If you have been sitting on the fence about starting a podcast for your business, the stats we mentioned on #MarketingMonday should alone be enough motivation to get going on your podcast planning. Podcasts are a unique way of reaching your target audience, especially if your audience is more susceptible to listening to podcasts than others.
Before you go and record your first episode, here are five best practices to incorporate into your podcasting strategy:
Decide on Your Podcast Format First
While most of the time we think of podcasts as audio-only, we mentioned on #MarketingMonday that there are other formats of podcasts to consider:
- Video podcasts are conducive to certain industries, such as fiber arts (see: Grocery Girls Knit). If your subject matter requires more visuals to support your topic, consider creating a video podcast.
- Facebook Live Audio is another format that you could use for your podcast: instead of pre-recording your episodes, you could simply go live (audio-only) on Facebook.
Set a Specific Show Theme & Schedule
What kind of topics would you like to share with your audience? What is your business’s expertise in? These are questions to consider when planning out your podcast. Research what kind of podcast shows are currently out there in your industry and how you can capitalize on creating a show with a unique angle.
Podcaster (and friend) Lauren Frontiera of The Real Female Entrepreneur (TRFE) also emphasizes that having a consistent time for your show is crucial:
“Your listeners want to know what to expect from you and when they should expect it. So, set a regular schedule for yourself and post consistently. I’ve built an amazing loyal audience (some who’ve been listening since the very beginning) and grown my platform over the past year and a half, and I attribute a lot of that to consistency.”
Lauren recommends easing into a schedule that is realistic for you to work with: we recommend starting out with one podcast episode a month to get you comfortable with the whole process of recording, editing, and publishing. Decide on a specific day you would like to release episodes, and commit to that time. Announce to your customers and social media audience about when they will expect new podcast episodes from you.
“When I first launched my podcast in early 2016, I was producing only one episode a week. I knew I could commit to that and be consistent. After nearly a year of growing my audience and better understanding the time commitment, though, I increased to producing three episodes a week. Whether your goal is to produce one episode a month or one a day, make sure you’re setting an attainable goal that you can be consistent with.” – Lauren Frontiera, TRFE
High Quality Sound
Having the best quality sound on your podcast episodes–whether you’re recording an audio podcast or a video podcast–is integral to the success of your podcast. If your listeners/viewers cannot hear you well (or if there is a lot of background noise), your show will not succeed as well.
With that being said, don’t rely on your smartphone or computer’s built-in microphone; purchasing an external microphone will help you increase the quality of your audio. Here are a couple (non-sponsored) recommendations from podcasters:
- Blue Snowball – Our personal favorite (and an Amazon top-seller), this microphone is well worth the price tag for great quality recording and audio. Easy setup as well: just plug the USB into your computer, and then you’re set.
- Shure MV5 – According to Popular Mechanics, this entry-level mic provides top-quality audio and is at a slightly cheaper price point than other microphones. This mic not only comes with USB connection, but also a Lightning cable for iOS devices.
To further smooth out the audio quality, also consider purchasing a pop filter.
Post-Production: Editing & Libsyn
The (maybe?) easy part of preparing your podcast is recording the episodes; however, you want to devote some time to the post-production process and edit your episodes so you can take out any bloopers or outtakes before publishing your episodes. Accounting for revisions will also help you feel less pressure for recording a perfect take of your episodes.
We recommend hiring a skilled professional to edit your podcast episodes for you, so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
Be aware of how much time it will take for you to edit the podcast episodes yourself; if you choose to self-edit due to budget constraints, set aside a significant amount of time to learn editing software such as Garage Band and The Levelator (for leveling out your audio).
While your first episode is in process of editing, register for an account at Libsyn, a podcast hosting platform. With plans starting at only $5 per month, Libsyn will not only host your podcast episodes (and provide a landing page for your show), but will also help you push out your podcast episodes to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and other podcast platforms.
Feature guests and industry leaders
Lauren of TRFE says, “I grew my podcast to nearly 50k downloads with very little promotion. So much of the growth I’ve seen has come from the audience of my guests.” Inviting guests and industry leaders to be interviewed on your podcast allows for you to have access to those guests’ audience members and therefore increase exposure of your show to many more listeners. However, Lauren adds a caveat:
“Don’t let the size of someone’s following fool you. I’ve seen much higher download numbers and, in turn, subscribers from guests with online followings of less than 10k than my guests with 75k+. So, be selective about your guests and really pick people who can add value to your podcast. Then, make sure you ask them to share the episode with their audience.”
Make a list of five well-known individuals in your industry today that you would like to interview on your podcast and reach out to them for interview requests. You could set up interviews with these individuals via Skype or in-person (if possible).
With these five all-star tips, you are set to go on launching your podcast. Let us know in the comments when you will be launching your first episode, and we’ll be sure to tune in.
Ready for the next step?
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