The old phrase goes “you can’t build Rome in a day.” If you take a look around at everything great in your life, you probably look back and realize that it took a long time to achieve. If you graduated from school, it took you over 18 years. If you underwent a massive fitness transformation, you didn’t lose 50 pounds overnight. If you built a successful career, you were probably in day 1 training at some point. If you also look back at those achievements, you were likely not very good when you first started. When you started school, you didn’t know how to write and the first day in the gym, it may have been difficult to run a mile.
There are two points here: 1. You must start somewhere if you want to build something great 2. You will likely be bad at that thing when you start.
A podcast is no different.
In podcasting and life in general, people don’t start because they are either afraid of looking bad in front of their peers, or they quit shortly after starting because they don’t see the results right away and move onto the next thing. The true power of creating success in whatever you do is persistence and consistency. You must be bad at something before you will ever be great, and you must do it over, and over, and over again.
Podcasting has become the most trend-worthy “I’m going to start” phrase in the digital space and as we approach nearly 800,000 podcasts, there is a reason that most fail. People hear the success stories from podcasting. They hear about the business deals, the networking opportunities, the exposure that others are getting, but once they start… they realize there is a lot of work involved.
This isn’t mean to discourage anyone from starting a podcast, in fact, it’s the exact opposite. Everyone in the world should have a podcast. If you only have one content strategy over the next 5 years, it should be a podcast. However, if you are getting into podcasting expecting to be the next Gary Vee overnight, you shouldn’t start a podcast. Instead, just keep doing your bi-weekly post on Instagram and wait for the next opportunity to come along.
Before we get into the mindset of starting a podcast, let’s walk through the steps you will have to endure before your first episode ever airs:
- Understanding your niche/audience
- Deciding your title and show description
- Choosing your keywords
- Brainstorming episode ideas (come up with 10-12 to start)
- Determining your show format (solo/co-host/guest)
- Creating a social presence
- Designing your cover art
- Purchasing equipment (doesn’t need to be expensive)
- Recording Intro/Outros
- Optimizing your hosting
- Creating a recording environment
- Scheduling your first guest/coordinating schedules
- Installing Video/Audio software
- Setting up your equipment
- Creating show notes/episode outlines
- Recording your first episode
- Editing your episode
- Uploading your episode
- Optimizing your titles/descriptions/meta-data
- Hitting the “publish” button
It’s important to understand that starting a podcast isn’t like starting a Facebook page. You don’t just “fill out some information” and start posting. Starting your podcast takes commitment and requires a strong understanding of your WHY.
Why are you starting your podcast?
Before you start your podcast, write down the reason why you’re starting a podcast in the first place. This could be something as big as “I want to build a 10,000+ listener audience to promote my books and courses,” or something simple like “I really enjoy talking about Star Wars and want to record the conversations I’m having with my friends.” Tim Ferris said that when he started his podcast, nobody listened to the first 5 episodes, but it was therapeutic to him and he gained so much self-awareness by listening to himself, that it made him a better interviewer. Everyone has different goals for their podcast and if you can determine what your goals are before you start, you can build the framework to get there.
Pick a topic you can’t live without
After you determine the why behind starting your podcast, then you can begin the process of picking a topic. There is a common misconception that you should start your podcast around your passion. While that is true, you shouldn’t start a podcast about Star Wars, if your goal for the podcast is to help grow your local real estate company. Sure, you probably enjoy Star Wars a lot more than you enjoy real estate, but spending 2+ hours per week discussing Darth Vader, isn’t going to help you sell more houses. Instead, you might want to start a localized podcast where you become the authority of the town, interviewing local figureheads and releasing content about events happening in your community. That may not be quite as fun, but if you first decided your goal was to sell more houses, this podcast will help you accomplish that. Picking a topic you can’t live without is important though, because it may take a long time before you gain any real traction or listeners. While real estate may not be your first passion, it is your full-time job, so you’re more likely to keep the podcast going because it relates to your business. First, decide your WHY, then decide your topic.
Starting a podcast shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it will require a lot of hard work and effort before you start seeing the major benefits. However, If you understand the why behind your podcast and your topic aligns with that why you are taking the first steps to make your podcast a massive success.
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