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How do I start a podcast?

Well that is the question that one in four of my clients are asking as they look to take their content and expertise to another level. Podcasting was once the domain of tech savvy, too-much-time-on-their-hands professionals that liked to hear the sound of their own voice.

The world has changed and there is a new space for those who are making waves with this podcasting medium.

The interest in podcasts has reached beyond niche listening to the heights of mainstream media, and thanks to technology anyone walking around with a smartphone has access to a podcast of their choice. There is a podcast out there for everyone. Those interested in football tipping, financial, health, legal advice and true crime thrillers are searching for this content.

The podcast Brand Newsroom that I started alongside my two co-hosts Sarah Mitchell and James Lush was originally a concept James wanted to get off the ground two years ago. It was a little bit of fun, some water cooler chat with two others from different backgrounds, but all of us are in the communication game. Little did we know that two years on we would have 100 episodes of quality 20 minute chats each week, a book on the way and that we would be heading down the path of training those who want to make an impact via this medium.

The key to success is not difficult and anyone who has had experience in broadcast media whether it be commercial or non-commercial will know, it is all about the audience. Who are you are looking to engage, entertain, inform or reach out to? Classically trained media professionals naturally migrate to podcasting but for those who aren’t it’s not all over.

50% of podcasts started will never make it to the seventh episode. A further 50% of the number that gets passed episode seven will never see episode fourteen. The odds are already against you but you can be a success.

Here are some podcasting tips that will give brands and individuals the very best chance of succeeding:

  1. Find your own voice – don’t be someone else, don’t be a copycat, don’t be a tribute show to another podcast. You need to find what is unique to you. What is your talent? You can learn from the style of someone else but find what is unique to you.
  2. Quality recording – never let the quality of the broadcast be put at risk from dodgy recording conditions, equipment or the environment. You know as a listener that you will switch off the minute that quality has been breached, so as the producer make sure the quality is good.
  3. Get to the point – you don’t have a very large window to keep and hold an audience when it comes to podcasting. Get to the point, make your audience want to hear more from you and don’t fill it with jibber jabber. Respect your audience and their time.
  4. Have fun – if you are ever going to survive episode 14 you want to be having fun. This seriously might be your only payback for a lot of energy and resources expended. It is extremely difficult to launch a new podcast and find your audience.
  5. Patience –isn’t this what we are told with everything in business? I actually disagree. There are methods to making this work quickly if you have a quality podcast. Paid advertising through social media platforms, brand-scaping with other interested parties and presenting yourself everywhere will lead to strong growth in your audience.

If you are looking for advertisers or financial support, build an audience that advertisers want to be a part of. The beauty of a podcast is that the listener has actively searched you out. It’s not by chance but instead they are aligned or actively want to hear from you. That is real power for a brand and advertisers to celebrate.

Got something to say? Podcasting is your medium just do it better than anyone else out there and you will succeed. Quality and respect for audience is the key no matter what you are delivering in your communication.

Nic Hayes is the Managing Director of Media Stable and the co-host of communications podcast Brand Newsroom.

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