How to Start a Successful Podcast
5 Important Lessons When Starting A Podcast.
Is podcasting for me?
That was the question I asked myself when I thought about starting a podcast just a few months ago.
I had zero experience with audio equipment, no background in journalism, not even a business major…
I thought my likelihood of success was close to zero.
Boy was I wrong!
Hi, my name is Rommel Cabal, the Founder and Host of a business podcast called Startup Life Hacks.
Starting a podcast can be daunting at first, but fun once you get the hang of it.
Here are 5 important lessons I’ve learned when starting my podcast:
1. Know Your Audience
Before producing anything, you need to know who you are speaking to…
Then you might say, “But what I have to say can be applied to everyone!” Trust me, if you try to resonate with everyone, you resonate with no one.
Find some way to niche down your topic.
If your topic is dogs, niche down to what type of dog; let’s say poodles. Niche it down even further. Poodles in San Diego. Even further. Poodles in San Diego that do surf competitions.
You know how awesome it would be to listen to a podcast about that!?
Action Step: Find your topic, and really be specific about what this audience will resonate with. Mine was college student entrepreneurs who are interested in startups and would like to know the steps people took to create one.
2. You Have to Start Somewhere
There was an episode I did with the founder of Ugg, Brian Smith, which explained this really well. I liked the message so much that I made it my title for that episode.
You can find it here: Ep 009: Founder of Ugg, Brian Smith: “Your 300 was my 28”.
In this episode, he explained how no retailer wanted to distribute his shoe and was left with 28 pairs to sell in his car. He sold those 28 to people in the streets and the local swap meet, and the rest was history.
Brian and I had a conversation post interview and he asked what my downloads were.
At the time, I was only on iTunes for a week, and the total number of downloads for that week was 300, a figure that I thought was not that impressive.
What kept me moving forward was his statement, “Your 300 was my 28!” And I never looked back.
The number of downloads began to grow and so did my audience.
During the first month I was showing numbers around 1200 downloads.
The second month I was a little over 9000 downloads!
Here is a graph to demonstrate the growth of the podcast since launch:
Graph of Downloads
Map of Downloads after first week of launch
Map in downloads November 18. Two months after launch.
3. New and Noteworthy
Before we get into the importance New and Noteworthy, let me explain what New and Noteworthy is. I could write A whole blog post about the details of how to get into New and Noteworthy, but I’ll summarize a few key points in this post:
New and Noteworthy is a section on iTunes that showcases the newest podcasts that are up. Those who have just launched have 8 weeks to be considered to be in this list, so it’s imperative to plan out your launch strategy and make it to the top of this list.
What does this mean for you?
Being on New and Noteworthy allows your podcast to be front and center on iTunes for people to see and download.
It allows more exposure for yourself and gain opportunities, especially if you are looking into getting sponsorships and increasing listenership.
How do I get on New and Noteworthy?
Launch with 3 episodes (first is a pilot episode that explains who you are and the podcast, other two is episodes on your topic).
Have a log of 1 months’ worth of episodes. (i.e. If you are a weekly podcast, have 4 ready. A bi-weekly, have 8.).
Get your friends and family to rate and review your podcast. Listen and review other people’s podcasts. They’ll appreciate it and will more than likely return the favor.
Top 5 podcast in Business/Careers category! Hello Michael Port 🙂
Join a podcast community.
There was so much time saved by joining a community of individuals who have gone and experienced what you are dealing with now as a new podcaster.
Being able to ask a technical question within the community and having an answer in a matter of minutes is invaluable. I can’t tell you many times I’ve saved myself from tearing out the rest of my hairs on my head by just reaching out to the community to solve a simple problem.
A great community that I’ve joined is [Affiliate link] Podcaster’s Paradise by none other than the king of podcasting, John Lee Dumas.
5. Have Fun With It
What’s the point of doing something if you don’t like doing it?
If you are doing this for the money, you will burn out because very few have made money when they initially launch.
If you like what you do, your own selfish desire of helping or entertaining others will get you through the hard times.
Learn as you go. You will not be the best podcaster in the beginning.
For some of you, this will be the first time hearing your own voice! But the best advice I can give is to keep consistent and keep moving forward, and you’ll see the rewards later on.
Here is an unexpected accomplishment that I had. To be placed in this list of heavy hitter podcasts was awesome! I saw a purpose that I had to continue to provide value for my listeners.
During my journey I was privileged to learn from each of my guests. I’ve built lasting relationships with people that I would not have encountered if I had not made that initial investment in myself.
Podcasting is a great medium for those of you who want get their message out there. The world of podcasting is growing and it’s an awesome feeling knowing that you’re part of a huge shift on the way we absorb content.
BUT…you should also be aware that podcasting is going to take a lot of time and effort.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying, but I’ve been through the ups and downs of starting a podcast from nothing, and I’ll continue to experience the same problems as I move forward in this journey.
But one thing’s certain; I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
If you have questions about podcasting feel free to contact me on my website startuplifehacks.com.
STAY POSITIVE AND KEEP GRINDIN!