Many businesses use podcasts to communicate directly with their audience. It’s one of the most effective ways to connect with people anytime and anywhere.
Podcasts allow you to share relevant information, such as updates about your business, industry-related topics, education, and more, with your audience. They also help build credibility and brand awareness and nurture relationships.
And with over 57% of people from the US listening to podcasts, you should consider whether a podcast makes sense for your small business.
It’s not difficult to start a podcast, but it could be expensive and time-consuming without the proper steps, like good branding and effective promotion strategies.
Over the past fifteen years, our team has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and brands start and launch podcasts. We’ve appeared on hundreds of podcasts and have organized webinars on generating leads from podcasts. We’ve also written about this topic extensively. This guide shares the actionable insights, tips, best practices, and expertise we’ve developed after helping over one hundred thousand brands.
Here are seven steps on how to start a podcast for your small business:
How to start a podcast:
1. Know your focus and audience
Avoid tackling anything under the sun on your podcast, especially if you’re starting. It’s essential to be specific about the topic of your podcast to attract the right audience. Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s the topic I am interested in most? Do I have a lot of experience or knowledge about that topic?
- Does my target audience resonate with this topic?
- Can I relate this topic to my business?
- How can my brand provide education through this topic? What relevant personal experiences can I share with my audience?
It’s best if your focus is related to your business. This will show your authority and expertise and help raise your credibility and trust with your audience.
After narrowing down your topics, pick an appropriate podcast name that reflects your subject, resonates with your audience, and is brand-appropriate.
Remember that your podcast name will determine your target audience’s interest. So, spend time and develop a list of words that hits all the requirements and narrow it down to the most fitting ones until you finally find the best podcast name for your small business. You can even use a podcast name generator if you’re stuck.
And remember to keep the name recognizable. This eCommerce podcast, for example, keeps it simple. It’s about Shopify e-commerce and is called eCommerce Fastlane.
Finally, pick your goals for starting a podcast. Some good reasons to start a podcast are:
- to generate leads
- to build thought leadership and be recognized as an industry leader
- to share important messages
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2. Determine your podcast style
Pick a podcast style and format that suits you best. There are various podcast forms that you can choose from, including:
- Theater format
Most podcasts use the interview, conversational, or storytelling format. You can also choose to create a unique format. The important thing is to give your podcast structure to make creating content easier for you and your audience to digest your content better.
Next, pick the length of your podcast and the frequency of uploads. Most podcasts tend to last 20-45 minutes in length to cover a topic comprehensively. Note that podcasts rarely follow a strict script to appear more genuine and casual to the listeners.
It’s best to upload once a week when you start and adjust your frequency when you better understand your audience. Set and follow a regular schedule for your podcast to ensure consistent, high-quality content for your audience.
3. Choose the right equipment
You don’t need professional equipment for your podcast, especially if you’re starting. Get the right tools that fit your budget and needs. Prioritize getting the most crucial equipment, such as:
- Record and editing tools
- A quiet space
The most critical factor in your podcast is the sound. You can start a podcast using an inexpensive headset or your phone’s internal microphone. But that could compromise the listening experience for your audience. Consider investing in a high-quality microphone without breaking the bank.
You will also need audio software to start a podcast. If you own an iPad or a Macbook, you can use the free GarageBand professional-level audio software available on your device. For PC users, you can use Audacity for free. Or you can use an online audio recording tool like Podcastle that helps you achieve better sound without expensive special equipment.
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4. Start recording
Start recording your first podcast. Familiarize yourself with the recording process and record as many times as you want until you’re more comfortable.
Don’t strive for perfection for your first recording. Instead, aim to record to find areas where you think you can improve better. Check if your microphone is working correctly. Learn the basics of audio editing and adding effects to your podcast.
If you’re conducting interviews, make sure you do it properly. Start by building rapport with your guests and making them feel comfortable. Put your conversational skills to use and aim to ask intuitive questions throughout the interview.
Ensure you ask relevant questions that will provide valuable information for your listeners. Avoid boring your listeners with irrelevant questions.
5. Edit and brand your podcast
Simply sharing your podcasts without cutting irrelevant parts or adding unique elements can quickly bore your listeners. Make sure that the finished product is entertaining and has a brand-appropriate design.
Focus on three vital podcast elements such as:
- Music. Avoid making your audio awkward with blank parts in between conversations or advertisements. Use music to fill in those parts and for your intro and outro. Elevate the rest of your audio recording by adding special sound effects highlighting essential elements of your podcast.
- Voice-overs. Always start your podcast with an introduction about yourself or your business. Start with a short voice-over for openings and wrap up each episode nicely. This will add a touch of personality to your podcast. You could also include a quick recap about previous episodes on succeeding episodes.
- Art. Make it known who you are. Create brand-appropriate art that includes your brand colors, logo, podcast name, or even the host. You want your listeners to recognize you immediately and boost brand awareness.
6. Upload and promote your podcast
Time to get your podcast live. Choose a platform for your podcast’s official launch. There are many platforms to choose from. Some of the most popular include:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- Pandora and more
Pick the platform that best fits you and your technical skills. Some platforms, such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts, might be more familiar to you, making uploading and navigating the platform easier. Ensure to include your podcast platforms on your website for easier access.
Next, promote your podcast before and after your launch. Include your podcast launch in your marketing strategy and get the most out of it by promoting it on all your social channels, blog, and website.
Feedback will naturally come in once your podcast has gone live. Be open to people’s feedback to improve upcoming episodes and increase your listeners.
7. Conduct thorough research
Always aim to be on top of your podcasting game and research the content you put out – even if you have a lot of expertise or knowledge on the matter.
It’s best to be knowledgeable about the topics you’re tackling to avoid misinformation and losing credibility with your listeners. Make it a goal always to share entertaining, correct, and informative content for your audience.
You can learn from your competitors and see how they conduct their podcasts, how they tackle different subjects, and the ways they engage with their audience. Customize and apply these strategies to your podcast.
Starting a podcast without some support can be lonesome, especially if you have questions. You can join podcast communities such as Podcast Community, She Podcasts, and Podcast Movement to help gain traction and learn more from fellow podcasters.
Advantages of having a podcast
You might still think starting a podcast is troublesome and not worth the effort or resources. Here are ways a podcast can help your small business:
- Podcasts allow you to build a personal connection with your audience. Podcasts showcase your humor, candidness, and how you think and discuss certain matters, making your listeners feel familiar with you. Plus, the informal setting makes you appear more human to your audience.
- Podcasts help you reach new audiences. Podcasts increase your chances of being discovered as a business by new audiences through shares, which helps improve your social proof. People will love you if you keep putting out quality content.
- Podcasts help you repurpose content. You can easily repurpose existing content and tackle it comprehensively to educate your audience better. For example, blog posts can often be limiting because of their word count. But you can repurpose them for your podcast and discuss them in more detail.
- Podcasts provide additional income. Podcasts can help you earn through sponsorships, ads, and even paid guests. And the more your podcast has increased in reach, the more you can make through it. It’s a great side hustle for your business that helps educate people while entertaining them.
- Podcasts can boost website traffic. Your listeners will naturally get curious about your business, leading them to click on your website and increasing traffic. Ensure you include your website on your podcast bios if you’re using streaming platforms.
Starting something new will always be scary. But if it helps your business grow and, in turn, helps educate your audience with valuable content, then why not?
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