Ok, I’m going to let you in on a little “behind the scenes” secret.
When I start working with any of my visibility coaching clients, we always kick off by talking about their big goals and how they’d like to show up in the world. So far, EVERY SINGLE ONE has hit me with “I think I might want to start a podcast”.
(Note that they say “I think I might want to” not “I’m going to”. That’s because non-podcasters always think there’s some sort of complex voodoo involved. But there isn’t. It can be dead easy.)
If you’re one of those – if you dream of starting your own podcast show – I have all the jumpstartin’ you need right below. You see, I happen to be connected to some of THE most fantastic podcasters around, and I thought I’d ask them all for their most brilliant tips on podcasting like a pro. Even if you’re just getting started.
Listen with discernment!
“Listen to other podcasts. They can be things in your niche, or things totally unrelated to what you do, but listen with your mind switched on. Take note of styles and formats that you LOVE as well as the stuff that makes you want to switch off. All of this can feed into your own epic show. Just don’t forget that discernment – it’s important. At some point you have to step back and start creating.”
Ok, I’m kicking off with mine. // Listen to Your Biz, Your Rules here
Feel the fire
“Only record when you’re feeling fired up about something. I used to plan the topics of my podcasts, but now I hop on a record one when I’m REALLY riled up about a topic or I’ve had a genius new idea and I’m about to explode. I want my recordings to be authentic, I want to capture my true passion, and this is a great way to do that.”
Gemma Went // Listen to The Simply Smart Business Show here
Be you, just organised!
“Create something you know your audience will love, add your own unique touch to your show, and batch record as much of it as you possibly can!”
Alex Beadon // Listen to On Purpose here
Scrap the scripts
I don’t think my podcast is an absolute winner, to be honest, I think I’ve done things that have got better traction than The Persuasion Show, but I think my biggest tip for doing consistent podcasts is to not script it out. When I shot the first 20 episodes of The Persuasion Show I shot them all in one go and all I did was I had an intro with a small joke in, an outro with a small joke in and then just some bullet points in between. I never scripted anything which is why I think it has that raw credibility. People know I’m just speaking as it’s coming to me. The other thing is that I don’t edit my podcast AT ALL, like AT ALL. That was the best way to get so many podcasts done in one go.
Bushra Azhar // Listen to The Persuasion Show here
Connect with amazing people
Interview amazing people in your niche or sector who will be great fun to speak to, and who will add value to your audience. You will have a blast, make some great connections, and extend your audience as your guests often share with their peeps too. Win/win!
Jo Gifford // Listen to Blow Up the Blueprint here
Streamline the system
Set up a system that makes it easy for people to book in and give the information that you need. I use Acuity scheduling with its own appointment type, a specific set of days and times (so that I’m batching recordings.) The system also allows me to gather all the info I need; their bio, links & their picture – everything in the form. Which then goes to my team, so I am not the bottle neck. I just have to show up and do the bit I love – talking to my guests
Ebonie Allard // Listen to Adulting with Ebonie here
Find the fun
Make sure you have fun doing it. Choose guests who you really want to talk to. Don’t be scared of approaching people. There are so many moving parts to doing a podcast that I have found approaching it with fun really helps (people cancel at the last minute, time zones mess up, recordings fail, editing takes longer than expected!) so I try and have a smile on my face as much as I can.
Rachel Foy // Listen to The Hungry Soul Radio Show here
Release your episode consistently on the same day each week and promote on social media throughout the week. I use Canva to create those social media images.
Louise Brogan // Listen to The Social Bee Podcast here
Sort out your space
Improve your recording environment as much as possible. Gather all of your blankets, pillows, and towels and put them everywhere, on all the things. Oh, and create content so good that your listeners won’t want to keep it to themselves, then ask them to share it with friends.
Rhea Pechter // Listen to Little Stories for Tiny People here
Be passionate about your content. Skip topics you’re not 100 percent committed to. It shows in delivery if you aren’t committed.
Lee // Listen to Missing Minority Project here
Banish the perfectionism
Don’t let great be the enemy of good. That is, don’t be so focused on perfection that you never actually make anything! Just get out there, do your best, keep trying to do better, and have fun.
Elizabeth Nordenholt // Listen to Your Fave Is Problematic here
Be the boss
Make the person or brand that you interview or talk about be the hero of the podcast story. Get advice and opinions from others, but in the end it is your show, you are the only one putting a lot of hard work and mental stress into it… follow your gut and your preferences, do it your way. That is where the “just be yourself” part happens.
Laura Hoffman // Listen to Amidlife Traveler Podcast here
Listen with your ears
Listen. Listen to your audience and they’ll tell you what they like and what they want to hear more of. And if you’re interviewing someone – listen. Don’t be thinking about the next thing you’re going to say. Listen to what they are saying and react naturally – and take a side road in the conversation if that is what would happen in a normal conversation. Take your audience along with you on your “chat” with the person you’re interviewing. Be curious – for yourself and on behalf of your audience.
Kathy Reagan Young // Listen to FUMS Podcast here
Listen with your heart
I like to say, “listen with all your heart.” Whether or not your podcast is interview-based, an empathetic ear is incredibly helpful both in conversation and in the edit. And that also applies when listening to and learning from your audience: stay open to feedback and incorporate it when you can.
Gale Straub // Listen to She Explores here
Be sure that you’re passionate about your subject. Podcasting is a lot of fun and hugely rewarding, but it’s a lot of work too, so you need to have a great interest in your niche to sustain you.
Sarah Steel // Listen to Let’s Talk About Sects here
Don’t be afraid to EDIT
#1: Sometimes people you interview have long drawn out stories with sections that don’t add a lot of value to the listener. In my editing process, I like to edit this out using my own voiceover summary to connect the pieces so that I only give my listener absolute gold that is worth their time. This is also how NPR edits their episodes. There’s a reason that 6 of the top 10 podcasts are NPR.
#2: A little extra sound design can really draw listeners in. I recently had an episode where my guest told a Modern day ghost story she experienced and I sprinkled in every sound effect. It’s been my most downloaded yet. I use Audioblocks for unlimited music and SFX downloads for this. PRO TIP: Audioblocks is $150 for a year of unlimited, but if you begin creating an account and leave, within a week they’ll drop the price to $100 for a year and THEN to only $50 for the year so it’s very much worth it, even if you only need to use it a few times.
Melissa Monte // Listen to Mind Love Podcast here
Create a community
My advice: build a community and create a Facebook group for your podcast so members and guests can continue building relationships!
Lindsey Germono // Listen to Drop & Give Me 20 here
Learn from your own attempts
Part of podcasting is learning about audio techniques and speech or oral storytelling. Have fun learning about the art of spoken storytelling and don’t be afraid to listen back to old episodes to hear yourself and figure out how to get better!
Sarah Kathleen Peck // Listen to The Startup Pregnant Podcast here
Face the “stranger danger” fear
Don’t be afraid of asking guests to come on. I was so nervous the first time I invited a guest I didn’t know personally, but people have been so generous with their time, and they often remark in what a rewarding experience it is for them to come on.
Kelly Therese Pollock // Listen to Two Broads Talking Politics here
Emily Peck Prokop Podcasting can be lonely. You might record, just you talking into a mic. Or find yourself editing late at night wondering if it’s worth it. Or struggling to keep up with social media and marketing.
But if you have just one person download your podcast, it may have helped them smile that day, it may have given them a great idea, it may have made all the difference to them. And they may never tell you. In fact, most of your audience will never reach out to personally thank you. But they are out there. And your show matters. And your voice matters.
Emily Prokop // Listen to The Story Behind here
In conclusion… be brave. Start a podcast on a topic that fires you up. Test, play, learn and refine as you go. You’ve got this!
And if you feel like “Ummm, I’ve got the ideas and the voice but mehhhhh, getting it out there and ready??” I can help. Check out my podcast management package here.