They’re BA-ACK! No, not those horrible (yet secretly satisfying) ‘80s horror movies, we’re talking about a more recent reemergence of entertainment. Podcasts are claiming the spotlight once more because recent technology has made the format easier to create and download. With tons of new tools at our fingertips, recording and publishing episodes is a cinch.
Plus, everyone and their cat has a smartphone device or a Bluetooth-enabled vehicle that allows easy access to podcasts while on the go. Heck, my own cat just downloaded yet another podcast the other day, called “Smitten with Mittens: How to Woo the Cat Next Door” (Quite frankly, I think it’s because it takes a opposable thumb to flip through Tinder and he doesn’t have the patience for that.).
Here’s the thing, we all know content is king and with this resurgence of the simplified Podcast platform, you can claim your thrown. However, before you jump in, here are a few things you’ll need to know to make it easier, exciting and most importantly… worth your while.
1) Pick your niche. You don’t want to talk about babies one day then how to serve a cocktail in Bermuda the next because you’ll never build an audience (Unless that audience has a nanny and a G5, then you might – but you’re betting against the odds.). Hone your voice: What are you talking about? Why will it serve your audience? Why would you be different? Who are you trying to attract? Pull out a piece of paper right now and answer these questions. If you can’t clearly answer these questions you shouldn’t start a podcast.
2) Take on the technology. Don’t panic! There has been a podcast resurgence for a reason and it’s because “even a caveman can do it.” First, pick a hosting service like Libsyn or Blubrry. These allow you to easily set up and host audio files; listeners can then access them through multiple platforms such as your website, iTunes or elsewhere. If you plan on having guests or interviews, use an inexpensive service like ScheduleOnce for booking. Then sign up for quality recording software like Camtasia, Audacity and Audio Hijack Pro. These will clean up background noise as well as help you edit out those “ums” and “you-knows.”
3) Pick a podcasting plan. Will you be hosting your show once a week? Once a month? Be realistic with your time. Most of us don’t want to listen for more than 20 minutes but make sure that 20 minutes is filled with the “good stuff.” If you feel like you don’t have time to commit to building the content, then chose 15 people you would want as guest. There is nothing wrong with bringing other masters/experts into the fold to help you build your content, your brand and your voice.
4) Leverage for more likes and listeners. Now that you have a podcast, place it on your website, tweet about it, and use a transcript so that it can quickly be converted to a blog. Think you’ve got a great topic? Pitch it to the media. A podcast doesn’t stop at the upload button – think like Disney and put that mouse EVERYWHERE – just change up his pants from time to time.
5) Commit or bust. Really commit to a whole year of doing this; not three months. Like anything worth building in life, it takes time. It takes time to hone your true voice, time to gain more listeners, time to create content, etc. If so far this article has got you exclaiming, “Yes! I am ready to be a podcast pioneer, and a darn good one at that,” then commit to it!
The best part is, you can be a radio rock star even if you don’t have a great singing voice. I’ve been told that my singing voice sounds like a cat being skinned by a lawn mower, however, my “giving great business advice” voice sounds like an angel… now I just need to record some of these heavenly tips and start building an audience myself!
If you aren’t sure about the commitment to time, the niche you want to fill, or if you have no clue what a podcast is, stop what you are doing and call me now. Let’s get this all figured out and get your business going!
Coach Jenn Lee is a small biz strategist, marketing consultant and rockin’ high energy motivational speaker, and the founder of The Work Creative. Obsessed with small business owners and corporations who “get it” Jenn leverages her 25 years corporate sales and marketing experience to speak to small business owners, sales teams and companies across the nation. Her spot-on advice has made her a regular contributor on Orlando’s FOX News, and FOX Business Network, and is often featured in entrepreneurial podcasts and quoted in national magazines . Follow along at @coachjennlee