Podcasting is a great way for entrepreneurs to find their voice, build their personal brand, and grow a following. In the last three years podcast listenership has grown 54%, and in the past year with Covid-19 people have spent more time at home and a lot more time finding and listening to podcasts. So there could not be a better time to start a new podcast than right now.
We both have our own podcasts, aside from this one we do together. Jacob has The Future of Work and Blake has The Modern Customer, both of which have been great experiences for us. It does take a lot of work to start a podcast, you need to be organized in what you want to say, you need to be able to do some basic editing, you need to reach out to people to be on the show if you want it to be an interview format — a lot goes into each episode. But we have found that it is definitely worth the time and effort.
You can watch the video of our full discussion below or just listen to the audio version as a podcast. If you want more content like this you can subscribe to our Youtube channel.
Why you should start a podcast
There are so many benefits to starting a podcast. First of all, it can really help you as a host to learn and grow from the guests you have and the research you do for each episode. We have both found that our podcasts are great learning experiences and we have had some fascinating conversations with people all over the world.
It can also be a source of revenue for you, whether people listening to your show end up buying your product or service or you have someone sponsor your show once it grows. It can bring a lot of potential customers to your website. Being able to network with influential people in your field of work is another benefit of hosting a podcast. It will help you improve your speaking skills, it can help build your self-confidence, and it will help you create a loyal following.
It is important to note that you shouldn’t start a podcast simply for the sake of making money. The amount of time and effort you have to put into starting a show most likely won’t be compensated for in the short term. It takes awhile to get going, build a following, and to have enough traction that people want to pay. So it is something you want to invest in long term and you really have to consider all of the non-monetary benefits that come with it.
What is your podcast going to be about
Once you decide to start a podcast, the most important question is — what will your podcast be about? Maybe it’s an easy decision based on the work that you do. But you also might need to brainstorm a bit or take a look at some examples of what other people are podcasting about.
Your theme should be aligned with what you see yourself doing in the long run. What are you passionate about? What business do you want to develop? Or you might want to start a podcast about a hobby, just for fun. Whatever it is, focus on your niche — pick a topic and really stick to it. Your audience needs to know what they are going to get from listening to your show. You don’t want to be interviewing CEOs about the future of work one day and cooking a new recipe the next. Focus in on your topic and be as niche as possible.
Pick the style of your podcast
There are a lot of choices you have when it comes to the style and format of your show. It can be short 15–20 minute episodes, they can be long form around one hour, or anything in between. Maybe you want to do solo episodes where you just talk about a topic on your own, or you might want to have guests on. You could even do a mixture of both.
You will also need a name and description for your podcast. The name is important, you definitely want something that will help people find your show. What is your niche, what do you stand for, what can people expect from the show?
At the beginning of each show you need to have a description of the show in the intro to let people know what they are going to hear from you. It shouldn’t be too long or complicated. Just something short and simple that let’s people know who you are and what the show is about. You can even have music in the background.
Podcast technology and resources
You could start a podcast for free using the stuff you have on hand, but we highly recommend investing in good recording equipment, it makes all the difference in the world. If your audio is not crisp, clear, and easy to hear people are going to tune out. A lot of people listen to podcasts while they are driving or working out so the audio quality really matters.
The first microphone that we both used when we started out is the Audio-Technica ATR2100 from Amazon. Now we have more advanced equipment, but that mic is a great starting point. Now we use the mic brand Shure that we use with their XLR cable. You may want to wear headphones since there can sometimes be an echo when you are recording.
For our interviews we use Skype to connect with our guests and then we use Call Recorder to record. And then we use Libsyn to post our episodes up on all of the podcast channels (iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, etc…). But there are others out there such as Blubrry.
Starting a podcast takes time and effort, but it doesn’t cost a lot of money. And in the end it will be worth it to be able to build your brand and grow a loyal following. Who knows, it could even provide another source of income to your business. So give it a try, what do you have to lose?
This episode is sponsored by iOFFICE
iOFFICE is a leading workplace technology company that makes the office more productive and engaging by connecting data, people, and things. Its solutions help business owners make smarter decisions, protect, and empower employees, and improve asset performance. Learn more at iofficecorp.com/byob