Podcasts are an incredibly popular and powerful tool, especially for your personal brand or business. But how do you get started with running one? Moreover, how do you make sure it’s a huge success?
1. Do your research
Before you even hit record, do a little bit of research to see where your podcast could fit in the saturated podcasting market. Think about what makes you and your podcast stand out, what access you have compared to others in your industry, and what qualifies you to talk about particular topics. Listening to existing podcasts is also a great way to get a feel for a structure that works well for your podcast.
2. Consider the length
Most podcasts are around 30 minutes – anything longer is a little indulgent, says Kim, but it’s always important to consider your audience, including how and when people will listen.
3. Get your recording equipment right
When it comes to your microphone and recording equipment, you get what you pay for. If you have a bigger budget then it may be worth investing in high quality equipment. Equally, if you’re on a tiny budget, you can strip it right back to basics. Whichever route you take, try to record in a quiet place where the sound is muffled, but Kim says there’s no need to stress too much: “Audiences these days are hugely forgiving!”
4. Consider the editing process
Next, consider how you’re going to edit your podcast. You have 2 options: get someone to edit it for you or edit it yourself. The latter option is much cheaper and relatively easy to do using software like Adobe Audition. If you’re time poor, don’t let that put you off getting stuck into your own editing – just get someone to give you a quick tutorial!
5. Decide on a hosting option
Now it’s time to consider how you want your podcast to be hosted (in the web hosting sense). You’ll need an RSS feed, as this is the way you’ll upload your audio file. The easiest and most accessible way to do this is to use a hosting platform, such as Acast or Podbean, which will give you the RSS feed straight after recording. This can then be registered simply with Spotify, Apple and other platforms.
6. Choose your music wisely
When it comes to your podcast’s music, you’ll want to make sure you opt for some that you’re able to use anywhere at any time. There are various ways you can source this kind of music for free, including recording something yourself or getting composers to record bespoke music just for you. Just make sure whichever route you go down is watertight so that you protect yourself from copyright infringement; nothing puts a stop to podcast success quite like an impending lawsuit!
7. Plan and integrate promotion and marketing
Our final tip? Plan and integrate the promotion and marketing of your podcast from the outset. After all, your fantastic podcast will only be a success if people know it exists! Here are some marketing and promotion tips from Kim’s session:
Release a teaser or a trailer at least a week before you want your podcast to go live. As soon as it’s there and established across your chosen streaming sites, it’ll be easier for your future podcasts to publish when you want it to and the process will be a whole lot smoother. Plus, it gives you a chance to build up some hype ahead of your podcast’s launch!
Ask your friends, family and listeners to review your podcast. The more great reviews, the more new people are likely to discover and listen to it.
Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth: keep talking about your podcast across your personal social media and ask your connections and existing podcast fans to do the same.
Finally, remember that your podcast can often be a slow burn, but consistency is ultimately the key to success. Basically, don’t be demoralised if your podcast isn’t a smash hit after episode 1. Keep publishing, posting and promoting on a regular basis to build up a network of loyal fans, and it’ll be sure to keep on growing!