Podcasting has proven to be an easy and effective way to create compelling content for your brand.
Odds are, you’re a listener of multiple podcasts yourself, but could you successfully start your own podcast?
People are consuming content through their earbuds now more than ever, and the listeners continue to grow. Edison Research and Triton Polling have given us some incredible statistics* about podcast listenership:
Here’s what we know:
- 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast – up 11 million from 2016
- 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly, five times more than go to the movies
- Weekly podcast listeners consume five shows per week on average
While there will always be a prominent place for text and video in your marketing strategy, producing a podcast allows your brand to hit a huge audience right where they are: on the treadmill, in the car, on a flight, or walking the dog.
People are definitely listening to podcasts, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen to your podcast.
Recording Your Podcast
Your podcast needs to sound professional in order to represent your brand properly.
There are many options when it comes to recording your podcast. Using a professional studio like ours at Premier Companies can certainly take any of the guess work out of the process, but it’s possible to get a quality audio file on your phone.
A good mic will go a long way toward ensuring your podcast sounds great, and you can find quite a few on Amazon with excellent reviews.
If there are multiple people recording a conversation together, we always recommend doing it at the same location. While the technology is certainly available to record an interview over the phone or via Skype, doing so typically puts the sound quality in question – especially during long segments when the interviewer sounds crystal clear and the interviewee sounds like they’re on a phone.
Poor quality can turn people away, but even perfect sound alone won’t to get people to listen to your podcast.
Editing Your Podcast
Editing is where many new podcasters get bogged down.
If you have little or no experience editing an audio file, the tools can seem written in foreign language. However, with a little bit of practice and some YouTube coaching, you can master the basic skills of splitting, cutting, and pasting clips.
If you’re not into DIY, an audio engineer can make the process painless. If your podcast includes multiple interview sources, soundbites, music, or effects, an engineer is essential. Transitioning seamlessly in and out of each clip can be painstaking for a novice and your listeners will hear the difference.
The key, though, is to keep the editing to a minimum. With traditional media, your files need to be super polished. Not so with podcasting.
Podcasts are a conversation, not a commercial. Your audience wants to feel like they’re in the room with you, so don’t worry about clipping out every “uh,” “um,” and pause along the way.
A well edited podcast may be easy on the ears, but it still won’t get people to listen.
Creating the Content
We know, just thinking about episode one is enough to give you writer’s block. We’ve all experienced that feeling. Staring at the screen, hands on the keyboard, waiting for inspiration for that next piece of content that will drive people to your site and compel them to take action.
We wouldn’t wish that feeling on our enemies.
But what if we told you creating your first podcast doesn’t involve straining your creative muscles?
It’s true. The secret to successfully starting your own podcast has very little to do with your own abilities. If you have to create every segment of each episode yourself, it won’t happen. You’ve already got a full time job. You don’t need another one.
Even if you’re a charismatic public speaker, you and your audience will both tire of you carrying the load on your own.
The secret to successfully starting your own podcast is to find interesting people, ask them interesting questions, and let them talk.
Inviting guests to your podcast is the easiest, most engaging way to inform and entertain your audience.
If you dive deeply into one topic, each guest could be one episode. If you want to hear from multiple perspectives for a particular topic, you may have a few guests answering the same few questions. To make things even easier, you might use the same set of questions for every guest who comes on your show.
Here are a few more tips for making a podcast people want to listen to:
- The more closely related the guest is to your industry or niche, the better. The further away the guest is from your scope of work, the more interesting he/she should be.
- Get out of the way. You brought the guest in for a reason – they have something to say
on a specific topic. Ask him/her about that topic and let them talk.
- Don’t worry about time. As my high school English teacher used to say, “Content is like a woman’s skirt. It should be long enough to cover the topic, but short enough to keep it interesting.” It’s only too long if it’s boring.
- Listen closely. You should have a set of preset questions, but if you listen closely to your guest, you’ll hear some things you want to know more about. If you’re curious, it’s likely your audience is too.
Growing Your Audience
Interesting guests don’t just have their thoughts to share, they have their own audiences to share.
People who are interested in your guest may listen to your podcast even if they’re not yet interested in your brand. If your guest is an influencer and well connected, having him/her on the show will bring a new level of interest to your podcast.
When deciding on potential guests, think about who has name recognition, social media following, or influence among your target audience.
Once your interview is complete, send the guests a link and ask (don’t instruct) if they would be willing to share the interview through their channels. A great conversation will be a benefit for both parties.
See how easy that was? You didn’t know just how ready you were to start your own podcast. You have friends, colleagues, and co-workers. Identify the 8-10 most interesting people in your circle and ask them to be guests on your podcast.
Those 8-10 also have their own friends and colleagues. Once they know how great it is to be on your podcast, ask them for an introduction to interesting people in their network. You’ll soon have a snowball of great guests rolling down a hill.
Then people will listen to your podcast.