April 2019 Innovate

WHOA GNV


Written By: Collin Austin

The WHOA GNV Podcast has become a popular vehicle for communicating about Greater Gainesville’s startup community and about other aspects of the community.

I’m the co-host of the podcast, and I want to discuss what it offers and provide tips to people who are interested in starting their own podcasts.

The Basics

The WHOA GNV Podcast is, “The podcast bringing you businesses and individuals that make you go, ‘Whoa!’”

I spent my first 18 years bouncing around from place to place as an Air Force kid, and my four years at the University of Florida were the longest I had ever lived in one place. Over those four years, I fell in love with Greater Gainesville.

Fast forward to today. I’m entering my 19th year in Greater Gainesville, and through this time and my involvement in the community as an entrepreneur, I’ve realized that the community has a huge perception problem – “Gainesville is where you go to school.”

Those of us who live here, build businesses here and raise families here know that is not the case. Gainesville is so much more than that.

That’s why I set out to use my marketing ability to expose UF students to the Greater Gainesville world beyond the UF bubble, in hopes that some of this top university talent would decide to make a life right here, work for our brilliant organizations or start a business here.

In addition, I hoped that the podcast would reach others beyond Greater Gainesville and open their eyes to this special community, so that businesses and people move here.

Finally, I hoped to build as many connections and relationships within the Greater Gainesville community as possible. Many of those I’ve featured have built new relationships, developed new business collaborations and received leads as a result of being on the show.

It’s special for me and for my co-host, Ty Rucarean, who runs the @bestofgainesville Instagram account, to be Greater Gainesville’s relationship builders. Ty and I share this vision, and he has been a key to helping our team grow it.

The Response

The response has been incredible. Although the largest audience is Greater Gainesville entrepreneurs, and the majority of interviews have been with local entrepreneurs, we have had artists, authors, students, musicians, athletes (including Gator Greats), children and other influencers on the show.

The life lessons and entrepreneurial lessons that the podcast’s guests shared have been mind-blowing. We’ve covered topics like leadership, company culture, depression, social media and influencer marketing. We have released more than 40 episodes, and the response by listeners and guests has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I hoped to build as many connections and relationships within the Greater Gainesville community as possible. Many of those I’ve featured have built new relationships, developed new business collaborations and received leads as a result of being on the show.”

Collin Austin

I believe there are multiple reasons for WHOA GNV’s early success. The passion for Greater Gainesville that Ty and I share is apparent and resonates with the audience. The podcast guests have been extremely transparent. I know many entrepreneurs within the Greater Gainesville community, but when we invite them into the studio and dive deep into their stories, I’m blown away by how little I knew about them. Their stories are inspiring, and their transparency resonates with our audience.

One entrepreneur who had some previous ties to Gainesville told us that he is moving his business to Greater Gainesville because of our podcast. That is an impact.

Tips for Starting a Podcast

My advice for someone who wants to do a podcast is to execute and do it. Most people won’t because they judge themselves too much or get worried about someone else judging them.

They say, “What if no one likes it?” “What if someone leaves a negative comment?” “No one would want to hear what I have to say.”

The truth is that you really have no idea. If I worried about things like this, I never would have launched WHOA GNV. I had only listened to one episode of one podcast before recording my own. I didn’t know anything about podcasts. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I started to figure it out along the way.

Early episodes had sound and video issues, but the content and stories were so good that people kept coming back.

People who have listened to many podcasts message me on LinkedIn and Facebook and offer me tips. I really appreciate their feedback, and it helps me improve.

One major holdup I believe is people who are considering starting a podcast get too caught up in the production value. For WHOA GNV, I invested in nice equipment, mostly to enhance the video presentation. Our podcast is available in both audio and video format (on Facebook and YouTube). I wanted people who watch the video to go, “Whoa!”

With that said, making an investment in video equipment is not necessary for everyone who wants to make a podcast. You can start simply by using a podcast app like Anchor and start recording on your phone.

My media company, Repaint The Wall, can help. Podcast Central, another fantastic Gainesville startup, also can assist in launching your podcast. 

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The WHOA GNV Podcast (Instagram: @whoagnv) is available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and other podcast sources.

Video versions can be found at collinaustin.tv or at facebook.com/whoagnvpodcast.

Think you know someone that would be perfect for the show? Nominate them at whoagnv.com.

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