If you have recently started or are thinking about starting a podcast, it can be challenging to know how to promote it and engage more listeners. Typically whenever you dive into something new, there are some learning curves along the way. It can be scary, too, but if you are prepared and have all of the information you need to begin, there should be nothing to stop you from moving forward with it. Just don’t expect to get it right the first time – it takes some practice.
You probably have a great idea of how to impart your knowledge and expertise on a specific topic. Podcasts are one of the best ways to do this so that you can bring together a community of people who share your interests and value your insight.
There are many variables to consider besides your podcast’s focus, such as building out content in advance, making sure you have good equipment for recording, and how to market it. Beginning a podcast takes time, and if you want yours to make an impact, you should keep the following things in mind as you publish and promote it.
QUALITY OF CONTENT
It doesn’t matter what you market to your listeners – if it’s not a good, quality product or service, it is a complete waste of time. So, even before jumping into equipment or marketing, you need first to access your product/service:
- Creating value: you want your listeners to walk away having gotten something from each episode, whether it is learning new information, upgrading or enhancing a skill, or answering a question that many people want to know. Your listeners should be satisfied.
- Attention-Grabbing: Even if you do have something of value, if you can’t capture the audience’s attention right away, it will fall flat. You need to make sure you are not only grabbing but sustaining your listener’s attention. To do this, you should be mindful of how the podcast’s personality will come across.
- New and Different: You need to be doing something uniquely different while enticing. Being unique doesn’t mean straying from your original topic too much; you will have to do some niche research and find out what topics within your focus aren’t covered yet or focus your topic on each episode that will create value.
SETUP AND EQUIPMENT
If you plan on doing your podcast in your home, even though you will need some equipment, it is a pretty small list. There isn’t a ton of gear that you are going to need to make your podcast sound good, but there are some things you should invest in:
- Microphone: A decent quality mic is essential for good audio sound. People won’t want to listen to a podcast with unclear or lousy audio. It doesn’t have to be an expensive microphone but do some research to determine what microphones work well for podcasting.
- Recording Platform/Software: There are many options you can use for this, but a great free tool to use in audio editing is the program Audacity to help make your podcast sound more professional. You can pace your episodes and speaking, take out all of the extra lags (“ums,” “uhs,” breathing sounds, etc.), and clean it up nicely.
- Adjust Voice Settings: You have to record yourself and hear how loud it is. Ensure your volume settings are not too high or too low. You want the sound to be at a decent level for listeners.
WRITE IT DOWN!
It would help if you created outlines for your episodes. Being organized is half the battle in podcasting – you need to construct your stories as you would just like a writing assignment. They should have a beginning(intro), middle, and end for every episode so that it all fits in a nice, neat package.
If you plan to have guests on your show and/or do interviews, you must meet with your guest attending before doing any of the recordings so that you can map out the episode. You might even want to get a short bio of the guest so you can use it within your introduction. Most podcasts make it sound very conversational and on-the-fly, but be rest assured, the professionals have planned and organized where the conversation is going and when it will end far ahead of time.
You should also utilize a central platform for managing links to stay organized with your podcast. It will help you store information for reference. You can also use the links within your show notes so that your listeners have a place to go when they want more information about a particular episode or guest on your podcast.
One thing that new podcasters tend to do is say that they will get to their next episode “when I can find the time…” This is not a great way to keep a regular podcast. You need to schedule content ahead of time and schedule when to launch and publish.
It would be best if you stayed consistent with publishing new content. You can schedule one new episode per week, or month, or maybe just every two weeks if you’d like. Whatever you decide, you should pick your dates and STICK WITH IT. It can take quite a few months when you are just starting on your podcast for it to gain a substantial following.
You can also re-purpose content when you know you’re going to be super busy or maybe on vacation. You can create extra content through your podcast by creating videos alongside (or even with podcast recordings) and uploading them to YouTube.
Now, to promote your podcast well, you have to market and network. Leverage any social media platforms by creating some hype around your upcoming podcast launch or new episodes by posting about them. Feature your guests in your posts as well.
Another great way to market yourself is by building an email list. Email lists are particularly significant because you own your emails rather than connection through social media. You should adapt your podcast as part of your brand, so whatever product or service you provide ties to that brand directly. Creating an email list could go hand-in-hand with creating a website, an app, or a blog. These give you ways in which to become discoverable.
Networking is essential, and you need to build new relationships while you work. You could also attend podcast events to introduce yourself. Visibility is vital – connecting and collaborating with fellow podcasters is a fantastic way to help establish a good working relationship and help each other out. You could feature a podcaster in an episode and vice versa, helping to grow your audience.
Besides continuously marketing yourself and being visible to grow your podcast, you should also track your metrics. Review your statistics often once your podcast is up and running to identify the episodes where you attract more listeners and focus on creating more of that type of content.
Starting, promoting, and growing a podcast takes time and a lot of practice. Start with doing just one task at a time and build yourself up to publishing your content. Once you get in a groove, you will find it easier to create and develop new episodes for your listening audience.