Take The Stress Out of Starting a Podcast Take The Stress Out of Starting a Podcast Podcasts are trending right now because they are accessible, portable and listeners can listen to them whenever it is convenient. It’s different than video because you can take them with you without being tied to the screen. People listen to podcasts in the car. You can take the podcast with you when you’re working out in the gym or on subways, planes and trains. The popular concept of releasing daily snackable forms of content is catching on because they’re produced as focused- topic specific content that you can grab on the go. Have you thought of starting podcasting but don’t know where to start? The first step is to get very clear on why you want to start a podcast. Are you a business owner or an entrepreneur and you want to get your message out and grow your business? Are you an artist or an author and want to position yourself as an expert in an industry category? It is important to figure out exactly what it is that you want to talk about on your podcast and how you want your show to sound. Do you want to interview guests? Repurpose already existing blog posts into engaging audio files? You can dive in to next steps once you’ve flushed out the concept of your show and figured out why you want to do it. As you evolve into the production stage of creating a podcast you need to commit to consistency. Committing to consistency means both keeping consistent on scheduling the recording of a show and releasing it on a consistent schedule. It also refers to making sure the show goes out at the same time of the day and on the same day every week. You may only have the bandwidth to release an episode once a week or prefer to release a series of multiple episodes. The important thing is to honor the schedule you committed to because your listeners start to look forward to and can get disappointed or lose interest if you’re not delivering it consistently. Investing in quality production audio has become increasingly more important. Apple is releasing approximately 8000 new podcasts per week. There are over 550,000 podcast on iTunes right now so the quality of your audio will be a big factor in your competitive edge. You may not be able to budget for a producer when you’re first starting out so you invest in a quality microphone and make sure if you have a co-host doing the show that you both use the exact same microphone to ensure the best possible sound. Some recommended microphones for podcasting include a Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamics USB/XLR or Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone. Prices range from $64-$150. Consult with an audio expert before you purchase one to really understand the differences and which is better for your recording scenario. There is no reason to overpay when you don’t have to yet you want to be sure you’re getting the right quality for your production experience. One of the secrets to success to creating an engaging show is remembering the first five to eight minutes are your most important time to capture your listeners. You’ll want to make sure you use those first precious minutes to bring in the listener and captivate them enough so they will want to listen through to the end of your episode. Should a local business be starting a podcast to increase their influence? The great thing about podcasting is your ability to use it to position yourself as an expert. Whether you’re a local business or you want to reach new customers outside of your regional area you can view the podcast as originator of your marketing content. One of the things that Produce Your Podcast recommends to our clients is to start with your podcast as the hub of your marketing strategy. You can record your episode once, transcribe it, and take that written content and use the edited version as a blog post.These transcriptions can be repurposed into social media and email newsletters and used in other kinds of digital marketing. Podcasting is very efficient as a business development tool. It gives your customers a way to get to know you. People like to do business with the people they trust. A powerful connection emerges between you and your listeners and as a result they are more likely to convert into new customers. The best thing you can do today to launch your podcast is just get started. It’s not too early. It’s not too late. There’s still plenty of room in the podcasting market to have a successful show. Go ahead and jump into the trend. The sooner you get ahead of it the more effective it will be for you. Find the right partner to work with you if audio production is not your thing. Seek out an expert who can help you if you want to start a podcast and you’re not sure how to what to do next. Reach out on social media to ask questions or join facebook groups with experienced podcasters who can help you get through the process. The hardest part is beginning but you’ll be glad you did! Traci DeForge Traci's 25-year professional career reflects a unique combination of Broadcast Media, Executive Management and Fortune 500 Business Consulting. This powerful combination led to her founding Produce Your Podcast, a premier podcast consulting agency providing busy professionals full service podcasting services. Traci is recognized as a podcast expert and a sought after speaker and media contributor. She’s been featured on ABC, CBS, CNN, CTV Fortune.com, Medium and is a contributor for Inc.com.