one of the concepts I also found refreshing.
One of the things I’m most proud of is our proven ability to consistently record, edit, and post video content across the various social platforms. I always talk about how consistency is key and even though we missed two or three episodes over six months, I think it was a huge success for us. By the way, getting three people in the same room to record every week is not super easy in London!
Some People Watched!
One of the areas we had the most success with was short form video intended for TikTok or YouTube shorts etc. We were able to sync music, memes, clip out the most important segments, and just have a blast while sharing the videos with friends and family. Overall, this resulted in more than 13 thousand views! While that’s not so much in the media world, to me that’s quite incredible and is a testament to the power of modern technology.
This was the first time we had to seriously edit content (and it showed!). We shared our videos on several popular platforms including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Spotify, and Twitter. This was a challenge to manage but taught us so many relevant skills for the digital world. This includes being comfortable in front of a camera (something we still work on), refining vocal skills, and even things like time management, which can always be developed further. The first few episodes of a podcast were significantly worse than the rest, and we really did our best to improve as much as possible every time.
Some of the challenges we faced as new podcast-ers:
Finding a consistent location was a challenge. We rotated around four different spaces throughout the course of the podcast and learned how to improvise the set up quite well. Having a standard filming space is always preferred but not necessary!
Short-form content difficulties
We found it challenging to systematically edit and export short-form content. There was plenty of footage in our hard drive but only a small amount was successfully turned into shorts/reels. This means we probably did not manage to reach our full potential within our six months. One way to do this would be to work with a team of editors. Unfortunately, that was out of our budget (this time!).
Great off-camera moments
“Practice makes perfect”. The team found it difficult to always feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera. Often times we continued talking once the camera turned off and those moments seemed more genuine and freer flowing than the actual videos. Some people appear much more natural on camera than others and I will be the first to admit that I’m not the best at it. Something to work on!
Equipment and software
The physical equipment was a massive factor in the quality of content. We learned about the importance of lighting, proper video editing software, and a good camera. The lenses we used forced us to sit close together at times, which was sometimes not the best but in some settings, it did not matter as much. Something I’ve suggested to other podcasters is trying to use more than one camera if it is within their budget.
One of the biggest challenges was finding time to plan the episodes in advance. Most of the episodes were improvised and this worked well enough but there are definitely some advantages to pre-planning and episode. Pre-planned videos seemed to result in much more enjoyable content, at least in our case.
Overall, our team learned many valuable skills through our podcast journey. It is not something easy to do because it takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication. It can also be thankless with limited results, but after all it was just a way for us to vent and enjoy ourselves. I would recommend it for anyone trying to understand how modern marketing works and I do believe that’s relevant for every existing industry.
A huge thank you to Kennedy and Felix for turning this into a reality, I really appreciate you both. And thank you to everyone else who helped us throughout the process. I am beyond grateful.
For now, we have stopped filming, but you never know when we'll be back!