How to Start a Podcast to Build Authentic Connections and Attract Loyal Fans
A podcast is one of the most powerful and valuable ways to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
At its core, a podcast is an audio recording where you get to talk about anything you want (think of it as your very own radio show!).
The best part? You hardly need any experience or technical know-how to start one yourself.
Business podcasts have become a favorite marketing tool over the past few years. One of the biggest reasons for this surge in popularity is that biz podcasts have been proven to reach far more people compared to stand-alone blog and social media posts.
If you're looking to expand your reach and get your message out to create more impact, then a podcast is something you should definitely consider.
So how do you get started with recording your first podcast? I'm so glad you asked because that's what we're going to be talking about today :)
Easy, breezy tech tips...
The first thing you need to do is to get a little “techy” with it. Don't worry if tech isn't your favorite thing in the world. This isn't going to be complex or expensive.
You just need a few essentials to get started:
- Microphone: A desktop microphone is a great way to record your podcast because it is clear and available at an affordable price. If you're looking to save some extra cash, opt for a USB microphone. This is easy enough to plug into any computer, and the audio can be recorded straight onto your hard drive
- Portable recorder: If you want to take your podcast to the next level, a portable recorder is a good choice. Portable recorders capture audio AND allow you to easily control basic sound levels while you are recording, so you end up with a great, crystal clear audio file.
- Audio software: This is software you can use to edit your podcast before uploading it onto your website or anywhere online. There are many different audio editing software out there. I highly recommend trying something that doesn't cost a lot, especially if you're just starting out. Research online and you'll find fantastic (and free) open source programs such as Audacity, which provide everything you need to edit your podcast without the hefty price tag
Hosting your own podcast series is a lot of fun, but it does require a high level of commitment – especially if you plan on interviewing interesting personalities. If you want to make the most out of podcasting as a content medium, you need to commit to producing episodes on a regular basis.
One way to do this is to sit down at the same time every week to record your podcast, edit, and upload it. Or, if you love working in advance and staying organized, think about pre-recording an entire series of episodes that can be released every week.
Make sure your listeners are aware of your podcast schedule. You should also be picky about the overall quality of your podcasts because no one's going to listen if all they can hear is Rover barking in the background or your neighbor's kid screaming at the top of her lungs. Background noise can make it impossible for your listeners to hear what you're saying which will lead to a huge dive in fans and followers!
The right hook
When you're starting a podcast, one of the most important things to do is to pick the right theme or set of topics. Make sure all your podcast topics are on things that you enjoy talking about. This way, your energy, and enthusiasm will shine through.
Find themes and topics that represent you and what you stand for. Then provide a fresh new way to tackle each subject and don't hold back on your opinions – this will make your podcast stand out, and you'll easily attract loyal listeners who enjoy your views.
The theme for my podcast - It Girl Radio - is centered around high-achieving, passionate, smart women who are just starting out with their business and have an amazing story to tell. We talk about how they got their business off the ground. Sometimes we discuss how they quit their full-time job and started living their dream as an independent business owner. My listeners love these topics!
When you have a fascinating central theme or “hook” it draws your listeners in and gives them a powerful incentive to stick around for the entire episode.
One of the best parts of having your own podcast is the fact that it's so easily accessible! Rather than reading a blog post, which, let’s face it, can get tiresome and distracting, podcasts require little to no effort to hold someone's attention. Plus, your listener can do almost anything at the same time - this is something that doesn’t necessarily apply to blog posts. Your listeners could be driving, relaxing on the couch, or even traveling in transit.
Listening to a podcast is also convenient as it's a hands-free activity and it provides companionship at the same time. Matthew McLean from The Podcast Host raised a good point about this: “Podcast listeners want to have someone with them when they’re traveling somewhere, working out, or doing a menial task.” Since people are so overloaded with information these days, podcasts are a quick and easy way to gain information with almost zero effort.
Your podcast isn't just for fun. It's an important marketing tool. Podcasting is a personal way to share information, and you will often find a higher level of engagement and comments from your audience.
To increase the level of value that you provide, don't be afraid to mix things up. I highly recommend featuring guests, such as coaches or other experts, in your podcast episodes. Have them talk about their story and share their insights with your audience. When you do this, everyone wins! Not only will you expose your guests to a new audience but you will be able to gain exposure with theirs.
Channel your style
One of the final steps in creating and sustaining a successful podcast is to figure out a great, catchy name. John Lee Dumas host of the incredibly popular Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, suggests that you pick a name that instantly conveys what your podcast is about.
You should also take the time to choose cover art that is appealing, and that represents who you are. Since this is the first thing people will see when they stumble upon your podcast, it is important that the cover image channels your personal style. An image of yourself would be perfect, but if you’re not ready for that, a logo or your name works well too.
Whatever you do, make sure you have lots of fun putting your podcast together! It might feel a little awkward when you first talk into a microphone in a room all by yourself, but just like with many other new experiences, you'll get really good at it when you stick to it. And chances are high that you'll fall in love with it too!
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