While podcasts have been around for more than 10 years, 2016 has felt like the year that podcasts became the “new blog.”
It seems like every big book launch now comes with a podcast. (Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert – started in 2015, Pivot Podcast with Jenny Blake)
Hillary Clinton has one to help people get to know her better leading up to the election. (With Her)
Organizations are digging up old interviews and re-purposing as a podcast. (Harvard Business Review, Creative Mornings)
Every brand wants one and so do you.
I get it. It felt like the absolute right vehicle for me when I pivoted earlier this year and wanted to find a way to get my new message out to a whole new audience.
If it’s calling your name, I say do it.
But just know it’s a massive undertaking – so here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help decide if a podcast is right for you.
1. How do you like to connect with people?
Do you like to talk one-on-one? Would you rather be part of a big group where there’s lots of back and forth? How do you feel about the stage? What medium comes to mind: audio, video, writing or drawing? There are no wrong answers here, just an opportunity to find clarity about how you like to connect, which may or not be best suited to a podcast. Maybe instead it’s a vlog if you like the camera, or Facebook Live or Periscope if you crave the interaction.
Hat tip to Tara Gentile on this one. If you know me, I’m a big fan of Tara and answering this question actually led to my own podcast! A topic we talk about on my upcoming podcast interview with her. Get an alert when the episode launches.
2. What’s your goal with the podcast?
Do you want to educate, inspire, inform? Do you want your podcast to tie to your business? If yes, what’s the benefit for your target audience? Why will they want to subscribe and tune in regularly? Will you have special guests? It is a solo show?
3. What’s your message and what is unique about it in the podcast space?
This is related to #2. What’s unique about your message and your show? What’s already out there and what about your message is different?
With my show I saw the white space existing for a show about pursuing passions and interests on the SIDE of full-time jobs. With so many shows out there about entrepreneurism, I wanted to be a place for the vast majority of people, who for practical reasons, will probably never quit their day job. However, they can instead pursue fulfilling side projects and side businesses.
4. Can you commit?
Whether you commit to producing your show for a year or a mini-season, daily, weekly or bi-weekly, get honest with yourself and decide what you can commit to.
Podcasting is a significant effort. Know that going in, and decide what you can stick with and for how long. I started out planning a bi-weekly show that would run in seasons. I’ve since shifted gears to a weekly show with season 1 running through December of this year. I’m already booking interviews for the 2017 season, but I’m leaving the time frame open for the next season. I know myself and already know I am going to need a podcast vacation after December.
5. And last but not least…how much time do you have to spare?
To be totally honest, I spent the better part of most every weekend for the last six months on something podcast related. I made the choice to let go of a lot of things, and it has been the right choice; but this was a lot of weekends when I could have been doing stuff outside rather than in my home office. Here are some things to consider before you begin:
You’ll need a website or at least a new blog to host your podcast.
There’s a million and one technical things to figure out. (That’s a few more blog posts!)
You’ll spend time researching equipment and then learning to use it.
You’ll spend time finding guests, scheduling them, prepping them to have a successful tech experience, researching them, writing questions and of course interviewing them.
Editing – my first hour long interview took me at least 6 hours to edit, more if you count all the going back and re-doing when I made mistakes. Then writing, recording and editing my intro was another full day. Putting it all together with custom intros and outros – another day. NOW I can edit an entire show top to bottom in a few hours, but there’s a big learning curve here and I’ve been editing a few months now.
Then there are show notes, uploading to your feed host and lots of time for promotion. People aren’t just going to find your show. You need to get yourself out there and promote which includes everything from social media to writing articles, pitching yourself for other podcasts and socializing in Facebook groups.
If I didn’t talk you out of it and you’re still excited to produce a podcast after reading this, awesome! I’d love to hear about your plans. Share in the comments below.