Unless you are a new reader (in which case hello, welcome, and so nice to meet you), you may be familiar with the fact that last year wedecided to launch a podcast – confetti alert.
You may be thinking you are following the trend, hey.
The truth is, we are responding to an overwhelming number of requests. I had a massive resistance to launch yet a new podcast, especially since I released two prior to this one. Podcasts, something that I tried over five years ago for the first time, have now become something that everybody is willing to try.
It doesn’t matter who you are. Everybody wants to host a podcast.￼￼￼￼
My resistance came from one very simple proposition: podcasts are not an easy feat.￼
Just like starting a YouTube channel, podcasts and now everywhere, but this means the competition is fierce.￼ Standing out from the crowd is harder than ever, I’m planning is even more important than ever before.
Right now I’m not going to talk about the perfect equipment or software. Mainly because for our own production we are only using a very simple Blue Yeti microphone and a free version of audacity.￼￼
This does not mean that I’m not caring about production.
I highly value the quality of the content and the audio, however, I do produce an edit most of the content myself because I’m looking for a conversational and free flow podcast, rather than running a highly structured one￼.￼
Regardless of which format you go for, remember to listen to your guests. For interview shows, it’s vital to not only come with pre-scripted questions but to allow guests to share the stories they’re passionate about.
As long as the audio quality is good and is engaging and I am able to create a flow for my listener I think the format of my podcast is just as good as any podcast recorded in a studio.￼
Our listeners know what they’re getting into: we are interviewing people want to make a bigger impact and we go to their offices, their houses, or even their kombucha workshops (true story)￼.
What really has made a difference for me has been the planning and marketing of the podcast. It started almost 3 months before it launched in order to reach massive growth and snag the New and Noteworthy in business.
I lie, actually. First, it started with a podcast pilot.
I recorded a rough version of the podcast interview style, including an introduction from our team over six months before we launched the podcast itself, and sent it to a variety of people. You might think it was a waste of time, however, you will see the podcast pilot will come back again way before the podcast is out.￼
You can also use it as an excellent audio trailer that gives platforms like Apple Podcast a reason to promote your show.
12 weeks away
I’m not advocating that every single podcast is fully recorded 12 weeks before it’s out. However, if you are busy and podcast on external interviews you need to take any sort of unexpected events into account. This could highly compromise the timing of your podcast.￼￼ if you’re running a solo show, or you’re not distracted about the type of podcast that you’re running then maybe meticulously planning your content, interviews, and topics are not essential.￼
In our case, 12 weeks before the podcast launched, I made sure that I had scheduled 15 interviews making sure that I had enough extras in case people canceled and couldn’t make the appointment anymore.
This is not just a hack for your own peace of mind.
You need to nurture your relationship with your audience and let them know they can depend on when you’re going to give them new episodes. Having content ready helps you with being as consistent as you can. Nothing can beat trust when it comes to creating a loyal audience.
Scheduling interviews means you need to have the perfect link with a set number of weeks or days that you’re available to record but also you need to be able to provide people with an idea of your podcast format.
As I promised, the palate is coming back. You can use the pilot to showcase to your potential interviewee what they can expect from a podcast. It doesn’t matter if it’s fully scripted or free flow. People want to know what they’re getting themselves into. 12 weeks before your podcast launches is also the perfect time to get the contact of all of your interviews is, as well as any information for your introductions and notes.
Bonus: we asked each guest if they could also suggest the name of another guest for future seasons.
8 weeks away
The launch date is only two months away, and there is a lot to be done still.
This is the time that we came up with a final version of our podcast artwork, as well as the time that we will find our schedule and decided which interviews will come up when.
We looked for specific themes, topics, or seasonal elements that can help us make our content calendar as smooth as possible. This is also the time that we came up with the name of 30 people that we thought would love the podcast and would be happy to help us share when the podcast was out.
At thi￼￼￼s time, we were yet to make any public announcements. However, we created a very tight schedule for first four weeks of the podcast, as well as the first four weeks of the podcast, launch itself. This included any social media mentions, as well as dedicated newsletters and any articles with show notes that our guests could reschedule the audiences￼.
By this time, we started focusing on our future listeners fully.
We made sure our content and frequently addressed what our audience was looking for in terms of solving problems, as well as educating them on how the podcast would help them succeed in order to start growing their interest.
We want people to learn how to make a bigger impact – that is what we are there for each week.
4 weeks ahead
We decided to only give our audience four weeks as the week before the official launch we would release the podcast pilot so people could listen to it and subscribe en masse￼.￼
We first released a snippet of our pilot through a very simple graphic that would allow you to also listen to the first minute of the podcast and we created a series of stories with a countdown that would end when the podcast was out.
Each week for the following three weeks we would share different hints at different podcast guests as well as more snippets of some more interviews with our favourite quotes.￼￼
Once again, we found our guests and reminding them that the podcast was going to launch very soon. We asked them to write a review as soon as the podcast was out.￼
We also got back in touch with our 30 selected people to remind them of the imminent launch of the podcast, as well as asking them to review and write the podcast when it was out.￼
1 week away
The pilot drops. How exciting.
Now we’re going full-on parading by first releasing a dedicated newsletter encouraging them to listen to the pilot. As well as that, we send an email with our guests including a generic asset in different formats to allow them to share that the pilot launch and people should be subscribing.￼
Lastly, we sent one more email to our 30 selected people to make sure they subscribed rated and reviewed on iTunes￼.
The podcast is out! What’s next?
As the podcast is now out, we make sure that every week we send our guests a reminder about their episode￼ being live, as well as their dedicated graphic assets. Every week we share at least once on all our social accounts, as well as in our weekly newsletter.
Why do we do that? This is known as an amplification strategy. This is the type of strategy that promotes each episode within the first 24 hours of its release, maximising its exposure.
On top of that, one way that helps to convince interviewees to link over to you from their website and social media is to do the work for them.
If the person has a large audience, they are likely quite busy. Send them an email thanking them for being on the podcast and then say: “I know you’re very busy, so I created some social media posts for you so you can copy and paste them to your followers if you’re interested in sharing the information you told me in the interview.”
Bonus: four weeks in
iTunes has a prominently-display section for “New and Noteworthy” podcasts. When you launch your podcast show, you are likely to show up in this area for at least part of the first 8 weeks that your show is new.
The 8 weeks of new and noteworthy is your best chance for building an audience. Do not waste it.
This is why 4 weeks in we sent a recap of our first four episodes, encouraging people to listen through. We also sent one more reminder to our golden 30 with one more prompt to review and rate.
Sounds too much?
Most people think that they’ll manage to be on top of their podcast, regardless of “life” happening around it.
No matter how motivated you think you are now, recognize that you will burn out, become distracted, and eventually miss publishing if you aren’t working ahead. I highly recommend working at least 3 weeks ahead in your publishing schedule.
Looking for podcast inspiration? Check out our top podcasts, rated by the community and give us a ***** star rating on iTunes.