It’s nearly been a year since the Stop the Hey Girl Podcast began and one of the questions I get all the time is “Am I ready to start a podcast?”
So many of you know that podcasting is one more way you can expand your reach in your business and allow your voice and message to be heard among a new audience.
To celebrate this almost milestone, I brought on my podcast producers, Jenna and Tyler from Podcast Perfectors to chat all things Podcasts.
There are so many elements that go into creating, launching, and maintaining a professional podcast. Of course, there is the actual audio component, but there are also things beyond the audio, such as graphics, audiograms and show notes that need to be created to promote the each episode. You also need to upload your episode to a hosting website to make sure it appears on top platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Podcasts are literally just free value so if you are starting an online business, it should be one of the first things that you do. It’s the tip of your sales funnel and the number one way to get noticed. People love free and they love value - podcasting provides both.
Usually we say 2% to 10% growth is a good number, but podcast listenership has grown 37.5% in three years and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Most podcast listeners tune into an average of six different podcasts a week because they know that's where they're going to find so much free value. Those numbers alone show just how much podcasting has grown and how many ears you have available to share your voice and your story.
On top of that, most podcast listeners are much more active on every other social media site, which means they're going to follow you on Instagram because they want to see the free value that you're also giving away there.
Launch with two to four episodes. People want to listen to a few episodes and come away with something tangible. Don't even start your podcast until you can list out eight episodes. If you don’t have a solid idea about the things you want to talk about, you’re going to get stuck before it’s even taken off and that’s where people begin to fall off the wagon.
Anybody can DIY a podcast, especially with all the technology that’s available. Get yourself a good quality microphone and a Mac computer that works and you’re pretty much set to go.
There comes a point, though, where you want your podcast to sound as professional as possible, rather than slapped together in a closet, and that’s where we come in.
It takes a lot of time to learn how to mix and edit the audio properly and most entrepreneurs know that their zone of genius is their business, not mixing podcast audio.
It depends on the podcast. We have a client who’s episodes are seven minutes because she serves up the information and then she’s out. No fluff or filler words because that's what her people want. Then you look at Joe Rogan, who has three hour long episodes, and he's one of the top podcasters ever.
Look at your analytics and talk to your podcast producers to figure out which episodes have done phenomenal which ones haven't. Ask your audience when they listen. Do they listen when they commute or when they’re folding laundry? How long does it take for them to get to work? If the common answer is 20 minutes, do 20 minute episodes.
Treat podcasting like a tree. You can't plant the seed and then walk outside tomorrow and find a giant apple tree in your backyard that's just dropping fruit everywhere. That’s not really a realistic expectation. The earlier you start your podcast, the quicker you'll see it flourish. That doesn’t mean we haven’t seen people blow up on podcasts — it does happen — but more often than not it takes time and plenty of watering to grow.
People often think long term, they want millions of listeners and downloads so they can monetize through sponsorships and royalty payouts from streams but you can benefit, even monetarily, indirectly from your podcast long before you get to that point.
People do business and buy things from people they know, like and trust. Podcasting is one of the fastest and best ways to build those factors because you come out, day after day, with real honesty and vulnerability while also giving people value.
It's better to have 1000 super fans than 10,000 casual fans, because the super fans are the ones that will listen to everything you put out, they'll buy every piece of merchandise, they'll go to all of your events and they'll tell all their friends about you. That's what you want to build as an online entrepreneur.
You can benefit monetarily from your podcast even if you’ve only got 100 listeners. If you put out a podcast episode with great value and drop an advertisement about your new mastermind or new course, even if you only get a small percentage of people from your small amount of listeners to sign up, that’s more money for you to funnel back into growing your business.
The classic formula for success time over consistency and the number one thing that will kill a podcast is inconsistency. Statistically, if you are putting out at least one episode a week, promoting that episode and pushing that content around that episode, you will see healthy growth that will really make the effort worth it.
On the flip side, if you're inconsistent and you don't put out promotional content surrounding your podcast, statistically it's really not worth doing a podcast in the first place because it just murders your growth.
Time and time again, we've seen people do a couple of episodes and then fall off the wagon because they get behind. They’re on and off for a period of time before they give up. It’s too difficult for them to juggle because they’re creating a podcast on top of running their business, looking after their families or working a 9 - 5.
The top three like genres in podcasting are comedy followed by education and news. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, the number one type of content you can create for your audience is educational.
When it comes to solo or interviews, it really depends on your audience. For example, one of our clients noticed a dip in their downloads which correlated with their interview episodes getting less listenership. They put out eight episodes a month, so now six of them are solos and two of them are interviews. They're even niching down those interviews by asking their audience exactly what they want to hear.
Figure out if your people really love interview or solo episodes by posting a poll or a question box on Instagram or asking in your Facebook group. Knowing your audience is extremely important and the only way to know your audience is to communicate regularly with them.
In podcasting, you're either telling a story or you're solving a problem. This explains why the top three genres are comedy (storytelling) and education and news (either storytelling or problem solving—sometimes both).
Storytelling always has beginning, a middle, and an end and you have to make sure you do each of those properly and you don't scroll off and tell 37 stories inside one big story. You’re sharing your “hero’s journey” with the listener and usually the listeners that stick around are the ones who resonate with you and your story.
Problem solving needs to be clearly articulated. It's difficult to make things simple. Address the problem and present the solution.
If you can marry those two concepts and find a way to solve people's problems while also telling them a story they can connect to and they feel like they can relate to you, you're gonna win. It's literally just a matter of time and consistency.
You’re a unique person with a unique voice and a unique offering, even if you’re in a particular space where there's a lot of competition. You're telling your story and your story is never going to be the same as somebody else's story — relatable hopefully — but never the same.