Since the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020 the world has seen an immense rise in statistics as it were on the global scale of podcast listening. While there had initially been a decreased incline in the first month of the pandemic by October of 2020, the steady increase of general listeners in the U.S. had grown exponentially to a whopping 189% since January of 2020; a staggering expansion one could only accredit to the pandemic. That same month, a survey put out by Trailer Park in partnership with Variety Intelligence Platform recorded a 52% increase in respondents stating that they have begun listening to podcasts either “much more” or “a little more” since the pandemic first started. This ever evolving rise in statistics would become a solid base for those either already in the game of podcasting or those just starting out fresh.
While many lamented – and rightfully so – at the losses that flowed in these last couple of years following the post-Covid world, some have used the pandemic as leverage to put focus on what really matters. Travis Chappell – an already seasoned podcaster at the time with his hit show, Build Your Network – is a prime example of this. Chappell’s business mantra boldly claims to “Access the inaccessible,” which speaks for itself when peering through his booming instagram. Boasting an incredible roster of talented guests such as Shaq, Rob Dyrdek, Matt Barnes, Tomi Lahren, etc, Chappell is certainly walking the walk. The conversations Chappell cultivates are ones that remain focused on encouraging and edifying the listener whilst also do not veer away from controversial topics such as vaccinations, and going viral. The cultivation of taking such wildly spread and heavily opinionated conversations and utilizing them to build community with his 2 million listeners and 46.5K followers speaks volumes onto his character. His take-action mentality has resulted in arguably one of the most successful ventures to be born out of the pandemic – a software he designed called Guestio. This marketplace is produced out of a desire to build a solution that could supplement the expanding growth of shows versus guests for said shows, providing show hosts with the payment they deserve as well as take initiative in fostering community with potential guests. Chappell once again boldly walks in his mantra of “accessing the inaccessible” by taking initiative and creating such a site that could allow widespread community building on the large scale it resides on, and on the level of smooth organization it was constructed upon. Users can build their platform with the vast amount of resources offered that they otherwise could not have utilized without, while also being able to monetize their efforts.
Chappell’s success has not come without challenges. After growing up in a cult-like environment, Chappell pushed beyond what he grew up knowing and began to put the work in by spending 6 years of his life working door to door sales. This experience was critical to how he viewed building not only relationships with others, but with building himself as a leader. On what that experience taught him Chappell was quick to articulate, “I learned that the difference between a leader and a manager is that a manager tells you what to do from the back. A leader shows you what to do from the front. Be the leader.” This follows suit in how his business module for Guestio was built. One of the most important jobs of a CEO he’s stated is to, “Effectively cast and communicate the vision.” His taking initiative and working to capitalize on the growing market for show-creating on a global scale has been in part as successful as it is because of his clear vision across the board. Whether you are listening to his show, engaging via Guestio, or following along on his social media platforms, it’s clear to see that he has employed his past failures and grafted them into future successes simply by sticking to his vision and valiantly walking in it.
The rise in podcast listening is certainly not plateauing, almost two years after the start of the pandemic. In 2021, an estimated increase of 28% representing the total U.S. population, or, 80 million Americans, would now be considered frequent weekly listeners. This number moves up 24% from the year before. The trend in podcast listening deems the importance of building community while in that environment – that is to say, if you are working to start your own show it’s now more important than ever to utilize any and every opportunity to cultivate your brand into something you are proud of. Taking tips from someone as well versed as Travis Chappell, someone who has taken his own two hands and built not only his own branded network, but Guestio, from the ground up to provide such resources for the general public alongside his own show’s growth, would be an incredibly wise thing to do.