Learn what you need for starting your own podcast show
Starting your own podcast show is an avenue to build relationships in business. You might start off wondering about the technology required, whether or not it’s affordable, if you need a special studio in your home or office, and how to make sure that the podcast gets from your brain to your listener’s ears.
Fortunately, you don’t need anything complicated or expensive, and you don’t need to
build a radio-quality studio to podcast. You just need a few simple elements and you’ll easily record, edit, upload, and share your podcast with the world.
Use the checklist below to gather the pieces together and you’ll be ready to start!
- Audio hosting site – just like YouTube or Vimeo hosts videos, you’ll need a site that hosts the audio files. (You probably don’t want to use your website host for this, since there’s a difference in how web hosts distribute data — for the best experience for your listeners, you’ll want an audio file host). Some great examples are Libsyn, AmazonS3, Soundcloud, Podbean and more. My recommendation would be to get one that has the ability to give you statistics. You’ll want to know how many downloads you get each month, and some of your guests will want to know as well. Plus, measuring downloads is a great way to gauge what topics are relevant and track results of your show in general.
- Podcast Directories– when you think of podcasts, you generally think of iTunes, especially with the number of iPad, iPhone and Apple users out there. But also consider Stitcher Radio (for Android), BluBrry and a few lesser known directories. Even Google Play now has podcasts! At the very least, upload to iTunes.
- Graphics – There are 2 types of graphics you can have – whether it’s one or the other or both – it’s up to you!
Podcast Cover Art is a graphic for your podcast show in general. For me you’ll see this on my home page on the side bar. The other is a regular Podcast Graphic for each episode. I recommend them so you can post them on your website and social media to promote each episode. A podcast graphic typically has a head shot of you & the guest, the name of the show, the name of the guest or title of the show (topic covered). Here is a sample:
- One Sheet – there are two kinds of one sheets:
- The most common is a one sheet you’ll use to be a guest on other people’s shows: this is a one page synopsis of you (and your business, if applicable), and the reasons why someone would want you on their show. Your one sheet should include your bio, your area of expertise, and possible topics you could be interviewed on. If you have authored books, host any shows, have any ‘as seen on’ credentials then definitely include those!
- You should also create a one sheet ABOUT your show – the show name and tagline, what the purpose is (i.e. why someone would want to listen to your show and what they can expect when they listen), what types of guests you are looking for, the length of your podcast episodes, and how to connect with you to request to be on the show. Above is a sample of mine.
- Interview Equipment – of course you need a system, software or way to conduct the interview and record it. Popular methods are Skype, Instant Teleseminar and Zoom. Zoom and Instant Teleseminar have record buttons right in their programs. Skype, though, requires an outside program to enable that — one program is called Pamela (www.Pamela.biz). The key is that you want to make it easy for you, have clear ‘dial in’ instructions for your guest, and that the audio quality is strong. Many avid podcasters also recommend purchasing a mic for better audio quality. There are TONS of options out there – but don’t feel you have to get the most expensive one!
- Scheduling application – at first this might seem like an optional tool but as your podcast grows you’ll find that it becomes increasingly necessary! This is an online calendar-style application, like Time Trade or Schedule Once, where you fill in your availability for podcast interviews. Again, if you’re just starting out, you might not see the value of this but fast forward in your mind a few months – it’s so much easier to send out this link and automate the scheduling of your interviews than to go back and forth by email with dozens of interviewees about what times work for each of you.
- Audio Intro & Outro – Nearly every radio show, television show, and podcast has an intro and an outro. It’s the few seconds of familiar music or words that indicate your show is about to start or has just ended. It adds a level of professionalism and consistency to your podcasts and gives you an opportunity to remind your listeners why they should listen to your podcast. To start, it’s recommended that you keep it short and without ‘commercials’ until you get a solid audience.
There are tons of websites where you can get royalty free music for the audio clip. You can even go to www.istockphoto.com as they have music clips as well. www.melodyloops.com is another great one.
Then think about the voiceover – it can be your own voice, or the voice of a friend or co-worker, or you can even hire a voiceover artist for $5-10 at www.fiverr.com. Write out ahead of time what you want the voiceover artist to say, how they introduce you and the show.
Then blend the music and voice together into one short, compelling intro and outro. If you’re comfortable with technology, you can download the audio editing software from www.audacity.com to do this on your own.
PLUS 2 BONUS TIPS
GUESTS & INSTRUCTIONS – You don’t want to start your podcast and then find yourself scrambling each week to fill it with a guest. It’s a better idea to create a list of potential guests to invite – a list that you continually replenish as guests are interviewed or decline your invitation for an interview. Make a list, email them to invite them. If you need help finding guests for your show – there are some great services out there – my favorite is www.interviewconnections.com
A PODCAST SCRIPT – if you listen to a number of podcasts, once the ‘intro’ is over and the host comes on live – you’ll hear them introduce the show, its purpose, often their website, and then they’ll go into introducing the podcast guest. Listen to one of mine and you’ll hear me say…
“Welcome to Sailing To Success Podcast – this show was created exclusively for entrepreneurs and small business owners looking for a safe port in the storm. My name is Lyndsay Phillips and I am your host for this 30 minute excursion.” …. And so on..before I introduce the guest.
When the interview is over and you’ve wrapped it up with the guest, there is also a ‘sign off’ to tell people where to go to find you and why and then your tagline or sign off message –kind of like this.