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Daily Inspiration: Meet Sydney Rodgers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydney Rodgers.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
In 2020, I took the incentive to create my own podcast, Annoyed Not Offended.

I’ve always enjoyed storytelling, along with discussing pop culture, politics, and more with my friends. I had a focus on mass media during college and was intrigued then at the growing popularity of podcasts but never could find the time to start. After graduating, I began working in public relations which focuses on strategic communication that builds mutually beneficial relationships between brands/organization and their audience.

As I worked more in the industry I grew to understand both the impact and art of communication through storytelling. When storytelling is done correctly and with care, its power is unmatched and can forge connections between people, ideas, and innovations. Helping craft important narratives allowed me to bridge passion with purpose. Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, I had more time to reflect on this and eventually took the first step.

Swiftly, I took a 4-week self-paced podcasting course, Idea to Launch created by Carla Wilmaris. The program not only outlined equipment needs, tips for scriptwriting, and how to edit audio but connected me to other beginners in the community. Since then, I’ve been able to connect with Black podcasters nationwide to share personal stories and comedic hypothetical situations, along with discussing relevant pop culture.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The journey so far has been great. My biggest challenges have been staying the course and getting out of my head. For your audience to recognize your brand, you must be consistent.

Consistency is typically due to my amount of planning on the far end. When I have more time to precisely plan out my guest, work through scripts, and record, the amount of content I’m able to share is more consistent. Along with also leaving space for me to creatively identify more opportunities for the show.

Getting out of my own head has also taken time. We all can easily overthink strategies and wonder if the direction we’re headed in is correct. As I get further into the process, I’ve learned that just doing it, is all that is necessary at times.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Currently, I host the podcast Annoyed Not Offended. As the creator, host, and engineer it’s been great to cultivate not only my creativity but learn more about the production side of things.

The industry of podcasting is unique since it focuses a lot on audio with elements of visual and is still growing. Overall, forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023 after increases of around 20 million each year.

Really love the fact that my show is based in St. Louis. I think the Midwest is often overlooked for the amount of creativity and trendsetters in the region. Since starting my show I’ve been able to highlight these stories and also make those vital connections within my community.

Everybody has been super supportive, which is great.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
I truly appreciate the number of people that have supported the podcast.

A majority of the guests are from St. Louis. Some of them I knew before reaching out while others I hadn’t but each was super welcoming and forthcoming when on. Since then, I’ve maintained relationships with them and have made more connections because of this.

Additionally, joining the Idea to Launch academy was very beneficial in keeping me on track with the launch of the show. Not only did it save me time on sourcing information but I was also put into a circle with other beginners. A lot of individuals were in the same boat as me such as learning about their audience, the format of their show, and more.

There were plenty of times I’d jump into our private group chats to bounce ideas off them and ask for recommendations.

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