My todays opponent is a native of Hannover, Germany. He is also a Former Webmanager at IBM, a Former Consultant for Digital Workplace solutions at GIS (Gesellschaft für InformationsSysteme AG), a Senior Consultant at IPI GmbH, the Host of the Digital Workplace Podcast at IPI GmbH and the reigning, defending, undisputed Host of the Waterpolo Expert Talk Podcast Mr. Andreas Schulze-Kopp.
Ding Ding Ding. In our todays interview we have one interviewer against another interviewer. For a bigger part of the last year I have been following the development of the Waterpolo podcast that Andreas has been hosting. From his first to his last guest. Most of his content is on German language, but he has also done a few on english. Besides hosting a podcast he has also hosted Live-Talks where he and some of his former guests would gather and discuss a certain topic. He has showed to be a pretty crafty interviewer, but now its time to find out how will he manage when he isthe one getting interviewed. Will he crack under the pressure, or will he manage to hold his own againts your own. Lets see shall we. Ding Ding Ding. Interview!
Hello Andreas, thank you for your time and for doing this interview with me. I feel like we could start this interview in one million ways, but let us keep it simple and start with the main reason why we are here. Your Podcast. Could you tell my readers and me how did you decided to start your own waterpolo podcast? You have played waterpolo and you do work within the IT sector, but as you were starting your podcast what motivated you more, the love of water polo, or the knowledge that you have acquired on your work place?
The first idea of creating a new channel for talking about waterpolo came up after a trainer education weekend here in Hannover end of last year. When you are together with other trainers and players for such a long time you talk so much about waterpolo and after the weekend you see that there is no real online alternative to continue the conversation. We have so many great and experienced coaches and (ex) players, but there was no platform for both sides to get some more details about their career and anything related to waterpolo. After this B-Licenceweekend I decided to change that with a new format available for everybody. Easy to consume anywhere and anytime. Personally I am a big podcast fan, so the decision to do a Podcast was very clear for me. It is easier to produce a pure audio format as a video format and it is also easier for my guests during this unnormal corona situation to attend a recording session. With a podcast you can reach people wherever they are in their daily routine like sports, work or homework.
At first you were doing only audio, but I have seen that lately you have been doing some video podcasts too? Could you explain us the differences between the two and between the people that actually might listen, or watch these interviews? Is there any difference between the people you reach through purely audio streaming and the people you reach through your video podcasts, or is it all just the people who are interested in waterpolo and they jump from one platform to another?
When you try to establish such a new channel like a Podcast, you must find the right mix from a content point of view, but also from a marketing perspective. So, you have for example a slightly different target audience with your audio podcast, but in addition to that I decided to extend the format a little bit and try more to involve my audience. Before, during and after our Live-Talks. These Live-Talks are broadcasted live on Facebook and YouTube with the option for the people watching the event to actively participate in the ongoing conversation with their questions. Basically, I want to provide ways and platforms to talk about waterpolo as much as possible for everybody. The interviews in the audio podcast are recorded as a one-on-one conversation basis between my guest and myself. The Live-Talks are an open format based on the feedback from my listeners with guests they would like to see again in one of the upcoming Live-Talks.
You have done most of your interviews on your native German and a few on English also. Do you have any plans on doing any more interviews on English and why?
From the very beginning, starting with the name of my podcast, I have had the further development of the podcast on my mind. The name “Waterpolo Expert Talk – Get the insights” is based on the idea to start in german language first, to learn in my own language and then start on English. Otherwise,I would have chosen a german name for the podcast during the setup. But I want to grow and step into the international waterpolo scene at some point. There was no date or timeframe for that, but based on the positive feedback and the chance to get in touch with so many great international guests, via my previous german guests, this international move comes maybe quicker as expected. The positive feedback so far for the previous international episodes shows me that it was the right step in terms of the further development of the podcast. We are all fans of our sport and want to bring it back on the radar of many other people. In Germany we are looking to other successful countries in terms of training and tactics and why not talking to some of them on my podcast?
Were there any moments during your podcast career that you wanted to stop hosting the waterpolo podcast?
No. To be honest I received so many positive feedbacks for the german episodes and I had the chance to talk to so many interesting people. When you tell somebody that you create and host a waterpolo podcast and especially in Germany the people do not see the need. Often you get the answer that it is such a niche and such a small community, or audience that it is not worth the effort.
I also watch certain podcasts for a while now, and both you and me know that podcasts are probably one of the most dominant communities out there. What do you think, why do people still call the podcast world “a small community”? Is it a water polo thing, or does the majority of people still see podcasts, youtubes and social medias as one big mess without a clear path to some kind of success? Or could it be that podcasts and everything included bring some sort of change to our world and people by nature don’t like change.
People do not like change is one of the biggest challenges for sure. That is not related to any format we are talking about and it is also a fact in the business world where we currently see mayor changes in terms of working style and behaviors. You must put the benefit for each single user, employee, or listener in front of everything you do and communicate instead put the term change in front of your efforts. Podcast is maybe a small but constantly growingcommunity and a very loyal fan base. Not everybody knows podcast and how easy it is to consume them and other mix them with other formats like YouTube channels. Yes, you can also listen to podcasts on YouTube but this is in most cases based on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) reasons and to get in touch with a other target group who is mainly acting on YouTube. When you only publish your content on YouTube it is at least for me not any longer a real podcast but more a VLOG (Video Blog).
When somebody is producing a type of content like you do. What do you think is more important the quality of the content, or the quantity of the content. I am not speaking here about your guest haha. For example, is it better to create one amazing interview every month, or 4 interviews per month but with less content value?
I have the plan to provide my listener every two weeks with a new episode of the podcast. This is I would say a good interval to produce an episode and to continuously provide for your audience on a regular basis. In general, it is like in the whole online world where content is king. There is nothing better than a good content. People will recognize it when you provide them with more episodes, but each of these episodes will be in less quality. So, you have to find the best balance between frequency of new episodes and a stable good quality. But in terms of listeners, I found out that it is sometimes better to produce more episodes. But with doing that you have to, as already mentioned, keep an eye on the quality.
Basically what you and I are doing is increasing our brand value interviewing other brands. That’s the name of the game nowadays. Wouldn’t you agree?
Yes, but It is a combination between your brand and the other brands or people you are talking with. It is not only a benefit for you and your brand talking to others because also they will benefit from the talk with you. This reminds me on this sentence comes from my last guest “When everybody in our waterpolo community do a little bit more, we do together so much more for our sport”.
Could you maybe tell us a bit more about this guest of yours? I like the way he thinks.
This quote comes from my actual podcast guest Tony Azevedo who is a five-time Olympian, former captain of the US waterpolo team and now founder of his own company. In our talk Tony told me that he is not a fan of social media, but in the recent years he understands that social media is one of the most important areas to go in touch with your audience and to tell your stories. And these stories of all athletes around the globe needs to be transported somehow and here social media is the key. Even when you are not a fan you have to use it to get your story delivered.
Episode of waterpolo expert talk with Tony Azevedo on:
I feel that everybody who is involved with the media must make a certain line within themselves. The line that divides the interest of the sport you follow and your own interests. How do you feel knowing that you could put something out in the universe what might affect somebody’s life?
For me the core thing is to bring some more interesting stories and insights to the listener. In most of the cases I know now that there are no other ways for many people to get such a type of information. It is not my podcast that might affect somebody’s life, but the impact comes from the stories my guest told me.
What are the next moves for you and your podcast? What do you have in store for us for 2021? Speaking of store. I have seen that you also sell some of your own “merch”. Is that true and how can we buy any of the Waterpolo Expert Talk merchandise?
The plan is to continue the work I have started last year and to further improve and better myself when creating content. In terms of content, I plan to speak to more guest from the german waterpolo scene, but I would like to enhance the focus also to other areas around waterpolo like mental coaching, nutritional advice, or career advice here on the OSP (Olympia Stützpunkt Hannover). The plan to invite and talk to international guest will continue for sure in 2021. One of the highlights for me will be hopefully the Champions League Final 8 here in Hannover because then the whole waterpolo scene will be based in Hannover for several days. That is a great chance to talk to most of the potential international guest face to face. Until then I am trying to grow and establish the podcast as one of the must-haves for each waterpolo player, coach or fan around the globe.
Sponsorship is also something I have on my roadmap for 2021. That means to find somebody to invest money to cover at least some of the costs to produce the podcast, the Live-Talks and the hosting. I do not want to get rich by doing that but maybe I found some individual people or other brands from the swimming/waterpolo/sports scene as sponsor. That would make my life much easier in the future.
When you try to establish a new brand like my podcast you must provide several areas for your community to promote the format. For sure only when they like the podcast and here we come back to one of the previous questions regarding quality. They will only love it and promote you and your podcast when you provide good content with a high quality. During these days it is much easier than in the past to create some merchandise stuff also in a very good quality. You will find everything in the “Waterpolo Expert Talk Podcast Shop on Spreadshirt” where you can buy e.g. Hoodies, bags, T-Shirts and caps. I already ordered several items myself and I am convinced of the quality of each product. When you or the readers of the interview will help me to promote the podcast around the globe a little bit more, I am more then thankful for every single order.
I am sure some of them will go, buy and support your product and your podcast. And for our last question. Is a waterpolo podcast the only podcast you want to host? Has your waterpolo podcast been in any way beneficiary within your work life? How do your work colleges look at your new podcasting career?
At the same time, I started the waterpolo podcast I also started a podcast for my company that is called “IPI Digital Workplace Podcast”. In this podcast we are talking about exactly the changes we talked earlier related to the changing work environment, digital workplace scenarios and change management. And yes, it was very beneficial to have as much as possible experiences in structuring, producing, and promoting these podcast format as well from the waterpolo podcast. Colleagues, friends and the local waterpolo community here in Hannover are very supportive in many ways and I am happy each time when I get some nice words when we meet each other or as message, comment or share. In addition to that I established a WhatsApp group with all the podcast guest and it is very helpful and funny sometimes reading the conversation within this great group of people.
Andreas thank you very much for your time and for your waterpolo content. I am looking forward for more of your quality and quantity. To our readers, I wish you a lot of health and patience during these testing times. My name is TomoBujas and thank you for reading.