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Business Observer Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022 1 month ago

Tampa couple share their path to podcasting success

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Podcasts generated nearly $11.5 billion in 2020. Chris and Katie Krimitsos have paved the way for both newbies and pros to increase their piece of the market.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

If it seems like everyone has a podcast, there’s a good reason for that perception — it’s because the medium can make you a lot of money, and the barrier to entry is low. So, what’s the catch?

Chris Krimitsos, a Tampa entrepreneur who created Podfest Expo — an annual networking and professional development event, usually held in Orlando, for podcasters worldwide — the keys to podcasting success are patience, focus and passion; it’s anything but a get-rich-quick scheme. But with the right approach, he says, it’s possible to earn a six-figure income without having millions of listeners.

“When it comes to podcasting, YouTube, all these platforms, most people just don’t have the patience,”  Krimitsos says, “whereas the people who tend to do the best are the creators who are passionate about what they're doing. They’re willing to stick it out.”

Krimitsos doesn’t just talk the talk. He has helped his wife, Katie Krimitsos, become one of the world’s most successful podcasters. Her “Meditation for Women” podcast has been downloaded more than 40 million times, and it spawned an entire family of similar shows, the Women’s Meditation Network, that help women sleep better and deal with stress and anxiety in productive ways.

While Chris Krimitsos works most of the time at Embarc Collective, a co-working space and business accelerator in Tampa, Katie Krimitsos records and produces her podcasts in a closet at their home. That’s right, a closet.

“You see it, and you’re like, ‘What the hell? She reaches millions of women?’ That’s the beauty of podcasting,” he says. “She has a professional setup in the closet with my clothes on one side, hers on the other; it provides perfect acoustics. All you need is a buffer for the sound.”

Katie, Chris adds, has even been known to record podcasts in the couple’s Toyota Prius in between errands such as ferrying their two young daughters around town.

“A Prius is good too, because of the angles,” he says. “It’s not great, but it’s pretty good. You can get away with it.”

Apart from a space with sufficient noise reduction and buffering, aspiring podcasters, Chris Krimitsos says, will need a USB-enabled dynamic microphone, a recording software platform such as SquadCast or Riverside.FM and a hosting service. Some of the latter, such as Anchor, owned by Spotify, are free, but others require a monthly fee, usually somewhere between $5 and $20. “Twenty dollars per month would be the high end,” Chris Krimitsos says.

A decent dynamic microphone, he adds, can be had for less than $100 but higher-end mics, at less than $300, won’t break the bank, either. “A dynamic mic picks up your voice and not the background noise. That’s the one a podcaster would want, specifically.”

The biggest mistake novice podcasters make, Chris Krimitsos says, is, surprisingly, forgetting to hit “record” when they’re ready to do their show.

“Everybody laughs,” he says, “but it’s true. It happens to almost all podcasters.”

Chris Krimitsos expects more than 2,000 podcasters to attend the 2023 Podfest Expo, which takes place Jan. 26-29 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld hotel. “We should be back at pre-COVID levels, which we’re excited for.”

The pandemic threatened the hard work Chris Krimitsos put into Podfest Expo. In 2020, he was forced to transition to an all-virtual event. But he made the most of it, setting the Guiness World Record for largest attendance — 5,003 podcasters participated — at a virtual podcasting conference in one week. The next year, with the pandemic still preventing in-person events, he broke his own record, with 5,816 people in attendance.

Tickets for the 2023 Podfest Expo range from $99 to $1,995, so it stands to be a lucrative event. Although he produces some podcasts of his own, mostly for children, Podfest Expo is his primary income source (he declines to disclose specific revenue figures); however, the event is not immune to inflation, and he says his expenses have doubled.

“It’s a tough time to produce the same quality show,” Chris Krimitsos says. “We’re fortunate we’re surviving. I wouldn’t recommend in-person events for anyone getting started as a business model.”

Brian Hartz is the Business Observer’s Tampa Bay editor. He has worked for the publication since 2017. Brian holds a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and has been a St. Petersburg resident since 2013. He has also worked for newspapers and magazines in Indiana...

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