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Broadcast your Voice – The 101 to launching your Podcast!

How to start from scratch

Anyone who wants can launch a podcast, have fun and grow an audience that resonates with what you have to say. The only thing you need is the desire to do it.

Why I know that? Because that’s my story. And so can you!

It doesn’t matter where you start from. I was extremely shy, stuttered, afraid of rejection, worried about what people think about me, had no idea how to lead a conversation, no audience, no guest relations etc. But I had the desire to do it and to learn. That’s all you need.

How to start from scratch

If you dream about starting your podcast, but didn’t know how, you are at the right place. In this article you find the basics you need to not only create & launch your podcast, but also attract your tribe of people who resonate with your content.

Let’s address the elephant in the room first: FEAR

Apparently fear of public speaking is the number 1 fear people have (fear of death comes only after.) For many of you, fear of rejection, criticism or judgement might be your biggest obstacle. And as a result you might have the dream of running your podcast, but procrastinate or not start at all – and beat yourself up for that. I have been there. If that’s a thing for you, get in touch with me – it’s absolutely not necessary and easy to deal with (but that’s beyond the scope of this article).

Step 1: Define your vision & niche

  1. Come up with the vision and theme for your podcast. The more specific, the better. Some helpful points to clearly define it. But don’t get lost in the details, better done than perfect:
    1. What is my vision? Why do I want to do this podcast?
    2. Who is my target audience? (Interests, life situation, age, what do they want, what is their pain)
    3. Whats most important to me in my audience? What are the key factors, what do I want them to have (e.g integrity, excitement, action takers?)
    4. How do I want my Podcast to be (epic, fun)?
    5. What are my core values? Does my guest really sync with them?
    6. What are the topics that I could talk about for hours? What do you like talking about, are interested (websites, other podcasts). Dont judge yourself – go crazy!! Dont restrict yourself
    7. Choose 1 or 2 topics which align with your values.
  2. Verify your idea: Present your idea to people in your target audience and understand their motivation and customs.
    1. Explain your Podcast idea and hear if they are interested. 
    2. Dig deeper to understand your audience better:
      1. What Podcasts are you listening to
      2. Why do you listen to these?
      3. What episodes do you skip?
      4. When and how do you consume? At work, driving, commuting?
      5. What influencers do you like? Books? Instagram? Youtube channels
      6. What websites do you check regularly?
      7. What are your goals? Aspirations? dreams?
      8. Whats the single biggest challenge you are facing in your life?
      9. What solution would you wish to be broadcasted?
  3. Finalize your vision & theme: Based on your research settle down on your vision and topic. (You can always adjust later, the most important thing is to write down your best guess).
    1. Also chose the name for your Podcast.
    2. Write a 3-4 sentence synopsis for your podcast, where you introduce yourself, share what the podcast is about, what guests to expect and how it will help the listeners.

Step 2: Set up your infrastructure

You might think you need lots of equipment to get started, no you don’t. A big mistake is to not start, because you think you need to get the equipment right first. I started with a computer and a headset microphone. Really all you need is:

  1. Equipment requirements:
    1. Computer with camera
    2. 1 Microphone (a simple headset microphone does it, but if you want to go professional, buy this Shure microphone and a small tripod or stand.
    3. Optional: Lightning is not required to get started, but makes a big difference visually. My recommendation if you can afford the extra money: This Neewer Kit for the front, and this Neewer Light with tripod for the back lighting.
  2. Software requirements:
    1. Zoom installation on your computer

Step 2: Book your first podcast

It’s time to reach out and schedule your first conversations. These are the only steps you need to do:

  1. Find your ideal guests:
    1. Look at other podcast guests.
    2. Look at conference websites.
    3. Use Amazon to look for authors to interview. Check your niche and go to the new releases section. Any author that is about to release a new book will be motivated to do more media. You could land an author with a significant bigger following than yours just because of good timing.
    4. Search hashtags on Instagram.
    5. Use online news sites for inspiration. If you want a sports icon, look through the Guardian sports section. The same goes for other industries.
  2. Reach out and invite your guest:
    1. Send both an email pitch and a friendly message to 1-2 social media channels they are monitoring.
    2. Don’t copy-paste your email, they will know, tailor it to each person.
    3. Don’t be too needy, come across inviting.
    4. Practice brevity. In your first pitch email state the value up front.
    5. Be persistent but avoid stalking people. Booking guests is a soft skill, you need to feel it out and understand when you need to be persistent and when it is time to back off.
    6. Make sure you follow-up, 50% of the deals are made then!
    7. An email template  you can use:
      1. Introduce yourself.
      2. Tell them what you’ve been following or what you like about the person.
      3. Invite them on the podcast and let them know what you will talk about.
      4. If possible, you give them social proof (personal accomplishments, numbers and previous guests)
      5. Give a call-to-action with a specific next action step. Make it as easy as possible for the person you are reaching out to say yes.
  3. Confirm and schedule to podcast:
    1. Once they come back book ASAP and offer 3 options in the next 2-3 weeks.
    2. Once the time is confirmed send them a “congratulations” email with:
      1. Confirmed Time / Send Calendar invite
      2. Next steps for the interview (e.g. Zoom Link)
      3. Pre-interview form (My example here)

A good recommendation is to have conversations scheduled in advance for the next 4 weeks. So reach out to several possible guests and fill your calendar.

Step 3: Prepare and record

Preparation leading up to the conversation

  1. Research the guest: Dive into the work of your guest, also based on the guest form, and pick the theme (s) you want to talk about. And then prepare a document for the conversation, including:
    1. Intro: Prepare a brief text to introduce your guest to your audience: Highlight background, achievements or anything else that stand out.
    2. Questions: Prepare questions around the theme(s). (I always go with what is personally interesting to me – authenticity is king!)
    3. Outro: Thank your guest and your audience. And also let the audience know where they can learn more about the guest and ask them to subsribe or leave a rating and share with your friends.

Meet for the conversation

  1. Preparation: Check your environment and equipment to make sure you will be undisturbed during the podcast. E.g. airplane mode, batteries charged, silence computer sounds & notifications etc.
  2. Welcome the guest: The more safe the guest feels the more open they will be. Be present & focus! Its a privilege to listen to someones story. Be genuinely curious about them. Find a recent (social media) post of theirs and ask them about it. If you are genuine, the guest will feel it in your approach. Tell them something you learned in the preparation: – “I never knew you did this in Iowa”.
  3. Start the recording
  4. Start the conversation: With your intro and then the lead question into the conversation. Most importantly enjoy!!

Step 4: Postproduction / Editing

  1. Send a thank you message to your guest:
    1. Ask for improvements: “If there is anything I could improve please let me know.”
    2. Ask guests for Leads
    3. Tell them that the show will air in 3-6 weeks.
    4. Ask them to promote the show.
  2. Come up with a title and episode description
    1. Title not longer than 100 signs (60 for Youtube)
    2. Description: A teaser of what to expect. Add links to the guests and your offerings.
  3. Minimal sound and video editing: The only thing you want to edit (you can use free software such as iMovie) initially is:
    1. The beginning, so the audio / video starts exactly with the conversation.
    2. The end, so the audio / video ends right after the closing.
    3. Freezes or loss of connections

That was great advice to me, and I pass it on to you: Don’t waste time on post-production, just upload in on (below) broadcasting platforms. It makes you evolve so much faster as your focus in on creating content (that’s how you improve) and not editing out misspellings or pauses (nobody cares).

Step 5: Distribution

Congrats – you are ready to release and publish your episode!

My recommendation is to start with these 3 platforms:

  1. Spotify Podcaster: Once you uploaded your episodes it will be distributed to 9 other platforms.
    1. First you need to setup your Podcast profile: Add the podcast name, sinopsis, and a cover art (canva is a good place for that).
    2. Upload your episode (in video format) with title and description.
  2. Apple Podcast: Once you setup your Spotify Podcast you can link it with Apple podcast. (No additional episode upload needed)
  3. Youtube Channel:
    1. Set up your channel
    2. Upload your first episode.

Step 6: Promotion

Share with your friends and networks!

Especially as you are starting,  ask them to give it a listen and feedback! 🙂

That’s it – you did it!! The world is one perspective richer.

If this was helpful, please share it!

And if you need further help in unleashing your voice and podcast, get in touch with me!

Let’s schedule a free 30 min ‘Discovery Call’ today!