Starting a branded podcast can be daunting. However, you can make the process easier by developing a thoughtful plan. If you plan out your process before you begin, you will be more likely to continue podcasting and gain a dedicated audience.
In a recent Audio Leads interview, James Mulvany, founder of Radio.co, Podcast.co, and MatchMaker.fm, discusses his strategy for building a successful podcast. From entertaining your audience to marketing your show, James offers great advice to create a plan for your podcast and place your show on the path to success.
Covered in this article
- How to start your podcast
- Podcasting mistakes
- The best way to create content for your podcast
- How to market your podcast
How to start your podcast
You need to have a plan when starting your podcast. This includes setting realistic expectations. In the interview, James emphasizes that you will not turn into a podcasting sensation like Joe Rogan overnight. Building a successful podcast takes time.
James believes that you should first define your listener when planning your podcast. Your top priority for every podcast episode should be to satisfy the needs of your target audience. This should determine your podcast format and content.
You need to figure out how you will entertain your audience, rather than producing content based on your own preferences. For example, if your target audience is new mothers, your podcast content should include interviews and information that could be helpful to the wellbeing of new mothers and their children. You should not create an episode on your favorite places to ski. This topic is interesting to you, but it does not apply to new mothers. Successful podcasts focus on the desires and needs of their target audience to gain loyal listeners.
Another way to ease the stress around starting a podcast is to break your plan into smaller steps. James suggests focusing on one season at a time. He explains that it is easy for novice podcasters to get too wrapped up in the big picture of their project. This leads to inconsistency because people become overwhelmed with planning content. Focusing on one season at a time allows you to spend less time coming up with content ideas. This also allows your show to flow naturally from season to season as you discover what works best for your target audience.
One of the top mistakes that podcasters make is being inconsistent. Many podcast industry leaders who interviewed with Audio Leads all said the same thing: consistency is the most important aspect of a successful podcast. James points to this throughout his interview. He said that too many potential podcasters lose patience and give up after recording a few episodes.
One way to avoid early burnout is to map out the whole first season of your podcast. Many people will plan one episode at a time, which can block the flow of content from episode to episode. As previously mentioned in the article, you do not need to create a master plan for your entire podcast. However, creating a plan for the content flow of each season will allow you to produce your podcast with ease. You can schedule interviews and write scripts to match your desired story for one season. This removes the content idea barriers that come with episode-to-episode thinking.
Another mistake that James mentions is when new podcasters do not invest in audio equipment. All successful podcasts have high audio quality. Poor audio quality deters potential listeners. Even if the information you provide on your show is beneficial to your target audience, people will choose not to listen if the audio quality is poor. James suggests investing in quality audio equipment once you commit to creating your podcast to greatly increase your chances of success.
The best way to create content for your podcast
James’ main suggestion for content creation is to interview other people in your industry to create valuable content for your listeners. Including experts in your podcast adds value to your show and can help you gain the trust of your listeners. James realized this while running his own podcast and created MatchMaker.fm, a site that matches podcasts with guests from their field. Guest application forms are also a great way to connect with valuable people in your field. Find out more about why you should have a guest application form on our blog.
How to market your podcast
James believes that every company should consider audio for their marketing schemes. However, marketing a podcast is most likely very different from a company’s previous experience with marketing. You need to learn how to push your podcast out to your audience and existing customers.
James suggests that you start with an email chain. Email chains are a great way of getting your audience to remember your podcast and continue to pay attention to content that you create.
He emphasises that you need to sell the benefits of listening to each episode. Include information about your guest, what content you discuss, and why this particular episode is a must-listen for your audience members. You should provide enough information to grab your audience’s attention, but leave enough room for your audience to desire more and listen to your episode.
You should also create social media content based on your episode and use the caption section to encourage people to listen.
You need to create a marketing schedule and follow through. Decide which days you are posting each type of content, including your podcast episode, your email chain, and social media posts. If you keep your schedule consistent, your audience is more likely to grow and engage with your content.
You also need to make your podcast accessible on all platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
James says that a podcaster should spend more time promoting than recording. Promoting your podcast is as important as the podcast itself. You should spend a generous amount of time marketing your podcast if you want your show to be successful and keep your audience engaged.
James runs three successful podcast brands simultaneously. His success stems from all of the techniques discussed above. He states that his companies run on motivation and consistency. Each of his platforms have a solid team to help manage his products, and he keeps weekly meetings to discuss company plans and changes.
When you start your podcast, it is unlikely that you will have a large team like James’ company to help you with the process. But James did not start with the support that he has now. Instead, he used planning to his advantage and made sure to stay consistent with his content production. Consistency, thoughtful planning, expert content and effective marketing, when carried out together, will all help you build a successful podcast.
Make sure to listen to the full episode!