If you need tips for starting a podcast or just podcasting tips in general, you’ve come to the right place.
- Podcasting is a powerful form of content marketing. You can boost your authority, increase brand awareness, and grow your connections, according to podcasting pro Carey Green.
- “Think of podcasting as the beginning of your lead-nurture cycle or your buying-journey process,” Carey says. “It’s part of the content marketing and the sales enablement materials that you’re providing to your potential clients.”
- The key to podcasting is to stand out. Get started by listening to the top 10 podcasts in your industry — then commit to doing something different.
Tips for Starting a Podcast…Or Giving Yours an Upgrade.
Listen up. There are more than 1 million podcasts, according to Podcast Insights. No, not episodes. We’re talking about 1 million podcast shows.
Topics range from bedtime stories to bizarre diseases to celebrity cats, and episodes can run anywhere from two minutes to six hours. (Check out Hardcore History if you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands.)
And these podcasts aren’t exclusively a product of bored millennials or true crime addicts. More and more brands are turning to podcasting as a powerful form of content marketing.
So is it worth starting a podcast now — even with 1 million other shows out there?
Absolutely, says Carey Green, the founder of Podcast Fast Track and Narrativly. For personal and B2B brands, podcasts can boost your authority, raise awareness, and grow your connections (and, ahem, your client base).
Carey, who’s been immersed in podcasts since before Serial, shares his insider tips to help you launch your podcast. (Spoiler: It may not be as difficult as you think.) Keep reading, then be sure to listen to our interview with Carey on The B2B Mix Show podcast.
A $70 microphone is all you need to get started
So maybe you’ve thought about starting a podcast, but doesn’t podcasting require some know-how?
“I’m telling you if you’ve got a $70 microphone, can read out loud, and can upload something to Dropbox, you have what it takes to start publishing audio content,” Carey assures us.
Check, check, and check… Now what?
Here’s some sage advice from Carey — plus best practices to keep in mind along the way.
1. Design your listener avatar
Let’s back up for a second. Before you start a podcast just ’cause, figure out if your target audience — your ideal client — will listen. Gauge interest through your mailing lists and social media channels.
Then, design your listener avatar. No, we’re not talking about those little cartoon characters all over Facebook. This is more like your buyer persona.
“You want your listeners to be people who you can serve really, really well — not just through your podcast, but hopefully through some pay-for services in time,” Carey says.
To craft your listener avatar, ask: Who am I speaking to? Why am I speaking to them? What needs do I want to meet for them?
“When you have that clearly in mind, a lot of the decisions around how you format, how you structure your podcast, and even how frequently you publish will be answered because you know so much about the person you’re trying to reach,” Carey says.
2. Tap into your vault of content
If you’re wondering how you’re supposed to have new content for your podcast each week (or every other week), you’re thinking about this the wrong way.
The thing is, podcasting doesn’t necessarily require you to create original content each week. You can repurpose what you’ve already got.
“Most B2B people already have a vault of content,” Carey says. “They just need to figure out how to repurpose it into an audio format, and I think it’s easier done than they think it is.”
3. Take Steve Martin’s advice
One of the most common podcast myths Carey hears is that podcast editing isn’t necessary — that listeners want the audio to be “authentic” and “raw.”
The truth is, the higher the audio quality, the more likely your listeners will trust you. (Yes, there are studies out there to back this up.)
Hence why you should invest in that $70 microphone instead of relying on your computer’s built-in speakers. Carey also suggests editing out awkward stumbles and, um, filler words.
As the market becomes more and more saturated, the high-quality podcasts will win out, Carey predicts.
He encourages podcasts to take advice from funny guy Steve Martin. When he was asked how to become successful, he said: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
“That’s what we’ve got to do as podcasters,” Carey says. “We’ve got to figure out what it is we can do so well that our industry simply can’t ignore us, so don’t skimp on quality, don’t be afraid of taking a novel approach, just jump in and be creative.”
4. Curate your guests
Here’s the thing: Building connections with your listeners is important, but building connections with your guests is just as important — if not more so.
“One suggestion that I make to B2B podcasters is to invite guests on your show who are your ideal client, in hopes of striking up the beginnings of a relationship that will build trust,” Carey says. “Then, when they need the services you offer, they immediately think of you, because you did such a good job featuring them on your show.”
Sitting down with a guest — seeking their advice, their insight, their two-cents — is much more powerful than connecting with someone on LinkedIn or sending them a cold email.
Then, because you’re bringing on guests who are your ideal client, you’re also attracting listeners in that same realm.
5. Listen to top podcasts in your industry — then do something else
While we’re on the topic of market saturation, let’s address this: More and more podcasts these days have adopted the interview format. A host (or two) sits down with a guest each week and, well, interviews them.
This is a great, simple way to enter into the world of podcasting. And it can definitely be effective — especially if you’re carefully curating your guests (see No. 4).
But don’t be afraid to experiment, either. Remember the six-hour episodes Hardcore History produces? We’re talking about it because it stands out.
“What I would encourage people to do is subscribe to the top 10 podcasts in your industry or field of study and listen to them. Then do something different than they are doing,” Carey says.
And here’s a reminder: Podcasting is forgiving, Carey says. If you do two to three episodes in a certain format and decide you want to change it up, change it up. No one’s stopping you. That’s the beauty of this platform.
6. Don’t stop after 10 episodes
OK, let’s say you’re 10 episodes into your podcast, and you’re just “not seeing any results.” Hit pause, and remind yourself: This is a long game.
“Think of podcasting as the beginning of your lead-nurture cycle or your buying-journey process,” Carey says. “It’s part of the content marketing and the sales enablement materials that you’re providing to your potential clients.”
What that means? Be patient. Maybe you don’t get hundreds of listeners, subscribers, sign-ups, or customers within your first 10 episodes, but that’s all right.
Podcasting is just like any form of content marketing: Your goal is to build trust, create relationships, and educate — then that’ll pay off over time.
Want to hear more of Carey’s best podcasting practices? Listen to episode 24 of The B2B Mix Show, and subscribe to The B2B Mix Show on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts for new episodes each Monday.