So you’re ready to start your own podcast. Before you do, there are some things you need to take into consideration. Like any new action you take in business, it’s important to do your homework.
This week on the podcast, I’m sharing a number of questions to ask yourself as you prepare for your launch. Things like who your audience is, what your podcast goals are, how you’ll generate interest, what format you’ll use for each episode, how you’ll get it all done, and more.
Podcasting is a great way to nurture your audience and really educate them, but you need to have a plan in place first. Otherwise you run the risk of the dreaded podfade. Tune in this week to help you get started.
And if you have questions about your specific podcast, you’re invited to join me and other like minded aspiring podcasters on my new Podcast Ease Q&A calls. Every Thursday at 8 a.m. Pacific, from July 20, 2022 through late September 2022, I’m hosting a Q&A call to help answer your questions. I’m hosting the calls on Zoom and yes, there will be a recording if you can’t make it live.
Join me at thecontentexperiment.com/ease.
Mentioned In This Episode
- Join the Podcast Ease Q&A calls
- Episode 176: Smarter Content, More Exposure with Lisa Simone Richards
- Episode 177: Leveraging Other People’s Audiences & Putting it All Together
- Episode 181: How to Be a Better Podcast Host
- Episode 183: Why You Need Solo Episodes on Your Podcast
- Episode 189: What to Do Before Hitting “Record” on Your Next Episode
Abby Herman 0:08
Hey there, and welcome to episode 191 of the content experiment podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever moving targets in any business. And it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it. All right all of the time. This episode is the first of a 10 plus episode series all around bringing more ease to your podcast, podcasting can be time consuming, and it can feel really challenging, especially if you’re DIY most or all of it. I had some help when I started this podcast, and that allowed me to launch with some confidence. But it was the weeks and months early on where I really struggled. I didn’t feel like I had to go to resource to help navigate some of the early challenges.
Abby Herman 0:57
Thankfully, I have a background in content marketing. So I was able to work through a lot of the challenges with ease, but I know not everyone is in the same situation. So I wanted to bring you this series leading up to the three year anniversary of the podcast and the 200th episode. But there’s only so much I can cover on a single podcast episode. And I know that your business and your podcasts are unique. You might have more questions after listening. So I’m inviting you to my weekly podcast ease q&a sessions. We get started on July 28. That’s tomorrow, if you’re listening in real time, and they continue for the next 10 weeks, we get on a zoom call and you can ask me any questions you have about podcasting for the next hour, all calls will be held at 8am Pacific and they will be recorded if you can’t make the call live or you want to go back and re listen or you in want to make your podcast feel a little easier. Join me for only $99 for the entire 10 Plus week series at the content experiment.com/ease. This week, in the first episode of the series, we’re going to focus on the early stages of podcasting.
Abby Herman 2:13
Whether you haven’t gotten started yet, because you weren’t sure how or you’ve started and you’re feeling a little lost. This episode will help you focus and create episodes that are effective and well, easy. If you sign up for the podcast is q&a sessions, you will also get a podcast launch launching checklist with everything you need to consider. So before I get started talking about what you actually need to know to get started, well, actually, you do need to know this piece. And that is it’s not too late to start a podcast. I know that the podcast industry feels really saturated. And with over 2 million podcasts out there. You might feel like there’s just not space but people are starting podcasts all the time. And people who didn’t start their podcast right the first time are what’s called a pod fading. So they’re kind of fading away. They’re you’re not publishing their podcasts as regularly as they used to. Or maybe they just stopped altogether because they didn’t feel like podcasting was working for them. Well, there is room for you to do it right. So know that it is not too late to start a podcast.
Abby Herman 3:29
So the first thing I want you to think about is why are you launching your podcast you need to know before you get started recording your first episode. Your Why should not be to grow your visibility or audience. Yes, that might happen as you get going. But ultimately, your podcast is a way to nurture the people who have already found you. Listen to episodes 176 and 177. For more about growing your audience, I want you to think about why some really great why’s would be to educate your audience to nurture them to help them grow. Make your podcast about your audience. Next, I want you to think about what is your ultimate outcome in the next 12 months. So you launch a podcast tomorrow. What do you hope for in the next 12 months? Think about goals for your podcast, your business, your overall visibility. And I want to caution you against any metrics like the vanity metrics, you know, a certain number of downloads or a certain number of new clients.
Abby Herman 4:39
Avoid the vanity metrics and think about like the ultimate holistic view of your business, your podcast and your visibility. Next, you’re gonna want to think about who your audience is. Who is your audience, who are the people that you want to serve with you Your Podcast. Those are the people who you want to think about every time you are planning out a new episode or looking for a new guest. If you have guests on your podcast, who are the people who you are talking to? Now, this might be the same people that you’ve been talking to with your blog or your YouTube channel, or even on social media, but it could be a little bit different. Who are the people who are going to tune into your podcast? And of course, I mentioned your guests? Well, is that the kind of format that you want to have for your podcast? What is a format that you’re shooting for here? Will you have interviews? Will they be solo episodes? How often will you publish a solo episode?
Abby Herman 5:47
And of course, if you have been following me at all, you know how important I think so episodes are, they are your place to spotlight yourself and to stand on your own stage. So I would make sure you have at least a few solo episodes, every other episode of my regular podcast is a solo episode, right now, of course, I’m doing a series of solo episodes. So there won’t be any interviews for a while, but having solo episodes are your chance to shine. When you do your interviews, do you have a plan for those interviews? Do you know like what the format is going to look like? Are there going to be certain questions that you ask every single guest, I have certain questions that I asked every single, every single guest, and in a previous episode, Episode 189, I talked about some things that you should do before your guest episodes. And also, in episode number 181, I talked about some of the things that you should have in place for your guests like making sure that they get a link ahead of time and graphics and making sure that you do your research ahead of time. So make sure you check out those two episodes.
Abby Herman 7:08
Now you’ll want to think about before you start your podcast, or maybe you are in a place where you’re trying to do a little bit of revamping, and when to to think about how often you will publish your podcast? Is it going to be seasonal? Will you have you know breaks of a month or two in between chunks of publishing content? Will it be continual, where you will have an episode come out every single week or every other week, think about how often you want to publish your podcast. And it’s really important to think about your own bandwidth as you do this. I’m currently helping a client launch her podcast. And she’s decided that at least for this first bit of her podcast, it’s going to be seasonal, she’s going to publish 10 to 12 episodes in the first season, they will all be solo episodes. And then at the end of recording, she will take a step back, look at what’s happening with the published episodes, and then make a decision from there of where she’ll go.
Abby Herman 8:17
So just because you pick seasonal today does not mean that you have to stick with that. I personally have gone back and forth between publishing weekly episodes that I published twice weekly episodes that I published weekly episodes. And every other week I did a solo episode. So I’ve and I and it was all based on my own bandwidth, my own desire, my own content strategy. So it’s okay to change. That’s why this podcast is called the content experiment, because you want to experiment with different things. So consistency is important. So whatever you decide to do, stick with it for a little while, and then go back and reflect.
Abby Herman 8:59
The next thing to consider and this goes right along with your bandwidth is who was going to take care of the podcast assets. That is the show notes, the audio editing, the social promotion, the behind the scenes tech of all of this stuff, who is going to take care of that now if you are running a service based business, which I know a lot of you are doing all of that yourself is really challenging. It’s a lot of work. I used to do all of it myself, aside from the audio editing, of course, but I used to do all of it myself. Before I hired help. It was a lot. I think it’s important to know how to do it all or to at least know the process but trying to do it all yourself is a challenge. So I would caution you on trying to do everything yourself and see if you can find some support, at least to do the back end tech piece.
Abby Herman 9:57
So loading everything to your home Just, you know, doing the editing, creating the social promotion posts, so like, you know, creating the graphics and loading them to a scheduler, I would hire somebody for that if you can, if you’re able to. Next is there a place on your website for show notes. This is so incredibly important, because this is the easiest way to share episodes. And it’s also the easiest way to drive more traffic to your website and get that SEO juice. When you share your episode directly from the hosts like Libsyn, or pod bean, or anchor. These links are kind of ugly, and they’re difficult to listen to. And they’re not really they’re not driving traffic to you as as they should. This is content that you own, you should be driving traffic to your website to listen to the content that you own. Not only that, but if someone mentions a podcast episode, or a podcast name, often people will go to a search engine to search for it. And it’s really difficult to find when it is not attached to your website. Another option that I’ve seen people do instead of hosting their show notes on their own website is they will share the episode a specific episode using a podcast player like Apple podcasts or Spotify.
Abby Herman 11:39
Again, these links are not attractive when they show up on social media or when they show up in somebody’s inbox. And again, you’re not driving traffic to your website. And even more important than both of those is, you don’t know what people typically listen to their podcasts on. I am an Apple user, but I use Spotify to listen to podcasts because I don’t care for the Apple podcasts app. Back when maybe it was like two years ago, they started making a bunch of changes and everything got really slow. I just stopped using it altogether. Alternatively, you could send an apple link to someone or post an apple link on social media. And what if they are an Android user and they don’t have access to Apple podcasts? You know, then you know, then they have to do the work and search make it really easy for people have a place on your website to host your show notes. It is just so incredibly important. All right. I’m off that soapbox.
Abby Herman 12:41
What about workflow? What is your workflow going to be for each of your episodes. Now I have two separate workflows. One for podcast guests one for my solo episodes, they’re very, very similar. But of course, the podcast guest episode has a few extra steps with a workflow and knowing what’s going to happen when the process is so much simpler and even better, you can automate some of the some of the pieces. If you have a team, make sure that your team is on board with this and review the workflow with your team from time to time so that you can make any tweaks and adjustments that you need to make the process flow a little bit better.
Abby Herman 13:23
All right, if you don’t have your podcast launched yet, how are you going to build excitement for the launch? Do you have a launch support group? And this could be a Facebook group, it could be a group chat in Instagram. Do you have group or just a group of friends that you you know, put in Slack together? Do you have a support group, a group who is going to help you get the attention that you need and want for your brand new podcast? And then think about how far in advance you’re going to start promoting? It’s never too soon to start promoting something or just start talking or teasing something. When you’re going to post your trailer? How many initial episodes are you going to have in that launch now, I recommend having three to four episodes. So after your trailer goes live, and it’s been approved by all the podcasts places, no know how many episodes you’re going to put out there next. And it’s really important to have multiple episodes and not just start your know your weekly one episode push. And the reason why you want multiple episodes is because you want people to be able to binge that will help you to get more attention. It will ensure that people understand what your podcast is about. You’ll be more likely to rank if they’re binging on your episodes. If they can only listen to one then it’s kind of a one and done and they’re gonna go someplace else. Let them binge to a few episodes.
Abby Herman 14:49
Next, where are you going to record your podcast? This is so important because if you’re recording in A space where there’s nothing on the walls where the floor is a hard floor, whether it’s tile or wood or whatever, it’s going to echo. It will echo. So and you don’t want that that’s really difficult to listen to, if you’ve ever heard a podcast where there’s echoing in the background, it doesn’t sound good. So know where you’re going to record where I’m recording. This episode right now is in a co working space. I’m in a private office where I have sound buffers on the walls so that it doesn’t echo because one of my walls is all glass. And the other wall is like a big giant whiteboard. So I have buffers on the other walls, there’s carpet, I’m actually getting ready to move out of this space and move back into a home office as soon as it’s ready. And it will be hard floor and wide, a much bigger room, a much bigger space. And so I know that I need to put something on the walls. So make sure that you have you know, test it out, listen to yourself, but have a place for you to record, it also should be a place that’s very quiet. So my shared office space, I’m recording this super early in the morning. My shared office space is not quiet.
Abby Herman 16:20
Most of the time, make sure that it’s away from any kitchens where there might be clanking of dishes, make sure it’s away from people who might be walking up and down the halls, kids, pets, all of that has an effect on the professionalism of your podcast. And something else to consider. And this is kind of one of those last but certainly not least items is your intro and outro. Are you going to use the same intro and outro every time? Or will you record something original. So I personally record my intro. Every time I publish a podcast, I record something new because I say the episode number I don’t have a recorded intro that I can slide into there anywhere I could. I just don’t. And if you notice today’s episode, I used something a little bit different. In my intro, I did not say my entire intro. I have clients who have little chunks of intros that we slice in together depending on what time of year it is or what they’re promoting at the time. So think about what you’re going to use for your intro and outro. It’s nice to have at least some of that be pretty standard so that people really start to recognize you and your podcast. Now, if while you’re listening, you came up with some questions that you have about, well, how do I decide about my intro and outro? How do I decide what my format is going to be? How do I set up my show notes page? What should those even look like? What’s better, seasonal or continual? How do I find people to help with the podcast assets? What does the workflow What should it look like?
Abby Herman 18:05
So if those are questions that started coming up for you, and you’re a little confused, I really invite you to join me at the podcast ease q&a sessions. Again, we get started on July 28th. If you’re listening to this after July 28, you can join us at any time. We’ll be going until at least late September. And you can join us at thecontentexperiment.com/ease. Again, this is Xoom call 8am Pacific every Thursday, and you can join us for only $99 for the whole 10 week series. If you missed a couple of the sessions, that’s okay, you will get the recordings of all of them. And if you found value in what you learned here today, I would love it if you would go to your podcast app and give the podcast a rating and review. That is how we build our audience and how I can continue coming on here on a weekly basis and sharing my podcast expertise. You can also take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it on Instagram Stories. Tag me at the content experiment. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands and earbuds of more business owners just like you who need to hear the message that they are not alone. Until next time. Take care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai