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Starting a Podcast Mini-Course
In episode 39 of the Podcast, I discussed the need to have a platform for your voice and why the option of having a Podcast was critical for the life and growth of your business.
And in this article, I’ll be going over the steps on how I started this podcast and try to provide enough content for you so that you’ll at least feel more comfortable starting your own, or talking to someone on how to get your own up and running.
Before you do anything, you’ll want to do your own research on the topic you want to cover and if the data shows that it’ll be something that people will listen to. I’m not going to recommend just a general Google search because it’s just too much general information to decipher. You’ll need more specific results to be able to come to a better conclusion.
• Is your topic very popular with books being sold on Amazon? If yes, that’s a good thing. It shows it’s a popular topic
• When you do a YouTube search on your topic, is it popular there as well? Again, we’re looking for a lot of people that are showing interest.
• Google Trends- Now when using Google Trends, we want the results for your searched topic to be somewhere in the middle. We don’t want to see huge results and we don’t want to see too little results as well. If the traffic is huge relating to your topic, it means that you, as a small business owner will be competing with the big corporate world and if the results are too low, then the interest just isn’t there.
This is a search that was done when I was doing research on starting a podcast to see the level of interest.
Using the results for Google Trends you can find your target audience easier. Searching for age groups and also gender may help to narrow things down for you a little better.
• My target audience are those that want to start a business
o What kind of business?
I specialize in the personal brand space
• Everyone? No. I believe I can be most effective with those 40+ years old the best. Why? Because I’m of that age group and know what the business startup realm used to be like and know what it’s like now. I can help them shed the older, more familiar methods that we’re all familiar with 20 or 30 years ago and show them what’s working now by explaining, in non geek-speak, simple steps that they can take to have a successful business.
o My ideal client would be someone that has decided to make a life pivot in their later years and has had a dream of starting a small business for awhile but doesn’t know how and when to start. I’ll help them through the process and get them started.
• Are you deeply passionate about the topic? Do you think about it and filter the things you read and learn through the lens of your main topic?
• Could you easily come up with a lot of content? When you start writing about your main topic do the thoughts just flow?
• Do you have a deep understanding, or at least a decent understanding of the topic? People will want to know that you know what you’re talking about.
• As I said in episode 3 of the podcast, ‘What is your why?’ What’s your motivation?
• Are you looking to be in the spotlight?
• Are you trying to prove a point?
• Will the podcast be feeding your ego?
• Are you expecting to sell a lot of stuff through your episodes?
• Are you expecting to make a lot of money from advertising and affiliations?
• Or… will the podcast exist to serve your target audience?
4. What soundtrack do you listen to in your head?
• We humans have a tendency to gravitate toward the negative and think a lot of thoughts about how something, anything, (like starting a podcast) either just won’t work or be worth the effort. Will you be talking yourself out of success after 10 or 20 or 30 episodes if you’re not getting the downloads you expected?
• Are you more of a positive type person or do you lean toward the negative? It will come through in your personality and content whether you like it or not.
• People listen to podcasts for three main reasons:
• Can you fulfill one, two or all three of these?
How I Started My Podcast
Decisions I Had to Make
1. Niche Market
My niche market is the later in life person (40+) who is either thinking about making a pivot to self employment, or had decided to, but hasn’t taken action yet.
• The primary intent of the logo I selected was to be a little generic to target a new entrepreneur while showing that they’re on a journey.
• I wanted modern, positive looking colors but not too bright or flashy.
• The secondary intent was to be positive and encouraging.
I needed a simple way to host the podcast and get it distributed and with the advice of a professional audio engineer that is sympathetic to smaller budgets, I chose to go with RedCircle hosting. They have a free hosting option with analytics and also provides a way to have it distributed to other platforms automatically.
When the downloads per episode reach a certain volume, they offer ways to get your show monetized.
There’s also an easy way for you to add in a midroll audio clip if you’re promoting a product or service and want to give people a little break from a longer episode.
RedCircle podcast hosting has a way to automatically distribute the episodes to several, major podcast providers once you set up your account with them.
I searched www.premiumbeat.com for positive sounding tracks that I thought were gender neutral because I want both men and women to listen. Each professionally produced track is about $50 for the rights to use the track on that specific show, only. They provide different track lengths if you don’t want to slice it up yourself, or about a 2 minute version in different formats for you to use as you wish. But again, you’re agreeing to use it for that show only.
They let you download any sound track for free so you can test it out in advance but it has their ‘Premium Beat . com’ voice over every 15 seconds which gets taken off once you purchase that particular sound track.
I played around with a number of them and had to decide on which one to use. I asked some friends and family what they thought and picked the one that had the most votes.
I use a portion of the whole sound track for different things. Intro, midroll, outro. That way it doesn’t get monotonous.
I choose content that always has a niche specific theme in mind as well as speaking to the target audience I’m trying to attract. It helps to keep that in the forefront of your content creation so that content doesn’t get derailed and the whole podcast doesn’t drift away from the original intent and end up going in a totally different direction.
I keep an ongoing list of potential podcast episode topics so that I never run out of ideas. I do some research in advance and then work on the content with bullet points at first and then build on the content of the bullet points into about 5-8 pages of content. All of the content is written in the way that I speak to make it more personal. Yes, I’m reading the text for the episode, but I try to make it so that it doesn’t come across as boring or bland.
From there I make the final edits on what to leave in or take out.
I’ve been using LinkedIn as the main platform to get my guests. I have a link to the podcast in my LI profile for contact information so it makes it easier for people to get a taste of what it’s like.
I strongly recommend using a quality microphone but you don’t need to start out with something too expensive. You want to use a mic that will have you sounding very well, but you also want to make sure that you keep expenses down at first until you’re sure that you’ll continue creating podcast episodes. Pouring a lot of money into something that may fade or end in the near future is just throwing money out the window in my opinion.
I use a low end professional grade microphone by Audio Technica ATR 2100x with a boom arm that cost about $150 for the whole kit. You can just get the mic if you want, but I find that having the boom arm to pull right in front of my face helps me to keep better posture and can stand up and talk as well.
This USB mic plugs right into my Windows 10 laptop and there were no issues for Windows to recognize it and have it working.
If you wanted to bump up the mic quality a little bit, go for the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+. It’s about $150 on Amazon.
I typed up a couple of different intros to use so that it doesn’t get boring for the listeners. I alternate these intros as well from time to time.
Part of trying to get engagement with the audience is including a CTA. I ask people to subscribe or go to my website.
This is something that’s added into a longer podcast episode to deliberately give the audience a short audio and mental break.
I add a midroll for when an episode has a guest and the time goes beyond 20 minutes. I promote something different, like a specific E-book they can download or just something I’m promoting in general.
As with the alternating intros, I alternate the outro message as well. I always like to end in a positive note and usually end with ‘Stay encouraged, follow your dream and don’t give up.’
My CTA is for them to go to my Resources page for free downloads and information that will help them through the startup process, or to go the Power Tools page for E-books that I created on specific topics.
12. Recording Audio
I started out just recording through Audacity in my office, but I found that using Zoom was a lot better for audio quality, but also there’s an advanced setting that splits the sound tracks between you and your guest (if you have one) which makes the audio editing a lot easier.
13. Audio Editing
Since I have an IT background, audio editing comes a little easier for me. I use the free program called Audacity and find that it meets my needs just fine. I got a few tips from my nephew, who’s a professional audio engineer in upstate NY but you can go to YouTube to get your own Audacity tips.
14. Show Notes
I use the master document for the episode to edit down what the show notes should be. Some podcasters choose to have the entire episode transcript available and hire someone on a Freelance website and pay them to provide the transcript. I, personally don’t choose to do that.
Currently, I have a page on my website that has access to all the other podcast distribution points as well as all of the episodes they can listen to. I have a very scaled down version of the show notes on this page as well. www.tomclairmont.com/podcast
If you’re using WordPress, you can add plugins specific for podcasts that will enhance your website experience for the visitor as well as help you with the distribution of it as well.
I created a Media Kit document for guests to have all that they would need in order for them to promote the show on their end:
• Episode Link
• Host Bio/Pics/Logo
• Links to Images of Host
• Links to Podcast Logo
• Podcast Creation Date
• Distribution Links
I also promote it on social media as well, but I’m aware that people get tuned out of being interested if I promote the show too much.
17. Time Commitment
After doing this for almost a year, I can say that on average, each episode takes about 4-5 hours to do:
• Type up
• Provide show notes
It took longer at first, but things get faster over time and you work out your own tweaks that helps you to streamline the process.
Is all this a lot of work? Yes. Does is take up a significant amount of time? You bet. But I still believe that the benefits outweigh the time commitment pitfalls.
I’m building an international voice. And so can you.
For more tips and tools to help you on your small business journey, just go to the Resources page. There, you’ll find some FREE, helpful downloads that will help give you clarity and a strategy as you plan your new small business launch.
If you’d like some help in determining your path to self employment, I’d be glad to assist. Send a little information through the quick contact form at the Contact page.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
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