By Eric Dye
Podcasting can be a great complement to your business. It helps get the word out, creates searchable content, disseminates information about you and your brand, and lets potential clients or customers know who you are and what you are about.
Before you launch a podcast, here, in no particular order, are a few essential things to keep in mind:
1. Commit to a Consistent Time Investment
To be successful in podcasting, you need to be consistent and keep up the effort. I recommend committing 1-2 hours a week for any content creation (including interviews), recording, and then publishing. This is one of the most important factors in having a successful experience in podcasting.
Generally, the most successful podcasts have been around for a year or more, and have regularly scheduled podcasts that fans can find. An audience isn’t built overnight; however if a consistent commitment is there, the results will show.
That isn’t to say great things can’t happen within six months; a timely, topical, or popular-subject podcast can garner faster results. In terms of your competition, many people launch a podcast, but then, after a handful of episodes are completed they disappear—the commitment and consistency just aren’t there.
Committing to a certain amount of time per week is the first step to ensuring that your podcasting experience is a success.
2. Decide Type of Content/Topic
There are many types of podcasts—is yours going to be educational, informational, motivational/inspirational, or entertainment? Once you decide what type of content you want to produce, and what topic angle you will go with, the rest will fall into place. Depending on your service, company, or products, the needs of your audience will determine the best direction.
For example: if you are a service provider, you might want to provide content to potential clients, so in your podcast, you might give short talks or interviews about your subject—it would be more of an informational show. If you have a product-based company, your podcasts may be more sales-driven, containing product information, product training, and sales or pitch techniques for your sales force—a podcast that is a combination of informational and motivational would be needed.
3. Name That Show!
Naming is always tough—for any business endeavor, you want something compelling that reflects who you are and what you do. For a podcast, the name of your show
should reflect your overall tone and message—and give potential listeners an idea of what it is and what it is about.
Really use your creativity to come up with something great—the name could be one that draws attention to the show itself or simply states what the show is all about. One thought: if you are not already a public figure, or if your business isn’t well-known, then going with just your name or your company’s name is not recommended.
For example, a show called, “Eric Dye Live,” doesn’t tell a stranger anything about me, my company, or what my podcast could be about. My customers and clients know me, of course, but for a casual searcher, I’m not well-enough known for someone to tune into me based on my name alone. So for someone like me, a better podcast name might be “Podcasting Secrets” or “Leveraging Sales With Podcasts.”
4. Hardware: What You’ll Need
A podcast is your voice only, so other than a good computer with a high speed Internet connection, it’s important to have a good microphone/headset so that you have good, clear sound quality for your podcast and so you can hear your guest if you are doing interviews. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but it is important to have at least a pretty good-quality microphone.
Inexpensive, easy-to-use suggestions: Logitech has some good ones that range from $29.99 – $49.99. Another good one is the Blue Microphone SnowBall; they have several models that range from about $79-$99.
The above suggestions are a great place to start. I truly believe that one does not need to invest a large amount in a microphone to get launched and to see great results. Once you are fully committed to doing regular podcasts, you can consider upgrading if you feel it necessary.
Please note that I don’t have a relationship with either of the above microphone companies; I’ve just found them to be good and not a huge investment.
5. Podcast Frequency
It’s important to determine how often you can commit to creating and publishing a podcast. I normally suggest weekly or at least bi-weekly. Your current commitments and time constraints would determine how often you can podcast. Like effective blogging, effective podcasting requires frequency, regularity, consistency, and commitment.
That said, I believe starting somewhere is better than not doing it at all. Even if you start with once a month, as your comfort level grows, you will want to go weekly—and your audience will want it that way.