Wednesday, September 6, 2017

12 hacks every new podcaster should do to create and launch a top ranking podcast show

MECE Muse Unplugged starting trending on iTunes on July 19, 12 days after officially launching #81. 

At its (current) peak, tho show ranked at #14 on iTunes business category.

I went from having no podcasting production knowhow to having a top ranking podcast show on iTunes with 100s of weekly listeners and well over 8k+ plays and downloads in less than 60 days.

…And you can too.

While it is all about your concept…
Have a laser focused podcast concept that speaks loudly to your audience.   As a Seth Godin altMBA alum, I used Seth’s ShipIt journal to refine my concept.  This was actually the most challenging portion of the podcasting journey, but most valuable. 

Make every podcast decision with your listeners in mind. My podcast target audience dictates important elements such as the time of day to release, the length of average episodes, and the frequency.   If I am not sure, I just ask some of my listeners.

Have an end goal with your podcast concept.  What is the goal of your podcast?  Demonstrate expertise? Make money? Promote your business? Build your thought leadership skills?  Make sure you have a clear goal as to why you are creating a podcast show.

…content is still king.
Give yourself permission to be creative.  While conducting interviews is the tried and true way, try other podcasting formats.  I personally create micro content episodes where I answer fan mail, I do previews of past or future episodes, and also embed a Q&A format.  My podcast show is also a pop-up variety show which means like HBO’s business model, I have a pre-determined end date to my show to end it on a high note.  Being creative gives your show more personality.

Make sure you are authentically passionate about your podcast show.  I ask my listeners what they like about my show the most – surprisingly, 80% of my listeners tell me it is because I care about helping them and they could hear it in my voice.  Pick a concept that you care about, regardless of your podcast’s goals….passion and authenticity matters in the game of podcasting.

Focus on your content and not perfection. As with any media channel, podcasting is still about content.    While I am still in the early stages of my podcasting journey, as a recovering perfectionist I sometimes cringe when I hear the first set of episodes I hear every recorded mistake or miscue.  But what is interesting is my listeners absolutely love the show because of the insights provided, and are very forgiving with newbie mishaps. (for that I am grateful!)

You will figure it out along the way – it’s not about perfection part II.   If you are trying to create the perfect show, you might not ever get your show off the ground.  Launch and refine along the way.

Spend as little money as possible until you have a proven concept.  I spent less than $80 to get started for my artwork, microphone, and a microphone computer stand.  I used a free version of UberConference to record interviews and used free Setmore as a scheduler.  Once I noticed that the podcast show was starting to take off, I decided to begin investing in creating efficient processes and higher quality products.

Remember to tell people what you will do, do it, then tell them what you did.

Begin marketing the show before you launch.  Once I decided I was going to create a show, I started to market the show for 6 weeks before the first episode was even recorded.  I publicly shared a launch date of July 7 with a personal launch date of June 23.  In that timeframe, I liberally shared the show with my network, on various social media sites, at speaking engagements, and sent pitch letters & press releases to over 100 podcast shows seeking interviews.   The week before my launch, I had a virtual launch party and began sharing my podcast fan toolkit to future fans.

Always over deliver to build trust and rapport with your listeners.  I originally advertised my podcast as a bi-weekly show but interestingly enough, I was never bi-weekly!  Within days of launching, I realized that I needed to publish more frequently to build momentum.   I launched with 4 episodes from day one and continued publishing regularly.  Some weeks I publish two episodes a week in order to continue building trust with my listeners.

Seek feedback to refine your show while bringing your listeners along the journey.  My show is relatively new and I am constantly refining the show, intros/outros, guests, etc.… but I ask for constant feedback and my listeners provide it.  Let your listeners know what you are thinking about and why.  They will tell you what they need.

Obtain as many podcasting hacks as you can.  I personally attended at podcast conference called PodSummit in Calgary, Canada.  Great investment of time and money.  Within one day, I learned everything I needed to know to confidently launch a podcast. I then decided after learning about the mechanics to outsource the podcast editing portion of the process.   Here is my hack “gift” to you -  notes from that conference and a couple of other hacks here,  here,  and here…everything you need to launch your own podcast show. Enjoy. :-) 

New podcast website

Check out the newly designed for podcast information and soon to be the destination for my upcoming book release.  Stay tuned!