It’s official – podcasts are here to stay. Around 7.1 million people in the UK listen to podcasts each week – that’s an incredible 1 in 8 people listening! Sources also predict that by 2023, the global monthly podcast audience will be somewhere around 1.85 billion listeners – and your business can also get a slice of the action.
But why a podcast for your business? With ever-growing audiences hungry for new content there are some surprising benefits a podcast can bring to your company. Podcasts offer a great brand-boosting opportunity – they give your business a chance to cement expertise in a certain field, give behind-the-scenes insights into areas that your clients or customers might be interested in, and show your creativity and personal side. You could even grow a larger customer base through new listeners coming on board.
The podcast experts at Fascinate Productions have put together this quick and easy guide, revealing our 6 most important tips to consider when you’re starting your own business podcast:
- WHAT’S THE PODCAST ONLY YOU CAN MAKE?
When it comes to considering what sort of podcast to produce, have a think about what will make yours stand out from the crowd. What podcast can only you make? What’s the topic you’re uniquely qualified to talk about? Are there any particular guests only you have access to?
If your business has a particular topic you can tell a good story about, and you have passion for it – that’s your podcast. Your listeners will be able to hear your enthusiasm, and it’s going to make for a pretty great listen.
Don’t forget though, your podcast will need to bring some sort of value for your listeners if you want to engage your target audience. It needs to answer a question, fulfil a need – or just be plain, old-fashioned entertaining. Ensure you have enough material to talk about for a good number of episodes and consider how future series could expand and scale for new seasons. You don’t want to start out and then struggle for content ideas!
- SILVER-LININGS PODCAST PLAYBOOK
To laser-focus your thinking, gather all your ideas, concepts and plans into one or two pages of A4. This will be your go-to guide when you need to refocus your objectives, to use when you bring other team members on board or to check your decision making when choosing guests or topics.
Write a positioning statement for your podcast:
What: Your podcast category – what is it your podcast is aiming to say, what niche are you trying to fill? What do you want to teach people? 74% of podcast listeners say they go to podcasts to learn something – what does your audience want to know?
Who: Define the listener – include a profile of your target audience – who they are, what content they read, listen to or watch. Where do they hang out? How do they spend their time? Remember if you serve everyone, you serve no one.
Why: What listener needs do we fulfil? What challenges do they face that our podcast could mitigate? Are we looking to answer difficult questions, provide some light entertainment or do you have a deeper theme? Can you provide solutions to questions through expert interviews or industry insights?
Don’t forget to outline your role as host – are you the expert? Or are you acting as a proxy for the audience?
Taking the time to craft your positioning statement at this stage will pay off many times over. Whether you’re writing copy, or communicating to guests or advertisers, this is an exercise in focus that you can and should refer back to on a regular basis.
3. BOOK SOME AWESOME GUESTS
Now is the time to start calling in those favours! Perhaps Bob the amazing-market-leading-startup-genius owes you a coffee? Sandra from that uber-cool magazine needs those business insights? Give them a call (and maybe a few podcast shoutouts to say thanks). When you’re first starting out on your podcast journey, it’s definitely worth pulling together a list of hot-ticket guests who you can approach and pull into recording an episode with you.
Be a little picky with who you target though, and have a think about the type of podcast you are producing. For example, for a business-focused narrative you might want to consider interviewing a combination of successful entrepreneurs, up-and-coming business owners and business leaders, as well as Sandra and Bob.
Do your research – the more you do, the more interesting your conversations and interviews can be. Send a list of your topics and questions to your guest beforehand – a prepared guest is a relaxed, chatty guest. The more well-prepared you are, the easier you’ll find your podcast is to record – and you’re more likely to get those natural, dynamic moments that make for great listening.
4. GET THE RIGHT TECH
Here at Fascinate Productions we have our favourites when it comes to tech, and it’s important to stress that getting some decent equipment is key to the overall finish of your podcast. Bad quality audio is going to make your listeners switch off.
Unless you’re in a studio environment, it’s best to opt for a dynamic over a condenser type microphone. These can be purchased relatively cheaply, and some can plug into your computer via USB. In our opinion, the best choice is the Audio Technica ATR 2100X, which you can pick up for around £80.
If you have some money to spend, grab a broadcast classic: both the Shure SM7b and the Electrovoice RE20 can be heard on radio stations worldwide. To connect either of these to your computer, you’ll need an audio interface of some sort, and as both need a lot of gain, a cloudlifter or similar is necessary to avoid a nasty noise floor. All in all, getting set up with one of these will cost between £500 and £700.
5. MAKE A PILOT EPISODE & GET THE EDIT RIGHT
So, where to begin? First off, it’s worth saying that to truly get to grips with your podcast and everything involved, it’s a really valuable exercise to finish your pilot episode from end to end. This will allow you to test your format and concept, and to make sure that your podcast has the potential for growth and scalability to make further episodes and seasons. After all – you’re not going to all this effort just to make one single podcast!
Write yourself a decent script or preparation document that covers your entire episode; include who your audience is, the main drive of the episode and topics to cover.
Write your line of questioning. Check back in with your playbook and ask yourself – will this question help me uncover answers that serve my goals and my audience?
Next up – post production. Good editing is the difference between your audience staying with you through an episode, and ultimately coming back for more. However, try to remember that even the best-selling podcasts will have had ‘those’ episodes at the very beginning – keep at it, and you’ll soon be powering through like a pro.
6. CONTENT IS KING
You’ve got to create content regularly if you want your podcast to be a success. This isn’t a one-episode, or even a one-series thing – think about your podcast as a long term project. Your listeners should know when to expect your content, and you’re going to want to build up trust with them that you will be releasing episodes fairly consistently.
Recording and publishing a new episode routinely can help you to build up a loyal audience who are interested and interacting with your podcast and your business.
Don’t forget that the content you’re producing is valuable! One of the many benefits of creating a podcast for your business is that you’re making assets that you can use elsewhere! Use the scripts from your show as blog posts or articles, film yourselves recording the show and use the video to promote your podcast – even bloopers make for successful social media content. All of which will help to promote your business and your brand.
ENJOY CREATING YOUR PODCAST!
You’ll get a real sense of satisfaction from creating your own podcast and seeing your ideas blossom into valuable content for your listeners. If you need any more advice we have created a detailed guide on how to start a business podcast or if we can answer any of your questions around podcasting, technical queries or anything else, we’d be happy to chat with you.