If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, we don’t have to tell you that you aren’t alone—the podcast market is absolutely booming, with an impressive 55% of consumers tuning in as of this year. While you might be hearing “that’s a lot of competition,” we hear “the barrier is lower than ever!” Keep reading for some important questions to answer before starting your podcast.
First, Let’s Address the Obvious
The podcasting space is saturated. As heck. So, getting started can feel really daunting to anyone with a great concept in mind—but little direction past that. We’ll get into the nitty gritty of how to podcast later on. First, we have a few foundational questions for you.
#1: What’s It About?
This one’s simple but—with so much competition out there—you need to really evaluate your initial concept before moving forward. It’s pretty difficult these days for generic ideas to gain traction without being drowned out by all the noise already out there.
The key is to serve a niche audience, while still leaving yourself room to expand later on. Go beyond blanket terms like “business,” “history,” or “books” and dig deep for what you’ll really be talking about. What sounds more interesting: a podcast about literature, or a podcast about the low-brow, underdog authors of the 18th century?
It’s natural to be afraid of going too niche—you might wonder, “are there really enough people out there who want this?” But a lot of times, and especially here, a bigger net will only lead to fewer fish. We talk about this with digital marketing all the time: you want to speak to the people who are already looking for you. That same principle applies to podcasting.
#2: What Will You Call It?
This is another simple, yet very important step in starting your podcast. You want it to be unique and catchy, but still hint at what your podcast is actually about. If you’re an already-established brand, you can skip this part. Or maybe you want this podcast to be a branch off of your brand—closely related, but separate. It’s up to you! Just make sure it’s easy to remember.
#3: What’ll It Look Like?
That’s right, we said look! Even though podcasts are all auditory, you still need to put some effort into the look of everything. You have to get people to listen. Figure out what vibes you want to give off—is this an edgy show criticizing ‘80s horror movies? Is this a lighthearted show about cute animals? There aren’t any wrong answers; we promise. Just make sure everything is cohesive.
Put a good bit of thought behind your podcast’s cover art—it’s what will either draw people in, or make them keep scrolling. You want it to be eye-catching, convey the right message, and match the rest of your brand.
#4: Is This a Long-Term Relationship or a Fling?
If you answered “fling,” you can save yourself some time and mosey on over to your next creative project. Podcasting requires a long-term commitment! Even if you’re deciding to put together a one-off episode, or a seasonal podcast, there’s still a significant time and energy investment involved.
Growing your podcast audience, just like growing any audience, takes a lot of time. We’re talkin’ months, sometimes years. Of course, if your podcast is just another extension of your already-established brand, you’re starting with a built-in audience! But having a following doesn’t always mean guaranteed listeners. You’ll still need to invest a good bit of time and energy into coming up with consistent, compelling content.
Don’t discount a good old-fashioned trial run—if you’re an established business starting a podcast, try out a few episodes and see if the ROI makes sense for you.
#5: Who’s In Charge?
Is this all up to you and your schedule, or will you be relying on others to help you? There are plenty of solo podcasts out there—if this project will just consist of you, you can skip this part. But, if you’re going for back-and-forth conversations, interviews, and a variety of perspectives, you’ll need to choose your fellow collaborators wisely, and delegate well.
Make sure whoever you invite onto this project is just as committed as you are! Most companies with podcasts rely on a rotating cast of co-hosts, but they always maintain a designated host who’s responsible for organizing the show.
#6: What’s Your Schedule?
You have to be consistent with your content; that’s more important than pumping out loads of content. It’s easy to lose followers when they don’t know what to expect. That means that you shouldn’t commit to pushing out an episode twice a week if that’s not realistic for you and your team.
Figure out how long it takes to record a finished episode, talk with your collaborators about their schedules, consider your own schedule for editing and such, and create as often as these factors will allow—ideally with a little bit of wiggle room. Podcast schedules vary greatly. Some are weekly, some are monthly, and some are completely seasonal. So you shouldn’t feel pressured to produce at a breakneck speed. Other people have busy lives too!
We Know How to Grow an Audience
Are you feeling overwhelmed with content creation? We get it—it’s quite the undertaking. We have a team of social media experts who are ready to take it out of your hands, and get serious results. Start a conversation with us today!