The jump into the podcast world can be daunting, but luckily, figuring out how to start a podcast is easier than ever. There are many tips, tricks, and tools at hand, and you can easily find the answer to almost any question you have about the process online.
There’s never a bad time to start a podcast, and if you’ve heard the siren call to get your mic out and hit record, then you probably have a great message worth spreading. However, there are always steps you can take to be successful and ensure that your first episode lands with a bang instead of a crash.
Thinking about your general values, interests, and goals on both a personal and professional level can help you better understand why you had the pull to get into the podcast world in the first place, and what motivates you to keep moving stay forward. On a practical level, taking a little time off can also go a long way to determining how to structure your episodes, what equipment to use, and what marketing tactics to use.
Before you give yourself the green light to create the podcast of your dreams, there are five questions you should ask yourself:
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1. What is my overall goal?
Before you start your podcast adventure, take some time to figure out what you want your podcast to achieve. The answer doesn’t have to be groundbreaking – in fact, your goal might simply be to have fun, but knowing this before you start working will allow you to make creative decisions and keep track of everything.
A great way to narrow your focus is to document your goals and values as a person or organization, and to determine what kind of impact you want to have in the world. You might want to promote world peace or sit down with creative thought leaders, whatever it is, write it down and use it as your guiding light for the future.
In case you still haven’t sold, here are a few examples of underlying goals a podcast can help you:
Starting a podcast is a great opportunity to create a compelling narrative about your brand or business and, ultimately, connect with prospects.
Given the longer format of most podcast episodes, you’ll have plenty of time to dig into your company’s interesting backstory and convince people with your vicious storytelling skills.
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Connect with like-minded industry leaders
Every podcast episode offers a new chance to meet and get in touch with an interesting guest from your industry. When you start a podcast, you can build a network of people who are passionate about your topic and even develop long-term, fulfilling relationships.
In the digital age, making new friends can be difficult, which is why using your podcast as a networking tool and social opportunity is a smart and rewarding goal.
Positioning as an expert
Everyone knows that you generally qualify for a doctorate if you regularly record podcast episodes on a specific topic. on the subject, right? Well, not exactly, but podcasting is still a great way to show off your knowledge and build your personal brand as an expert in your field.
Ultimately, this will help you capture a niche and position yourself as a leader in your field.
Convert listeners into clients or clients.
Ideally, your only goal isn’t getting more customers and sales for your business, but that doesn’t mean starting a podcast isn’t a good reason. Podcasts are an excellent marketing tactic, but they’re most effective when the person behind the microphone is genuinely passionate about their subject.
You can definitely use your podcast to increase profits, but remember to stay authentic so it doesn’t sound like a sales pitch.
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2. Which topics will I cover?
While you don’t necessarily have to pick a narrow topic window for your podcast and never have to deviate from it, it can be helpful to pick two to three anchor topics for your show so that you have a rough feel for the realm you’d like to play along with. This will help you stay focused as your podcast progresses so you can stay consistent and build a fan base over time.
For example, if your topic is wellness, you might want to pick two to three of your favorite topics that you want to focus on so that people know right away whether or not they are getting in touch with you. You can choose to stay within the limits of diet and mindset to begin with, and then you can slowly start branching out into niche topics as you gain a following and people trust you to deliver top notch content, no matter what happens you talk about.
When planning episodes, try to think outside the box and cover topics that are niche but still relevant to a solid audience. Think about a topic you want to deepen and see if there is enough material for an episode. If you care, chances are someone else is too. Here are some examples of common podcast topics you might want to use as a starting point:
- Real crime
- Health and wellness
- Love and relationships
- Self help
- Finance and business
- to travel
3. Who is my ideal listener?
Breaking down the type of audience you want to attract to your podcast can help you determine the right tone, episode flow, and topic to cover in the future. When you know who you’re talking to and why, it’s a lot easier to keep an eye on your final audience and create each episode from their perspective.
Consider demographics like age, location, interests, and values when imagining your target audience, but also remember that everyone is unique at the end of the day, so you never know who will be interested in your topic. Stay open and try not to alienate certain groups by using open and approachable language.
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4. Do I have the necessary equipment?
You can really only start a podcast with your laptop, but if you want to make a professional impression right from the start, you’ll probably want to take stock of the equipment you have on hand and what you will need to make your first episode sound awesome. First, consider investing in a solid microphone and some professional sound editing tools like Adobe Audition.
Once you get down to the basics, you can move on to more advanced gear like a fully integrated podcast production studio or a fancy microphone. Whatever you do, don’t break the bank if you haven’t already learned the ropes – you can always buy more gear to celebrate once you’ve hit the top charts.
5. How do I promote my podcast?
If you want you to be making a podcast, it is a good idea to spend some time thinking about the channels and tactics you are using to promote it and attract new listeners and subscribers. Here are a few ideas on how to get your podcast excited:
Frequent posting on social media.
Create new accounts on all platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok to promote your brand. Be sure to keep your posting cadence and don’t forget to promote new episodes as they appear.
Create a website for your podcast with a blog attached.
When starting a podcast, having a healthy web presence is key so that listeners can learn more about you and the show. You can use your website to review notes and descriptions, transcriptions and a blog that will come in handy for turning episodes into long written content.
Writing guest blogs, comments and articles for other platforms and points of sale.
Reaching out to other YouTubers who are in a similar field can help you maximize your exposure and gain new followers. Don’t be afraid to send cold pitches to people you admire – you never know, they might just say yes.
Write a bi-weekly or weekly newsletter to your subscribers.
Building your email subscriber list is an effective way to connect with your community and attract new audiences. Try sending out a weekly or bi-weekly email newsletter to keep your followers updated and to keep up with your brand’s events.
Start a paid digital advertising campaign.
When in doubt, throw some money on the wall and see what gets stuck. Seriously, a paid campaign can help increase your followers and get the word out there faster than an organic campaign. So if you are on the budget why not give it a try?
You can also always hire an agency to work with you on more great ideas to grow your target audience and build a solid fan base for your channels. Sometimes it just takes outside help and perspectives to really take your show to the next level.
Mackenzie Patterson is a digital content strategist at Quill Inc., a corporate podcast production agency that works with various corporate brands. In her spare time, Mackenzie enjoys walking, reading, and discovering new wellness trends.
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