Writing isn’t for me: Ronsley Vaz

Elizabeth Campbell Word Style File EC Writing Services

Ronsley is the host of  Australia’s number one Food podcast – Bond Appetit. It focuses on two main areas: Uniting entrepreneurs through food and fixing their relationship with food. He runs two main businesses: Bond Appetit and Time Shifted Media.

He’s been cooking for over 19 years and started and run his own fresh food restaurant specialising in uniquely flavoured food, and also worked in a big kitchen as part of a brigade of chefs. Ronsley has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in psychology and leadership, with massive experience in software quality systems and leading global teams. Ronsley is a software technical expert, a personal chef and a serial idea creator.

I think you are the first guest on the word style file that hates writing!  What’s so wrong with writing and how do you manage to avoid it while still engaging with people online?

The problem with writing is that I think what you actually mean gets lost in translation.  When you read something  you don’t get the nuances or emotion behind what someone is saying.  Those subtleties get lost and then so does the whole message.  For me to express my emotion through writing that would take an extremely long time to achieve. That is why I hate writing.

But I can still engage online and I can do it at a much deeper level.  I have multiple podcasts that help me connect directly with an online audience.  And if something needs writing to go along with it I have a great team of people who can help by transcribing or whatever other writing is required.  
How did you first get interested in podcasts?

I’ve been an audible member for the past 8 years and have been listening to content and books through that platform since about 2008.  In March 2014 I started a new business centred on food and high performing entrepreneurs and could see that a podcast would be integral so I  started up my own. The latest industry forecasts are that audio streaming or audio growth is likely to quadruple every year, so this makes it a very exciting space to be in.

What is it about podcasts that has captured your interest?

I love the fact that I can consume the content while doing something else.  Other forms of content, text or video based, you need to stop what you are doing to get the full benefit from the medium.  But with podcasts my audience can drive a car, go to the gym or even mow the lawn while consuming my content.  It is content that you can consume while multitasking.  My target audience is made up of very busy people so it’s a great way to reach them.

It’s also very personal. The first connection between baby and mother in the womb is auditory so connecting on that level is very powerful.  I’ve met people for the first time who listen to my podcasts and so often they shake my hand and say “I feel like I already know you”.  And that is very powerful when applied to business.  Who would you prefer to buy from someone who sends you 100 emails or someone who has spoken to you 20 times?
What’s the most exciting thing about podcasts?

It’s exciting that I get to grow my network one conversation at a time.  The people I talk to in my the podcasts they are doing some really cool things and if I didn’t connect to them though my podcast they may not give me the time of day.  Podcasts give me access and help with relationship building in a way that email or blogging never will.
Do you need to invest in a lot of equipment and technical training to be able to make podcasts?

You don’t need to be very technically savvy to produce podcasts although I’m technically inclined.  But expense wise my gear is worth less than $200 in total.  You don’t need a lot of expensive gear.  The big investment is in time.  You need to put time into working on concepts, ideas, research and marketing.  You need to be unique and you need to solve a problem for your listener.   Working this out can take up much of your resources but without it your podcast will just be noise.   The gear you have and the tools you need are not the most important part.  You also need to build on you,  be comfortable with your personality, expose it then build on it to create engagement.

But what if I hate the sound of my voice?

I hate the sound of my voice. I detest the sound of my voice and people say to me it’s ok for you – you’ve got a good voice.  I’m Indian and I think the Indian accent is probably the funniest accent on the planet.   I think a lot of podcasters hate the sound of their voice.

There seems to be an upswell in ebooks and podcasts at the moment.  Have podcasts reached their potential or is there still more capacity for growth?

I don’t even think we’ve hit the tip of the iceberg.  So in the US all new cars have Apple Car or Google Play.  By the middle of 2017 they reckon 50 per cent of cars manufactured will have internet connectivity.  When was the last time you needed to wait to watch your favourite TV show?  Radio is going the same way. Podcasts will surpass radio. There is potential for massive growth.

What are your top pointers for businesses or entrepreneurs who want to start making podcasts?

    • There has never been a better time to get involved.
    • Spend as much time as possible on the concept.   
    • Find out who you want to speak to and why they want to listen to you.
    • Be distinguishable.
    • Learn from someone who has done it before because you don’t want to waste time on the technical side of things.  That is not the most important thing.
  • Spend 20 per cent of your time on creation and 80 per cent on the marketing.

Connect with Ronsley:

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