A few years ago, I considered podcasting. However, I read that it takes a lot of planning and that you really need to have 2 people or guests to be successful. With that in mind, I decided not to do one in the digital marketing field. There are several very good social media, content marketing and digital marketing podcasters out there (Some are listed at the bottom). I’d rather share good content that I couldn’t have done better myself than to attempt to dive into a saturated market.
On the personal side, though, I’ve been moved to do a Christian, evangelical podcast (don’t worry, I won’t get into why, but will elaborate on the how) — and I found it’s really easy using a new podcasting platform — anchor.fm.
Why not video? I’m finding podcasting way easier and less time consuming. You don’t have to worry about lighting, how you look and what’s behind you in the room. Though I do write up a script, I just read it instead of having to memorize it or have you eyes looking a another screen in a video.
Free Podcasting Platform
There are several free podcasting platforms available. I chose Anchor because I heard it pitched by one of the podcasters I listen to. The Anchor platform is easy to use and you can monetize your podcast without having a large subscriber base.
Anchor Podcasting Features
- Record directly into the app or online through your browser.
- Add cool musical transitions between your podcast segments.
- Easy-to-use publishing of each episode.
- Write up “show notes” with links to your website, resources or social media.
- Easily share your podcast to social media or embed it on a website.
- Record a “trailer” to promote your podcast.
- They help you get on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and other podcasting apps — you don’t have to do a thing. As soon as I recorded the trailer, I got an email from them saying that I was on Spotify!
- Create a custom podcast graphic for branding. You can upload picture or use one of theirs.
- They will also help find sponsors for you.
- They have excellent tutorials.
What You Need to Get Started Podcasting
Let’s start with what you DON’T need:
You don’t need a fancy recording studio to start podcasting!
- Fancy equipment – I have an old USB headset that works just fine.
- A sound-proof room – I’ve been recording in my apartment in the evenings and a few times I’ve had to wait till my neighbor’s water stopped running and the kids outside went home.
- Fancy recording and editing software – even though I can do editing, I don’t want to. However, because technology doesn’t always work like it’s supposed to, I have a back up. One time, Anchor’s recording system wasn’t saving the recording after I finished. I tried it twice, then contacted customer support to report the problem. I ended up using my Mac’s “Garage Band” to record it — that’s my backup.
Now for what you do need:
- A Topic – Whether it’s a personal passion (like mine) or your business, you need to have a topic. Search on a podcast app for your topic and see who’s already out there.
- How often are they podcasting and when was their last episode? You’ll be surprised at how many folks start a podcast with good intentions then stop for some reason.
- How long are their shows? I’ve seen anywhere from 5-minute shows to 1 and 2-hour shows.
- Do they have reviews? This is important. Can you do better?
- A Title – Here’s where you need to get creative. Search on the app for several variations of your intended title. Make sure someone else didn’t beat you to it.
- Define Your Audience – Who are you targeting? Having target market personas for your marketing is just as important here, too.
- A Podcast Icon – This is your branding. Use it consistently when you share your podcast on social media.
- A Format
- Will it be just you sharing your expertise?
- Are you going to partner with one or more people?
- Will you have guests?
- How long will your podcasts be?
- What makes you different?
- Editorial Calendar – I picked up an old-fashioned desk calendar where I can see the whole month in 2 pages and I can write episode titles or topics.
- Plan ahead and include things that will be trending on social media — check out my “What’s Trending” articles that I post at the end of each month.
- How often are you going to broadcast? I decided to do it daily — each evening. I follow podcasters who just do weekdays, weekly, even monthly. Furthermore, some don’t have a set schedule at all.
- Be consistent – whatever frequency you choose, be consistent. If you’re going to publish every Friday, then stick to it. Once you have subscribers, they’ll be looking for your podcast.
- Social Media – What’s nice about the podcast is that you can share it easily on social media and you can tell your listeners to follow you.
- Connect with Influencers – Search for and follow influencers in your topic’s field. Email them or message them on social media and invite them to listen to your podcast.
- Tag people mentioned in your podcasts – One of my podcast’s tweets got retweeted because I messaged through Facebook an app that I plugged on the podcast.
- Pick a time and day that works for you. Once you commit to doing this, you need to keep at it. Be consistent.
- Don’t expect it to take off immediately. Even if you have a large social media following like I do, it will take a while for it to catch on. But, keep at it. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t see your subscriber rate steadily increasing.
- Write up a script for each episode. It’s so easy to just read it. I’ve notice with some of the podcasters I listen to, when they are winging it — without a script — it does sound unprofessional. I’ve also been re-purposing blog articles. I’ll embed the podcast in the blog once it’s published.
- Listen to other podcasters who are in your topic’s field or are popular.
- What’s their format?
- How many ads do they have?
- How do they end it?
- Create an intro. Use it every time. Again, be consistent.
- Create an exit call-to-action. Thank people for listening and invite them to go to the show notes, subscribe, or visit your website.
- Don’t over-sell. You’re doing this podcast to educate, entertain or inform. Sales, hopefully, will naturally stem from your efforts.
- Add a link to your podcast from your website and social media. I added the URL to my Twitter and Instagram accounts, also. Make it easy for people to find you.
- Use relevant hashtags when you share on social media. Again, be consistent. I have a text file with links and hashtags that I just copy paste to the networks.
- Do take into considering ambient noise. Silence your mobile devices. The other night, my tablet notification to not forget to record the podcast went off in the middle of the podcast. Turn off fans and a/c units – you do get a background buzz.
- It’s OK to flub a little. I’ve had a few false starts, but if I flub a word, I’ll just keep going. People do know that you are human. If you do have to time to rerecord, the by all means, do it.
- Watch for what’s trending on Twitter and share relevant podcast episodes.
Podcasting is fun and easy to do. Don’t over think it. Moreover, it can eventually help you in marketing your business or making some extra income.