So you’re a small business owner that wants to grow your brand, attract the right clients and further educate people about your niche.
Writing a blog seems logical…
Putting an ad in the local newspaper is sensible…
Updating your social media can’t hurt…
Right? All of the above are correct and will help to reaffirm your brand’s position over competitors. But there’s another channel which you may not have considered which could bring you fans, prospects and even new customers. Podcasting. With over 75 million unique podcast listens every month and more than 550,000 active podcasts out there, this marketing channel is one to consider and not just for brand awareness either. From a recent study of 300,000 podcast listeners, 63% had bought something that a host had mentioned on their show. Of that same group, 71% said they had visited a sponsor’s website.
If you’re ever thought of starting a podcast, here’s our helpful tips on how to plan ahead and get your name out there in audio (and beyond!)
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a digital audio show available on the Internet for listening on devices such as smartphones and computer or downloaded and listened to on MP3 devices. The nature of a podcast means it can be listened to anywhere providing you have an internet connection or it’s downloaded onto your device.
How to plan your podcast?
First up. What will your show be about? With millions upon millions of hours’ worth of podcasts, there is inevitably something for everyone. As a small business owner, you want listeners who will relate to your niche and have lots in common with you, your products and services so you can help solve their problems and position yourself as an expert. By keeping your show niche-specific, it will be easier to get like-minded people onto the show which will boost views and serve as interesting content. As long as your show is ‘niche relevant’, it will attract the right audience, however niche.
Not preparing is preparing to fail… with that in mind, each episode shouldn’t be completely improvised. Each of the podcasts should have elements of planned dialogue to make all the important stuff is covered properly.
Time to pick a name
Firstly, you will need to pick a name for your podcast. This stage shouldn’t be rushed. In fact, take some time to mind-map what you want the podcast to be called. This is a vital step. Some things that need to be considered are:
An easy and recognisable name
A short easy to spell name
Ideally a name relatable to your niche.
You can use your name…
However, you must make sure to do your research to make sure no one is using that name already or anything too similar. It will just create headaches and confusion. If you’re struggling to drill down to a name, you can use sites like https://businessnamegenerator.com/podcast-name-generator/ to get the perfect, unique name for your podcast.
Buying the right equipment
Buying podcast equipment can seem daunting and complicated to set up and sort through. There is a lot of equipment available, however you don’t need to get everything, all at once. Once you’ve grown in confidence, you can always expand your list of podcast equipment over time.
The most important podcast equipment you will need are:
– A computer
– A microphone
(If you will be needing additional mics recording simultaneously, you will need to avoid USB mics… You’ll also need an audio interface or mixer to hook up multiple XLR microphones)
Your computer will need to be mid-range at best and somewhat new. The recording and uploading of a podcast aren’t very demanding however the last thing you want is a crash to occur.
Jonathan Blakey of Wahhoo shares his expert advice
“I can hear you but only just! When you consider that there are 1,000,000’s of podcasts and audiobooks out there – it’s important to have clear quality sound. If your audio is bad, sounds thin or so distorted that your listeners are having trouble hearing and listening for long periods of time, they will just turn off.
Your ears become fatigued from listening to harsh audio, it’s not a pleasant experience, and your message will not get across. In every other medium, TV, Film, we expect pristine quality sound, so why not with podcasts? You don’t need to spend a fortune on equipment and the software to record, there are lots of free options. Learning to edit it is another story, but a rule of thumb is if you record the best audio you can the editor will need less time to fix it and make it sound great, after all, it’s your brand and message, you want people to listen! Record great audio that your listeners will love, they will thank you for it!”
Great advice there from Jonathan.
A good mid range microphone(s) is the Samson Meteor. Alongside a PC, it’s the only essential bit of gear that you will need to get started. The Samson Meteor comes in at £65 and is Amazon’s top choice.
Other optional gear you might want to invest in includes:
- A portable XLR Recorder
- Audio Interface
- Pop Filters
As we said, these aren’t essential and you may wish to investigate these items down the line when the podcast gains more traction.
Start Local Go GLOBAL!
The basics have been acquired, you’ve chosen a name and decided on the topic. All there’s left to do is set yourself some goals. You will want to define quantifiable goals so take some time to brainstorm and come up with the main goal. It could be to educate over 1,000 people per month or even acquire an extra client every month. Goals are personal and shouldn’t be overlooked. Read more about setting goals in our recent success blog.
Most people set unrealistic goals that aren’t measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Which inevitably leads to failure. Goals need to be specific to keep you on track. It helps maintain a positive focus. An example of a specific goal that’s smart:
Within the next 6 months I want to have 600 monthly listeners. I will measure this by the view count.
In addition, you want to have short term smaller goals that help toward the main goal(s), for example, by the end of the month I want 100 more listeners on the podcast. Short term goals are proven to scientifically increase enjoyment and productivity by keeping a higher level of focus.
Without a doubt the hardest part to any venture you will undertake is getting started. The same can be said with podcasts. It can be a nerve wrecking situation that requires lots of confidence and a strong work ethic.
Five things to do before you start:
Logo: Head over to Canva.com and make a logo for the show. Logos are imperative, even for a podcast, for the obvious reason they help people to recognise and remember you.
Choose your platform: Although this may seem simple it can be one of the biggest decisions you make. Hosting platforms each have their own pros and cons. Soundcloud is a very popular hosting site especially among beginners and offers a free service but has limited listener statistics. Other sites like Buzzsprout are free for 90 days but have limited streaming times.
Chose a length: Have a general aim for how long your podcasts should be and what things you want to accomplish in that time. This will make for easier flowing conversation and help you keep on track.
Pick your guests: Your podcast isn’t just about you. It’s about the listeners and guests if you choose to have them. You need to appeal to them more than anything else. How do you attract the right guests? Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family, your peers, reach out to like-minded entrepreneurs and attend networking events. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – you’ll be surprised.
How to promote your show: You’ve had an amazing show, everything went well, the conversation was effortless and you didn’t go over time. Fantastic! Now to promote it. You could have recorded the best podcasts known to woman and man but if no one listens to it, the effect on the business will be minimal. Before and after every show you should be trying to bring in more listeners, through social media, word of mouth and networking. Use every method you can to spread the word.
To sum up, starting a podcast isn’t the hard part. It’s the planning, the consistency and the persistence to succeed. Much like business itself!
Virtual Assistant Whiz can help you get started with your podcast, from social media promotion to sourcing guests for your show. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.