Introduction: Starting something new can be overwhelming, and I completely understand that. As someone who considers themselves an “expert” in business and often mentors young and struggling entrepreneurs, I’ve realized that I tend to overlook some of the things that were once challenging for me. That’s why I thought it would be useful to provide a newbie’s guide to podcasting. Consider this a friendly trail guide from someone who has recently set up a podcast and gone through the same journey you’re about to embark on.
I hope these insights help you along the way!
Prequel: The Business Benefits of Podcasting and Short-Form Video Content when you are thinking about an audio only podcast.
In today’s digital landscape, if you’re not leveraging short-form video content for your business, brand, charity, or passion project, you’re falling behind. Social media platforms are currently engaged in a battle for dominance in the short-form video content space, creating an unprecedented opportunity for organic reach. Simply put, if you post a video, it will receive significantly more traction than a regular post because social media platforms prioritize video content.
This is where podcasting comes into play as a powerful tool. If you’re hesitant, like I once was, podcasting provides a comfortable entry point. You can start by having engaging conversations and then extract short-form video clips that can be utilized across your business’s social media platforms. Trust me on this – you need to be incorporating short-form videos into your content strategy.
Why is short-form video content essential? Here are some key reasons:
- Greater Reach: Social media platforms are actively promoting and prioritizing video content, giving it more visibility in users’ feeds. By creating short videos, you can take advantage of this algorithm preference and expand your reach to a larger audience.
- Enhanced Engagement: Videos are inherently more engaging and captivating than static posts. They can convey emotions, showcase products or services, and provide valuable insights in a dynamic and visually appealing manner, keeping viewers hooked and increasing their interaction with your content.
- Improved Brand Awareness: Video content enables you to showcase your brand personality, values, and unique offerings effectively. By consistently producing and sharing videos, you build brand awareness, making your business more memorable and recognizable to your target audience.
- Accessible Storytelling: Videos allow you to tell compelling stories, connect with your audience on a deeper level, and evoke emotional responses. Through visual and auditory elements, you can convey your message effectively and create a lasting impact.
- Shareability and Virality: Short videos have the potential to go viral and be shared across various platforms, exponentially increasing your brand’s exposure. Users are more likely to share engaging videos with their friends and followers, amplifying your reach organically.
- Adaptability to Different Platforms: Short-form videos can be repurposed and tailored to various social media platforms, reaching diverse audiences and optimizing engagement. Whether it’s TikTok, Instagram Reels, or even YouTube shorts, you can leverage each platform’s unique features and characteristics to connect with your target audience effectively.
Now onto podcasting!
Step 1: Idea or Ideation: First and foremost, I had been thinking about starting a podcast for a while, but I was afraid to take the leap. I didn’t believe in myself and was overly self-critical, worrying about having something permanently recorded and out there for others to hear. However, I had certain passions that I couldn’t let go of. Inspired by a documentary called “Bully,” I felt compelled to build awareness and spread hope for kids. I teamed up with my long-time training partner and former UFC veteran, Cliff, and we decided to interview successful individuals who had overcome bullying. Little did I know, this type of podcast would be challenging, especially considering my focus on video and branding. Please keep in mind that your podcast can be much simpler and doesn’t require video recording, guest interviews, or extensive branding efforts. As a side note there is a great podcast on starting a podcast by the founders of Gimlet, known for quilty podcasting. https://gimletmedia.com/shows/gimlet-academy
Step 2: The Brand – The Name: Once we had a clear idea of what we wanted to do, I started working on the brand. I always begin with choosing a name and designing a logo. In a regular business startup, I would delve deeper into trademarks and web domains for safety, but for our charity-focused podcast, I didn’t prioritize those aspects. If you intend to turn your podcast into a business, I recommend looking into those aspects. If you need help starting a business, I have a link to my “How to Start a Business Roadmap” for further guidance. https://tyleruriah.com/business-road-map/
Step 3: The Brand – The Logo: With the name decided, I reached out to a talented designer I had worked with previously to create a logo. Alternatively, you can explore options like 99designs, where you can crowdsource a logo and have multiple options to choose from. Having a variety of designs to select from can be more beneficial than working with a single designer. Also keep in mind you may want to have them help you produce a youtube banner or thumbnails for episodes at the same time. https://99designs.com/
Step 4: The Brand – Media Kit 1: Armed with the logo, it was time to work on the media kit. Although it’s not mandatory, I find it handy to have. I hired a writer from Upwork to create the media kit text, which I later repurposed for various other materials, including the website and descriptions.
Step 5: The Brand – Media Kit 2: With the text and logos ready, I utilized a media kit designer from Fiverr to create a visual representation of the media kit. This document includes pictures of myself and my co-host, our bios, and of course, the text I had prepared earlier. Having a media kit tends to lend credibility when reaching out to media professionals and potential podcast guests.
Step 6: RSS Feed: Initially, I had no idea what an RSS feed was, but it’s essential for uploading your audio files. I opted for Buzzsprout, which not only offers a platform for uploading audio files but also provides a small website and direct links to major podcast players. Simply fill in the podcast information, utilize the text and bios from the media kit, and voila – you’re ready to roll. Don’t forget to connect your podcast to various podcast players through Buzzsprout’s directories tab. To be clear this is where you upload your audio to be sourced out to podcast stations such as Apple, Spotify etc. You can use the link below for $20 off.
Step 7: Website: To take things a step further, I decided to use Podpage for building my podcast website. It offers a user-friendly website builder and an array of helpful tools. Podpage easily integrates with Buzzsprout, so once you’ve uploaded your content and information there, it populates your website seamlessly. I like it because it allows the guest to upload credentials as well as sign a waiver direct, I find it’s an easy way to help organize a podcast. Below is both the link to podpage and our website as an example.
Step 8: Social Media/YouTube Setup: Setting up social media accounts is crucial, but I won’t go into the specifics for each platform. However, the assets you’ve acquired thus far will come in handy. Consider leveraging platforms like TikTok for engaging video content and YouTube for full episode uploads to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO). Don’t overlook the power of Pinterest, which is now the third-largest search engine. Get creative with cover art or quotes from episodes to maximize engagement. You see why you may want to add video content to your podcast *wink *wink. You may get more listeners on podstations but think of video as the marketing tool. Also with youtube being the number two search engine in the world how is it bad to have your podcast up via video?
Step 9: Guest Setup: Since each episode features a guest, finding the right person takes some time. I often search social media using relevant hashtags to discover potential guests. When reaching out to them, I explain my podcast’s purpose and share the website, media kit, or even the YouTube link. If they express interest, I schedule an hour to chat with them, preferably on Zoom for video interviews. But as I stated earlier you don’t have to utilize guests on your podcast format. I will say most people are amazingly approachable and honored to be on your podcast. Make sure to thank them afterwards.
Step 10: Production and Editing: To ensure a high-quality podcast, I opted to rent studio space in town. I found a local studio called http://azpodstudio.com, which offers both audio and video recording. We set a date and time to film, and if the guest isn’t local, we connect with them remotely. After the recording, the studio sends me the audio and video files. I review them, listen to the audio, and share it with my co-host and a couple of friends for additional feedback.
To maintain consistent quality, I hired an editor from Az pod studio who prepares the audio and video files. After receiving the rough edit, I watch it again and decide on any further edits. Once finalized, the video editor prepares the final audio and video footage. I also order short clips (under one minute) from the editor for marketing purposes. These clips are incredibly valuable if you’re recording video as they can be shared on platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and more. However, video production entails additional work and expense.
This step is also a great time to focus on an intro and outro. What’s nice about doing it here is you can use actual recorded footage to use from the episodes you have recorded. Most people like to have 5 finished episodes before they start launching. I hired a voiceover actor to do the audio and then I hired a video editor to line up stock footage for our intro and outro. In hindsigt i would have liked to hire an editor to do a intro/outro based on our actual footage. An intro outro can just be you in each episode if you prefer simplicity.
Step 11: Design Cover: For each episode, I create a custom thumbnail, which can be optional. I consult with my designer immediately after recording to work on the thumbnail. This custom thumbnail adds a consistent branding element, and I sometimes edit in text specific to each episode.
Step 12: Pre-Release and Actual Release: Before the episode release, I often share teaser clips and the thumbnail cover in advance to create excitement. I inform the guest about the upcoming release and engage in dialogue with them. On social media, I gradually release these materials, building anticipation. On the actual release day, typically Wednesday, I start by uploading the episode, description, and thumbnail on YouTube. Then, I replicate the same process on Buzzsprout, ensuring consistency across platforms.
Step 13: Continued Marketing: In the following days, I focus on marketing the episode, striving to generate traction. Additionally, I express gratitude to the guests for their valuable contributions to the show.
Step 14: Repeat: And there you have it – I do it all over again next week!
Conclusion: This is a quick overview of how we set up our podcast. Given our busy schedules, we decided to create yearly seasons consisting of 8-10 episodes, alleviating some of the workload. I’m considering more podcasts in the near future.
Ultimately, if budget permits, I recommend opting for studio recording. It provides a perfect environment, allowing someone else to handle the hard work while you focus on delivering a fantastic podcast. You can check out our podcast, “Bully: This a Hero’s Journey,” at bullythisaherosjourney.com. In fact to be full disclosure I had written this blog a year ago and ended up buying the podcasting studio we originally shot in. I really see the value of short form video in my endeavors and I am working on more “content for good”. But if budget doesn’t permit this, just get started anyway you can there are a lot of ways to do this and you can’t grow a podcast if you never start.
I genuinely enjoy assisting others, so please feel free to reach out via email if I can be of any help along your podcasting journey.
A Small Guide to Essential Podcasting Equipment:
- Good: iPhone headphones I have used these in several occasions and they do work well enough if you are just starting or as a guest on other peoples podcast. But i would highly suggest an actual mic setup once you get serious about your podcast.
- Better: I have an MV7 and love it for taking with my traveling. You can connect straight to your iphone with the purchase of an extra adaptor. This mic is great for at home use as well.
- Best: This is my favorite mic and the same one Joe Rogan uses on his show. But be aware you do need xlr cables and a cloudlifter system to use it. For each SM7B you will need a cloudlifter port, below i have attached a single but you can get them in doubles or more.
- Better: We use the h6 for traveling. It’s a very easy and efficient way to do audio and is battery (aa) powered. You also record directly to a SD card and hook in up to 4 mics. You can easily use this as your primary.
- Best: I have the first Rodecaster and with this one they have made several advancements, this is a great hub especially when you want to start having Onsight guests.
Camera (for video podcasting):
- Good: Smartphone Camera with Tripod will work for any entry podcast. If you are using your iphone I would suggest using the back cameras and not the front camera. Get a tripod and remote in with your apple watch etc to utilize the better camera system.
- Better: This is a great camera and offers 4K plenty great for any studio work.
- Best: Ive listed here my pie in the sky camera which I would love to have someday but it is way overkill for a podcast.
Lighting (for video podcasting):
- Good: Natural Lighting or Basic Desk Lamp
- Better: I actually dont use this as intended I put it off at a 45 degree angle and allow shadow on one side of my face for talking style video. If you put the video device in the middle it will fill in shadows.
- Best: If you go this route you are going to want to use at least two and check out some lighting theory. Perhaps its a good blog in the future.
Please note that these are general recommendations and the specific equipment you choose will depend on your budget, requirements, and preferences. It’s important to research and read reviews to find the best options within your price range.