Last week I broke down my walls, got a little vulnerable, and admitted something that was long overdue: I’m a Podcast Junkie.
While I knew you guys would be supportive of my confession, I had no idea so many of you out there were podcast enthusiasts, as well! So many people responded telling me they too have the podcast affliction. I have never felt more among friends!
One question that seemed to come up a number of times as I was perusing through all your comments and questions was how to go about starting your own podcast. I was so inspired by your interest in claiming your own little slice of the radio-sphere, I’m back today by popular demand to help you get started!
So you want to start a podcast of your own? Start here:
1. What do you have to say?
A podcast isn’t just a one-time declaration or 15 minutes of fame. It’s an ongoing commitment. Whether you share with your subscribers monthly, bi-monthly, or every time the moon wanes or waxes a certain way doesn’t matter. What matters is consistency and being sure you have something to say on a regular basis.
What’s your area of expertise? What do you want your target audience to know? What corner of guru-ness do you claim that you want to share? Before you commit to a regular radio show that subscribers will be waiting to hear more from every month, be sure you have something specific and organized to say on a regular schedule.
2. Who will you be?
You know your client avatar (and if you don’t, pause here and go check out this blog on identifying your target client avatar), but what is yours? Who will you be on the sound waves? An expert? A trusted advisor? A little humorous? Perhaps an interviewer who brings on stellar guests to share relevant information with your audience? Before you can outline what you’ll say, be clear about how you’ll say it and the persona you want to have.
Consider this: When you scroll through all the thousands of podcasts out there, what catches your eye first? The name and the artwork.
Naming your podcast shouldn’t be an afterthought. You should give it due diligence just like when you identified what it was you had to say to the world. The name of your podcast should be short, descriptive, and should resonate with your audience. You wouldn’t, for example, title your podcast, “The Jones Law Firm Podcast”. Womp womp. Think up something interesting and thought provoking that will inspire your audience to click to learn more!
The artwork you use for your podcast needs to be a minimum of 1400 X 1400. It also needs to stand out against the crowd! As listeners are scanning through podcasts, your artwork should jump off the page and grab their attention.
4. Perfect form.
So far, you’ve determined what you have to say on a regular basis, who you’ll be in your radio space, who you’re talking to, and how you’re going to grab their attention.
The next step is to determine the format of your show. How long will it be? How often will you release a new episode? How will you structure each episode? Will you do mostly interviews, discussions about a particular topic, or more of a combination of the two, like a variety show? Remember, this is your show, so you call the shots. Your key to success will be making sure you’re consistent and your audience knows what to expect from your episodes.
5. You’re only as good as you sound.
Two points here: First, make sure you have a radio voice. Second, make sure your voice is clearly captured with the right equipment.
Not everyone has a radio voice. But you can go a long way on your own to making sure when people listen to your voice they aren’t cringing at the sound. If you suffer from vocal fry, nasal intonation, high pitched, are soft spoken, or drop the ends of your words or sentences, take the time to work on having a clear, full, level sound. Record yourself. Have others listen to your voice, and listen to it yourself. What ticks or tendencies do you pick up in your voice, and what do others hear? There are plenty of exercises to improve your voice quality – take advantage of them and be sure people love hearing you!
People tend to over complicate the process of finding the right equipment for recording. Even if you have a small budget, you can find quality equipment that will provide you and your subscribers a stellar experience. Check out a few of my go-to podcast equipment lists here and here.
6. Do the dang thing!
You’re ready! You’ve got your audience, you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, your podcast has a memorable name and some eye-catching artwork, you’ve got a well-planned show and the equipment to make you sound like a pro. The only part left is to record the show!
Be easy on yourself. Take your time. Take as many takes as you need. Audio can always be edited before you share it. Don’t panic. You’re going to be great.
7. The techy part.
After recording, you’ve got to post your episode for the world to hear! While this may seem like the most difficult part, there are oodles of step-by-step tutorials for how to actually export your episode and host it online so you can distribute it to podcast directories. The most comprehensive and helpful one I’ve come across was this one. After all the prep you’ve done to get to this point, exporting, uploading and hosting will be the easy part.
8. Promote, Promote, Promote!
You have worked hard on this! Don’t forget to promote your podcast and your new episodes! Don’t make the mistake of going through all this work and then just hoping or expecting people will find it. Even if you have subscribers who are waiting anxiously for your next episode, the best way to gather more subscribers is to let them know your podcast exists!
Get social. Post your podcast and new episodes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – or whatever your favorite social media platform is (no, you don’t need to use all of them – pick two).
Use your website. It’s there to promote your business and your services and this is the perfect medium for letting your audience know about your new episodes! Consider having a page on your site dedicated to your podcast where you can build a running list of all the great episodes you share so people visiting your site for the first time can see what a great podcast you have and explore some of your episodes.
Have others share. If you interview someone, be sure to send them the link so they can also promote the episode. That’s a win-win! If there are particular centers of influence who you think would benefit from hearing a specific episode, share it with them and encourage them to share it with their clients and inner circle, as well!
Creating a podcast can be a fun and easy way to stay connected with existing clients, build a list of new prospective clients and raving fans of your firm, and isn’t nearly as daunting as it might seem. The end of the year is coming. This could be the perfect time to launch something new and exciting for your firm!
Happy podcasting and happy weekend,
Practice Building Consultant
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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