lessons from a seasoned podcaster
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So you wanna start a podcast, huh? Rambling into a mic and recording seems pretty easy. How difficult can it be to have a conversation for 40 minutes?

Well, while it’s a simple concept, podcasting is so much more than you might think. I’ll be honest, it takes a lot of planning, a solid strategy, and a bunch of technical decisions to produce even one great podcast episode. But the fruits of your labor will be worth it.

Me and my co-host, Ivy, started our podcast, Broken black and shiny in May 2020 and saw it grow from a handful of listeners in the UK (thanks, Mom) to over 14,000 plays in 80 countries. We didn’t have a sponsor or a fancy studio to record – in fact, we always record remotely from our rooms using a home setup. Which shows that whatever your budget, a good concept and quality content can always lead to success.

That’s not to say that creating a successful podcast is a walk in the park. I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. Lucky for you, I’ve detailed nine of these lessons in this blog post, so you can learn them on the spot. a little easier way.

Here are my top tips for starting a successful podcast:

Just start it

Not really! I can’t tell you how much time we spent talking about a podcast, discussing when we would start a podcast, and playing around with the idea of ​​actually having a podcast. Life gets in the way and it is very easy for your idea to stay exactly that – an idea. Last year provided all the downtime to finally launch our podcast and even after careful planning things can go wrong. But you learn by doing, so jump in and go. There is no other moment than the present.

The brand image is ab * tch

As a marketer, you might already have a brand, vision, and message. But if, like me, you’re building a brand from scratch, think about what message you want to send, especially when thinking about the name and design: do they reflect you and your business? It took a lot of back and forth with our illustrator before we had a logo that best reflected who we are and what we wanted our podcast to be.

Authenticity is the key

Don’t try to be what you are not. Speak from experience, play with either the knowledge you have or the knowledge your guests provide. There is nothing worse than listening to someone buzz about something they clearly know nothing about. For example, I don’t pretend to be a marketing genius, but ask me about the hardships of being a black millennial living in London and I have you covered.

Plan Plan Plan!

The only thing worse than not knowing what you are talking about is talking aimlessly, without structure, without clearly defined subject, or without speaking at all. Awkward silences aren’t your friends, so let’s avoid them. You don’t need to plan the episodes verbatim, but it’s good to focus on a general topic or theme. It also keeps you from going down wild tangents. Believe me, I’ve been there. Do your research and have your notes handy while you record. It’s great because no one can see you.

Choose a target market

So you’ve decided to start your podcast. You’ve determined your gender and what you want to talk about. The next big step is to decide who your target audience is. As marketers, this is where you will thrive. Consider your audience’s age range, demographics, profession, and where they might meet your podcast.

Think about the purpose of your podcast and who it will benefit the most from it. Another reason why branding is so vital is that sometimes your audience chooses you. Whether you are targeting a group or not, you will find that unexpected but very loyal factions begin to form. It is important to recognize your market segments and adapt accordingly.

How to make the numbers work for you

Once you have a captivated audience, embrace them. Listeners love that you interact with them, ask them to suggest ideas for what they want to hear next, or get feedback through online reviews.

Keep your ear to the ground and listen to your community.

Know your audience

Insights are your friends: they provide useful statistics about your audience, the countries they’re listening to, how long they’re listening to, and how many times they’ve played an episode. Use them to your advantage to help you tailor episodes to the region you are listening to.

For example: your machine learning episode turned out to be popular and got a lot more viewings than episodes released around the same time, maybe you do a follow-up episode or find other topics around AI to discuss.

Using ideas, I learned that news and popular culture episodes are more popular than episodes that are not time sensitive. Think of me as a last minute radio station.

Relish your 30 seconds of fame

Think of a trailer as your positioning statement. A true embodiment of your business and what you want to discuss in your podcast. Regardless of the topic of the episode, your main message should be the same.

When a new blockbuster hits theaters, if the trailer isn’t good, do you even want to watch the movie? Use your trailer to generate interest and attract potential listeners.

To finish…

Be bold.

Be brave. Embrace every step of the podcasting journey, whether you’re struggling to get the mic working or getting podcasting praise from ezines. Take advantage of the process that will lead to your growth. You’ll learn so much along the way, and it’s always nice to look back and see how far you’ve come.

Happy podcasting!

Oh, and while you’re there, watch Black, broken and shiny on Instagram and listen to our latest episode where we discuss work life, self-employment and job termination.

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