In this session of the MyCoda Podcast I talk you through the steps you need to take when setting up your own podcast. With so many podcasts hitting the market these days its crucial you do your homework to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
This is my first solo session, I won’t be making a habit of these however this is something I have learnt first hand, and have helped numerous people with over the past few months.
There is a full Podcast Course that follows this session that you can access by clicking HERE. This will take you step by step through the exact steps you need to take to set up your podcast from software to hardware, scripts, outreaching to influencers plus much more.
The Show Transcript:
It is very easy to underestimate the time and effort it requires to actually do this. I set up my podcast in 24 hours, however I had a very good understanding of all the platforms I used to launch my show.
When I first come about the idea of doing this I reached out to a mentor of mine and picked his brains as to how this can be done. He was kind enough to outline the processes, software and equipment I should use and the general procedure for setting up a podcast feed.
Despite this is still had to do a tremendous amount of digging to get the answers I needed with regards to artwork, recording techniques, structuring a show, how to prepare for a show plus more. I am not stating that this is the only way to do this, but I will say it is a procedure or blueprint that has worked very well for me, and can work well for you to.
So you may be thinking what will I actually learn in this Post? Lets lay it out:
- The stuff that no one ever tells you.
- The game plan.
- The Preparation
If you follow this guide you will have a fully functioning podcast ready for your listeners to enjoy. I will elaborate on a few points before we continue.
You must take action.
This is obvious, however you must not let the momentum stop once you get started. The second you take your foot off the gas you could find yourself delaying for irrelevant reasons. Take massive action and be relentless with your pursuit to launch your kick ass show.
Don’t let nerves get the better of you.
Stepping in front of the microphone can be a very daunting experience, and one you may not enjoy at first. I interviewed John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire and he disclosed that he did not enjoy podcasting initially, and it took him a few hundred episodes to really find his feet and relax behind the microphone.
You will suck at this.
No one is a grand master when they first start, and everyone who has successful podcasts all started somewhere. If you listen back to Pat Flynn’s first recording he sucked. He will happily admit that. John Lee Dumas re-recorded his intro show after 400 episodes. That’s when he felt he had come to a point where he sounded like a pro. That’s over 200 hours of experience after his very first recording.
It will take you time to really find your feet and discover your style. Try not to get discouraged by your first attempts. You will have to put in the time to really find your podcasting style.
One of the misconceptions people have when they launch a show is “record it and they will come”. This is not the case, and recording the show is a very small part of the success of your podcast. One of the biggest factors to the success of your show is being consistent. We will discuss additional ways in which you can market your show, use influencers and generate traffic. This is all irrelevant if you are not consistent. Even if you feel no one is listening, just keep plugging away and stick to your plan.
Remember why you are doing this. Sure we have bad days when we feel tired and may not feel up to it. When you are behind that microphone make sure you are on form. Your voice and words give away a lot about who you are and how you feel. If you record a show with “negative vibes” people will pick up on it. All it takes is one bad show to lose a listener.
You are also interacting with influencers and building a network of successful entrepreneurs. They don’t want to be associated with someone who brings their mood down. People need to feel your energy, and if you are vibrating at the same high level as the person you are interviewing, you will have an awesome episode that everyone will enjoy.
Take the good with the bad.
Not every guest/interview will be great. Over time I have discovered that there are ways in which you can turn a bad interview around and take away some golden nuggets that the listeners can use. I will cover this later on in the book, but for now understand that it is very rare for shows to go completely to plan.
Enjoy the ride.
This is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have met some incredible people and helped thousands of listeners every week with the content I am providing. This makes everything so worth it to me, and the main driver that makes me turn up week in week out and continue interviewing people for the show. I have learnt more since starting my podcast and reached more people than ever before. It all came from adhering to the points listed above:
I always take massive action.
I didn’t let nerves get the better of me.
I defiantly sucked at it.
I was consistent.
I’m always enthusiastic.
Iv had the good and the bad.
I’ve loved, and still love every minute of it.
Lets get into how you can start your very own podcast and enriching others with the awesome content you will provide on your show.
The Game Plan:
This needs to be something you stay consistent with from the start. Your game plan falls under the following categories:
- Identify you.
- Content type
- Episode format
- Try to cut your editing to a minimum
This is the part where you map out exactly what it is you want to offer and the people you want to serve. First lets look at the niche you want to operate in. Say its business for example. You need to immerse yourself in all the places where the people are that you want to serve. I did this with private FaceBook groups, and online forums. These are a great place to start, and very easy to do.
Within each FaceBook group you will find a lot of questions from people surrounding the topics within that particular niche:
This is just one example of hundreds of posts I found asking questions that tell you a lot about the pain points people are facing. This tells me that the guy who posted this is facing a few issues:
- Social media posting, marketing.
You cannot start forming the topic of your show from one post, however repeating this process will give you a clear insight as to what issues people are facing.
Another very powerful way to understand the needs of your potential target market is to email them. Find businesses online and contact them direct. You can be completely transparent with this process. Outline your intentions to set up a podcast and explain that you are in the process of carrying out target market research. Then simply ask them what issues they face on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and what would they want to know which could help them.
An example of an email could be:
Subject: Hi “Business or owner name”. I need your help on this one.
Hi “ Business or owner name”,
My name is John Smith and I am an online entrepreneur. I am starting an online business podcast and carrying out market research to understand what issues other online businesses face on a regular basis.
It would be great if you could spare 2 minutes of your time and hit reply. I would love any feedback that will help me understand what it is business owners like yourself want to know, and how I can help them.
By doing this I can answer your questions directly and provide useful content that will help your business grow.
All you have to do is answer the question below:
What is the one thing that you are struggling with the most in your business today?
I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this email and look forward to the opportunity to help you overcome what ever struggles you are facing with your business.
This is a more time consuming exercise, however the benefits can be very good. For one you are building a relationship directly with the person you are emailing. If you spend a few hours emailing multiple businesses in your niche or industry you should get a positive response. If they reply simply respond thanking them:
Subject: Thank you “Business or owner name” for your help, I want to do something for you..
Hi “ Same business or owner name as above”,
I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Your feedback has been invaluable and allowed me to fully understand how I can best serve my new podcast audience.
I will be sure to let you now once the first episode goes live, and I look forward to addressing your struggles on the show.
It is also worth mentioning that once you launch your podcast you can let everyone know, and as a bonus answer their questions in the show. Then you could follow up once the show has gone live with an email that looks like the one below:
Subject: “Business or owner name”, the John Smith podcast is live, and your question was featured in our very first show.
Hi “ Same business or owner name as above”,
I am excited to announce that my business podcast has gone live. I have called it “The John Smith Business Podcast Show”(Worst name ever, I am only using this for the purpose of the demonstration.) You can check out the show by clicking the link below:
Your feedback was so great I asked my first guest how you could alleviate this issue and his response was incredible and will definitely help you resolve this issue.
Check out the response by clicking the link below:
If you liked the show please feel free to share it with your friends. As well as this you could automatically receive every show I release by Subscribing, rating and reviewing the The John Smith Business Podcast Show in the iTunes podcast directory.
This is completely free and will ensure you get more amazing business advice as I interview people every single week.
Thanks again for your support and being a founding listener of The John Smith Business Podcast Show.
The process above will outline real time issues people face with their own business, and in turn help you gain a new listener and potentially a subscription, rating and review. All of which are crucial for the launch of any new podcast.
If you get an overwhelming response you wont be able to feature everyone’s questions or struggles, and some may not fit or even apply. It is still worth emailing them. They gave you the time of day to help you, so it’s only polite to send them a similar email outlining how you can help them in return.
One way to find out what struggles people are facing is very simple and yet often overlooked. And that is to engage in the magical art of talking to people face to face. Although people may have an online business, they will still like to speak to people face to face from time to time. This is a great way to carry out research as you get one thing that will help you gauge the true level of their frustration you wont get via social media or email. Human emotion. When you talk to someone face-to-face you get to feel their energy, their frustration, their anger. If you get to the root cause of what they are really struggling with you will feel the frustration oozing from them.
You can also counter their negative energy surrounding the topic and turn it into positive energy. Show promise that you are going to solve this for them and that you are happy to do so. If they can associate you with a solution, they will be sure to listen to your podcast once it goes live.
You can drop this into conversation very casually. A simple question like “how’s business?” will suffice to kick things off. Once they answer you can then go into your plans to set up a podcast and ask them what struggles they are facing at the minute. Be sure to have their email address before you leave the conversation so you can inform them when the show is live.
The key to all of these methods is shutting your mouth and opening your ears. Do not be tempted to control the conversation and cut them off. When you get someone to talk, let them go. The more information they give you the better. Always leave the conversation on a positive note and assure them you are going to help them resolve this issue and help them recognise a remedy from the content you will provide on the show.
Get as much information as you can, and don’t stop until you are confident you have identified a niche and listener that you want to target your podcast at.
This is the part where you look into what is already out there and find out how you can add more value to the potential listeners of your show. One could ask how are you going to be different? How are you going to stand out from the crowd?
The answer to this is incredibly simple. Just be you! There is only one you and your personality is different from everyone else on the planet. No two people are the same so just be you.
You can, and must look to see how you can add more value than someone else in the same niche or industry as you. Go to iTunes and search for the top podcasts in the same category as you. For me I searched in the business section as my podcast is on business start-ups. I spent time researching the hosts, their websites, their content and listened to the quality of their shows.
When I interviewed John Lee Dumas, he stated that he saw a gap in the market for a daily podcast show. Therefore he started out by backlogging enough episodes to last 45 days (we will cover how to do this later on in the book). This is how he differentiated himself from any other podcast on the market.
Also look at the questions other people are asking. If your podcast is based on interviewing people, think how you can get more from the guests. There is a great book called “A More Beautiful Question” by Warren Berger. In this book he outlines the phycology behind questioning and how we can utilise this to find out what we want from people. This goes to show the power of a question and how asking the right questions can give you a much better outcome.
This is one example of how you can make your show better than anyone else’s on the market. Another may be the way in which you format your show. Take your time and get creative when going through this process.
What ever you do, make sure it resonates with you, and is a true representation of your personality. If you discover there is no other podcast out there that focuses on delivering questions in song, that doesn’t mean that’s the route for you. You may be a terrible singer, or dislike singing all together, in which case this is not the way to go even if there is a gap in the market for a singing podcast.
One of the best original podcasts I have heard in a long time is “My Dad Wrote A Porno”. It is based around 2 guys and a girl reading the script of the main hosts dads erotic book. The book is terrible and the 3 of them break down the terminology used, the cinereous outlined and the characters clothing, comments and actions. It is hilarious and has me in stitches every time I listen to the show. This is a great example of original content that no one has done before. It is the number 1 rated comedy podcast on iTunes and has an incredible 554-5 start ratings. There’s no question why this has been such a success. It’s original, funny and delivers every time.
If we look at this as an example, you don’t have to be complex in your approach here. This is simply one guy reading a transcript of his dad’s erotic book. Beautifully simple, very effective and extremely entertaining.
There are a few action steps you can take when going through your research phase:
- Google: Search: “Your niche/industry” top rated podcast.
You will get a number of search results from this. The most useful ones are the blogs with the top 15 business podcast, top 5 start up podcasts and so on. Ignore the promoted search result with “Ad” in the result and hit the first one underneath it. In this case it is:
From here you can read the blog and get an idea of what is trending:
You will notice you get a breakdown of each one with a synopsis and a link to the show. This makes your search time very quick and you can get straight into checking out the shows. Once you check out a show you can ask yourself the questions we outlined above and establish how you can add more value than any other show out there.
This is where you need to decide what type of content you will be recording on your show. This could fall into the following categories:
- Solo commentary.
- Team commentary.
This is a one-man band, a solo show where you spend your time discussing a topic of your choice on your show. This could be educational, comical, tell a story or just about anything you like. This is also a great way to deliver an audio course for example. This is a very effective way to communicate your issues on the microphone, however you need to ensure you are enthusiastic, entertaining and engaging. If you cannot entertain the listener or hold their attention, you don’t stand much chance at making your podcast a success.
Great examples of solo commentary can be found on the podcast below:
Pat Flynn interviews guests on his show 99% of the time. However he is very comfortable in front of the microphone and does a great job of educating us here in his episode outlining different types of passive income. He talks for 47 minutes in total and captures the attention of the listener the whole time. Its also worth mentioning he is delivering a ton of value and helping people establish how they can potentially make a passive income online.
To have the same effect you need to ensure you hit all these buttons. You are engaging, offering value and comfortable in front of the microphone. If you are not comfortable doing this and sound nervous or unsure as to what you have to say, the listener will pick that up and disengage with you. This is not a good start if your whole podcast content is going to be solo.
This is slightly easier to pull off over solo commentary. If you have a friend, colleague or acquaintance you have a natural connection with and can portray this on the show people will feel it. One of the best examples of this is the example I used earlier, My Dad Wrote A Porno. These guys have a great laugh, are smart, very witty and have a strong relationship. You instantly feel apart of what they are doing and laugh along with them. One very clever thing the guys done with this podcast was appeal to both sexes by bringing their female friend in on the team.
Visit the link below to listen to the show (This content is not suitable for children)
You can feel that all 3 of the presenters have a great relationship and genuinely having a great time. This instantly makes you relax and enjoy the show with them. This is exactly how you want to make your audience feel when they listen to you.
This is one of the more common approaches, but one of the most beneficial. I have built some amazing relationships with successful entrepreneurs across the world by interviewing them on my podcast. I have also gained some great insights into how other people have made a success of themselves and their business. This has in turn allowed me to grow my business far quicker than I would have done before.
It also puts you in a position where you become an authority as people associate you with the successful people you interview. This has definitely been the case with me. Even if you are not interviewing someone in the entrepreneurial world, you can still become an authority in your individual niche.
There are many ways in which to interview someone, and it takes time to find your own style. Even though this is a common practise in the podcasting world, you can still stand out and make yours different from everyone else’s. Think back to previous chapters in this book. I spoke about being you. There is only 1 you, and you need to establish your own individual podcasting style. This will not happen overnight so ill say it again. It just takes time. The more you do, the better you will get and the more at ease you will feel behind the microphone.
Great examples of interview-based podcasts are:
Whatever type of content you decide to put out, remain consistent. You will notice that most people with interview based content will still throw in a few solo episodes, however 99.9% of their content will be consistent and stay in the interview category.
What we are talking about here is how you will format each episode, how long it will be, and the flow of information. This is something you need to establish early on and try to stick to it. Often you see podcasters change the format of their shows slightly as they get more experience and publish more content, but for the most part everything remains pretty consistent from the start.
The show length is something you need to keep as consistent. When people consume your content via podcasts they are generally on the move. If someone has a regular 60-minute commute, they will normally listen here. If ever show length is 35-45 minutes every long, your listeners know they can get their podcast fix on their commute. This same principle applies for any other time of the day when the listener allocates time to tune in.
You want to ensure you don’t fluctuate too much when it comes to timings. If one week you release a show that is 25 minutes long then the next you release one that is 60 minutes long, your listeners wont know when they can listen. Serve your listeners, and that includes giving them the flexibility to choose the right time to listen. They can comfortably predict this if your timings are consistent every week.
The format of the episode will be how you break the show up. For example the MyCoda podcast has the following format:
- Intro jingle (15 seconds)
- Intro talk from myself the host (3-5 minutes)
- Main body of the content (30-40 minutes)
- Outro from myself the host (3-5 minutes)
Every interview is different, however if I stick to these timings I know I will comfortably get every complete episode done within 50 minutes. There is the rare occasion when this goes over, but even then it doesn’t go over the hour. My listeners know they can get each episode in within 60 minutes max.
When it comes to the flow of information I have seen multiple examples. Some people like to use sound effects to break up the segments, some cut to ads half way through, and some just go straight through. You don’t have to decide straight away just keep it in mind and take note of what you like and would like to implement in your own show.
Try to cut your editing to a minimum:
This is a technique I picked up from Pat Flynn, he stated that in order to become a better interviewer and podcaster, try not to edit your audio too much. This will make you concentrate on what you are saying more and polish your skills far quicker than if you fell back on editing when you messed up. Sometimes it is necessary to edit, like when the signal cuts out on your call, however I like to keep the file as raw as possible. When I edit I just bring the volume level to the same point on both audios and only cut audio if I really need to.
Even with the technology to hand that we have today it is still obvious when an audio has been edited. There are some cases when you cannot tell like when there is a silence in the conversation. If you are trying to cut a conversation mid flow it will sound awful and sometimes what is being said can be completely out of context as the audio has been edited so much. Don’t try to become better at editing, become better at interviewing. The only way to do this is to do more of it. Simple.
Now we have laid out the game plan we can start to look at setting up our podcast. The first thing we have to do is Prepare everything for the show. This falls into the following categories:
- The Show Name
- The Host Name
- The Subtitle
- The Podcast Summary
- The Artwork
The show name:
This is normally named after your website or blog. I like to keep the name simple, easy to say and easily recognisable with you, your business and brand.
No one has the time to search for “The best awesome podcast ever produced in the history of podcasts ever #didimentionawesomepodcast”
The most popular podcasts out there have very simple names. Lets not forget that iTunes is a search engine, and everything you put in your title will be searchable. Check out the name of my podcast:
MyCoda Podcast: Online Business | Start Ups | Blogging | Lifestyle
As you can see the podcast is named after my company/blog MyCoda. I added some important key words after the title. This will tell iTunes exactly what I am about, but also highlight my show to anyone that searches these terms.
It’s not spammy either, and looks natural. You can go completely overboard here and tag it like you would an Instagram post. People will not read the title for one, and two, it is completely obvious you are trying to cover every possible key word relating to your niche or industry. Keep this within the realms of exactly what you offer. If you use tags that are relevant to your show you will have another listener. If you promise what you do not offer in the title, no one will listen past one episode.
The host name:
This will be your name but you need to add some more to it so iTunes can help people find your show. Repeat the same process that you did for the show name. Don’t use the same key words here. This is your chance to be found under some more search terms other than the ones in the title of your show.
I have used the following name for the host name of the MyCoda podcast:
Sam Payne: Online Entrepreneur, start up specialist & blogger.
The terms are similar, and remain consistent with everything I cover in the show, however they are slightly different so I have a higher chance of being discovered under certain search terms.
Don’t go crazy with this either, keep it relevant, simple and easy to read.
This is something that you won’t find on iTunes, yet iTunes still ask for a subtitle of the show. I would still utilise this part and outline in a few short sentences what your show is about and the value it offers.
The Podcast summary:
This is your chance to really go into some detail and outline exactly what the show is about, who it will benefit and how you help people with your content. You get a 4000-word allowance here, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them all. Most people listen to podcasts on a mobile device, and they don’t want to have to read an entire essay. Just to put it into perspective, I have written 4934 words up to this point. That’s a lot of words for a show description.
Keep it to 1-3 short paragraphs. This will make it easily consumable to anyone reading on a mobile device, and no one will get board and click off your show. You can see the description I use for the MyCoda Podcast:
“Sam Payne from MyCoda reveals how to effectively start up your own online business through the experiences of the key influencers in the market. You will get insights into how the most successful online entrepreneurs have dominated their market, and the strategies they employed to do so! Sam will also be highlighting how you can effectively run your online business, maximising its full potential, and reaching a wider audience. This Podcast is ideal for anyone who is entering the online world, or has already established themselves and wanting to gain key insights so they can improve their business/company/service.”
It outlines exactly what the show is about without going on for an eternity trying to get to the point. If you are struggling with this I would recommend getting Pat Flynn’s book “Will It Fly?”. In his book he refers to a technique called “one sentence”. This refers to the following process:
- Write out in as many words as you wish what your podcast is all about.
- Then condense all this information into a paragraph.
- Then condense all that information down into a sentence.
This will allow you to do one of 2 things. Outline what your show is about in one paragraph. You can use this for your show description. Tell people what your show is about in conversation, this is great to spread the word and create some interest in a natural way when talking to people face to face, email and social media.
This process is not simple and will take some time. Don’t be tempted to rush, you need to get this right as it is telling people who you are and what you are about.
This is important, as it’s the first impression a lot of people will have of your show. Keep it consistent with the branding of your blog so you can be instantly recognised by any followers of you have. It also needs to stand out and be readable in a small thumbnail. When you look at all the podcasts in the picture below, it’s easy to see how you can get lost in the sea of covers:
Throughout my site and social media pages I use the “MC” and even have the “MC” in MyCoda in uppercase letters. I do not use too much text at all on my cover artwork, as it would be difficult to see. I’m not saying you have to copy mine, just using it as an example. If you want to know how you can create free artwork for your podcast click the link below:
The video outlines how to use the software Canva to create Instagram images. You can use the same principles to create your podcast artwork. Ensure you use the dimensions below:
- 1 x 1400 x 1400 pixel image in a .jpg or .png format. This is the main image for the show.
- Also a 300 x 300 pixel image in .jpg or .png file.
This is just the start of the course, and I will break down exactly where to go from here with regards to actually setting your podcast up. If you wish to access the course CLICK HERE.