Nearly 1/3 of us listen to podcasts, I don’t know about you, but that number is higher than I had suspected.
Podcasts have silently grown (thanks in large part to podcasting apps and distribution by Apple and Google) over the last several years and now sits on the cusp of becoming a mainstream content distribution and communication stream toward your market audience.
Of course leading podcast personalities such as Tim Ferris, Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Gary Vaynerchuck and others have known this for some time…in fact many of them were pioneers involved as early-movers in this “silent” growth of podcasting.
I have to admit, I too started an early podcast – even before the names listed above – but fell victim to the most common mistake many early podcasters made…giving up too soon.
In fact, those early podcasts still remain on-line and continue to pull traffic nearly 3-years since they were first recorded.
Why NOW Is The Time To Start Your Podcast
Needless to say, I have jumped back in the game and now have nearly 40 episodes under our belt of the Online Business Platinum Podcast – adding new listeners each episode.
Each week we get asked to give advice on how to start and grow your own podcast, and your timing couldn’t be better as podcasting is right on the cusp of going mainstream…now is the time to jump in with both feet. History shows, again-and-again, that those who get in early building a presence around a new content distribution method are the ones that eventually OWN that platform (from an attention and branding point of view.)
There is no amount of money or skill that make up for the attention and credibility you get by hitting these new distribution platforms at the right time…ask those who now dominate Facebook, those who dominated SEO in the early days and built lists of 100,000+ loyal customers or those that dominated YouTube in the early days and now have Millions of loyal subscribers.
Podcasts will be the next major wave of content distribution platform – the timing is exactly right.
Here’s What You Need To Succeed With Your Own Podcast
Many of you may be wondering about the specific equipment, microphones, web hosting and podcast hosting platforms required to operationally launch your podcast…I’m going to make that dead-simple for you to start with because frankly that’s not going to matter much to your overall success.
Too many people are spending FAR too much time worrying about the technical aspects of running your own podcast and far too LITTLE time in getting the basics right.
So, here is a brief explanation of what you need to get started…and then I jump right into the 10 factors that matter MOST to the ultimate success of your podcast.
Equipment To Get Your Podcast Started
Web hosting/Podcast Hosting – while you will most likely eventually host your podcast on an actual 3rd party specialty podcast hosting provider, you can get started with a very basic webhosting account for $12-$18/month – here is our recommendation based on years of excellent service and support across all of our web businesses. For your first 50 episodes (at least) you can simply upload an mp3 version of your podcast to your webhost and then allow streaming from a WordPress blog you setup using a free plugin like Powerpress. As you progress and grow your audience,you can then begin to host your podcast episodes either on Amazon S3 or a podcast hosting specialist like Libsyn
Microphone – this is where you can go kind of crazy, but to start with, go with this Blue Yeti USB microphone which will sound professional and give you the most value for your dollar. This microphone plugs right into the USB port on your computer and enables your sound card to begin picking up your voice
Recording & Editing Software – Audacity audio editing software (free!) is more than good enough to get you rolling and handle recording of your podcast, editing (adding tracks for your introduction, royalty free music or clips, combining tracks from multiple podcasters or interviewees, clipping or adding effects to your podcast). Many professional podcasters continue to use Audacity even after they can afford higher-end audio editing software
Skype software will allow you to record interviews (something you will most likely want to do to help boost early interest and attention to your podcast). In addition to Skype you will want software that will record audio from your Skype session so you can then edit it down using Audacity to produce your podcast episode. I recommend using this free Skype to mp3 recorder and have used it for over a year now
That’s it – all you need to get you started with your own podcast.
Now – What You Need To Grow The Success Of Your Podcast
MARKET VALUE: You need figure out what market you will serve, what your personality will be (ideally it is close to the REAL you), and what value you will bring to the marketplace.
FEARLESS ACTION: Don’t let any doubts, concerns or excuses prevent you from getting started , jump in and work through all of the BS you will hit along the way – most people will not have the stomach for this
STARTING BUDGET: Start with the budget you have (ex you may not have $1500 to spend on top notch audio equipment – you can start without it) BUT be in a position where you can re-invest most of the profit in the early days back into your business
HOW WILL YOU MAKE MONEY? Have a plan for what you will sell…what offers will you put in front of your audience and why should they buy from you? This can be a mix of recommended products or services you have experience with and eventually should include your own products
BE UNIQUE: Be different, find a way to stand out from the crowd. Offer value, but innovate around the format
STORIES: Tell stories, learn to write conversationally and share stories that are relevant to your audience. Not only will this capture attention, it will increase the chance of engagement and further endear you to your audience
WORK HARD: Work like a maniac…be consistent, stick with it, be persistent – for the first few months you will be talking to nearly nobody (assuming you start without a list or market presence) – branch out and be a guest on other podcasts, produce a blog, write articles, publish videos – become known so that you attract people back to your podcast
LEARN TO ENTICE ENGAGEMENT: One of the most challenging things to do when you are starting your blog is to get your readers to engage, post comments, subscribe, etc…Engage the audience through q&a, contests, giveaways, and specials that improve your chances of starting engagement
LEVERAGE EXPERTS & AUTHORITIES: Interview experts and authority figures in your market so you can leverage their following and brand – this means you must be/get good at networking
EXTEND OUT TO SOCIAL: Perhaps the most important advice in today’s podcast environment is to make sure you are tapping into your audience where they are spending the most time – that may mean Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pintrest or increasingly on video live streaming platforms such as Facebook Live or Periscope. You want to work at capturing their attention in their own realm and bringing them back to your podcast as well as working your podcast listeners to extend their experience with you out to your social platforms. One great example is building a Facebook group around your podcast followers and using that to enhance the overall experience of your podcasts
We sit at a very interesting point in history where podcasts are just beginning to hit mainstream, now is the time when you want to build your audience and get your podcast rolling.
Not only will this provide a very strong way to reach and engage with your market, it gives you a platform, credibility and branding capability that is essential for anyone building an on-line brand, business or profit center.
Are you ready to start your own podcast?