My name is Marianne Gazet and I’m a final year medical student as well as a content creator.
I began branching out from the usual social media content in the first COVID lockdown when I started organising Instagram Live broadcasts with medical students, discussing different topics such as mental health at university and study tips for medical school.
I had no idea I’d enjoy doing these so much, but I soon realised they were a great way to communicate and connect with other medical students. I was also learning and picking up skills as I went: hosting a live stream, interviewing guests and leading a conversation in front of an audience. It was a steep learning curve, but I focused on getting to know my guest and being spontaneous and authentic – which I think is why my followers enjoyed them so much!
The live broadcasts worked well during the lockdowns, but as people started going back to their usual activities, I sensed that there would be a shift in the sort of content people were after. I’d discovered the joy of podcasts and realised this format suited reaching a wider audience – allowing people to access content in their own time.
So I decided to launch my own podcast, More Than Medical Students, to celebrate all types of medical students with side projects, charity work, businesses and hobbies.
Here’s what I learnt along the way to setting up my podcast.
Five tips on starting a podcast
Marianne Gazet offers tips on starting a podcast as a medical student.
Step one: the idea
I’ve been fascinated by how diverse and dynamic our community is as I’ve navigated through medical school, meeting students from different walks of life. I realised it was so important to remember that we’re so much more than medical students. I truly believe that giving us the space to develop beyond medicine will enable us to become better doctors, gathering skills along the way that’ll help us in our practice – like communication, teamwork and problem solving – and having a balance in our lives.
That’s how the idea behind More Than Medical Students was born.
I’ve been fascinated by how diverse and dynamic our community is as I’ve navigated through medical school.
Step two: the practicalities
Starting a podcast takes a lot of work and requires you to learn new skills. But I think it’s accessible for everyone – you can learn on the go and through your own research.
- what’s your unique selling point? For example, there are lots of interview-style podcasts out there, so what makes yours unique?
- what will your logo look like? Make sure you have some visuals ready to go – there are free platforms out there like Canva where you can create one without advanced design skills. A written description is the other way you can grab people’s attention so prepare a little paragraph introducing your podcast.
- what will you use for recording? There are some recording microphones out there in a budget of 50 to 100 pounds, which is already a small investment and I would say is not absolutely necessary if you are starting out as some laptops and phones have reasonable quality mics already. Try different devices in a quiet setting and see what it sounds like.
- what editing software will you use? The editing software and publishing platforms I use are quite intuitive and you can find many tutorials on how to use them. They are also free to use and free to publish. I’m currently using Anchor, a podcast building and publishing platform that publishes podcasts on its app, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. I’m thinking of expanding to more platforms as soon as I can but having these three to start is a great first step.
- will you have a trailer and jingle? A trailer is a short recording (1-2 minutes) explaining what your podcast is about and why people should come listen: many listeners will want to find out more about the podcast before listening to a full episode. A jingle is not a requirement but can make the beginning of your episodes punchier and dynamic. A few music notes or a little melody will suffice and there are some available on Anchor as well. I was lucky to have a friend who composed an original jingle for me – which is another option if you or someone you know has music producing skills.
Step three: the launch
I recommend spending some time preparing everything before you announce your podcast. For example, I’d recorded a couple of episodes in advance so I wouldn’t have as many things to do once the podcast was released. This meant I could post the first few episodes to get some content out there for listeners.
I announced my podcast on my social media before releasing episodes to build up some publicity before the launch. I also created a separate Instagram page for my podcast as I think this helps with engagement and for publicising each episode. It’s also a good idea to ask your friends or your podcast guests if they’re happy to share the episodes as well.
Finally, don’t forget to balance your time between studying and placements and all the podcast work carefully. It’s important to get your priorities right so you don’t feel overworked or get burnt out. Podcasting is a fun and creative outlet and I’ve really enjoyed recording and sharing episodes with my audience.
Most importantly, enjoy it!