If you are all set to start a podcast for your business but don’t know where to even begin, well, you’ve come to the right place.
Starting a podcast for your small business can be divided into four segments :
- Planning Your Podcast
- Preparing For Your Podcast
- Recording & Editing
- Launching & Promotions
We’re only going to expand on the planning, preparing and recording of the podcast in detail.
Here’s everything you need to know about starting a podcast for your business from the very inception to executing it.
Planning Your Podcast
Planning is a half-done job, and the same goes for recording a podcast as well.
Start with all the preparation and planning required about deciding the podcast niche, topic, format and style as well.
All you have to make sure is follow all these steps and measure to plan and create your first podcast episode.
Understanding Your Business Niche
Finding the niche is never easy and always a part of the very first few steps of starting anything new online.
However, if you are small business owner starting your own podcast for any one, two or all of these reasons :
- To connect with your audience
- To find more targeted audience
- To sell your products eventually
- To build your brand
- To establish your brand as industry leader
- To help people through your content
Well, the niche selection is almost kind of given to you.
However, that is not entirely true!
For example, let’s assume you sell beachwear clothes online. In that case, starting a podcast might not be a good idea unless you crack some really unique idea around it.
Image Source: Podcast Hero
On other hand, companies or brands that may be selling gymwear and gym apparels can actually start a fitness-based interview podcast featuring fit people telling their inspirational fat-to-fit stories.
There are hundreds of examples where you have to find a way to tap into that audience through the content that is relevant to that audience as well as your product.
So you might be clear about your business niche but podcast niche or topic still require some thought to be worked on.
Make sure you select a niche where you come out more as an authoritative and informative side in your podcast.
Picking Your Podcast Topic
First you have to understand what really makes a good podcast. There are a lot of myths and assumptions about it.
Lot of people assume that it’s that sexy voice, high-quality and costly microphone and lavish studio setup.
These things however don’t matter much if you do not publish highly engaging and helpful content.
The content makes a good podcast and then a good mic, voice, flashy editing, lavish setup all works in favor.
How To Choose Your Podcast Topic?
Focus on selecting the niche that is associated with the business.
For individuals, they can go for the topics that interest them and have some knowledge.
It is also about what value they can provide to their listeners with their experience, passion, knowledge and learnings.
For businesses, your aim is to bring the people who are relevant to your niche and the product you’re selling.
Image Source: Podchaser
It is about providing value to potential customers and marketing your brand through engaging content.
The best way to find your topic is thinking about what kind of content your potential customer would like to see.
Your business podcast should focus on coming out as a leader in the industry offering solutions to the target audience.
It is essential to align your podcast topics to your business solutions. It doesn’t have to direct.
Figuring Out The Frequency Of Your Podcast
You need to decide your own frequncy of the podcast as to how often you want to release a new episode.
The frequency of the podcast episode can be dependent upon various factors such as :
- How much time do you have to give?
- How often can you record?
- Are you fine with publishing more if that’s required?
- How much prep do you need?
- Have you made the appointment with your guest?
- What frequency would you like to go for at ease?
- How much content do you have or want to say?
However, there are some suggestions regarding how often you should release at the beignning of the podcast journey.
Image Source: Oberlo
As per the experienced podcasters, regularity is the key and the more you publish within the schedule you promised make you grow faster.
At least once a week is pretty much that a lot of podcasters follow for their long episodes.
Some do twice or thrice a week as well. You just have to do it. There are no fixed rules unless you are breaking your own schedule of consistency.
Sometimes, your audience is the best judge as they can tell you how often they would prefer your episode in a week or month.
And then you can decide according to the demand and along with your own reservations and capabilities as well.
Lot of podcasters also suggest shooting for multiple podcast episodes before releasing one.
In this way, you would always have a few episodes to release and time to make new ones without any hassle.
Not to mention, ditching the pressure on sticking to the schedule.
Identifying Your Audience
If you’re targeting everyone, you’re getting no one. It is critical to identify your audience depending upon particular specifications.
You need to define your audience and your target who you will specifically address.
It is critical to remember that listeners are looking for a one-to-one direct connection and relationship.
The host of the podcast must emit the feelings that the host is directly talking to the listeners.
Image Source: Neilson
Understand the listeners crave for connection and want to feel special. So to create that for you, it is critical to understand exactly who they are and how to target them more accurately.
What you need to learn about your target audience is their problems, fears, priorities, hopes, likes, dislikes and desires.
Knowing all these key insights will give you stronger direction to move towards creating the required content.
Here are few questions you should think about while profiling your ideal listeners :
- Where do they live?
- What can be other common links amongst them?
- How old are they?
- Why are they listening to your podcast or similar topics?
- What are their priorities?
- What do they fear?
- What do they value?
- Do they prefer tea or coffee?
- What are their interests?
The more you know about these key insights and gain control, the more chances you will have to connect with them.
Deciding On The Length Of The Podcast
One of the early aspects of starting a podcast is deciding the length of it.
You might not think it as a concern but it dictates a lot of factors in the success of the podcast.
To determine the length of your podcast, you need to figure out how much you have to say for the given topic.
It further depends upon how much the audience for the particular niche or topic want or need to listen.
Image Source: Inside Radio
There are different approaches towards deciding the length of the podcast.
Lot of podcasters believe that each episode should be given their own freedom and space to get the length as much less or more needed.
Some podcast episodes are better with a restricted episode lenght of 5 to 10 minutes only.
Then there are certainly like 3 and even 4 hour length podcasts but still get huge listeners with even full retention.
Image Source: Westwood one
The average length of podcast episodes is 20 to 45 minutes, said to be a comfortable length to go for.
Most of the time, podcast niche has to decide with their length.
Some podcast niche require long-form laid back episodes and some of them more formal and formatted, very precise to a fixed length.
You shouldn’t be afraid as well to vary your episode length as per needed.
If you think the content is enough to expand the episode length, you should definitely do that.
Don’t force yourself to cram a lot of information into the set length of the podcast. It is only going to affect the quality of your podcast episode.
Deciding On Your Podcast Positioning
The sheer number of podcast shows out there is unimaginable.
Okay, if you want to put the number, Fast company released an article in 2018 stating the availability of 535,000 active shows on Apple podcasts.
That constitutes over 18.5 million episodes! Bear in the mind, that was about 2018 and apparently it is only growing.
Wait! Don’t be discouraged by this! It is to only make you realize that the competition is high, so you need to stand out.
To stand out in all this noise, it becomes tricky to really communicate your USP of your podcast even if you have a great one.
Here comes the podcast positioning, a strategic position to take in the market to cut down the noise and communicate towards the targeted listeners.
What is Podcast Positioning?
By the positioning, it refers to what customers can relate to when they think about your podcast.
There must be a unique place that occupies in the mind of listeners when they think about your content brand.
It is a way for the customers to distinguish your podcast from others or your competitors.
- Make sure you highlight all your features that are unique from you.
- Try to make a unique place in the market.
- Create a specific brand image, something that appeals to a specific market.
- Offer a product/content that is high-quality and yet fresh.
How To Develop A Unique Podcast Positioning?
Here are two steps to develop a unique podcast positioning :
- Selecting a Topic based on your passion, authority, experience or credibility.
- Identifying your audience
You also need to think of what kind of content you are producing and for whom :
- Is your content about people needing advice on specific niche? e.g parents need advice on parenting.
- Is your podcast for content creators getting help on content creation? e.g podcasters need advice on podcasting.
- Is your podcast for a more generic and large audience? E.g health advice for general people.
You also need to come up with the format and style of your podcast depending upon the distinct taste or preference of the audience :
- Does it need to be very formal and descriptive?
- Is it something informal and practical?
- Is your podcast more of an anecdotal or storytelling style?
- Does your podcast have an interview with lots of information and helpful advice?
And there are more situations with combinations of your audience type, the kind of content you are offering, the format and the style you are presenting.
Selecting A Podcast Format
Choosing the podcast format is one of the critical decisions while starting the endeavour.
It is evident by now that you need to be unique with your podcast content.
However, don’t feel stuck at the start as it can take some time to develop more authenticity and style to your brand.
Different Podcast Formats To Choose
One of the common problems of podcast listening is the same as any other form of content such as blogs, videos, etc, that is distractions.
People often do not complete listening to the podcast, get distracted and move on.
So for this, it becomes integral to have some format in the podcast to give it a structure for smoother consumption.
Interview / Guest Show
- It can help you gain a larger audience easier than other formats.
- You can leverage guest or star guest’s audience to grow your podcast.
- Creating content is easy as your guest creates most of it.
- It helps you develop authority and credibility through expert interviews.
- 2 or more people can participate in the podcast.
- Discussion, conversation or topic-driven casual podcast
- Can be tricky to connect with the audience
- Have to connect with your audience.
- Depends upon the people’s personality and conversation quality.
- Usually a solo podcast as a monologue.
- Mostly high-quality content-driven
- The podcaster needs to position him/herself as a market expert.
- Can be great for repurposing for creating blog content.
- Best for educational or skill-based industry
- The only rule with solo podcasts is being a single podcaster on the show.
- It also can be an expert-based podcast, Q & A and News and current event show as well.
- Solo podcasts can be tricky to engage the audience longer.
- It can be content-driven but does require some personality element.
Q & A Podcast
- It is a perfect format for listener-generated questions.
- Such podcast are short and easy to produce
- These are often of great SEO quality as answering FAQs on topics.
News & Current Events Podcast
- Primarily focuses on sports, technology, politics etc.
- This format is more as an aggregation of content.
- It has potential for fresh content.
How To Name Your Podcast?
You don’t have to overthink about this but rather go for something very simple, original and unique.
It should be something that is relevant to your content and the style of your podcast as well.
Still, the most important part to remember is you can always change it.
What you really need to understand is – don’t get stuck on naming your podcast as overthinking only leads to procrastination for starting the podcast.
Here are few aspects you need to consider before naming your podcast :
Make It Authentic, Unique And Original
Something you never would want to do with naming your podcast is infringing on someone else’s trademark.
So, at least make sure the name you select and make it original. The name should be unique and authentic to your niche or topic.
Focus On Making It Relevant And Descriptive
Once you get an original, unique and authentic podcast name, focus on making it easy to understand and comprehensible to your target audience.
It should be descriptive enough to attract the targeted listeners, so people can get an idea about it.
Should Be Easy-To-Pronounce And Spell
Your podcast name should be easy to pronounce and remember for your listeners. It also makes it easy to share with others or recall it.
Define Your Podcast Style
You’ve already dealt with selecting or developing :
- Your podcast niche
- Your podcast topic
- Your podcast positioning
- Your podcast format
Now, the one thing that changes your podcast from anyone else from its core – is the style of your podcast.
First of all, don’t get rushed to define your style. And do not panic when you don’t see one!
Most of the time, it takes some effort to recognize and define your style without actively applying it.
How To Record and Edit Your Podcast?
So you have planned and prepared everything starting from your podcast show branding to your first episode scripting.
Now, it all comes to the recording and editing part of the process.
Just to make sure, you have done all these :
- Deciding your podcast name
- Select the podcast format and style
- Choose your podcast niche
- Completed your podcast script
So, it is a checklist you need to get over with at this stage of podcast production.
Recording the podcast needs two things primarily :
- What to record? ( script. content)
- Who to record with ( hosts, guests)
- What to record with ( ( recording equipment)
Well, since you have already got sorted on the first two of these, now you need to learn about what recording gears you need and how to use them.
What Recording Equipment Do You Need?
You can start recording your podcast with the bare minimum recording equipment you have.
However, since you are starting the podcast from an already established business or brand, it must have a professional or at least semi-professional quality to it.
Image Source: Gadgets to use
But not to worry, as even that is not too much costly, all you need is :
- Computer or laptop
- USB audio Recorder(s)
- Internet access
This basic USB microphone/ recording setup is enough to start with significantly good quality audio.
There are many budget-friendly audio recorders available in the market to make your pick.
Image Source: Reddit
Samson Q2U is one of the best affordable microphones you can go for. They are really durable and offer high-quality audio.
Another great alternative for Samson Q2U is ATR2100 where both of them you can get just under $100.
With the Samson Q2U upgrade, you also get a boom arm mic stand to help you record your podcast with much more flexibility and ease.
So at initial stage you can go for two picks here :
- Samson Q2U
What Recording & Editing Software You Need?
For recording and editing both, you need software to do the production/ post-production on your computer or laptop.
However the good news is you don’t always have to pay for these software as there are some great free options to make your pick.
Best Podcast Recording & Editing Software
Podcast recording and editing becomes quite easy with recording and editing software by your side.
And it is easier to learn these software than you think!
Here are some popular free/paid podcast recording & editing software that you can choose to go ahead with.
Image Source: Audiohelp
Audacity is surely the first name that pops up when one asks about sound editing tools for free, especially when you exclude the only-mac support Garageband.
It has been popular for more than two decades, and available for everyone, especially those who are starting into recording and audio editing.
The free version is an open-source product available to download from their official website with features like recording, editing, keyboard shortcuts, effects and much more
Image Source: Apple
GarageBand is one of the most popular audio recording and editing software, especially for Mac users.
Apple released their audio workstation in the year 2004 which has been popular amongst the audio professional ever since.
It is easy to use and has all kinds of audio editing features that you possibly require for podcasting.
In fact, you can try to create some music or background sound for your podcast with the given digital instruments in the software.
It is available for free as well as in the paid version with different add-on prices.
Power Sound Editor
Image Source: Softonic
Power Sound Editor comes with tons of audio editing and recording features aim to helm all kinds of audio projects.
If you are looking for podcast recording and editing software that does more in that arena, this is it.
You can lay down a track using the external microphones or even cut audio fragments from other videos, CDs, DVDs and even the internet.
It comes in both free and paid versions with a plethora of advanced audio editing features.
Image Source: Softonic
WavePad is just a perfect all-rounder audio editing studio software that fulfills all recording and audio editing requirements.
The software is available for both Windows and Mac users with very simplified audio recording and editing functionality.
You can also mix voices, add effects, change music tracks and do all lots of fun with your audio file.
The free edition of this software is great with their limited feature set as compared to their paid version.
Image Source: Magix
Music Maker has been one of the popular choices for more than 2 million people all around the world.
It is a music creation tool or software with seamless audio recording, editing and managing features.
There are tons of tutorials available on the web to learn this software very quickly. It comes as a free as well as paid version.
You get features like various tracks, effects, pro sound engine, multi-core performance, 425 free sounds and loops and so much more with it.
Image Source: Preonus
Studio One is a creative podcast recorder and editing tool with an intuitive single-window interface, smooth recording and drag-and-drop functionality.
With the free version of this software, you get limited features with a 64-bit operating system only.
There is just so much more in their paid version such as additional effetives, unlimited audio tracks and more.
How To Record Your First Podcast Episode ?
This is where the magic happens! When you get all planning and prepping done, you get to finally record the first podcast episode.
Here are all different aspects and steps you can take in order to record your first podcast episode or all episodes.
Planning The Podcast Topic
If you are all set to record the first episode of your business podcast, you need to begin from planning the first episode, for sure.
It’s simple! What are you going to talk about?
First of all, it depends upon your niche and the business you run as well.
Suppose your busines is about running a diet consultation-based application with premium services.
And your podcast is about helping people fix the right diet for them for different purposes, say for losing weight, body-building etc.
So now you have to plan your first episode ( and so others) fall under this niche.
Here are some possible ideas or topics you can talk about :
- Losing weight fast but difficult vs Loosing weight easy over time
- The role of diet in the loosing weight
- How to lose your belly fat?
You get the idea, these are pretty basic, but an expert can come up with much more concerned topics that can really pull people in.
Maybe you are bringing guests in to talk about their experience for losing weight successfully or bring a diet expert for this.
Bringing Guest Vs. Solo Podcast
Now, when you were deciding about your podcast at the early stage, you must have decided whether to go for a solo podcast or guest-based show.
Or it can be talking to people in the same niche or experts who can bring more to the conversation.
Image Source: Podcast Gang
But when you do decide to bring a guest in, there are some more steps adding in here for you.
Make sure you have done these things before you set your first episode with a guest :
- Decide who you are bringing on the show and why?
- Have a fair idea on what value they can provide?
- Convincing and setting a fix date and time for the podcast recording.
- Briefing your guest about topic, format etc
- Deciding the venue and time of the place where you are recording ( if not remotely)
- Do a test of conversing and recording online if you’re doing a podcast remotely.
Figuring Out The Video Aspect Of The Podcast
Most podcasts are today recorded as a video also apart from making the audio reserve for audio podcast distribution channels.
Even if many don’t really intend to go full in video, still record the conversation through a camera, possibly for sharing it on youtube.
But since you are branding through your podcast, video podcasts are necessary.
Image Source: Youtube
So for that, not just you have to figure out the audio recording but also the video recording of the setup.
Here are some solution you can do to make it work :
- Record with your iPhone ( in the worst case scenario)
- Use DSLR with tripod setup ( one-camera setup)
- Use 2 or 3 Cameras, 1 for master and 2 for closeups ( multi-camera setup)
- Zoom/Online recording ( for interview/ guest podcasting remotely done)
Once you record the video, you have to sync it up with the audio file.
The next best thing always to do is leave video and audio production for professionals.
But the best advice is to hire media interns, or professionals if you are ready and sure to invest in this.
Scripting Vs Pointers
Scripting your podcast is an essential step here before starting recording your podcast.
If you are doing a solo podcast, you have two options, whether you are going to make pointers or have notes to talk it out in the podcast.
Or you can write down a detailed script to read it with a light-weight casual attitude.
Image Source: Medium
Scripting or not scripting is a huge debate in the podcast creation world but the best way to do it is see whether your niche requires it or not.
If you want to give very detailed, fleshed-out, informative, factual and even more on the lines of a report or news, then it is perfectly fine to script your podcast.
And then you can even play with your words wherever you want to add more.
If your podcast niche or topic is more about personality-driven content or something that needs more conversational and relating, then scripting might suck fun out of it or make it unnatural.
However, you can still make detailed notes, and segways on how you will move from one point to another.
So it is more like an outline which you will be following to maintain the format or structure of the podcast but yet very conversational and natural.
Placing The Microphone
Placing the microphone is critical for the quality of the audio you are getting.
It is about optimizing your available microphone or audio device to its fullest potential by adjusting it.
You also need to understand what kind of mic you have in order to understand its placement.
However, the general thumb of the rule with mics is, it should be as near as possible to your mouth.
Image Source: Buzzsprout
Lot of early podcasters make this rookie mistake by simply not putting the mic close enough.
If you have a unidirectional mic like a shotgun, you should defintely put it close to your mouth.
The direction of the mic also should be aimed towards your mouth as unidirectional mics are prone to pick the sound from the front predominantly.
You must also understand that too much near to the mic can cause voice distortion or other technical disturbances.
So, you better aim for the optimal distance between the podcaster and the microphone, something about three inches.
Use A Pop-Filter On The Mic
Pop filter is something that is used to shield the microphone from the rushed air or plosive generated fast-moving air during the talking.
Image Source: Voices
The words starting from ‘P’ like ‘pop’ or ‘practise’ have a strong ‘p’ sound that disturbs the audio due to speeding air thrown causing spikes in the audio.
Pop-filter filters out such noises and even protects the microphone from thrown saliva dispersed from the podcaster’s mouth.
Also, it filters over noises or any kind of pressure air thrown to the mic.
Editing Your Podcast
Editing the podcast isn’t a very tough job but it does have a learning curve. But don’t worry, you don’t have to chase perfection with your first podcast episode.
You already got all the options for the software you can choose for podcast editing.
All you have to do is transfer the audio file to the timeline, give some tweaks and make some changes, and they are ready to publish.
Image Source: shannon Hernandez
Here are few things you need to remember while editing your audio podcast :
- Tweak the sounds to bring more bass in the voice
- Reduce the noise and minimize the distractions
- Cut out the parts that are unnecessary or not needed
- Create a differnet intro to add it in the beginning of the podcast
- You can also choose to give an interesting part of the podcast early on as an intro to create a hook for the listeners.
- Make sure you put CTA at the end of the video
Editing the video of your podcast is a totally different game altogether. For those you have to use video editing software and sync audio with the video.
Distributing & Promoting
Once you get your final product done, be ready to publish the episode on multiple podcast channels.
Image Source: Polymash
You would want to make it available on different platforms so more and more people can reach you.
Make sure to use podcast distribution platforms like Anchor to automatically publish your episodes on multiple podcast streams.
Share the episode updates on your social media channels. Don’t hesitate to pre-annouce the dates of the podcast release to create the hype.
Indulge in promoting your podcast on your guest’s social media as well to leverage their audience.