What to Have Ready Before You Launch Your Podcast
What to Have Ready Before You Launch Your Podcast

What to Have Ready Before You Launch Your Podcast

Have a podcast in your head that you want to launch? It takes a lot of work to get a podcast up and running, and if you don’t have the right support system you’re figuring out what you need on the fly. And that never feels good!

Last week on the podcast, I talked about some of the tools that you need to set your podcast up for success. This week, I’m sharing some of the other things you’ll need right from the beginning. Things like your podcast description and an intro for each episode.

While this episode doesn’t give you a complete, step-by-step list, the 10 things you need to have ready before you launch your podcast will get you started in the right direction for sure.

And if you want more support than this podcast episode provides? We should definitely talk!

Mentioned In This Episode:

Transcript:

Welcome to episode 194 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 is the fourth episode of a 10+ series all around bringing more ease into your podcast. Podcasting CAN be time consuming and it can feel really challenging, especially if you’re DIYing 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 a go-to resource to help navigate some of the early challenges. 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 to help, 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 podcast are unique. You might have more questions after listening. So I’m inviting you to my weekly Podcast Ease Q&A sessions. We got started on July 28 but it’s not too late to join us because we’ll continue through late September. 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 8 a.m. Pacific and they’ll be recorded if you can’t make the call life or want to go back and re-listen.

Are you in? Want to make your podcast feel a little easier? Join me for only $99 for the entire 10-week series at thecontentexperiment.com/ease and you’ll get access to the recordings of previous sessions too.

This week, in the fourth episode of the series, we’re going to focus on what you need to have ready before you launch your podcast. Last week we talked about the tools and software you need for a podcast (and how to get those tools without breaking the bank). And those are pretty dang important. But there are other pieces you need to have in place before launch.

A way to build excitement
You can’t just start publishing a podcast and expect people to magically find it. You need a way to tell people about it and get excited…so they’ll listen and share and tell all their friends.
There are a lot of ways to do this, similar to launching a new program or business. I’m going to run through a few of them here…
Create a hashtag for your podcast and start using it in any promotional materials. Encourage your followers to use it when sharing about the podcast
Start a Facebook group and ask your most loyal clients and biggest fans to join it. Use the group to get input about your artwork, episode length, episode topics, and so on. Even if you’ve already decided on some of these things, this is a great way to get people excited.
Give some sneak peeks of your episodes. You can do this with videos of you recording some solo episodes, showing off your microphone-appropriate podcasting space, sharing some great sound clips, etc.
Let your email subscribers know when the launch is and include a countdown ticker in your regular emails
Host a contest, asking people to share your podcast and give it a rating and review in exchange for an entry into a drawing
Pitch yourself to be a guest on others’ podcasts leading up to your launch – and talk about your own podcast. This is a good habit to stick with all the time, not just when you’re launching
A podcast description
Your description is what people see when they go to the main “page” of your podcast on their podcast player. It tells them what they show is about and whether they want to actually listen in.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y0hIpcYsMktgwg-3Tn-vR7TdAv9gwvECEc1HPfHfG9g/edit
I have a document that outlines exactly what to include here and how to write your description as well as your podcast intro and outro. Everyone in the Podcast Ease program will get access to this. And you can join us at thecontentexperiment.com/ease
An intro and outro to your podcast
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y0hIpcYsMktgwg-3Tn-vR7TdAv9gwvECEc1HPfHfG9g/edit
THEN: There are a lot of different ways to do your intro
You can have a standard recorded intro that plays on every episode
Or you can record something different every time, with the episode number
Or you can slice in different elements depending on what you’re promoting
And the same goes for your outro
I recommend listening to some of your favorite podcasts to see what they do and decide what feels good to you
Of course, you do not have to stick with your decision if it’s not working for you. Try something out, stick with it for 12 episodes or a season, then make a shift.
Artwork
Your artwork is what people see when they pull up the podcast on their podcast player. It needs to be catchy and memorable
Remember that your artwork will be a tiny little square in any podcast app, so your text and images need to be on the larger side and recognizable, if not readable
Keep it branded and simple. Of course you’ll need a name for your podcast. That’s a given. And it needs to be memorable and recognizable too. Without gimmicky jargon that’s difficult to spell or understand
Whether you include YOUR name or YOUR photo on your cover art is up to you. Personally, I like seeing the person I’m listening to. I want to know what they look like.
As for using your name on the cover art or podcast description…I was looking for a particular podcast for a client the other day, so we could pitch to have her on the podcast, and the host’s name was NOWHERE. It wasn’t on the cover art, in the description, on the podcast website. I finally found it buried about 5 minutes into an episode. Don’t do that. Make your podcast searchable by your name.
Templates for social sharing
This goes along with the artwork. Do you have templates to share your episodes on various platforms? What about for guests? Audiograms? Pull quotes?
Have a variety of image templates ready so it’s easy for you or an assistant to share your episodes on social media. Easy is the key!
A trailer episode
The goal for trailers for movies and TV shows spark interest so you watch
Trailers for your podcast are the same
Of course, name recognition helps in movies – I personally would love to sit down and watch every show and movie made by Jason Bateman, my longterm crush, regardless of whether it’s good or not. So keep that in mind if you’re ever lamenting over the number of downloads you’re getting. More on that in a future episode.
Your trailer episode, the first episode of your podcast, should introduce your show with a brief description about what the podcast is about. You can share about yourself and what drove you to start the podcast, offer a few quick pieces of value, and what to expect
Your CTA should be to subscribe!
This is what you’re going to submit to Apple to get your podcast on the soundwaves.
Bingeable episodes
Once your podcast is approved and before (or as) you officially launch, you’ll want to have 3-5 additional episodes go live all at once. This creates bingeable content that will help boost your ratings because you’ll get more downloads. If people only have the one episode, the trailer, to listen to, you’ll lose some momentum
Page on your website to post your episodes
I’ve talked about this in other episodes, but having a page on your website for your podcast episodes is SO important. Here’s why:
It’s easier to share your episodes from your own website, and it looks better too
Good for SEO, especially if you include robust show notes and transcripts
You don’t know what podcast player people are using to listen in. When you share the episode’s page on your website, it’s easier for them to select the player they need… because hopefully you have a link on your website for the major players
Makes it easier for your future guests to share too!
A strategy for upcoming episodes
When I’m talking about strategy here, I’m talking about your content strategy
I talked about this a little in last week’s episode, episode 193
Deciding today what tomorrow’s episode is going to be about isn’t a strategy
Know what your episodes will be about and/or who your guests will be long before it happens, with a content strategy
I’ve talked a lot about content strategy over the years, and I’ll link to some of those episodes in the show notes
This is also the topic of next week’s episode, number 195.
A template for making creating your show notes incredibly easy
Whether you’re doing your show notes yourself or you’re hiring someone to help with all or part of this, you’ll want a template to simplify things
Your template should include your episode title, meta description, embed code, keywords, summary, information about your guest, links and resources, social media shares, other social media, and email, among other things. I shared the template I use for my own podcast and my clients’ podcast in a Podcast Ease Q&A session. You can join us and get access to this template at thecontentexperiment.com/ease

While this episode didn’t include a complete list of what you should have ready to prepare for your podcast launch (or maybe re-launch), I want to do a quick recap:

A way to build excitement
A podcast description
An intro and outro to your podcast
Artwork
Templates for social sharing
A trailer episode
Bingeable episodes
Page on your website to post your episodes
A strategy for upcoming episodes
A template for making creating your show notes incredibly easy

I know that sounds like a lot (it is!). If you need support around getting started, let’s talk! I can help you round up all the goodies you need and support you through your launch and beyond. I work with podcasting business owners to support them in their podcast strategy as well as ongoing podcast management.

If you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it over on Instagram stories. Tag me at thecontentexperiment. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.

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