Why and How to Get Started With Your Podcast
I love podcasting. This will be evident as you reach the bottom of this. And I know you will too. Presumptuous, yes, but I’m confident you’ll love this medium and how powerful it is.
For me, podcasting started as a pull marketing technique to drive traffic to the website where a SaaS app was for sale. It turned into something more meaningful.
I bet you didn’t think I would start with that. The truth is, we all enter this entrepreneurial journey from different angles. Mine was a startup that wanted a tool for lead generation. But it turned into something else.
Reason 1: PULL MARKETING = LEAD GEN
Podcasts are on the rise. Does that mean it’s saturated and you shouldn’t do it? No! Pretend I’m on a mountaintop yelling that to you. Why am I so certain of that? Because I’m here to tell you that your voice is unique. When you start a podcast, you’re sharing your ideas, experience, and unique take on (insert specialty here). It is what you know best. Or perhaps you know enough about a topic to feel comfortable interviewing people that know more. It’s your way of educating yourself and the world.
Reason 2: COMMUNITY/RELATIONSHIPS
Another benefit is it opens the door to relationships. We all want to have deeper connections and build our micro-communities. Having a podcast and a voice in your “space” or “industry” helps cultivate relationships. It can expand your business circle, and as your downloads grow, you develop an audience of engaged listeners.
Reason 3: FUN
Some people will decide to do this for the sheer fun of it all. Perhaps you have a friend or partner, and you love to riff on food or music or whatever. Your goal is simply to have conversations, a few laughs, and develop an audience looking for the “lite” version from podcasting.
Reason 4: EDUCATION/NEW SKILLS
One thing I’m a big advocate of is learning new things. I believe that a growth mindset is great for your overall state of mind and your resume. This pandemic has been many things to many people. You may not have an ounce of time to skill-up and learn one new thing. Mad respect for you either way. Our personal lives have different levels of demand. If, however, you can park time for yourself to learn new things, then I vote for podcasting. You will learn podcast art design, new software, editing, interview techniques, content marketing, etc.
There is a lot to unpack here, but I’ll cover some of the meat and potatoes.
Don’t let the lack of this derail your plans. Your phone will do. If you have no money to purchase a microphone, stand, windscreen, etc., skip it. If you think equipment makes the podcast, then start with the starter tools. Samson or ATR200. For under $100, you can get this Samson Kit. It’s what I use and have no complaints.
Try to consider setting up your equipment in a smaller space. Believe it or not, a closet is best. Maybe this isn’t ideal, but it’s likely the one room where there is no partner or child!
Spend time on this. It’s your logo, your brand. You will live with it for a long time. You will use it to promote in social media. I love Canva. They have a free trial that allows you to play with templates and create something you’ll love for the long haul.
Nerves are normal. Sweating before an interview or not sleeping well the night before is normal. It takes a while to build up the skill to where you feel fluid and relaxed. That being said, you may always have some jitters; it’s fine. I think knowing you’ll be nervous encourages you to be prepared. As you begin to get multiple interviews under your belt, you’ll become more confident.
I suggest putting some correspondence process in place to organize each interview. This will help you feel stronger too. An email detailing the interview date, link to record, title, interviewee bio, questions, social links, and podcast links. This correspondence will start to create a framework for the interview, and with that organization, confidence will follow.
My last note on this is that I consider it a new muscle. The more you interview, the stronger that muscle gets. Keep lifting that microphone!
I like Zencastr. It records locally onto your computer. I find that processing the recording afterward is cleaner. The sound quality is excellent, and there are no lags. Zoom is an option, but I have had lag issues that are difficult to edit, and some tracks came through layered on each other, which frankly rendered the recording irreparable. For that reason, I don’t use it. Skype and Otter are a couple of other platforms.
If you use a Mac, then GarageBand is a free tool. I love anything free. Anything that leads you to succeed in podcasting makes me happy. My goal here is to ensure there are no financial barriers to your success. On a PC, you can use ProTools.
You can also outsource this piece of podcasting. I will say that learning to do all aspects of your podcast makes you stronger. It allows you to ask for what you really need and when to send aspects of the process out-of-house.
You will need to get the word out about your podcasts. Choose the social media platforms that suit your topic. If you do not like posting about the content, you can outsource this too. But in the essence of keeping it all free, you can do this yourself. Determine the day you will launch your podcast and try to keep new releases to the same. Every Tuesday, perhaps. Only you know where your audience hangs out. Business podcast? Then Linkedin and Twitter. Creative topics? Perhaps Instagram. You get the picture.
I recommend that you always announce that a podcast is coming to their ears the day before. This might garner excitement. Post the day of. Do your best to engage with followers that post comments. Keep that conversation going. Post later in the week about the podcast. You can pose a question to the guest, and hopefully, others will join in.
You’ll find your voice behind the microphone and on social media.
They go hand-in-hand.
PODCAST HOST AND WEBSITE:
Do you need a website? Not necessarily. If you have one, then definitely put the podcast on there. It’ll be a great way to generate leads. Remember, this was Reason number 1 above. If you capture the transcripts from your podcast, it’ll encourage SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It’ll bring potential customers to your website, and they can see what you offer. It adds credibility to your website. It can “live” on your blog, and you’ll have content in transcript form to use again and again.
The Podcast Host you use will create your RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication). It will automatically create a basic website for you where your podcasts will live. It is also the place that pushes the feed to iTunes, Spotify, iHeart Radio, etc. I prefer Simplecast. There are many others. I will say they are similar. They will all cost between $15-30 a month. They all offer the website built-in.
Important note: I would just be sure that there are no minute limits on your uploads of podcasts.
I realize this is a sketch. You will need to take several tutorials in all aspects of the creation. You will need to explore these platforms from podcast art to who will be your Podcast Host. Do your research, so you choose what suits you, your computer, your wallet, etc. My book is coming soon. I’ll share that link in the RevGenius community.