Podcasts are a cheaper, more flexible alternative for reaching your audience. In the United States alone, 36 million people listen to podcasts every month, and 57% of them listen on the go, especially during their summer camp activities. Podcast listeners are loyal, with 96% listening to all (or most) episodes of a show and about one-third listening to five or more hours per week.
As podcasting is a medium that can be technically easy to create, beginners have traditionally dominated it. That’s putting it politely. I don’t want to sound gruff here, but the truth is that most podcasts are terrible. Industry insiders call podcasts “amateur hour” because the quality is often not high.
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh no, I don’t want to be one of those terrible amateur podcasters!
I wouldn’t even know where to start! How do I have a podcast that sounds good?”
You don’t have to worry. Just like any other medium, there are production standards you can follow to make a better podcast. You don’t need a degree or anything technical—just a few tips and tricks and some work ethic.
In this guide, I’ll share my “advanced strategies” for starting a successful podcast so YOU can get from those who have already obtained it. You need to do and know certain things before you even begin laying down your first track.
Let’s Dive Into the Podcasting Strategies
01. LISTEN: The 1-2 Punch
First and foremost, listen to lots of podcasts! Get a feel for the medium and different types of shows. Listen for what works and why…and what doesn’t work. You can learn as much from bad shows as you can from good ones. You will start to catch an ear for great audio just by listening to enough podcasts every week. Great producers know that 90% of their job is editing mistakes, so they ought to spend 90% of their time recording content if possible (it’s not always doable).
02. ALL IN ON PODCASTS: Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
If you’re starting a podcast, chances are you have a specific type of person in mind. It might even be yourself; that’s great! But don’t stop there. Expand your horizons and explore other shows. Step out from your comfort area and see what different types of people are talking about—the more, the better. You can get so much by listening to others, especially those who think differently than you do. The more cases you have, the greater your show will be in the end.
03. PLANNING IS KEY: Keep Your Content Strategic
Whether or not you plan on monetising your podcast, you must keep your content strategically planned out. There are three key elements to planning any content:
Content Goals: What do you want your listeners to take away from this episode?
Content Outline: What are your talking points?
Promotion Plan: How will you get the word out about this content?
By planning out what information you want to share with your community, where it fits in with your overall content strategy, and how you plan on getting the word out about that content, you can create a better show for yourself (and, more importantly…) your audience. Make sure all of these elements work together to support one another. That’s really what podcasting is all about.
04. RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE: Nobody Likes A Stranger
Ask yourself: “Who is my target audience ?” If you can’t answer that question, then it’s going to be a lot more difficult for you to reach them through great content alone. You need a specific group of people who want to listen to what you have to say—and ideally, they’ve already been looking for a podcast like yours before you even started it! You don’t want listeners who are randomly stumbling across your show and wondering why they should continue listening.
05. DELIVERING VALUE: Your Unique Selling Proposition
Who else can benefit from listening? How will this content add value to your audience? What will it do for them that they can’t get from another podcast or another medium altogether? Are you covering a topic in a way that no one else is? Are you talking about something nobody is talking about in a way that has clear benefits?
If you can make a compelling case for why your listeners should download every episode, only then will someone indeed be interested in listening to what you have to say. Deliver authentic value and make sure your unique selling proposition (USP) shines through in every aspect of the show—from the host to the content, and even when there doesn’t need to be any audio. In other words: always give 110%!
06. CREATING A NAME: What Are You Calling Your Podcast Anyway?
This is one of the loudest thinking hurdles for people who want to start a podcast, and sadly it’s also one of the most critical pieces to getting your show off the ground. “What should we call our podcast?” is often asked in our office during our first brainstorming session. It’s tough to find an available name and easy to remember—but those are the two most crucial components for creating a solid brand.
When it comes down to finding a name, these three tips should help:
1. Keep the language as simple as possible (two or three words at most)
2. Check for domain availability
3. Try to find a name that’s already associated with someone else in your niche who has a lot of social media followers.
If you pick an original name, you can bet it won’t be available on Instagram or Twitter when you start promoting the show.
In this podcasting article, we have gone through how to go from passive podcast listener to active podcaster in 6 quick steps. To keep your listener’s ears coming back for more, remember these three keys:
1. Engage with the audience in a way that’s authentic and beneficial
2. Deliver value in every episode of the show
3. Make sure your (USP)unique selling proposition shines in every aspect of the show—from the host to the content, and even at times when doesn’t need to be any audio.
Happy podcasting! Share in the comments if you like this article.