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Everything You Need to Know to Start a Podcast

Get our top tips for starting a podcast that helps meet your business goals.
Andrew Adams

Have you ever considered launching a podcast but thought it was too challenging and time-consuming or just not worth the hassle? Starting a podcast doesn’t have to be a complicated process. We put together this guide to provide actionable tips on planning, branding, launching, promoting, and growing your small business podcast.

Podcasting enables you to join the oral presentation medium, create your own stories, and distribute them across the globe. It's also a great way to share information about your business, connect with current and potential customers, and build authority in your niche.

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Podcast Statistics You Should Know

Starting a podcast can help you promote your business and build an audience of loyal fans and customers. The following are some podcast statistics worth considering:

  • According to eMarketer, 54% of podcast listeners are more likely to buy from brands after hearing their advertisements on a podcast.

  • The average podcast length is 43 minutes, and comedy is the most popular type of podcast, followed by news, true crime, and sports.

  • In 2022, 57% of the population has listened to at least one podcast, and 78% of people are familiar with the medium.

  • The number of podcast listeners increased by 29.5 % between 2018 and 2021.

  • Over a quarter of Americans (104 million) listen to podcasts regularly.

  • Every week, 28% of Americans (about 80 million) listen to a podcast. On average, they listen to eight podcasts per week.

Now that you know all these relevant stats, you probably think that starting a podcast may be the boost your business needs to connect with the customers. But if you have never done it before, you're probably wondering how to start a podcast from scratch? We've got your back with a detailed guide to starting a podcast.

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What Is Your Podcast About?

This question plagues the minds of many who want to start a podcast. What will you talk about in your podcast? Many would tell you to start with a topic that genuinely interests you. While this is true because your audience will hear and feel your passion, you need more than a vague idea about your main topic.

If you want to interest the public and produce content consistently without running out of topics, you need a solid strategy in place. These questions can help you discover what would be the best topic for your podcast and start building around that:

  • Why do you want to create a podcast?

  • What are your goals for the podcast?

  • How does the podcast align with your business strategy or your marketing plan? As a business owner, you don’t need an extra activity that takes your time and adds little or no value to your success.

Who Will Be Involved?

Deciding who will be involved in your small business podcast will help you select your show format. There are three types of show structure:

  1. Solo: The one-person show format is perfect for building a personal brand. It can help you position yourself as an authority figure in your field. For example, Dan's Hardcore History podcast is incredibly long (3 hours+ per episode), in-depth, and focused solely on him. There are no special effects, no frills, just one bit of intro music and his voice. But he makes it incredibly fascinating.

  2. Co-host: Podcasts with co-hosts are conversational. They have a friendly vibe and bring multiple perspectives. Another huge perk of co-hosting is a partnership. You'll always have a partner to handle part of the workload.

  3. Interview podcast: Having a new guest every week keeps things interesting, provides networking and business opportunities and increases the number of people you can reach and the range of topics you can discuss on your show. An example is Kristi Jacobsen's Podcast Broken Glass Media.

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How Will You Record and Distribute?

After you decide to start a podcast and pick the relevant topics, you'll need tools to record, edit, and host your show. Some or all of the following podcast tools can help:

Recording Equipment

Choosing a good microphone is the first step in your recording journey. A microphone is an essential piece of equipment in your setup (along with a recorder), as a great recording will encourage people to listen and generate more likes and shares. The Blue Yeti USB Microphone often gets recommended as the best microphone for podcasts.

Editing Software

Podcast editing software helps you create, edit, and publish your podcast. The following are the most popular podcast editing software solutions:

  1. Audacity: With this software, you get many standard and advanced editing tools that let you cut, copy and paste, trim, reverse, split, and delete parts of the recording. Audacity is 100% free and is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. The only downside is the lack of automation. You have to download your audio file and upload it manually to your hosting platform.

  2. Adobe Audition: This is a comprehensive suite of tools for producing, mixing, editing, and recovering audio content that provides multitrack, waveform, and spectral display.

  3. GarageBand: If you own Apple devices, GarageBand is an excellent choice. The program is also perfect for those new to editing who want to master the fundamentals of podcast editing software.

  4. Riverside: With Riverside, podcasters and media firms can record distant interviews with ease. This program provides quality audio and video recording.

  5. File Hosting Drive/Project Management Tool: Keeping your audio organized will make the production process less overwhelming. Some popular options you can consider are Google Drive and Dropbox. As for project management tools, Asana and ClickUp are great for keeping track of the schedule, and they provide a wide range of their services for free.

  6. Podcast Hosting Platform: Once you finish recording a few podcast episodes, the time will come to share them with the world. You can post your show on one of the many podcast directories available. Only make sure it's available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Podcast.

Who Will Listen?

Podcasts are a bit like an indie band. It's all about relationships. The first step in building an audience is to find listeners who align with the purpose of your podcast. Deciding who your audience is will increase the chances of success. Moreover, understanding the listeners will help you figure out what kind of content you'll share on the show.

Your audience will also help you determine how often you should release the podcast. You can go with the following options:

  • Episodic: Podcasts in episodes get displayed from newest to oldest. The most recent release will appear at the top of the feed. This format is most suited for stand-alone episodes.

  • Seasonal: This method works well for businesses, as it takes away the pressure to release weekly episodes.

  • Serial: You can also release your podcast episodes daily, semi-weekly, bi-weekly, weekly, or monthly. This format arranges your episodes from oldest to newest.

How Do You Name Your Podcast?

After you determine your audience and show format, the next thing is to choose a podcast topic or title. This step requires you to listen to the needs of your potential and future listeners.

When naming your podcast, consider your business name, the content type, and who you want to attract. Here are a couple of tips to help you out:

  • Choose a phrase or word that is descriptive of your show.

  • Pick a name that is easy to pronounce.

  • Use a podcast name generator.

  • Ensure the name is not being used already or is not trademarked.

  • Pick a searchable title.

Launching Your Podcast

After you complete your setup and record a few episodes, it's time to launch! Do you have a launch plan already? How will you communicate the launch date and podcast content and distribute the podcast to your audience?

If you want to get the word out and celebrate the success of your podcast, consider throwing or making some of the following:

  • Launch party

  • Email newsletter

  • Podcast trailer

  • Social media posts with audiograms

  • Rewards for referring listeners

Marketing Your Podcast

The work doesn't end when you record and launch a podcast. You also want to find the audience, the people for whom you're opening up the show in the first place.

Marketing your podcast to the desired audience is everything. It will help you attract the right listeners and keep them engaged from one episode to another. You can put your small business podcast in front of the public in the following ways:

Try Out Audiograms

If you love social media, the chances are you have already seen and listened to audiograms. They are 30 seconds to one-minute clips that play over an image with a moving wave symbol in the background. Audiograms make a good impression while advertising on social media. They are super popular on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Audiograms can help you market your podcast and drive traffic to your website. They give listeners enough information to make them want more of your content. But how do you create them?

Typically, you can upload your full audio recording into the audiogram software. Then, you cut out a part of the audio where you made an attention-catching quote. The next step is to add a graphic design to announce the release of a new episode. In the end, you download and schedule to various social media platforms.

Create Attention-Grabbing Graphics

Like your podcast name, your cover art is a graphic representation of your podcast. It helps your listener visually identify you before even hearing you, which adds to your brand value. Therefore, don't hesitate to spend some time building your visual image.

Canva is a popular graphic design tool you can use if you don't have expert design skills. It's easy to operate and has tons of templates you can try for free. If you want to have hands-on experience with design or get something more customized, Adobe Photoshop is your best bet.

Compose Blog Posts or Show Notes

Blog posts following your episodes can add value to your entire podcast. If you already have a website, you can create a page for your podcast and upload every podcast episode you record there. Blog posts can open up with recordings as show notes or articles. Whatever format you choose, blog posts will prove beneficial through SEO opportunities and drive traffic from your website to your podcast.

Show notes or transcripts are the undisputed heroes of many podcast workflows. They create SEO opportunities and give listeners more detail about episodes and guests. Here are some other benefits of show notes:

  • Serve as content for your email list

  • Suitable for blog posts

  • Create SEO opportunities that audio doesn't

  • Contain details about your guest and links to further resources

  • Make a great way to engage with your audience

  • Increase your analytics

In comparison, poorly written show notes can prevent you from reaching more listeners and subscribers.

Send Out Email Newsletters

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market today. As a business owner, you probably already have an email list. If so, you can use it to notify your subscribers about your podcast launch and later keep them up to date with new episodes. Email newsletters make a great way to send traffic to your podcast and engage with subscribers.

Best Practices For Your Small Business Podcast

Now that you're equipped with the essential knowledge to start a podcast, it's time to level up. The following are some tips that'll help you build a solid structure for your podcast and set it up for growth:

  • Record at least three to five episodes before you launch your podcast.

  • Hire a podcast manager if you predict you'll be too busy with other tasks to commit fully to your podcast. You can also outsource the audio editing since it's the most technical aspect.

  • Keep your release time frame consistent. This practice builds trust with your listeners and keeps them engaged.

  • Decide the duration of your podcast early on according to your content and audience. You can host for as little as ten minutes or as much as three hours. The key is to keep your listener engaged, so keep their preferences in mind.

Conclusion

Starting a podcast can help you connect with your customers and desired audience and expand your business. It can also aid you in building your brand and establishing your business as an industry authority.

Scorpion provides small businesses with technology and marketing services needed to scale operations quickly and cost-efficiently. Contact us today to see how we can help your business.