What advice do you have for founders who want to start a podcast and don’t know where to start?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Be a Guest First
Before you begin your own, become a guest on at least three other podcasts. See if you love the format, look at how they’re run, ask for feedback on your speaking and listen carefully. It’s easy to get caught up in the technical details. Before you invest a lot of time, find out if you love podcasting by practicing on other audiences.
2. Do Your Homework
Start by listening to the podcasts that are already out there to make sure yours will be unique. Then, look at the topics covered by the most popular podcasts to make sure you’re creating content that will have an audience.
3. Define Your Goals
Before embarking on the creation of a podcast, understand where the initiative fits into your marketing or PR strategy. It’s easy to get an idea for a podcast series, but without a careful delineation of the KPIs for the podcast effort, the project could be a waste of your time and focus. With clear goals for the podcast, it will also be easier to craft your content calendar and distribution plan.
4. Produce Insightful Content
Providing useful, insightful content is key to the overall success of your podcast. You should use high-quality recording software as well, such as Audacity. Once your podcast is up on your website, be sure to market it on your social media profiles. Also, you’re sure to have a larger audience if you keep your podcasts free.
5. Buy a Good Microphone
Nobody wants to listen to anything that sounds fuzzy and unprofessional. If you’re considering launching a podcast, treat it as if it were a public broadcast radio show and do it right. It’s often worthwhile to splurge a bit and buy a high-quality microphone that will last you a while. Even the high-end mics are relatively inexpensive for the value that you get from them in the long run.
6. Just Start
It’s easy to obsess over the details, but the best way to become a good podcaster is to just do it more. Worry about your lead-ins, equipment and marketing later. Just start. Many of the best podcasts had very humble beginnings. Good content is what will win over the audience.
7. Partner With an Experienced Podcaster
Starting a new podcast can require the same level of work as starting a new business, particularly if you’re facing a steep learning curve. You’re almost certainly going to want someone else on your podcast — talking to yourself isn’t all that fun — so pick a partner who already has built a podcast and knows where to start. Depending on the terms, your partner may even handle most of the work.
8. Build Your References
Listen to different types of podcasts and break down an episode from start to finish, including content and running times. See what’s consistent and what you respond to; create a template of what your show will include. I recommend recording a mock version of your show to get familiar with the technology and work out any “stage fright.” Then, share it with close friends to get pre-launch feedback.
9. Brainstorm a List of People to Interview
I started a podcast called “The Creative Career” in 2006 while I was still in college, as a project to interview creative professionals. Selfishly, I just wanted to connect to people who might be able to help me get a job, but I learned that people loved to share their own interviews, and the podcast grew to an audience of more than 100,000. Interviews are the best way to publicize a new podcast.
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