Many people see a podcast as a great way to promote a business or passion. But it’s more than just buying a microphone and hitting record if you want to see success with your show. Podcasting is fun, but can get frustrating fast. Starting your show the right way will help put you on the right track for success.
Think of it like a business, even if it’s a fun thing for you and your friends, and you might find yourself podcasting years from now.
And yes – this is before you buy a mic, before you build a website, and before you say your first word on-air.
Start with a Plan
A good “Napkin Business Plan” is a great way to plot your idea. Keep it simple, and put it somewhere you can reference to it.
In this plan, nail down what you want to talk about, and what you don’t want to talk about on the show. That way, you can go back to the plan if a topic is in question.
Talk about how you plan the podcast, how much time you want to spend total (which will be at least 2-3 hours in total). If you have co-hosts, plan what they can do to make this work. Finally, add a backup for each task if someone takes a week off, or has to bow out.
Create Episode 0
This is your promo to the show, so don’t do a show in it. You can create Episode 0 after Episode 1, if the content is not expirable (such as news). You want to have a 1 week period so people can see Episode 0, and you can promote it throughout your channels.
This is also a good time to outline your napkin business plan on this episode to talk about what people will see or hear on your show. Setting expectations to your public is a great way to build a bond with the audience.
Don’t forget to tell them to keep you at task. If you waiver, listen to their complaints, and acknowledge on the show. People who know they are heard will continue to listen.
What’s Your Artwork Like?
Don’t spend too much time on it, but make sure your artwork specifically shows in a graphic what your show is about. If your podcast is about basket weaving, make a graphic that shows you basket weaving. The title should be there, as well.
Gain Interest with Others
Get on Reddit. Get on Facebook groups with your niche. Find other forums and communities. Let people know you’re planning a podcast on the topic. See if they will help you sculpt the show.
Don’t be pushy about it, and engage in other conversations. Try to help when you can. Compliment when you have nothing to add. Offer help to others in any way you can.
Title your Show Properly
This can get tougher as there are lots of podcasts out there, and your original ideal name might have been taken already. But you still need to keep the title straight to the point. A name should point to what you are talking about. For example: a Caddyshack movie podcast might be called “FORE: A Caddyshack Podcast”, or “The Caddyshack Way”.
Titles that might or not work: “Gunga Galoga” or “The Ty Webb Podcast”.
It’s best to say Caddyshack directly somehow in your show. That way, if someone is new to the movie, they can find your content without knowing “nananana”.
In the end, planning your show at least 3-4 weeks out, and taking the time to put together all the parts, will help you keep sane in podcasting. Don’t get me wrong – many shows started on a whim, but the successful ones found themselves catching up.
However you do it, remember that podcasting is a leap of faith. You may never know your audience until you change something, or stop. That is why asking for positive affirmation is important. Good luck with your show!