Getting noticed is becoming increasing difficult in the competitive markets of today.
In years past, a blog might set you apart from your competitors, while today it’s a requirement for basic operation.
That’s right. In this day and age, you have to do more to get noticed.
This is especially true in ultra competitive markets like small business marketing.
Thankfully, we have some good news.
We know a way you can stand above your competitors. This secret is podcasting.
Podcasting is still a relatively easy way to get your name out there. To be discovered amid the sea of others within your niche market.
But, how do you start a podcast?
Well, it’s easier than you think.
Read below for some easy-to-follow steps on how to start a podcast:
Step One: Choose a Good Topic
This is probably the easiest step. After all, you can likely come up with several good ideas for podcasts right off the top of your head.
However, before you settle on the topic you want to cover, do a quick search of iTunes.
This will show you if the topic you chose has been covered too death.
You want a fresh topic.
Not one that has been gone over time after time.
It’s okay if there are a few podcasts already out there about the topic you want to cover. Just make sure there aren’t tons.
Step Two: Select a Format
What will the format for your show look like?
Will you host a show and interview an “expert” on a topic?
Will you be the expert who provides content?
Will you have one or two hosts?
How long will each of your episodes be?
How frequently will you post new episodes?
Do you want a weekly podcast, daily or something entirely different?
Will you show be audio podcast or video format?
To answer all these questions, consider your target audience.
What will they enjoy the most?
Are they busy professionals who prefer short episodes?
Would they actually be able to listen to a 40 minute podcast?
Some audiences love long podcasts.
Others can’t handle more than five minutes of content at a time. It’s up to you to read your own audience accurately.
Step Three: Buy Equipment:
The following is a list of some items you will need to create a high-quality podcast:
- A good microphone: You don’t have to invest in the best quality microphone on the market. But, your audience does need to be able to hear you accurately.It’s a good idea to avoid built-in microphones that come with a computer. We recommendBlue Micorphones Yeti USB or Audio Technica ATR-2100-USB.
- Headphones: Again, they don’t have to be the best out there, but good headphones are helpful. You need to hear yourself and what your guests are saying. It’s wise to stick with the on-the-ear type. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x is a good example of what we mean. Avoid headphone mic combos in general.
- Pop filter: When you talk directly into a microphone, your p’s and b’s will be amplified. So, you can either speak into the side of mic, or get a pop filter.
- Boom: This isn’t something you need to start out. But, it can be helpful down the road. A suspension boom takes your podcast up a notch. It simply holds the mic for you. This ensures consistent high-quality sound.
- Skype Account: You will almost certainly need to use Skype at some point when hosting a podcast. This is an easy way to interview guests and the sound quality is excellent, making it a preferred program by many podcast pros.
- Editing And Recording Software: Adobe Audition and GarageBand are two free editing and recording programs you can use.Auphonic is Jack's personal choice for our show.You will need a way to edit your audio when creating a podcast. So, some sort of recording and editing software is a must.
- ID3 Editor: This tool, the ID3 editor, allows you to store important information like track numbers, artists and the like. It will even appear like album art. By using this software, you give your podcast a more professional appearance.
- Vanity URL: One way to grow your podcast following is to make it as easy as possible for listeners to leave reviews. To do this, get a vanity URL. They are used to redirect the podcast review section on iTunes. You won’t have to worry about giving out a complicated website address when you get a vanity URL. It will just make things easier for your listeners.
Step Four: Set Up Podcast Hosting
Podcasts need a place on a server where media files will be stored.
The podcast host we use is Libsyn. This costs approximately $15 a month, but will ensure you have lots of storage space for all your media file needs.
You also use SoundCloud.com for free to start. If we were starting over, we'd probably go with this option.
Step Five: Choose a Good Title
Take time to explore the different possibilities for your podcast title. You can use your name. “The John Smith Show” is a good example of this.
You can also use a play on words. For example, a podcast on fishing could be titled “The Reel Deal.”
Use keywords in your title if possible to make your show easier to find in searches. The idea is to communicate within your title what listeners can expect to hear on your podcast.
Step Six: Design Cover Artwork
Listing your podcast on iTunes is the best way to improve your reach. But, to list on iTunes, you have to create a professional looking image that will appear next to your podcast. In other words, you need cool cover art.
Design software is how you accomplish this. Buzzsprout offers some tips on how to create sweet images.
To get iTunes specific cover designs, check out Fiverr.com.
Step Seven: Record your Introduction and Sign Off
Each podcast should have an introduction that shares the name of the show. It should also identify your target audience.
In essence, let people know why they should listen.
You can create this yourself. Or, you can have the message recorded by a voice-over artist.
We used Music Radio Creative for this show.
You also need to come up with the call-to-action, conclusion, sign off or “outro.”
This should tell listeners how to contact you. It should let them know where they can go to get additional content or information related to the episode. Use your audio software to save the intro and outro. Then, you can drop the file into each episode into your template. This will simply the editing process.
Step Eight: Plan The Launch
To list everything you need to do to plan your launch would be impossible for this one step. We recommend reading a book called“Podcast Launch” by John Lee Dumas.
This will tell you everything you need to do to get your podcast off on the right foot. Of course, if you are just going to launch on iTunes and you didn’t have a “big launch” in mind, you don’t have to do all the recommended research.
However, attempt to get your podcast into iTunes’ “new and noteworthy” category.
This is the iTunes category featuring podcasts less than eight weeks old. When you launch correctly, you can have your podcast featured here.
This of course will help broaden your podcast’s reach immensely.
Step Nine: Get Subscribers and Reviews
You need to acquire some five-star reviews once your show is live. These high reviews will encourage others to download your podcast.
It isn’t always easy to get people to review your show though.
The best way to get headed in the right direction is to ask some family and friends to review your podcast.
This will at least help get your ranking up there and get you started. High rankings will of course encourage more people to download your podcast.
Step Ten: Market Your Podcast After it’s Live
The more you put into marketing your podcast, the more successful it will be. You will have to promote it in order to succeed. That much is certain. So, promote and market your podcast to encourage even more interest.
The process of starting a podcast might seem overwhelming. Especially after reading all the points listed above.
The good news is that once you have a podcast started, it actually requires less time and energy to maintain than even a blog.
So, what are you waiting for? Why not start a podcast to launch yourself above your competition? Now’s the time.