4 Things to Know about Podcasts

4 Things to Know about Podcasts

The internet is full of information that’s fighting for your attention. The simplest ways to put your own content out there is to create your own podcast.

The internet, although an amazing place, is full of information that’s fighting for your attention. One of the simplest ways to put your own content out there is to create your own podcast. And since there is an abundance of technology available, you can get a podcast up and running easily and quickly. To start one, however, it helps to have some guidance. Of all the podcasters out there and podcast experts, I spoke with James Carbary of Sweet Fish Media. James and I connected through LinkedIn some time ago and when it came time to research podcasting, his name naturally came to mind. I’ve also listened to a few podcasts of his and I must say, they are top-notch. Sweet Fish Media creates podcasts for business-to-business companies, saving them time, frustration, and money. While their focus is B2B podcasting, James did have insight and valuable information on how you can start your own podcast.

Business Vs. Individual Podcasting

Sweet Fish Media produces the B2B Growth Podcast, focusing on how B2B executives can achieve explosive growth. But James’s experience extends beyond just business podcasts. Twice a week he produces a show where it’s just him talking about topics he’s interested in. These podcasts allow him to be more vulnerable and open about what he cares the most about. James does enjoy getting to talk with guests and learn about their businesses. It’s these individual episodes, however, that he gets the most enjoyment out of. It can be the same for you and your podcast. When it comes to business, you’ll have the advantage of reaching out to your ideal clients and asking them to be guests on your show. It’s a solid way to build relationships with the people you want to do business with. They get free exposure and you get to learn more about them and their business. This will give you better insight into solving their problems. For those who want to create a podcast without guests, it’s still a great way to get your voice out there. You get a chance to discuss what you’re passionate about. If you have a small business, or it’s just you, podcasts are a cheap way to market your service or product. Podcasts, however, require a lot of work.

What are You Going to Talk About?

Before you get to publish your first episode, you’ll need to determine the goal and direction of the podcast. For a business, James said, this is straightforward; brand your show around your ideal client. Say your business is promoting better patient care practices in the healthcare industry. Your ideal client would likely be hospital administrators, head nurses, patient-care specialists. A good brand would be “providing best practices for the patient care professional.” From there you can reach out to your ideal client and ask them to be a guest on your show to ask their expertise on the podcast. The brand would provide the topic to cover. The podcast itself would be a great starting point to discuss what kinds of practices would be a better fit for their hospital. When it comes to the individual podcaster, this will be easy so long as you keep the goal and topic broad. Too specific and you could run out of things to say before your podcast gets traction. Another word of caution from James; If you’re looking to garner a large audience, strap in. It’s going to take a long time to build up the following you want.

How Often?

Getting to talk about the cool stuff you want to talk about is an appealing endeavor. Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s going to take time to get some traction for the podcast. For business podcasts, traction translates to return-on-investment. When you’ve targeted your ideal client, James says, you should see ROI soon. There’s no set number of episodes to gauge this. But if you’re focused and have done your guest outreach well, then ROI will come on its own. For the individual, it’s a little tougher to gauge traction. You may only be looking for a certain number of downloads a week. You may want to see a certain amount of traffic back to your website. A podcast is helpful for upping these metrics, but the biggest factor here is frequency. With so many podcasts out there, James says, if you’re not putting out a new episode at least once a week, then you’ll get lost in the crowd.

What Goes Into an Episode?

Creating a podcast doesn’t need to be complicated. Some podcasters record their voice and upload it. Others, like the podcasts produced by Sweet Fish Media, have teams create the intros and outros, the ads, the background music, and edit and mix the audio. The bare minimum would be to have an intro and an outro around your individual recording. This can all be done from your phone. Download a few apps and you’ll be ready to go. To have quality, however, you’ll need to write scripts, prepare an ad, figure out your guest list, confirm your guests, interview, edit, mix, and finalize. And that’s just a short list. As you can see, it takes some time. Even if you’re planning on just doing the bare minimum, you still need to have a set up in place for each episode. This takes time to create too. James has a checklist of 26 items for launching a podcast. You can find this list on his website. The general rule is the more time you put into it, the more professional it will sound. Be prepared to put in the time for this endeavor to work.

Anything Else?

The internet is full of information on how a podcast “should” be made. It’s up to you to decide what’s going to be best for you and your podcast. Instead of searching the internet for the “best” podcasting source, just pick one that speaks to you. Pick one thought-leader and stick with them. James Carbary is a great source of information for when it comes to creating a podcast. Given he’s been successful in launching multiple podcasts, I would say his experience speaks for him. As I’ve mentioned before, he has a 26-point checklist available on the Sweet Fish Media website to walk you through the process. There’s just too much information to cover here, like finding the right audio, picking the right mics, and on and on. That’s why I went to an expert!

Coming to a Podcast Near You!

For every successful podcast, there’s about a hundred—possibly a thousand–podcasts that don’t make it. By taking the time to read up on what’s required, not to mention getting prepared, will give you an advantage over the bulk of the competition. It also helps to have an honest conversation as to whether a podcast is a project you can take on right now. They are a lot of work. To get one up and running, and to sustain it, will take a lot of time too. When it’s done right, your podcast will be a valuable tool in expanding your outreach and creating content. And that’s why podcasts are awesome, not just for the content they create, but the relationships that they can build. So go out there and find a podcast that speaks to you, if you haven’t already. Stream and download with the best internet packages so you don’t miss an episode. And then one day it’ll be you creating a podcast that’s driving traffic and building relationships!