A Practical Guide to Podcasting
Wednesday, 9th December 2020
In last week’s article we took a look at Podcasts and how you can develop your own Podcast to help market your business, drive brand affinity, develop new relationships with suppliers and customers, and establish yourself as an authority in your particular field.
In the article we included a few ‘checklists’ to run through to help you get started, including a list rather obviously titled “How to get started” – here then, is the practical guide to doing just that!
A quick recap from last week, as follows:
Before you get started you’ll need to identify a few things, as follows:
- What topics will you want to cover, and how will you present these?
- What recording equipment will you need?
- Where will you record?
- How often will you record?
- Who will you want to include and how will you brief them?
- Where will you situate your podcast?
- How will you promote it?
Once you’ve assessed the above, it’s time to plan, implement and start building your podcast library and audience. To do so, ask and answer the following questions in response to the list above:
- Who are you creating the podcast for? Is this customer focussed with useful tips and updates from your industry? Or is this a B2B conversation designed to elevate your reputation within your industry, and possibly attract collaborators, referrals and new clients
- What topics will you cover within this framework? Are these a mix of ‘ever green’ topics that are not reliant on constant updates to be relevant, or of more news-orientated topics that give the most recent updates, developments or offers? Think about how you can theme your podcast to suit particular topics, times of the year, challenges, solutions, questions posed by listeners or global trends, and decide whether you want to have a weekly or monthly theme around which you create your podcast.
- Will it be just you talking, or will you bring in other voices? Guest speakers, colleagues, industry professionals, celebrities and customers can, for example, bring a fresh perspective and make the podcast more conversational than a simple monologue.
- Do you have a place to record? Ideally, you need a mini-studio that is isolated from noisy environments, has soft coverings on the floor and walls to prevent echoes and an indicator to let people know when you’re recording so that they don’t interrupt. In terms of recording equipment you’ll need a mic (or two) and a way to record the podcast – these days, you can use your phone, laptop or more technical recording equipment, so it’s really available to anyone. There are good software programs to help you set up, record, play-back, equalise and finalise your podcast (including opening and closing music) – take a look here to find out which program would work best for your needs.
- How often will you want to produce a podcast? And how long will it be? There is no set standard or limit, but ideally you’ll want to keep it under an hour, and likely under 30 mins to keep people engaged. And decide whether you’ll have enough interest in your themes and topics to keep the discussions fresh every day, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Again, there is no set standards, but you’ll soon get a feel for a frequency that keeps you excited to talk, and your listeners excited to listen. As a guideline, once every fortnight seems to be the sweet spot for most podcasters as this gives you enough time to plan and record, but also to market your forthcoming episode.
- Where will you load your podcast to? There are a number of options here – your own digital properties such as your website can be ideal to host your podcast, or you could upload it to a service such as Spotify, Anchor, Buzzsprout, Podbean, Spreaker, Podiant and others. Some are free, some offer freemium services and others will need you to pay to host your podcast. Assess each and see which fits best for your needs and budget. Ideally you’ll want a service that offers some form of analytics so that you can assess number of listeners, downloads, time spent listening, location of listeners, devices being used to listen, revenue from related ads, reviews and so forth.
- How do you plan to market your podcast? There is little or no point in creating a great piece of content if you can’t get anyone to listen to it, and act on some form of goal based on the content. Marketing your podcast is thus essential – you can start by:
o Promoting it on your social channels, email lists and other usual marketing channels
o Converting your podcasts into YouTube videos and marketing those as well
o Getting optimised audio transcripts to improve visibility in Google
o Get one of your podcasts (or a series) featured on a leading podcast platform
o Get affiliate marketing through another industry expert who recommends you
In closing, we’d also like to encourage you to take the plunge and not focus too much on all the technical aspects – if your topics are engaging and interesting, your perspectives and how you convey them are unique, conversational, relevant and useful, this is the most important aspect of podcasting.
So we say, go forth, talk, converse, record and conquer!