The Ultimate Guide to Podcasting
As a business owner, you likely have a lot of knowledge about your industry that others may find interesting, helpful, and educational. In addition to the content you typically create for these topics — such as social media posts, blog posts, newsletters, and more — why not consider starting a podcast as well? Especially if your audience prefers audio content compared to visual, this is an excellent way to engage them even more than what you’re already doing.
According to Entrepreneur, podcasting can:
- Establish thought leadership and credibility
- Support with lead generation
- Expand your online presence
- Provide value to your audience
And more. If you’re thinking about starting a podcast for your organization but aren’t sure where to start, let’s take a look into what this process might look like.
How to Start a Podcast
Gather the Right Equipment and Resources
You certainly don’t need to spend thousands, or even hundreds, of dollars on podcast equipment, but having the right tools ensures that you produce high-quality episodes. After spending all of that time, and possibly even money, recording an episode, the last thing you would want to have to do is record it again.
The ultimate podcaster toolbox consists of:
- Headphones to prevent outside noises from distracting you
- A microphone to guarantee clear audio quality
- A pop filter to prevent any “p” sounds from popping the microphone
- Great lighting if you’re including a video component of your episodes
- A top notch camera to eradicate fuzziness
If you plan on sticking with podcasting, you’ll be getting a lot of use out of this equipment, so avoid purchasing anything that may be low-quality or cheap.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about resources that you might need for your podcast, such as:
- A podcast editor or editing software
- A transcription service or software, like Descript
- A scheduling tool to streamline booking guests
Whether you rely on an individual or a program to help you with these components of your podcast, they ensure that your episodes will completely wow your audience.
Develop Your Show’s Foundation
What’s the purpose of your show? Brainstorm a short blurb to describe what your show is about, who it’s for, and what your listeners will learn. Think about what makes your show different from other shows in this niche.
Following that, pick a podcast name that’s catchy, concise, and accurately describes the premise of your show. Be sure to research your podcast name before selecting it so you know it isn’t already in use. Once you have the name of your podcast, you can create cover art, which is the graphic that shows with your podcast when it’s listed on all of the major podcasting outlets.
Another item to determine is the frequency of new episodes. Are you thinking of monthly, biweekly, weekly, or even daily? Whatever the frequency is, it’s best to start off with a cadence that you know you can commit to. You can always increase the frequency if you get into a good groove and want to produce more episodes, but you want to avoid doing it right off the bat and struggle with inconsistency.
After you’ve determined the functionality of your show, you can now get into the dirty work of bringing this vision to fruition.
Research and Schedule Guests
Are you wondering if you should have a solo podcast or bring guests on your show? Some people end up doing both! You might be tempted to record solo episodes if you want to be able to control the narrative, but interviewing guests allows you to provide a new perspective to your audience and have your show introduced to bigger audiences when your guests promote the episode. You’re certainly not stuck with staying with one or the other, so if you get into the swing of recording and realize that you want to change things up, don’t hesitate to do so. That’s what keeps people on their toes!
If you are going to be working with guests, however, it’s best to determine who you want on your show and start reaching out to them sooner rather than later. With the chaos of everyone’s schedules, getting ahead of the game with your interviews and even bulk recording a handful of episodes can prevent you from falling behind or feeling overwhelmed with too many things happening at once.
As you determine your guest list, you might wonder what makes a good podcast guest. These individuals:
- Can hold an engaging conversation without the host feeling like they’re pulling teeth
- Avoid rambling or going off-topic too much
- Provide value on the topic rather than use the podcast as a sales pitch
- Agree to promote the episode once live and share it with their network
The right person may vary from show to show, and be clear about who is and isn’t a fit for your podcast.
Record and Edit Your Episodes
Once you have the message you’d like to share and potential guests lined up, it’s time to get ready to hit the record button! Some hosts prefer to have structured episodes with predetermined questions while others enjoy going with the flow and seeing where the conversation takes them. It’s all about whatever works for you and what makes both you and your guests feel the most comfortable. However, make it a goal for each episode to come across as authentic and engaging. While it’s absolutely OK to refer to notes as needed, it’s obvious when a host is reading off a script, which often results in losing the interest of the audience. Be yourself, and the rest will follow!
As you’re recording the episodes, take notes so you can turn them into show notes. You don’t need to have exact timestamps, but it’s helpful to give an overview of what’s covered in each episode so your listeners know what to expect. Once the interviews have been conducted, you may edit them as needed using a software, yourself, or a podcast editor. Preferably, only edit out the parts where there was a mistake or something inappropriate was said. Besides that, keeping the episodes as genuine as possible can help to build great rapport with your listeners.
List Your Show on the Major Podcast Directories
Podcast directories are all of the apps and websites that people use to listen to their favorite podcasts. Although your mind may think of Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, there are actually many more than that! Listing your podcast in as many of these directories as possible helps to increase your reach and attract additional listeners.
Start with these directories first:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- Amazon Music and Audible
There are also several smaller directories that exist that certainly don’t hurt to leverage. The only thing you need to list your podcast is the RSS feed link, which is found on your podcast host. Once you submit your RSS feed to a directory, your new episodes will automatically load there, preventing you from needing to continuously make updates.
Plan a Promotional Strategy
Although you might think otherwise, your work isn’t complete once you hit publish on your podcast episode! You’ve done all of the work to pull the episode together, and now you want to make sure people actually know the episode exists so they can listen to it. Develop a podcast promotion strategy so you can cover all of the bases of how you’re planning to market the episodes.
This strategy might include:
- Social media posts
- YouTube clips
- Paid ads
- Blog posts
And more. There’s no such thing as “too much,” so don’t shy away from letting the world know how great your podcast is. No one will know about your podcast unless you tell them!
Refer to Analytics
Your podcast’s analytics will share a lot of valuable information that will point you in the right direction for planning new episodes. Through this data, you’re able to see:
- Best publishing days and times
- Popular topics
- Favorite guests
- Acquisition channels for new listeners
And more. The analytics you have available will tell you a lot about who your audience is and what they want to learn more about, ensuring that your podcast is a valuable resource to your listeners. Your stats will change over time, so refer to them monthly so that your analysis is the most up-to-date and accurate!
Getting Support for Your Podcast
Work with a Trusted Partner
You might love meeting your guests and recording new episodes, but marketing your podcast? Not so much. We get that and are here to support you as a marketing agency that can distribute your podcast episodes to the appropriate channels, spreading your message and increasing your listenership.
Ready to learn more about how a marketing agency can be your trusted partner on your podcast journey? Request a consultation with us.
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