When you create a podcast, you are not aware, or sure of, all the things you need to do in order to be prepared. Since it is an involving process, hopefully this checklist will make it less painful and stressful. Along with giving gifts to your favorite podcaster – here are the things you need to do in order to successfully launch your podcast:
Note: It will take a lot of work in order to get it all in place.
Form one … or , at least, gather the interest to have one. You can put forth an audio medium, but without having it point to somewhere, it will be like the proverbial saying, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” Know that your podcast serves as the extension of the brand you are promoting – rather than be the ultimate vehicle for your product. Example: In mainstream media, newscasts are there to do more than just put out information to the public. It is there to help steer, and keep, ears and eyes to what they are doing – because, in the mend, it is about the advertisers. The bigger your community, the stronger your calls to action can be. Do not be afraid to create a Facebook Group geared toward your podcast/brand, and grow it from there.
Social Media Presence
Unless you have a big budget to buy a ton of ads on Google, Facebook and Twitter, word of mouth of your best route to go. You can only do that by creating brands-specific social media sites for your podcast. Create your addresses to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, to reflect the name of your show. You will attract your crowd a lot easier more efficiently that way. Steer the look of your brand and be in total control of it … at all times. No matter what platform you are on, chances are other people will take what they see of yours and guide it in another direction. Your brand is supposed to speak to those pain points – whether it is an episode, a blog post, a product you are selling or a challenge you are making to your audience. The more you control the narrative, the less others will control it for you.
Hosting and Storage
With podcasts, the way you have others listen to what you have to say is through what they call an RSS feed (the central address to your podcast). You create said RSS feed via podcast companies (Libsyn, Podbean, PodOmatic, Blubrry, Spreaker/BlogTalkRadio and SoundCloud). You will have to invest money each month in order to have your podcast air from these places. Some of them (Podbean is one, I believe, Spreaker is another) where, from time-to-time, they offer a free month to try out their product. With others (PodOMatic), they offer a certain amount of space for free. Others, like Talkshoe and Podiant, are free all the time. It ultimately depends on what you need. Another option is to create a WordPress.org site, download the PowerPress plugin (which is powered by Blubrry), and create your own RSS feed. It gives you the ultimate freedom in showcasing your podcast. Speaking of showcasing …
Podcatching Locations and Directories
What you need, in order to spread your podcast around the world, is to place your product on as many podcatchers as you can. What are podcathers,, you ask? They are locations where you can take your RSS feed, place it into their format, and they will pull from your address and automatically update every single episode you load onto your original feed. The more places you put your podcast, the bigger your potential reach. iTunes/Apple Podcasts is the most well-known podcatcher. Others include: Google Play, Stitcher, PlayerFM, Tunein, Acast, MediaMonkey, AntennaPod, Amarok, Media Go, RadioPublic and Podcast Addict just to name a few. Start with Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Play – and grow from there. When you submit your RSS feed to these podcatchers, give them five business days for them to accept your show.
How Many Episodes?
One of the biggest points of debate is this question. Here is the appropriate answer to it: Your put forth as many episodes as you need to give yourself the proper introduction to your audience. If people hardly know you – quite honestly – one episode is perfect. If you have built up enough anticipation for your podcast, then at least three episodes will suffice. It has been seen a podcast has debuted with six episodes. The object, here, is to get as many people buzzed about what you are doing once you open yourself up to the masses. The most important episode is the one called ‘Episode 0’. That is the term given to a show that is not the normal episode. It is the purely plain and simple introduction to your audience as to who you are as a host, what the audience member should expect and your overall intention of your podcast.
Earlier, it was mentioned about your show needing a logo. The dimensions for Apple Podcasts to accept have also been discussed. Know this one fact: Your audience loves visuals! So set out to make your avatar as eye-catching as you possibly can. However, don’t make it too busy or active – to where the name of your show gets swallowed whole by the image. Pick the color, the font, the picture (if you can) and blend it in the logo square the way you want. You can change them if you like. Just know that if you do, your show will, more than likely, have to undergo a validation hiatus courtesy of Apple Podcasts. Take the time to choose the look of your show before you settled on the one image that will forever brand it. You can create your logo with Canva.
What Type of Episodes?
Are you going to go episodic? Are you going seasonal? Are you continuously releasing episodes? Are you doing one a week? Two? Five? All of these questions you do have to answer before proceeding. Here is how you can determine what is what: If you are telling a story – then episodic releases are the way to go. You can determine the length of that, yourself. If you are doing something instructional, then you can air your show in seasons. You can go four months on – one month off. As long as you tell your audience your intention before they invest further into your product, you will be just fine. If you are doing interviews – or solo shows … chances are they will be never-ending. Also – consider how long each episode is going to be. Between 30 to 60 minutes is the normal time. Think of a commute to and from work. That is your parameter.
What Is Your Avatar’s Name?
Huh? What’s an Avatar? A name? Why? OK. This isn’t as complex as you may think. Al businesses do constructive marketing strategies. They take a product, examine and see who is going to be the best consumer for it – and gear their advertising toward that type of individual. Harlequin novels are targeting middle-aged women who have children. Grills are geared toward middle-aged men who love holidays, sporting events and food. Your podcast is the same thing. Think of your show – and what it discusses. Then, give your Avatar (or the one person you create) a name, age, occupation and daily habits (even daily spending habits if you have products your show advertises). Don’t speak to the many. Purposely speak to the one. Because once you hook your Avatar, you will find another one of your Avatars even faster and easier.
If you have a business, and you want to put your best foot forward, your podcast is the greatest ‘best foot forward’ you can possibly have. Why? Because it is your voice, your beliefs, your products and your reputation all wrapped up in one (hopefully) nice-sounding package. Many look at the word ‘podcast’ and put forth shoddy audio because, “All I need to do is be heard.” Well – you will be heard, alright. You also will be judged. If the audience hears long pauses, horrible noise sounds your mouth makes, eating on the mic, saying too many ‘thinking words’ and sips of water or swallows? Chances are people will not take you serious. Eliminate that concern now. You can use Pro Tools, Sound Forge, Adobe Audition and Audacity to mix and record your show. You can do it yourself … but doing a quality broadcast take a large investment of your time. You are better served making your product the best it can be … and you would hire others to supply you with paper, pens, copier toner, coffee and other products, right? The same should go for the right audio sound quality.
With all of these tools at your disposal, you will not fail to launch. You will get the proper blast off to a show you, others, will enjoy. The one thing you must do is not get stuck in analysis paralysis. Plan properly – and then pull the trigger.
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