Anyone can launch a podcast, but not everyone does it well. What’s one best practice people should keep in mind if they’re looking to succeed at podcasting, and why?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Share Unique, Authentic Stories
People absolutely love to hear powerful stories, and one best practice I’ve learned personally is to share unique, authentic stories while keeping episodes short — anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes. Help listeners save time by breaking down challenges and sharing the mistakes you made and lessons you learned. People want to visualize the journey of how you got there, not just hear the end result.
2. Know Your Audience and Competition
Take an objective deep dive into the demographics and data of your potential audience, who your competitors are, how you are different, if you will be adding to the content that is out there. If you are bringing a new voice with a fresh perspective, you have the time and you are in an industry that is not saturated, go for it.
3. Know What You’re Talking About
The best way to launch a successful podcast is to know what you’re talking about. If you really want your audience to listen to your podcasts, it’s best to choose topics that you have a wide knowledge of. That way you can sound like an expert and people will love listening to you too.
4. Focus on One Niche
As more and more people are getting into the podcast industry every day, it’s important to focus on one niche and have that as the main topic of discussion. Otherwise, you’ll come off as unprofessional if you’re drifting off the topic. So, do good research before every podcast and make sure you stick to those topics the majority of the time. Relevancy and consistency are the key to success.
5. Be Engaging
Create an engaging podcast that will resonate with your listeners — from the tone of voice to your topics and even to the people you choose to join you on the podcast. Make your tone of voice soothing to the ears if it’s a sensitive or emotional topic and maybe lively and fun if it’s a fun one. Engage as if your listeners are in front of you.
6. Provide Value
A podcast is like any other product — it has to have a unique value proposition. If you do not work out who you are talking to and why they should listen, then you are going to struggle. It is unlikely you will be the next Joe or Tim, so take the time to look for something unique rather than just trying to be a me-too product.
7. Connect Listeners With Influential People
Top podcasters provide value by connecting their listeners with influential people and experts. They interview such experts to create exclusive content. You need to have a solid network or the ability to attract personalities to your podcast — or you need to have vast experience or a strong track record yourself. Not everyone has such credentials, which limits their success in podcasting.
8. Invest in Good Professional Equipment
Invest in good equipment. No one wants to listen to a podcast with poor audio quality. Although initially expensive, getting professional equipment will be worthwhile in the long run. Try to get secondhand equipment in order to make it more affordable, and offer a sponsorship package for companies in your target market.
9. Have a Consistent Schedule
Consistency is key. It takes a while to build a podcast following, and so many people binge listen all at once, so start off with dropping at least three episodes to start, and then commit to weekly content after that. The more your audience can trust that you are there to stay, the more loyal they will be in listening and recommending you to their connections.
10. Don’t Rush Things
Don’t rush things. Make sure you’ve scheduled plenty of time for your podcast, because you’ll need it. There’s creation, editing, recording, posting and more. Try to blow through things and you won’t have a quality product when all is said and done.
11. Prepare for Each Episode
Because many podcasts take the form of casual talks among speakers, listeners may assume there’s no script or preparation that goes into the episode, but this simply isn’t true. A quality podcast has a goal, notes and many different perspectives to share. Without preparation, your podcast will be all over the place and fail to get to the point.
12. Bank Episodes
Inevitably, there will be times when you can’t record an episode. Having at least two episodes banked for when you can’t make it to the studio will be a lifesaver that will satisfy your fans and followers who expect regular content. Podcasting success is about integrating your show into your listeners’ routine. Therefore, it’s on you to never break that routine by missing episodes.
13. Don’t Monetize Too Quickly
Don’t try to monetize your podcast too quickly. These days, everybody wants to be the next Joe Rogan, but people forget that he started his podcast with nothing more than a webcam and a microphone in a bedroom. Wait until you hit a critical mass with your following and then find mid-level advertisers. They will grow with you.