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How to Get Started with Podcasting

| October 6, 2014 | Strategic Growth

Smiling Chinese woman listening to musicIn an earlier article we discussed why your business needs a podcast to deliver valuable content and build your audience. Now I’d like to give you a framework for putting everything into practice.

Podcasting Is the New Talk Radio

It’s helpful to think of podcasting as the new talk radio—because it is. Just a few days ago I was listening to a traditional radio station in my car and the host suggested downloading their app for listening on your smartphone.

So, there you go. Whether the broadcast is your business podcast, Sirius satellite radio or a terrestrial radio station, that content will more than likely be consumed on a smartphone moving forward.

The only difference between your business and the big guys is you don’t have a radio transmitter (or need one). What you do need is a place to host your content so that it can be downloaded.

Libsyn is the service most podcasters use to host their audio (and video) content, and the cost is minimal. The content you record using any computing device is then syndicated to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and of course, your own website. We’ll get to how that works, but first let’s take a look at the big picture.

7 Steps for Launching Your Podcast Show

  1. Find Your Audience
  2. Write Your Content Mission Statement
  3. Agree on Audience Outcomes
  4. Choose the Podcast Format
  5. Select the Host or Co-Hosts
  6. Commit to a Publishing Schedule
  7. Learn the Technology

The first step is finding your audience. Who are they and what are their most relevant challenges? What will be so useful and interesting that it will encourage them to become regular subscribers?

Write down your podcast purpose or mission. What do you want your podcast to accomplish for your audience? Think in terms of outcomes, such as helping them to become better buyers of the products and services your company offers.

Then determine the best podcast format for your business and how frequently you will publish. Interview shows are popular, with a standard frequency being weekly. More recently, daily shows of a brief duration that answer just one question are becoming increasingly popular.

To do some research, go to the iTunes Store, then podcasts, and then click the drop-down menu to investigate the category of your choice, which for many will be business. You’ll notice the “New and Noteworthy” podcasts listed first. This will give you clues as to what type of show is currently resonating with listeners.

Other than details such as choosing the name of the show and the host(s), all that is left to do before taking it live is learning the technology. My recommendation is to get some help to learn the tricks of the trade and get up to speed quickly.

Get Technology Training to Save Time

The equipment and software needed to get started podcasting is free or nearly so. My recommendation is to start with the basics and upgrade from there. Here are the essentials.

  1. Computer – No special requirements, you just need a USB port.
  2. USB Microphone – It’s about $100 or so for a Blue Yeti or Audio Technica 2020.
  3. Editing Software – Garageband for Mac and Audition for PC are free.
  4. Audio Host – I recommend Libsyn, discussed earlier.
  5. Website – The free Blubrry Powerpress plugin publishes to a WordPress site.
  6. Syndication – iTunes and Stitcher are easy to set up and free.
  7. Logo – You need a logo for sydnication. I used Fiverr and Swiftly to create mine.

You will find other podcasters to be invaluable sources of help. Free resources are available from top podcaster Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome.com. For just $0.99 you can purchase the “Podcast Launch” digital book by John Lee Dumas on Amazon.com. It provides useful information, including links to helpful video tutorials.

If you need more training, check out the Podcasting A to Z course by Cliff Ravenscraft at PodcastAnswerman.com. Also, consider the Podcasters’ Paradise member community with John Lee Dumas, host of the top-rated “Entrepreneur on Fire” podcast. It allowed me to learn at my own pace and has over 1,300 members.

There is indeed a learning curve with podcasting, but it gets much easier. You will find it to be a rewarding way to build your audience and grow sales.

Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast. Jeff is a syndicated publisher and regular content contributor to leading business publications, with his own New Media and Small Business Marketing site ranking among the Top 100 Small Business blogs in the world. He helps small businesses adapt their traditional sales and marketing practices to a digital, social, and global world.

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