Have you ever read blog posts for 45 minutes? If you have, you’ve got more tenacity than I do. I can sit down and watch three episodes of Orange is the New Black, like it’s going to be illegal, but read for 3 hours, I don’t think so. I can listen or watch much longer.
Right away, that should send up some antennas for you. Why in the world would we focus most of our efforts on blogging, if five minutes of engagement is success? You should be learning about how to make a podcast!
Why podcasting is on fire
To make more money and change the world, we have to be highly focused with our time. Without evaluating the areas that give us the strongest ROI, we’re never going to tap into our full potential. Podcasting is the ideal platform for helping professionals:
· We’re already good at talking and listening!
· We’re great interviewers!
· We tend to have a lot of ideas.
· Talking is often easier than typing and writing.
· It’s more personal and people feel like they know you.
When potential clients hear your voice, they are entering your sales funnel by exploring more about you.
Before you start podcasting
Before you ask me how to make a podcast, there are three things you must do!
Doou have time to podcast?
How much time do you have in a week? I tend to take the approach of doing one thing really well before launching something new. I start blogging and did that full tilt for a year, until I could spit out posts within 20-30 minutes. Then I started podcasting. After podcasting, I started exploring membership sites. This was all while holding down a full time job.
The worst thing you can do is get an audience, then let them down. It’s better to delay launch and do it right, than it is to launch poorly then stop. On the front end, it may take you 20 minutes of time per every recorded minute. That means a 10 minute podcast may take 200 minutes of pre and post production time. Determine your consistency.
Make sure you have the budget to podcast
Doing a podcast can be cheap, but if you’re going to use it as a platform to launch amazing products, member sites, or grow a private practice, you need to at least have the basics:
· A quality recording microphone: $75-$129
· A computer: $500+ (I prefer Macs)
· Quality headphones: $30+
· A website: $60-$2000
· Hosting specifically for the podcast: $10-$15/month
· A quiet place to record: depends on your neighborhood
I have all the podcasting gear on my blog post: How to Make a Podcast: A Walk-through
Think about your ideal audience
This is true in blogging too, who are you speaking to? Are you solving a specific problem, who is that person? Are they a middle aged depressed mom with kids? Young professional? Ask yourself:
1. What is my audience profile?
2. What problem am I solving for them?
3. Why would they keep listening to me?
4. How will I monetize this time?
If you can’t answer these questions, you should pause and plan your podcast. For every hour you spend learning how to make a podcast, that’s an hour you could be in a private practice. If your hourly is $150, you need to eventually have a return on the investment of your time, otherwise it’s called a hobby.
How to Make a Podcast
Once you’ve realized that having a podcast is one of the best ways to grow a business and then you’ve landed on your target audience, the only thing left is to learn how to make a podcast! It’s actually way easier than I thought. The front end set-up is the hardest, but once you have it set, it’s so easy. I now spend less than 1 minute per finished minute. My podcast is usually 30-45 minutes long, I do about 20 minutes of post-production. Here’s your checklist to make a podcast:
1. Name your podcast: Find a catchy and simple name that represents your target audience. It doesn’t have to be the same as your website. You can always say: “The _______ Podcast, brought to you by http://www.______.com.”
2. Find your intro music: The best resource for creative commons music is www.Jamendo.com, you just have to say the musician’s name in the podcast or on your website. I thank them at the end. I also put in other music I like.
3. Have a consistent program: People want to know they’re in the right place. When they hear that song, they should think about you. Then your voice comes in. Is your show 5 minutes or 50, don’t do both! Having a similar format helps you plan.
4. Expect change: How will the audience be changed by listening to you? At the end of this podcast you’ll know why you should have been podcasting yesterday. If you can’t articulate the change you want to have your listener experience, you’re wasting everyone’s time!
5. Think in odds: What are the 3 main points for your niche? What 7 things should everyone know. What are 5 traps that everyone falls into? Think in lists, what are the 3 essentials, then list the 5 quick tips for each of those essentials. For example, if I were doing a parenting podcast, I might have a program that is all about sleep and toddlers, let’s see how it would play out minute-by-minute.
0:00 Theme music starts
0:05 “Welcome to the Parenting with Joe Podcast” followed by extra music
0:10 Welcome and intro, mention a parenting tool (this might be something free, your ebook, a link that redirects to an Amazon Associate account using PrettyLinks or something like that)
1:00 “Today we’re talking all about kids and sleeping, specifically the dreaded bedtime of toddlers, at the end of this show you’ll know exactly how to do the Ten-minute Toddler Turnaround routine. We’ll cover:
1. Why quality sleep is the one thing that will change your child’s future.
2. The set-up for your child’s success
3. When you’re in the moment
5:00 Drill into each point with a few steps, maybe a minute per step or thought
17:00 Mention the parenting tool again
18:00 closing that is always the same style, maybe different music, a disclaimer, or a funny fact about yourself.
How to market your podcast
Now that the podcast is recorded, posted to your website and automatically fed to Stitcher, Soundcloud, and iTunes, you’re done right?
Many a great person has said that content is 10% of the sale, the other 90% is promoting your work! Let your audience know that a new podcast is live in unique ways such as:
1. Use quote on Twitter
2. Tweet out one tip at a time
3. Post Instagram pictures around the subject
4. Create quote cards for Facebook
5. Email your list with a hook like “I just launched a podcast episode about sleep and toddlers, I’ve received some emails from people that they disagree with step #2, is it too harsh? Let me know, here’s the link to listen: _______”
6. As interviewees to promote the post and set up a listening party
7. Trendjack on Twitter as it applies.
Why are you still reading about starting a podcast?
Hop to it! Get started, write down ideas, order equipment, read my articles about getting started, get moving! The world needs you to be more awesome, let them know what you think and engage them. Make the internet better, grow your income, and finish watching this season of Orange is the New Black so you can get podcasting!
Joseph R. Sanok is the lead blogger with Practice of the Practice, where he’s helping make counselors more awesome through his marketing, business, and private practice podcast. He is the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling, a Traverse City Counseling private practice. Joe is also slightly addicted to watching Orange is the New Black with his wife.