An expanded version of this post is available as an eBook download! Get it here!
Thinking to start a business podcast?
You’re not wrong.
Podcasting is one of the most powerful forms of business communication, branding, messaging, influencing, lead generation, demonstration of expertise, and content marketing.
Who says that? I do.
Because working with business clients of all stripes for over 6 years has convinced me that I got into the right business when I decided to offer podcasting services.
That’s because I’ve seen business folks large and small, in all kinds of industries and niches find a successful way forward by starting a podcast for their business.
Here’s a sampling of the wide variety of clients and industries we work with/in (or have worked with/in)…
- Retirement planners
- Fine artists
- Health coaches
- Interior decorators
- Plant killers turned Plant Lovers
- Negotiation Coaches & Consultants
- Side Hustlers (or in Nick’s case, THE side hustler)
- Manufacturing Leaders
- Sales Consultants and Trainers
- Dental Compliance Specialists
- Agency Owners & Consultants
- Automotive Repair Specialists
- Content Marketing Services
- Accounting Placement Services
- Non-Profit Fund Raising Consultants
- Tech Recruiters
- and anyone else who had the vision to see what a podcast could offer them.
On my end, it wasn’t luck. It was a God-thing… ask me, if you’re curious.
How do these clients use their podcasts to drive their businesses forward? Lots of ways… which we’ll get into in this post.
But for now, I’ll just say that podcasting is a smart business move, on SO MANY LEVELS!
To drive leads — bring in revenue — establish credibility and authority — accelerate client success — but I’m getting ahead of myself…
The question THIS post is about is… How do you start a business podcast?
Let’s get to it!
STEP #1: Determine WHAT your business podcast will do for you!
Podcasts are one of the most effective Content Marketing tools that exist and as such, your business has lots of choices to make before you get started with your show.
But one of the most important is answering the question… WHAT ROI will a business podcast generated for you?
You’ve heard the phrase, “If you aim at nothing, you’re sure to hit it.” — this step is ensuring that you KNOW what you are aiming at so that you can strategically hit it.
So, will your business podcast be used for…
- Content Marketing?
Think about the power of speaking directly to the minds of your ideal audience episode after episode, week after week. That’s what you’re doing with a business podcast.
And why do I think your podcast’s listeners will be your IDEAL AUDIENCE?
Because they will have SELF-SELECTED your show… out of all the shows and other forms of entertainment and media out there.
That means there’s something you’re talking about that THEY need, want, or are intrigued by.
Sounds like an ideal audience to me!
So back to the question… is your business podcast going to be used for Content Marketing?
(My opinion: this is the very LEAST it should do as part of your business outreach and positioning)
- Lead Acquisition?
Yes, you CAN use a podcast as a lead generation machine. And it can be one of the BEST ones in your arsenal.
When thinking through your episode structure, consider ways you can invite listeners to connect with you.
But not just for any old reason.
You have to offer them something of value that makes them WANT to connect with you. There are LOTS of options…
- Offer them a free Q & A session with nothing held back
- Provide value-based lead magnets as opt-ins
- Give them “Insider” tips and insights
- Provide limited assessments, coaching, or consulting
And many more options… that you make available ONLY to those who contact you via the podcast (or a specific opt-in form used ONLY for that purpose.)
And AS you do this, set it all up in your sales funnel with opt-in forms for each one, so you can segment and track the leads your business podcast produces.
Your superiors are going to want to know how effective this “podcast thing” is, right?
Be sure you set yourself up to show them your podcasting success as it happens.
- Customer Success?
Many business podcasters use their show as an educational resource for existing clients. It’s an ideal way to create a consistent touch-point with customers that demonstrates your expertise and value to them.
If you approach your show with that in mind, you’ll discover all kinds of ways you can equip your customers for greater success using your tools and services.
Think through the things your very best customers typically buy from you. Then, walk through the most common pain points a new customer experiences when learning to use your product or services.
Each pain point you uncover is an ideal topic for a short, equipping-oriented podcast episode.
And if you set up your podcast in a “private” feed, you can add each new client to the podcast audience AS they onboard with your company — which allows you to send them your educational content FROM THE BEGINNING and IN THE ORDER YOU DESIRE.
It’s a win-win way for you to use your business podcast.
By the way… here is our favorite “private feed” podcast service. (affiliate link)
- Sales Enablement?
Equipping your sales team with the resources that perfectly map to customer buying journeys is vital these days.
Because most customers have already thoroughly researched your company AND your competition before they ever make contact with you. That means you’ve GOT to have relevant, helpful, decision-enabling content that relates to their biggest questions and sticking points.
Can a podcast be used in THAT way?
YES! YES, IT CAN!
Imagine every episode you produce becoming a tool that your sales team can use to unobtrusively and effectively answer the questions and objections your prospects have.
Imagine them learning on their own about your company, processes, and results — using content YOUR SALES TEAM hand-picked for them based on the questions they’ve already asked and the objections they’ve already made.
And those podcast episodes can take on a variety of forms… case studies, customer success stories, technical walk-throughs, how-to tutorials, competition comparisons, princing comparisons, you name it!
- As a Marketing shortcut
Nobody but me calls the following approach a “marketing shortcut,” but that’s EXACTLY what it is.
Here is how you do it…
1) Create an interview-style show
2) Ensure your host is an affable, excellent interviewer
3) Target and carefully choose ideal prospects as your interviewees
4) Enjoy an amazing connection and conversation as you record the podcast interview
Do all of this and you ARE short-cutting the marketing process. Why?
Because a relaxed conversation about mutually meaningful areas of interest is one of the BEST ways to build a trust relationship with another person.
It’s OUT OF that relationship that you’re able to ask questions (oftentimes based on what the person shared during your recorded conversation) that lead to a sales conversation.
Only it doesn’t often FEEL like a sales conversation, because they ALREADY feel like they know, like, and trust you.
This is a brilliant strategy that really works!
Here is an episode of OUR podcast (Podcastification) where one of our clients (Casey Stubbs) explains how incredibly well this process has worked for him.
One of the real BEAUTIES of podcasting is that over time, you can change your goals and approach. But to get started, narrow in on ONE objective and get started with your business podcast!
STEP #2: Determine WHO your IDEAL listener is, in light of that previous decision.
I’ve already given you a LOT of options for determining the answer to this question. But still, it warrants serious thought in its own right.
Knowing your audience (ideal listener) BEFORE you actually start your business podcast will enable you to customize the structure, format, release schedule, messaging, promotion… EVERYTHING… so that it perfectly suits your listeners.
It’s like marketing… you need to know the target you’re trying to hit before you try to hit it. So… WHO will your ideal listener be?
If you’re looking for ways to keep your customers happy with your products or services, an ultra-helpful podcast that demonstrates how they can succeed with your product or service is the way to go!
Don’t forget that continual touches with you and your business ethos are what build fans and eventually, superfans who refer others. Take some time to ponder how a podcast could serve to build that kind of customer base.
If your product, service, or expertise is something that prospects need to be educated about, what better way to give them that education than through a podcast?
Relevant, helpful, unbiased, and honest advice goes a long way to building trust with your brand. Give it all away so your listeners (prospects) see the generous spirit behind your offerings and WANT to work with you as a result.
And if you do a good job communicating your distinctives and company ethos, you’ll attract those who resonate with your message.
- Industry Influencers?
Rand Fishkin, formerly of Moz and now of SparkToro recently posted this golden nugget of wisdom on LinkedIn…
“What’s the best marketing channel?” IT’S SOURCES OF INFLUENCE YOUR AUDIENCE ALREADY PAYS ATTENTION TO.
Can you think of a better way to get onto the radar of the people who influence your ideal audience than inviting them to have a meaningful conversation as a guest on your podcast?
Business interview-style podcasts are ideal for making those types of connections. And if you are an engaging host, you’ll be surprised how helpful some of those “big name” influential guests might be.
Then, when it comes to promoting that episode, you get to feature a person your audience already expects and is eager to hear from.
You’re the hero, serving your audience in a relevant way that matters to them!
(An expanded version of this post is available as an eBook download! Get it here!)
STEP #3: Plan an episode “style” that appeals to your audience (from step #2) and fuels your goals (from step #1).
This one is NOT easy to nail down… but nail it down, you must!
And you do it with a combination of the first two steps we’ve covered.
Knowing WHAT type of show your target audience ENJOYS listening to is essential, because when you can nail that style… you overcome the allure of every other form of media and entertainment out there.
You don’t have to worry about your target audience being too distracted by Netflix or Amazon or YouTube… you’ve got EXACTLY what your target audience wants, needs, and enjoys.
But that will ONLY happen if you take the time to figure it out.
Don’t default to interviews just because everyone else is doing them (that could actually be a great reason NOT to do an interview-based show).
And don’t do a full-on narrative production in all your NPR-wanna-be-ness just because you think it would be cool or snazzy.
Take the time and do the work required to FIND OUT what your audience wants and enjoys and finds helpful.
THEN, design your show structure and episode format with that in mind.
What will you do?
- Quick tips?
- Daily Motivation?
- Q & A?
- Success stories or case studies?
- Narrative storytelling?
- A combination of these?
Whatever style you choose, stick with it long enough to get some real and varied feedback from your audience. This is ONE place those Apple Podcast reviews are helpful. If your audience isn’t liking what you’re doing… you need to tweak things.
AND… no matter what podcast episode format you choose for your new business podcast, be sure you include a clear, easy to accomplish, CALL TO ACTION in every episode.
Think about it.
If you’re expecting your podcast to drive sales, fill the pipeline, build influence, gain clients, build authority, etc. — you MUST provide a way for those clients-to-be to contact you, engage with you, or learn more from you.
THAT is what a call to action is… so figure out the BEST thing for YOUR audience and work it into your lead-capture or communication system.
And make sure your CTA directly fuels your goal from step #1.
Every podcast ALSO needs a handful of accessory resources, both audio and visual in nature.
Here are the details you need to source them (and a great idea of what cover art can look like, to the right):
- Dimensions: Minimum 1400px X 1400 px // Maximum 3000px X 3000px
- Size: Less than 500 kb
- Color: Created in the RGB color space
If you don’t know what all those things mean, your graphic design team does. Pass it off to them.
When creating EFFECTIVE Cover Art, here are some things to keep in mind…
- It’s going to be TINY on most devices so make sure it’s easily readable at a tiny thumbnail size
- Because it’s TINY, you don’t want too much text on the image
- Use imagery that POPS (to catch people’s attention)
- Create an image that STANDS OUT in your niche or industry… here’s an exercise to help you do that…
- Stroll on over to Google Podcasts
- In the search box, insert the main keyword or topic for your industry (this should pull up related podcasts)
- Scroll through the results and notice…
- Which ones catch YOUR attention?
- What are the common colors you see?
- Are there any you think are NOT attractive?
Take your cue from what you see in Google Podcasts. I suggest you use colors that are NOT common in your industry, to stand out.
And obviously, you should NOT follow the lead of those that you felt were not particularly interesting or eye-catching.
If you want to use music in your new podcast — and I feel that most podcasts DO benefit from the effective use of music — then you need to do it legally.
That means you can’t use your favorite popular artist’s latest hit as your “theme music.” Unless you WANT to be sued (which I don’t recommend).
So where do you find music?
Here are a handful of sites where you can pay a one-time use fee and get some quality music.
Keep in mind that if you select music from one of these sites, you do NOT get exclusive rights to the tune.
That means you just might (probably will) hear the music on other podcasts also.
CUSTOM MUSIC OPTIONS
You can also have a composer create custom music for you. My team has composers available who often create unique music for our client’s shows.
If you’d like to take this route, please contact us and let us know, and we’ll walk you through the process. It usually costs right around $250, one-time.
This is a fancy term for the “radio announcer” guy or gal you hear on many podcasts and radio shows.
If you want to use professional voice talent for your show, it DOES lend to the professionalism and polish of your episodes.
A simple Google of “Professional Voice Over Artist” will get you oodles of results.
Or if you’d like to shortcut it and work with some of our pros, we have a handful available on our website, as well as others we can tap for your work.
Once you have all those resources in hand and ready to go, you’re ready for the next step, so read on my soon-to-be-podcaster friend!
(An expanded version of this post is available as an eBook download! Get it here!)
STEP #4: Select equipment and recording platforms that fit your goals.
This is fairly simple, but important to get right… because “garbage in, garbage out.“
There are some pretty inexpensive podcasting toys out there that provide amazingly good sound. I’m talking less than $100 for a microphone that rivals much more expensive models.
Two microphones I recommend often are…
Check out the picture… they almost look like twinsies.. don’t they?
Both can be connected directly to a computer via USB and both can also plug into a soundboard or mixer via an XLR connection.
If you buy one of these for every in-person participant and spread out said participants in the room where you’re recording, your podcast audio will sound pretty good.
Why do you need to spread people out in the room?
You want to cut down on the possibility that Person A’s voice is going into the microphone of Person B. So… move them farther away from Person B (and with their face pointed slightly AWAY from Person B)
You’ll also need to record those good-sounding voices…
Many podcasters (yours truly included) record their audio directly into their computer via a USB microphone like the ones shown. Programs like Garage Band, Audacity, and many others do an admirable job of recording.
But there are limitations you will run into if you have more than one person in-person for recordings.
1) Audacity can only accept ONE microphone input.
2) Garage Band CAN accept multiple microphone inputs but it’s a complicated process to get it set up.
If you’re going to be recording on a regular basis with more than one person, in-person for the recording, I recommend one of these…
(No, it’s not the “Zoom video conferencing” company… THIS Zoom is an audio equipment manufacturer and has been around a lot longer.)
I own one of these nifty little devices and it works VERY well. The aforementioned XLR microphone connections of the Samson and ATR mics work wonderfully with this baby. It’s also quite portable and easy to use for most people (smaller than an iPad).
It records to an SD card which you then remove, plug into your computer, and transfer the files for editing or upload to your media host account (more on that in a bit).
OR – there are ways to use the Zoom P4 where it is connected to your computer. But that’s a bit more technical and isn’t necessary for most people.
Please, please, PLEASE don’t forget to use or provide HEADPHONES for everyone involved. They can be simple earbuds but are a MUST to avoid weird echo-y doubling of voices in your recordings (as mentioned in the “Person A” and “Person B” example, above).
And you may find everything works better when you do NOT use noise-canceling headphones. They often remove far too much of the outside noise and you’ll find yourself yelling instead of talking because you can’t even hear your own voice outside your own head (like you normally do).
You’ll notice I’ve been referring to in-person situations so far… but many times in-person is not possible. What do you do then?
When recording at a distance (remotely), it’s important to get the best audio you can, which up until several years ago was NOT the most simple thing to accomplish.
CAN you use Zoom to record your podcast??
Yes, many podcasters do. But Zoom is designed around the video experience, so the audio is often compressed to save space for those pretty faces and fancy fake backgrounds.
SO I NEVER RECOMMEND ZOOM. EVER.
You want to use a platform that records each participant’s audio on THEIR local computer and THEN syncs it to the cloud for download.
This avoids recording all the warbles, glitches, and internet noise you hear when making a call or doing a recording on Zoom or Skype-like services.
These services also place a high level of focus on audio quality, so you’re going to get recordings that sound like they were made in the same room (most of the time).
I recommend the following options and the first two both record Hi-Def video as well as Hi-Def audio, as described above.
- Squadcast (affiliate link) $20-ish/mo
- Riverside (affiliate link also) $20-ish/mo
- Cleanfeed (has a free plan and paid plans)
And just so we’re clear… Cleanfeed is AUDIO ONLY RECORDING, NO VIDEO.
I love all of these because they all provide audio that is podcast-publication-worthy. And each of the companies is pretty responsive to user needs, so feel free to play around with each, go through their tutorials, ask questions — whatever you need to do.
When it comes to gear, there are lots and oodles and bunches more options than these. You’ll find more equipment options in our ebook download based on this post.
(An expanded version of this post is available as an eBook download! Get it here!)
STEP #5: Practice, strategize, and finalize
There is a “start a podcast” philosophy out there that says, “Don’t wait until it’s perfect, just record something and publish it. You can always improve as you go. Just get started!“
I get it. I subscribe to this philosophy for INDIVIDUALS who want to start a podcast.
But for BUSINESSES THAT WANT TO START A PODCAST… no way!
Your brand is worth more than that.
Your reputation is worth more than that.
So, when starting a business podcast I ALWAYS recommend that you take some time to get your ducks in a row and then practice, practice, practice.
What do I MEAN when I say that you need to practice?
The same thing I would mean if you were a guitarist, or painter, or other creative.
You need to PUT IN THE REPS that enable you to do the basics without thinking about them.
In podcasting, practice means…
- Become an EXPERT at using your gear & software
The WORST experience I’ve had as a podcast guest was when the host was clearly unfamiliar with the hardware and software he was using.
He stumbled around, did things wrong (the final recording sounded like it), and worst of all, he WASTED MY TIME.
That’s just an illustration to show you ONE of the reasons you don’t want to skip this practice step.
Another reason… you’ll experience LOADS of frustration during the process if you don’t know your gear and software, and THAT will nudge you toward giving up before your show even gets started.
Remove that friction by investing the time to learn how to effectively use your software and gear. And make no mistake, it IS an investment in the future success of your show.
If you are a big enough business, you can delegate this or hire it out, but DON’T skip it.
And if you DO appoint someone on your team to learn the gear and software (or hire someone to help you with recording sessions), TRUST their expertise instead of second-guessing them and giving uninformed opinions.
If you are going to MAKE them the expert, then let them BE the expert.
You’ll only complicate things if you try to use your position or authority to “improve” on what they are doing.
- Record a demo of your podcast that you NEVER intend to publish
After you’ve worked out the episode structure for your show (back in step #3), you need to put it to work, so you can work out the kinks.
Assemble it in your audio editing software and see how it all works together. (OR, outsource this part of the process… and **cough, cough, cough** you have MUCH better things to do with your time than edit audio)
You’ll undoubtedly find things in your dream episode structure that don’t work as well as you thought they would.
There will be things that don’t sound as good as you imagined.
You may find sequences or CTAs that simply don’t feel right for your audience, your brand voice, and more.
Don’t sweat it. That’s why you’re doing a dry run on this thing.
Make the changes you think will make it BETTER and try it again.
Yes… I said try it again.
You may wind up with 2 to 4 to 7 to 10 “redos” of this first episode. And that’s as it SHOULD be.
You’ve got to become PRACTICED (there’s that word again) at what it feels like to successfully produce an episode of your podcast.
Once you’re comfortable with how it sounds (and get LOTS of ears on this… don’t only trust your feeling about it), you’ll be ready to begin recording in earnest and for real.
Which leads to the NEXT sub-heading…
- Create a “content plan” with 10 to 15 episode topics, in sequence
What I’m talking about is a content PLAN… which requires PLANNING (intention, purpose, strategy, steps to get you where you want to go).
Most businesses are good at this on some level, but often, when it comes to podcasting they don’t apply that same skill-set to planning out the content of their show.
And that’s a big FAIL.
So what I recommend to ALL businesses who are starting a podcast is to think through the sequence of your podcast episode topics in light of your GOALS (step #1) and in light of your audience (step #2).
HERE IS A QUICK EXAMPLE OF ONE WAY YOU COULD DO THIS:
- Tap into the FAQs that arise in relation to your company, service, product, etc. (whatever matches your goals)
- Make those topics into individual episodes.
- Don’t feel you have to stuff one episode full of everything needed to understand a topic.
- Produce a series with one step in the “process” covered in each episode.
Bite-sized content like this really works… and audiences typically appreciate being able to consume it at a slower but consistent pace.
THE 10-10-10 PODCAST CONTENT APPROACH
I’d like to give you an outline of a “content development” method I’ve created that really works!
It works for interview-style shows.
It works for solo episodes (only one speaker, presenting coaching, teaching, etc.)
It works for narrative-style shows.
It works for Q&A-style shows.
Having said that… each of those styles of shows requires its own tweaks to adapt the process that may require more or less effort than what I’m about to describe.
Nevertheless, if you put the 10-10-10 Content Discovery process to work from the START of your business podcast — then rinse and repeat every time you see the end of your “content idea” hopper — you will NEVER run out of content ideas.
10 MINUTES: Brainstorm episode topic ideas
Set a timer for 10 minutes then start writing down every single episode topic idea you can think of that would benefit your target audience.
Don’t censor yourself.
Don’t self-edit or modify things as you go.
Jot down every idea — do it quickly — without lots of reflection — and keep going.
When the timer goes DING, move on to the next step.
10 MINUTES: Sequence the topics in a way that makes sense
Naturally, you’ll have some topics on your list that are fundamental to others on your list.
Now is your opportunity to put things in the proper order, the way it makes the most sense.
Imagine the person listening through your list of topics is brand new to your subject matter. Put the topics in an order THEY would need in order to understand what you have to share.
Reset your timer for 10 minutes.
Reorder your topics to build one upon another or to lead the listener along the “understand this topic” road.
When the timer goes DING, move on to the next step.
10 MINUTES: Create three sub-points under each topic
Set your timer for 10 minutes.
Start at the TOP of your list and write down the most obvious, fundamental subpoints having to do with that first topic.
Do ONLY three, so you don’t get bogged down.
Work your way down the page.
When the timer goes DING, stop.
WHAT TO DO WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT
You now have 10 to 20 to 30 viable podcast episode topics that relate to your audience and come directly from your experience and knowledge.
And EACH of them has 3 sub-points ready for you to riff on, expand, or illustrate.
If you repeat this process every quarter, you’ll have another fresh batch of ideas to produce as podcast episodes.
But don’t neglect the items on your original list that you didn’t have time to sequence or sub-point… they are STILL great ideas and should be developed (most likely).
Naturally, as you move toward episode production, you’ll need to nuance them, flesh them out, and add a few sub-points perhaps, but generally speaking, you have what you need to sit down at the microphone and start recording.
If your show is going to be interview-based, you’ll have the additional steps of thinking through who can best address the topics you’ve jotted down. Then you have to connect with them, invite them, schedule the conversation, etc.
- Invite guests as needed
If you have decided to produce an interview-based show (or a periodic interview-style show… that IS a thing) then you will need to…
1) Develop a system for reaching out to guests
2) Provide a way that guests can give you the info you need to produce and promote the episode (sounds a lot like an intake form to me – here’s an example of one – feel free to steal it)
3) Pass your guests a “Guest Release” form to complete. And YES, you SHOULD do this for every guest. Entertainment Attorney Gordon Firemark explains why in this video.
4) Establish a scheduling process that makes it easy for guests to join you on the call.
5) POSSIBLY, figure out a system that gets a decent mic in the hands of your guests so their side of the audio doesn’t detract from the content. (My eBook download for this post includes a couple of affordable options you can consider).
The systems and processes I suggest here make it easy to create show notes and promotional materials, give your podcast and brand an air of professionalism, and remove a TON of stress from the guest-podcast process.
If it sounds overwhelming to you, that’s because it certainly can be.
Our team can create a GUEST INTAKE SYSTEM FOR YOU and hand over the keys to your team if you like. Let us know.
- Begin recording episode content
NOW you are ready to begin recording those practiced, strategically planned, audience-focused episodes.
Until you do all the work outlined above, you’re likely going to make a lot of mistakes DURING your recording rather than working out those kinks beforehand.
I recommend that since you’re a business (and your brand is EVERYTHING) that you NOT take that route.
The main point of this section is this:
The more kinks you can work out BEFORE you launch your show, the more professional it will sound when it does launch, and the more confident you’ll be from the outset.
(An expanded version of this post is available as an eBook download! Get it here!)
STEP #6: Choose a media host platform for storage & distribution
A podcast media host is where your audio lives online. Think of it like a library, where you have your own private shelf.
This shelf is where you place the audio episodes for your podcast.
THEN, you submit your “shelf” (it’s called a “podcast feed,” and is provided by the media host) to all the directories where people find and listen to podcasts.
That’s Google Podcasts… and ALL the others.
It’s YOUR job to submit your show for inclusion in their directories.
SAID ANOTHER WAY…
That means you don’t upload anything to Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and all the others… you only upload your episodes to your media host. THEN, the upload triggers a “ping” to the directories that informs their bots that your show has a new episode available.
If everything works as it should (which is laughably, not always the case) then those directories list your most recent episode and alert those who have “subscribed” to or “followed” your podcast using their platform.
There are many good MEDIA HOST choices out there:
But if you want a reliable, trustworthy media host that can serve you long term, you want to do the following…
READ THE MEDIA HOST TERMS OF SERVICE
I know, I know. It’s a pain and you usually just click that “accept” button and go forward.
But in this case, it’s not a good idea.
Because it’s not uncommon for media host services (especially some of the newer ones) to require that you give them ongoing, unlimited rights to your content and allow them to repurpose it in any way they desire.
I don’t THINK that’s what you are wanting to do when starting a business podcast, is it?
So… as boring as it is, read the terms of service (TOS) to ensure you aren’t giving away rights to anything.
ENSURE YOUR MEDIA HOST PROVIDES ADEQUATE STATS
You need to be able to track the “listenership” of your podcast episodes as well as possible. Which, to be honest, is not all THAT easy to do, even with good stats.
The REASON it’s not easy to do is that the media host platforms do NOT provide individual data on listeners beyond whether or not their device has DOWNLOADED your episode audio. It’s a PRIVACY issue, so it’s not going to be changing anytime soon.
That means that you never REALLY know if someone listened to your episodes, you only know that the episode was DOWNLOADED to a device.
A CAVEAT: As of this writing (August 2021) three of the DISTRIBUTION PLATFORMS (Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts) ARE providing stats on episodes that show more individual data, but their data applies ONLY to those who use their app for listening.
Now, back to the kind of stats you want. Look for a media host that provides you…
- Episodic download stats
- Search functionality for date ranges
- Device statistics (What devices are being used?)
- Platform statistics (What platforms are being used?)
- Global data (Where are episodes being downloaded?)
Though there are MANY media hosts that provide this data and have decent terms of service, I only recommend two media host accounts at this time.
CAPTIVATE (affiliate link)
LIBSYN (use “PFT” and get 1 month free – affiliate)
Once you choose your platform, stick with it and learn how to use it.
Or make sure someone on your team does (and that THEY… or your production service… are the ONLY ones to add content to the platform or make significant changes).
STEP #7: Submit your show to all directories and platforms
Before you can submit your “feed” to directories… you have to have something IN that feed to submit.
That means you need to have at least one LIVE/PUBLISHED episode loaded into your media host account.
You ALSO need to have all the basic content about your podcast completed (this is typically found in the “show settings” area of your media host account).
This includes your artwork.
Once you’ve done all of that, you are ready to submit to all the podcast directories (Apple, Spotify, Google, etc.)
We have a very LONG Step-by-step blog post on our website that will guide you through each of them that is worth the trouble.
But you can ALSO get your own copy by downloading our expanded version of this post, that is available as an eBook download! Get it here!
And in terms of WHAT directories to be in… BE EVERYWHERE you can.
You never know where that newest, most passionate, superfan type of listener is going to find your show.
And it’s a one-time process to get into the directories, so it shouldn’t pose too much of a hurdle.
STEP #8: Promote and LAUNCH your new show!
Now it’s time to tap your marketing department to get busy promoting your show!
Develop a promotional strategy for your new podcast that reaches out through every possible channel — paid media and earned media.
Leave no stone unturned.
Call in favors from influencers and connections you know who would be willing to help you promote the show!
Ask existing clients and customers to help you spread the word.
Create BUZZ as effectively as you know how.
And if you don’t know how or need help doing it in a savvy way… we often recommend the guys and gals over at Content Callout to help podcasters figure all that stuff out. (client’s of ours)
Once the BUZZ is happening, launch your new creation!
Contact us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org