You may be asking yourself what it takes to start a podcast? Would you simply grab a mic and begin? Why pursue podcasting at all? How can it benefit your business?
The answers you’re looking for are very simple, actually.
A decade ago, forward-thinking people would recommend that you base your marketing on blog posts as it was very innovative.
Today, blogs are familiar and readily available across countless industries and niches. But, another form of media has experienced a surge in popularity lately.
Podcasts are steadily growing as the size of their audience increases around 20% each year.
But, a surge of new potential followers is not the only reason you should start a podcast.
Podcasts are inexpensive, quick, easy, and not to mention an intimate way to enhance your marketing efforts, among numerous other benefits.
So, starting a podcast is no longer simply an option among your wide selection of social media. It now should be a staple of your business’s marketing strategy!
Are you ready?
Let’s walk you through how to properly start a podcast.
You’ve always wanted to start a #podcast but didn’t know how? Find out here! #Teacherpreneur
1. Plan Your Podcast and Define its Purpose
First of all, your podcast’s topic, just like your business niche, should be specific.
A random and vague podcast wouldn’t be delivering any valuable knowledge or applicable know-how. So, why would your audience stick around?
You have to pick a topic that is relevant to your business niche. Nothing too broad or you’ll be swallowed up in a sea among similar podcasts. Your topic, however, can’t be too narrow either, since you’ll quickly run out of meaningful content to talk about.
Think about the potential of storytelling that your podcast will have. The stories are what connect us to our emotional, humane side by which we create the bonds we have with each other.
Yes, the podcast is made with business in mind. But, you are the center of that business, you and your story. If you manage to transmit that to your followers, you’ll have a brilliant podcast that will resonate with your audience and be a boost to your business.
Once you believe you’ve got this down, think about answering the following questions:
What can I passionately talk about with other people without losing interest?
How can my advice help my customers solve some of their problems?
What kind of influencer do I want to become?
A successful #podcast portrays a human story. This, with many other beginner #tips on podcasts here.
These do not require immediate and concrete answers in the initial phase of your podcast, but somewhere along the way, you’ll have to have a plan that begins to outline these principles.
And, finally, the last step of the first phase: pick a name for your podcast.
Be very discerning and thorough. And, have fun with it!
Whether it’s your brand’s name or something catchy, try to look at it through the eyes of your listeners. Does it look attractive and appropriate for your niche? Then, go for it!
Related: My top 10 podcasts
2. Plan the Episodes and Brainstorm Their Content
After you’ve drafted the outline of your podcast, you have to think about the episodes and the content you wish to present in each of them.
You can pick a format (like interviews or solocasts) and stick to it. Though, you should feel free to spice things up a bit by occasionally mixing up your formats.
You can speak alone and share a story completely from your angle, or you can invite guests to share their stories along with your own. You can also completely focus on other people’s stories.
Plenty of podcasters have a prepped list of questions for each interview. This is a great way to start a podcast career.
Such lists of questions can give you a confidence boost, but don’t feel obligated to stick to your list, especially once you’ve established a rhythm and style for yourself as a podcaster.
The optimal format of the interview podcast would be a couple of common questions that would establish some ground for you to advance with throughout the rest of the interview.
You’ll gradually discover how to tease out an authentic interview, allowing the conversation to organically take shape on its own. Don’t be afraid to allow your connection with your interviewee to lead the dialogue!
It is a riskier technique, bu ist, in almost every case, more interesting. Raw and authentic questions unique to the person you’re interviewing will resonate more deeply with the audience.
If you decide to solo your podcasts, you have the advantage of not being able to surprise yourself with questions, but don’t be afraid to let your feelings lead! A relevant type of stream of consciousness, while you shouldn’t let it get you carried away, can be more real and relatable to your audience members.
Listen to the feedback of your audience for guidelines on what you should cover in the following episodes.
Surprise yourself by thinking innovatively, trying out new things, and leaving your comfort zone. The audience will appreciate and be surprised by it. They’ll want to keep coming back if they feel there’s always something new to learn from your podcast.
3. Focus on Technical Aspects and Get the Necessary Equipment
When the initial brainstorming and planning has been done, the only thing left now is to visualize and then dive in.
First of all, you might want to include a catchy intro or fancy artwork for your episodes. This is not a requirement, of course, but it can go a long way toward grabbing your audience’s attention.
You can, very affordably, outsource this. But, a touch of the personal, like a catchy voiceover of yours in the intro/outro, can find its way into the hearts of those who listen to you.
Now, for the necessities. Fortunately, you won’t lose a fortune to get a solid microphone, as you don’t need anything fancy, especially not in the early stages of your podcast.
A reasonably priced option, which will still give you nice quality audio, is a USB mic. You plug them directly into your USB port and record. As simple as that.
Here’s a helpful video from Pat Flynn’s Complete Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial on what equipment and software he recommends for podcasters to get set up.
Another way to record a podcast is to first record a video interview with a guest, and then extract the audio as an .mp3 file that you can use for your podcast. Zoom video conferencing software can automatically record your interviews as both video and audio formats.
4. Produce an Episode and Refine the Details if Necessary
Testing, testing. One, two, three.
Then, you tap the mic once or twice.
Now, share your story! Speak what you’ve planned on and are passionate about. A good podcast episode stems from talking about what you love.
After the initial “whoa” moment passes, you take the tape and listen to the material that you’ve recorded.
All the work you’ve done up until this point can be heard from that one recording. Listen carefully and see if there’s anything that didn’t go as planned, or if there’s anything that you want to improve or change.
Perfect it and smooth out the edges – basically, you want to edit your recording! Listen to it as many times as you think necessary until you’re pleased with all you’ve done.
And, finally, you are ready. Let’s get your podcast published!
(Image credit: Simple Creative Marketing)
5. Choose Where to Publish
All you need is a spot under the digital sky to host your epods. Some of the more popular platforms for publishing such media include:
Out of all of these, Soundcloud may be the best option if you can’t decide on one particular place.
It boasts a high-quality media player for an affordable price, and you can immediately make it publicly available on the site.
Another bonus: Soundcloud allows embedding the epods into your existing website. Neat and convenient, yes?
And, you’re essentially done with the podcast. It’s online!
What follows is podcast promotion and a lot of it.
This is actually the area in which you invest most of your efforts.
You have to attract your audience from scratch or guide your existing community towards the podcast. Engagement is everything in marketing, and promoting a podcast is not any different.
Your best bet is to repurpose and promote your podcast via other media, e.g. you can turn the epods into a blog post, share it as a story with other blogs or websites, and share it on social media.
The opportunities are vast. Feel free to explore!
And, keep working on your episodes and yourself. Growth is the most important component of successful podcasting.
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