Our podcast, 20 Minute Marketing, just hit episode 50.
Around 18 months ago I was asked to start a podcast at Reach. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Speaking was not my forte and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Like most, the thought of my own voice made me cringe. The latter part is still true, although many hours of editing work means that I have managed to get used to it.
Anyway, what turned out as a brand-building experiment has gone from strength to strength. We’re 50 episodes in and our monthly listenership has grown at a consecutive rate each month since we put out those first seven episodes last April.
We’ve also spoken to people from six different countries, which I hope continues to rise. Pretty cool for something that started out as a fun side project!
Since podcasting is growing at a rapid pace, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve learned from launching the show. Hopefully, there’s at least a few tips in here for current podcast hosts, people planning to launch, or anyone thinking of guesting in the future.
1. It really is fun once you get started.
2. There are lots of ways to measure success and listening figures aren’t everything.
3. Consistency is key. Our success increased significantly when we moved to a weekly schedule.
4. The best website to find guests is Matchmaker.fm
5. There are lots of editing tools available but I have gone old-school and use Audacity, which is free. It’s great for noise reduction, amplification, and removing errs and ahs.
6. Get your show on as many streaming sites as possible. Many people consume podcasts on alternative channels to Spotify + Apple Podcasts.
7. A great way to transform podcasts into short-form video is by using Headliner
8. Floom has some great free templates that you can plug into Headliner.
9. Video snippets are great for stories + posts on the majority of social channels.
10. If you are running paid ads then try to minimise the number of clicks that it takes to get from the ad to your episode.
11. Investing in great creatives that allow you to include headshots, logos, and episode titles are definitely worth it.
12. Google Ads is a way to gain a large number of impressions via display ads.
13. Utilise your existing email list or if not then start one.
14. Have a dedicated podcast page on your website. It allows you to pick up links and showcase content to site visitors.
15. Giving your audience the option to select their preferred streaming channel by using Linktree or an alternative is important.
16. It’s much easier to reduce background noise that is a constant humming noise compared with bangs or unexpected sounds. If they happen, don’t be afraid to ask guests to repeat an answer.
17. Pretty obvious but aim to avoid big open rooms, close windows, and avoid electrical appliances (fans, fridges, heaters).
18. With that said, people understand that we are busy and that podcasting isn’t normally a full-time job. If there is a slight hiccup during your record then quite often you can roll with it providing the content is there.
19. Don’t be afraid to be selective with your guests. You want to make sure that each episode adds value and quality to your show.
20. Podcasting provides huge SEO opportunities. Submit your site to ranking pages, include links on show notes, and ask your guests to link back on their blog or press pages.
21. Promoting your show via LinkedIn and Facebook groups can be very effective.
22. Try to pick a set time and stick with it. I used to find that releasing episodes later in the week led to lower listening figures – so we stick to Wednesday’s now.
23. Anticipate that some guests may need to reschedule and try to avoid building a campaign around an episode until the recording is actually completed.
24. Similarly, plan in advance. Rushing your recording and editing can lead to mistakes that aren’t picked up.
25. Create show notes or blog posts that cover your conversation in writing. Some people enjoy reading more than listening.
26. You can also repurpose content into short videos, learning guides, email tips, and more.
27. Find guests that are willing to cross-promote on their own channels too. After all, it’s a two-way street.
28. Don’t be afraid to reach out to industry experts or top brands. Some will say no but others are welcoming and open to the opportunity, especially if they have never been invited onto a podcast show before.
29. The best guests on paper don’t always equate to the best recordings.
30. Some of our best episodes are scripted and others are unscripted. Depending on your guests and topics, both can work quite well.
31. Be assertive. At the end of the day, it is your show and your guests may not know exactly how you want things to be formatted. Making things clear makes things better for both parties.
32. There are lots of wonderful people on LinkedIn who provide podcasting content. Some people worth adding are James Mulvany, Logan Lyles, Heather Osgood, James Carbary, Charlene Rex-Waller, James Marriott, and Dan Sanchez.
33. Ultimately, podcast episodes are a collaboration between yourself & your brand, and your guests. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests the type of questions that they would like you to ask instead of guessing or planning alone.
34. If you don’t have a professional microphone then start with mobile. While the quality isn’t as good, it can still be made to a professional standard once you’ve edited via Audacity (or other). A great starting point is the Anchor app which lets you record online.
35. There are several great hosting sites but Anchor is great for first-time podcasters. You can add free sounds and transitions that you can use for free. It also allows you to record with friends & is quick to upload your episodes to streaming sites.
36. Don’t stress over small issues. Naturally, we want things to be perfect but your original questions and answers will be just fine most of the time.
36. Plan for more, include less. It gets a bit awkward if your halfway through an episode and don’t know what to talk about next.
37. Check your RSS feed manually in your podcast hosting site and upload your podcast to new sites such as iHeartRadio, Castbox, and more.
38. Mixing things up is fun. If you can’t find a guest then you could publish a solo episode. Similarly, feel free to invite 2-3 guests simultaneously.
39. Introductory phone calls are very helpful. They allow you to get a feel for your guest and the type of content they enjoy talking about.
40. Podcasts aren’t live. If you make a mistake or would like to change something then you can do so.
41. Be open about your role and company during the show. It’s important to avoid selling and focusing on the value you add but listeners are happy to learn more about you.
42. Get someone in your team to listen to the episode before it goes live. They’re the most likely to give honest feedback. If not, a friend might help.
43. Reddit can be a great place to learn new tips. They have a very active podcast community.
44. Consider adding podcast links to your email signature if appropriate.
45. If you have a few blog pages that are performing well then a great option is to embed a relevant podcast episode at the end of your post.
46. Podcasts are a great way to introduce yourself to potential clients. If you have a prospect and aren’t sure how to make contact then inviting them to be a guest on your show can help.
47. First-time guests are great.
48. There are sites like Zvook that help match podcast advertisers with shows.
49. Make your episode titles easy to understand. And, start with the topic rather than the title of your show – which listeners will likely know. For example, How To Optimise Your Video Strategy | With Itamar Blauer | 20 Minute Marketing #50
50. The value of your show isn’t just about the monetary value of ads or listening figures. It’s very plausible that someone listens to an episode of your show and then comes back and makes a purchase at a later date when the timing is right.