How to Create a Podcast (Part 3)
Podcasting is more popular than ever. Technology has made it so simple to access podcast content that you can listen from anywhere at any time. If you are looking for new ways to market yourself, check out The Public Speaker's tips on how to start podcasting.
So far in this mini-series on podcasting we’ve explored the following questions:
#1. How often would you like to provide content?
#2. How much time and money do you want to invest?
#3. How often should I podcast?
#4. How will listeners find my podcast?
Today will cover the final 3 questions:
#5. How can I ensure that I am consistent?
#6. What equipment do I need?
#7. What do else do I need to think about?
How Can I Ensure That I’m Consistent?
Once you decide how often you’d like to deliver new podcasts, you’ll need to think about a strategy and a process to help you remain consistent. Again, remember that consistency trumps frequency. I recommend starting out with a once a week schedule. That is, deliver your completed podcast on the same day, at the same time, every week. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
If you’re like me, on a daily basis, you’ve got clients that you need to work with, you’ve got website issues that need to be dealt with, you’ve got products that need developing—you’ve got many priorities that need your attention in order to bring in your regular sales revenue. Keeping up with a podcast in addition to that can be difficult, but not impossible.
To help you to be consistent, I recommend creating several episodes before the official launch of the podcast. In fact, if you can create about 3 months worth of episodes, you will be in good shape. It will be difficult because you’ll want to start sharing all of that great content, but resist the urge. Think of these podcasts as your secret stash.
By having a few podcast episodes in reserve, you can run new content even when you’re sick, on vacation, or busy with other priorities. Of course, you can always run repeats, or guest hosts when you need a break in your schedule, but it’s best to run new content regularly to keep your listeners engaged.
I can tell you from my own experience, when repeats were running twice a month, the number of subscribers dwindled but as soon as I returned to a regular schedule of consistent new content the number of listeners steadily increased.
Also, there’s another advantage to creating your stockpile. It gives you time to work out the kinks in your process and not have the pressure of having to post. Then when you ultimately deliver your “first” podcast, it really won’t be your first and you’ll make a stronger impression!
What Equipment Do I Need?
The next question to consider is the equipment you’ll need. I’m not a technology expert (for that you’d have to check out my colleague the Tech Talker), but I’ve learned quite a bit through trial and error. A high quality microphone is your most important piece of equipment. If your budget is limited, invest in the best mic you can afford first. Dynamic mics work very well in broadcasting situations where you want to isolate a voice and eliminate background noise. Condenser mics create a more “natural” or “live” sound, but pick up a lot more background noise and require a better mic technique.
I’ve got two kids at home, and you can often find me recording in my closet, so I went with a dynamic mic to eliminate background noise. One of the most popular mics for podcasting is the Heil PR-40. I went with a less expensive model, the Shure SM58. These mics require an audio interface or a pre-amp. If you can’t afford these or just don’t want to mess with them, you can use a USB mic such as the Blue Yeti THX-Certified USB Condenser Microphone. I own that microphone too and its sound quality is pretty good.
Depending on your budget, there are plenty of options for good audio and recording equipment. For more information on podcasting equipment, see my blog entry What Technology Do You Need? or check out HiveLogic’s Podcasting Software Equipment Guide.
What Else Do I Need to Think About?
Before I end this episode I want to just briefly touch on one last important question you should consider. Do you have products and services that match your post potential audience? When I started podcasting the majority of my clients were organizations that bought high end training and development services. I did not have books and online courses designed for individuals. I wasn't prepared to sell to my new audience and I missed opportunity to serve my audience until I started creating products and services that matched their needs. I didn’t know how to leverage the podcast. Of course, this is an important consideration before moving into any new endeavor.
There is so much to consider when thinking about podcasting; even more than what fits into this 3-part mini-series. The most important advice I can give you is to make sure it’s the right solution for what you’re trying to achieve. Can you provide regular, compelling content? Do you have the time or resources to promote your podcasts? Do you have access to the right experts? Do you have the right equipment? Are you prepared to sell products to your audience? If you can answer yes to these questions, then it’s time to start podcasting.
This is Lisa B. Marshall, The Public Speaker. Helping you lead, influence, and inspire through better communication. Do you wish you got an email from me letting you know the new podcast is available? Join my newsletter to get weekly updates and get a free bonus.
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Microphone image from Shutterstock