Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Now in no way, shape, or form am I a expert or seasoned podcaster, but what I do have is my own experiences, and I want you to learn from my mistakes. Podcasting is something I am extremely passionate about and I’d imagine you are too if you’re reading this. After this you will have a better grasp on launching your new and amazing idea of a podcast and lower your stress levels in the meantime.
In December of 2019 I released my podcast, titled “Rediscover The Will Podcast”. The idea behind this podcast and my brand as a whole is something that I am extremely passionate about, but that doesn’t mean that it will translate as such to my listeners. I’ve made a ton of mistakes from brainstorming, planning, execution, delivery, and marketing. I’ll be frank, my first few episodes of my podcast suck. But your’s do not have to. Here are my lessons learned. I’ll list them in four phases:
Planning - Brainstorming is the honeymoon phase when gearing up for the launch of your podcast; the fun part. Carry something to write with you everywhere. Have a dedicated notepad for your brand so that you can have all of your thoughts, ideas, and concepts all in one place. This way you don’t freak out when you have different ideas written down in different locations and can’t find something that you're dying to remember what it was. Now, whatever you do, don’t lose this notepad/book because... well that’ll just be catastrophic. Bounce ideas off of people you trust that will give an unbiased opinion. Also, if you know any podcasters that are already active then ask for their help. Facebook groups are a major, major help. I am a huge fan of
Podcast Genie Connection , among many other great ones out there. I’m also a member there too (“Jon Rtwtl” on Facebook). They’ve helped me out on my journey and answered any questions that I’ve had, rather quickly.
Recording - Listen carefully. If you ever plan on having a guest that you will be chatting with remotely, make sure you have accounts with several platforms set up and ready to go. You never know what will and will not work for your future guests. I recommend Zencastr, Zoom , and Skype at the very least. The last thing you’ll want to do is have to reschedule due to technical difficulties on your part. Ok, now don’t stress too heavily on spending a ton of money on the “best equipment”. I’ve had guests using their phone and I didn’t know they were using their phone until they said so. They sounded pretty good. So that means if you absolutely need to, you can start off using your phone as well. Next I want to be completely transparent. I'll talk a little about my first episode. I had a great guest, the audio sounded fine, but I can’t listen to it. I can’t listen to it without cringing only because you can (well at least I can) hear the nervousness in my voice. And only if I had a dollar for every time I said “um” [currently cringing]. This doesn’t have to be you. Learn from my mistakes. Let me give you the biggest piece of advice on the subject - Put it out anyway.
If you're anything like me, you will just nit-pick and critique the living hell out of your first few episodes anyway, so just put it out. As far as interviewing tips goes, or just having a podcast with no guests, just be yourself. Your listeners are there for you, the real you. If you want any longevity doing podcasts, I imagine it’ll be hard to put on an act for hundreds of episodes. Be yourself.
Releasing - Going back to just releasing your first few episodes. I’d suggest your first episode be an introduction of you to your listeners. Let them get to know you. Pick a launch date and hold yourself accountable to this date. No excuses. Figure out a release schedule and stick to it. Be consistent so that your listeners know they can rely on you. You can publish a test episode so that you can get the ball rolling on all the various podcast platforms (apple, spotify, stitcher, etc..) so that they can approve your rss feed (you podcast that streams to the various platforms) . Sometimes this process can take weeks. I’d say that a week is average time. At least it was for me.
Marketing - Everyone and their mother. That’s who needs to know about your podcast. Don’t be shy. I was. Make some podcaster friends. Have some professional business cards made for your podcast. Invest in paid advertising online. Social media posts up until your launch day. These are just some marketing ideas to name a few. Basically, make your podcast, your brand, a part of your identity. You got this.
*This is by no means an end-all-be-all guide to podcasting. These are only a few lessons that I learned after releasing and publishing my first three podcast episodes.
In closing, around the time of my fourth and fifth episode, I started to feel myself getting better as an interviewer/podcaster and really became more and more proud of what me and my guests were able to create. You too will get that same feeling, it’s only natural. That is what keeps it interesting- fine tuning your craft and being able to connect with a wide variety of guests and also being able to withdraw something from within your guests that no one else could.
Thank you for reading this and I really hope this helped you. Starting a podcast can be very exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time.If you need help with anything, anything at all podcast related, feel free to ask