Will Zimmerman | , , , , , , , ,| By
If you’re like most people these days you probably listen to podcasts regularly. You probably have a few you like and probably know the company or person that produces it fairly well.
But have you ever thought about producing your own small business podcast?
If not, you should at least consider it because podcasts can be a tremendous opportunity for small businesses to build an audience of potential customers, enhance your employer brand and communicate better with your own employees.
Even better, podcasts are relatively easy and even fun to do. This post will walk you through the basics of starting a podcast if you decide it’s right for your business.
Planning your podcast
The first step is to figure out what your podcast will be about and what the format will be.
This may seem obvious but there are a lot of decisions you’ll need to make.
- How long will your episodes be?
- Are you going to interview guests, talk about specific topics or a combination of both?
- What kind of guests will you have on?
- What is the name of your podcast going to be?
You’ll want to create a podcast that appeals to your audience, is manageable to produce and is different from the crowd of other small business podcasts already out there.
Hosting Your Podcast
Once you’ve figured out what your podcast is going to look like, the next step is to figure out how to host it.
There are a number of great services you can use to host your podcasts cheaply and that can handle anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of thousands of downloads.
Here are two great ones to start with:
Libsyn: One of the largest providers of podcast hosting services on the internet and is used by over 25,000 different podcasts and 44 million listeners each month. The interface is a bit out of date but Libsyn is a hosting service you can’t go wrong with.
PodBean: Another large provider of podcast hosting but they also offer the ability to host video podcasts, a more up to date interface and plans that start off free for smaller podcasts. This is a great option for any podcast but if you want to do a video podcast, it should be your go to option.
In addition to hosting your podcast on one of the above mentioned sites, you may also want to distribute it to other platforms, perhaps on your blog, Youtube, Google Video or a number of other sites.
You can do this through the hosting services but you should research each platform since they all have their quirks and make sure it is the right fit and manageable for your podcast.
Build it and they will come generally doesn’t work with a podcast.
Even though you produced an awesome podcast, you’ll want to put some serious thought and effort into promotion so that your awesome podcast gets some eyeballs.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Have guests share your podcast episodes on their personal and company social media pages.
- Even better, get them to post it on their blog or website so you get a backlink.
- Post it to Youtube and use a Youtube SEO Guide to try and rank for specific relevant terms.
- Submit it to Itunes and encourage listeners to review it (positive reviews in Itunes means a higher ranking which means more eyeballs).
- Consider using paid promotion on Facebook or Google to get your first few listeners and hopefully, reviews.
- Share it with your friends and colleagues and ask them to share it with their friends. Word of mouth can have a huge effect.
- Speak at events and promote your podcast during your speech.
Your podcast logo is important. It’s often the way people will remember your podcast and what makes it distinguishable from others on popular sites like Youtube, Itunes, etc.
If you don’t have any graphic design skills, consider using a site like Upwork to hire a freelance graphic designer.
Investing a little bit in a great logo will pay dividends in the future.
If you’re going to do a podcast you need a way to record, edit it and ensure that the audio quality is high enough that it isn’t distracting to listeners.
First off, you’ll need a good microphone. Most of the popular podcasting microphones are good choices and will do the job so don’t spend too much time obsessing over features, particularly when you’re starting off.
Just don’t use your laptop microphone to record interviews since it probably won’t do the job.
You’ll also need software to edit the episodes and there are a number of great tools out there. Many people like to use simpler software like GarageBand and others prefer to use more advanced software like Logic Pro X.
For your podcast, don’t focus on getting the fanciest most expensive software, just get something that you’re comfortable with and that is easy to use.
Setting up a podcast is relatively easy and if it appeals to potential customers, can be financially lucrative for your business as a new marketing channel.
This article is a good guide to get started but there is a lot more information out there on optimizing, promoting and publishing your password which can be found with a quick Google search.