Not sure if you should start your own podcast? Will it be worth your time? Do you have a message to share? How do you set up the equipment? Is it complicated? Will I be able to keep creating enough content? Will anyone listen to it? If you have ever asked any of these questions, or you are now, this article should give you clarity, and the steps to creating a great show and powerful brand around you.
I wish someone would have given me this info 3 years before I started my podcast the “Disruptive Entrepreneur”. I should have started it sooner, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know.. I hope this helps.
Here are some interesting stats:
There are 4.7 million adults in the UK who listen to any type of podcast, compared to 75 million people in the U.S tuning in to podcasts every month. This number is triple from 25 million, just 5 years ago
66% of adults tune into podcasts from their smartphone. The average listener subscribes to 6 podcasts. Some of the most popular podcasts can earn over £38K per episode, with advertising rates across the industry ranging from £19-£38 per 1000 listens. UK listeners listen to over 6 hours per week. Audio podcast consumption has grown 25% year-on-year.
8 ways to build a powerful podcast
1. Should I do it?
YES – If you have an area of passion, skill, knowledge or experience, and a desire to share it and educate others. If you want to grow your brand, reach, followers, influence and your bank balance. and you want to get in just at the right time before it explodes. But you will commit to a single good piece of content once a week.
NO – If you want to do it just because you think everyone else is, or just to sell stuff without giving value, or if you chop and change and start and stop and give up easily. Best to be honest with yourself.
Now what you’re still here…
2. What equipment do I need?
This is far easier and cheaper than you may think. I naively assumed you’d need some kind of professional radio studio, but no. Not even close. All you need is 3 things. Zoom H4n recorder, Behringer C1 mic with pop stop and Behringer PS400 power supply to connect them together (it can run 2 mics for interviews).
Yes, you can have more a more professional set up, a studio, radio quality, fancy editing and a set up cost of £10,000s. Maybe you will do this when your podcast grows and you have profits to reinvest. For now, get perfect later; start now. This set up will cost you less than a couple of hundred pounds or dollars if you get it 2nd hand. Better still, you can carry it around the world in a small case, doing podcasts anywhere and everywhere easily.
This gear has helped me reach over 1,100,000 subscriptions in 184 countries. I can take it anywhere in the world in hand luggage. I can visit any interviewee at their house or offices and be set up in 5 minutes flat. All I have to do is put the SD card in my Mac, weTransfer it to my team (VA, outsourcer, podcast host, even my Mum!) and in less than 24 hours the episode is up on iTunes, Stitcher or whatever hosting site you use. And I am completely non-techy.
3. What should my podcast be about?
Start with what you know. What you love. Start with a more focused ‘niche’ first; a specific area of knowledge, rather than the meaning of life, you can always grow outwards later. Only have a show named after you if you are well known, in which case it will grow fast. If not, make it about who you are, or the specific area you are focusing on, like the “Disruptive Entrepreneur”. Don’t second guess yourself worrying about what else is out there, there’s always room for you and room for the best. Get 1000 true raving followers and fans, and get the hang of getting good at delivery and engagement.
4. What format should my podcast be (Length? Interview? Rant? Frequency? etc)?
Up to you really, based on what works for you and what you will stay consistent with. Formats vary from 8 mins to 3.5 hours, edited or raw discussion. 30 mins is often cited as the optimal time as it is roughly the length of a commute.
Start with a format suited to you, stay consistent with it, and then disrupt (it, yourself) when you think things are getting predictable of your listeners, and maybe even boring for you. I started with 30 minute episodes once a week. Then added ‘Caffeine Casts’ (TM!) episodes that were 15 mins for shorter and more motivational pieces. Then I added Rob’s Rants every other week to differentiate between deep-dive content, motivation and putting the world to rights.
Then I added interviews later. I didn’t want just interviews on my podcast, as wanted to build my brand too and not just be seen as an interviewee. As there was no pressure to do interviews every week, I could pick and choose great guests rather than adding fillers. In 2000 episodes I’ve done around 20 interviews, and I think it’s really important to go for quality and relevance over quantity.
Finally, make sure they are published on the same day at the same time. This is IMPORTANT. The randomly add bonus episodes like birthday, anniversaries. 50th, 100th episode specials, and so on, as you build your podcast and subscribers up. We have done 2 live show episodes on the “Disruptive Entrepreneur” where guests have come in the studio. We have also added live recordings of talks I’ve done in. Some podcast hosts have special guest hosts to take some shows. Be mostly consistent with a little variety thrown in to disrupt your audience and stop them unsubscribing.
5. How and when should I launch my podcast?
You will need a hosting platform (we use Omnystudio). I suggest leveraging this out to a virtual assistant, outsourcer, techie or someone you know, so you can focus on the content of your show. You need an image/design cover. A catchy name (short). A title (sexy). A description (Brief, intriguing, benefit driven).
Get 6 episodes done and uploaded before you publish and launch your podcast, that way when you launch it doesn’t look brand new or unused. You can do them well in advance to build up a ‘bank’ of episodes, and even have an extra 6 done so that you are 6 weeks ahead in your publishing. You could also do 4 episodes/weeks worth in one entire sitting to leverage and maximise your time.
When you decide to launch, set a date as it will focus your mind on getting content out, because now you have deadlines. You will find you have dry spells where you are struggling to get good content out, which is why having a bank is great, and then times when you are inspired and you will churn them out like there’s no tomorrow.
6. How do I make my podcast good?
Get animated in front of the microphone. Use your body as well as your voice and accentuate your tonality. Have very brief notes or bullet points so you don’t ramble or go off on random tangents. Mix stories with facts with how to content with rants. Ask different questions in interviews not the usual ones being regurgitated. Enjoy it an make it fun.
Have nice scenery to do them in, so you feel inspired. Do them at the time of day you feel the most energised. The more you do, the better you will get.
7. How do I get exposure, reach and subscribers to my podcast?
Be consistent. Keep on keeping on. It may be quick, it may be steady. Keep making your content great, so if in doubt, leave it out.
Record your podcasts on video for live feeds, YouTube, etc for more reach and to repurpose the same content to get more leverage. Post regularly about your podcasts on all social media platforms and let your subscribers know about it. Do not be afraid to keep promoting your podcast remember they are free.
Create show notes and transcriptions and host them on your podcast website. SEO each episode on blogs, like https://thedisruptiveentrepreneur.co.uk
Get great interviewees (stay patient, keep stalking them!). One big dog influencer posting your podcast on their platforms could change the game for you and get you global reach. Run competitions for reviews & extra subscriptions by asking people to share the podcast. Do reciprocal interviews with other relevant podcasts. Have a hashtag & post it each time you name it (I only started doing this a week ago – DUH!). then once podcasts go big, you will be well positioned for exponential growth.
8. How do I monetise my podcast?
You don’t have to at first. Make it great and grow the reach, before you slay the golden goose. Once you hit critical mass:
You can sell ad space (most shows, esp. American show, do). The big players get $50,000 to $75,000 per EPISODE! And some have more than 500 episodes! I personally don’t like it, so don’t (but I don’t need the money), but if I got that big, who knows?! You should consider this carefully because there is a downside & some don’t like it (some podcasts have 6 ads and it is a real put off).
- Get trickle down monetisation. If you have books, audios, websites, products, courses, merch, etc, and you are visible on all main media sites, people will find you & buy from you (I can say for sure that my podcast has generated £100,000s & I have never actively sold on it). I’ve found celebrity clients coming to me. Keep the faith, create these other assets to catch business & it will grow exponentially and with relative ease.
- Occasional offers (anniversary episodes, black Friday, etc)
- Use it to launch books, events, new products, etc. If you do this one in 25 to 50 episodes it can be a really smart play. The goodwill will be bursting and ready to be leveraged.
- Give people offers/benefits to subscribe/follow you on your other platforms & then sell more directly from there
My podcast has done things for me I would never have dreamed (it’s on Quantas airlines, in over 184 countries, the most random, important and interesting people follow it, it’s taught in schools/Uni’s, attracted me celebrity clients and friends) and all by accident. I think because I didn’t force commercialisation from it, it naturally happened. But I did promote it frequently (the #DisruptiveEntrepreneur http://bit.ly/disentpodcast )
I hope this helps. Comment below if you have any questions I’m happy to help. Or communicate with me on any platforms below I wish I’d have started sooner, I LOVE doing it and get about podcasting a lot. It’s the future my friend, will you embrace this fast growing media trend, or get left behind?