This month we talk to the people behind Sheffield-based SEO agency Rise at Seven to find out how they have, well, risen so quickly! And producer James Marriott turns the spotlight on Sheffield Digital, podcasting strategy – and the best kit to buy, too!

Rise at Seven

Carrie Rose and Stephen Kenwright set up Rise at Seven just over 18 months ago and have already grown to 60 plus members of staff and picked up major accounts including online retailers Missguided and Halfords.

Now with offices in London, and a newly announced one in Chicago, Carrie and Stephen tell us the story behind the firm’s meteoric success and what they have learned about operating a fast-growing start-up during a pandemic.

Sheffield Digital

Sheffield Digital is a not-for-profit organisation which links all the area’s digital industries.

Some directors also do a cracking regular podcast exploring the issues facing businesses and freelancers around South Yorkshire.

Recently, they decided to take a short break from creating new episodes – giving you plenty of time to catch up with some of the 70 they’ve already produced. Episode 69 in December is a good starting place, looking back on a ‘unique’ year for the city’s digital community.

Audio Strategy

Unless you’ve been completely hidden away this year, you’ve probably heard of Clubhouse.

You might not be so familiar with Twitter Spaces. And even less likely to have come across Facebook Audio Live.

The latter two are still in beta stages, but they all share something in common – audio-driven social media.

It’s pretty clear this year is a huge one for audio, with podcasting continuing to grow at a pace.

This brings us to Audio Strategy – basically a plan for how your business approaches these platforms and its overall ‘sound’.

It’s a bit complex to go into full details about here, but I did a 25-minute presentation all about it last month with the lovely folk at Sheffield DM which you can catch up with – just search on YouTube for ‘Sheffield DM #11’.

In short – you really should be putting time aside to work out your strategy for audio in 2021, otherwise you’re at serious risk of getting left behind.

And of course, if you need help creating or growing a podcast for your brand, get in touch:

Podcasting Q&A: What’s the best podcast mic?

This is often the first question someone starting a podcast asks – I understand why. We all love buying a new toy!

But honestly, it’s better to hang on until you have properly nailed down your format and strategy. Once you know exactly WHAT your show is, you can pick the mic to match.

Right now, chances are you’re only going need something to record you, as everything is being done virtually. But in time, maybe you’ll be looking to do face-to-face recordings – so get a mic to match.

I recommend USB microphones as they’re simple and cost-effective.

If you’re just recording yourself, you can’t go far wrong with the Rode NT-USB. It’s sturdy, sounds great, and is a bit of a looker to boot.

For something a bit more futureproof, the Blue Yeti has been around for years, but still stands out because of its four recording modes – it’s good for solo episodes but also for larger groups recording together.

If your budget is a bit higher, the mic I use is a Shure MV7. The sound is simply superb, and you’ll even get comments on how clear you are on things like Zoom calls.

unLTD’s latest podcast episode is available through all your usual podcast providers – search ‘unLTD business’.