The question isn’t, “How should I start a podcast?” It’s ”Why do I want to start a podcast?”
Over the holidays, I spoke with a friend who was excited about launching a podcast in the new year. He had reached out because of my knowledge of the medium from over thirteen years of producing and listening to podcasts.
Rather than jumping into software, hardware, and marketing recommendations, I asked him why he wanted to start a podcast. He explained that he wanted to use it to promote his clients by interviewing them. I asked him what excited him about podcasting and he admitted, nothing much. He wanted to create a podcast because so many others were. It seemed like the right thing to do.
Podcasting is popular these days, 26% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly. He thought it would be a great way to build his brand and promote his clients. I asked him if his customers listen to podcasts, he wasn’t sure.
A podcast is a labor of love (or you have a team)
A podcast is much more work than many people realize. There are two ways to handle this. The first is to commit yourself to many hours of work. Here is a breakdown of what you will be spending your time on for an interview-type show.
Purchase necessary equipment like a good microphone, headset, and software.
Develop the marketing plan for the show. Commit to a publishing frequency like one new episode every Monday.
Create or outsource theme music.
Create or outsource album art.
Submit the podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, and new editions like Audible, Pandora, and Spotify.
Outreach to your potential guests. Plan for back-and-forth emails to schedule time for each interview.
Guest research and show preparation like writing questions.
Conduct the actual interviews.
Edit interviews and produce each episode.
Upload episode file to hosting service.
Create a corresponding blog post with show notes for each episode.
Promote each new episode and blog post across social media channels and to email newsletter.
Create social media channels and email newsletter if you don’t already have these.
Consider purchasing ads online to get more listeners.
Beg your listeners for iTunes reviews.
It’s going to cost you time and money
The second option is to outsource the work. This can cost hundreds of dollars per episode. I asked my friend about the budget he was willing to allocate to his podcast. Either way, it would cost him time and money.
My friend’s idea was to create a podcast to feature interviews with his clients. I asked how his guests would perform in the interviews? Would they be entertaining, inspiring, or helpful to his listeners? He doubted it. He confessed that some might actually sound terrible.
How would he expect to gain listeners of his podcast if the content wasn’t enjoyable to the listener? In fact, it might actually do a disservice to his clients if they come across inarticulate or standoffish. Plus, if he only gains a few listeners, how will this serve his clients?
I could sense his nodding head over the phone. My honest feedback might have come across a little blunt, but I know I was saving him time and money - that’s what friends are for.
How about this instead?
I proposed a different idea to reach the same results he strived for: feature his clients and build his brand. Interview his guests via email and feature those interviews on his blog. This would take little time because his clients would provide the bulk of the content by answering his questions. In addition, his clients would likely share their interview with their friends, fans, and followers. This would strengthen his brand and introduce his business to new prospects. Win-win.
Are you thinking about starting a podcast this year? Start by asking yourself why. Consider the work it will take and whether there is an easier way to achieve the same results. If you decide a podcast is the right decision, I wish you the best of luck with your show. Send me the link, I would love to check out your podcast.
I am passionate about podcasting, I’ve been doing it on and off since 2005. I am also passionate about helping my clients and friends make the right decisions. By all means, start a podcast, but begin by asking. Why?