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How to start a Podcast: Part Two

Alex Ryan, podcaster & gift/homewares marketing consultant, helps remove the overwhelm of creating your own podcast and pulls back the curtains on the technical side of getting yourself published.

Last time Alex tackled the ‘why bother?!’ of podcasting. Now it’s time for the nitty gritty as we learn about what you need to sort before recording your first episode, from concept to tech and everything in between.

 

PART TWO: ‘look before you leap’

 

There’s no two ways around it, creating a podcast takes a lot of work. You might need an hour or two to prepare and record the episode alone. Then you’ve got editing (unless you can afford to outsource it) and promotional time. If you’re publishing weekly then that’s a big chunk to commit. For that reason, you need to:

 

  1. Know what it is you’re getting into
  2. Do everything possible to ensure you launch successfully

This week I’ll be talking about two things; firstly, the concept of your podcast, the core idea behind it, what you want to give to your audience and how your concept will be presented. Secondly, I’ll help you figure out the delivery of that concept. How long will your podcast be, who will be talking, how will you talk, how will you plan?


Concept

 

Often the biggest barrier is figuring out exactly what it is that you plan to talk about on your podcast. The options are endless, but the most common styles of podcast are comedy, educational, self-help, chat/banter, reviews, news, history and crime. While I can’t tell you what your podcast should be about, I can tell you that you should try and tick these three boxes:

 

  1. Don’t sell your product - podcasts aren’t adverts, they are entertainment
  2. Choose something you enjoy talking about - you’re going to be listening to yourself talk about it a lot
  3. Be genuine - this may be part of a marketing strategy, but like all marketing, it will be most successful if delivered genuinely

Before proceeding, make sure to do a bit of research on podcasts that already exist and are similar to what you’re planning. While there’s nothing wrong with covering subjects that are already being discussed, or even in creating a very similar podcast to another, you do need to try and make yours unique. I like to think of it like ‘breakfast shows’ on the radio. Every station has a ‘breakfast show’ and they all have the same purpose, but they are all delivered in very different ways, be it the presenting style, the music choice or the energy of the show. These are the kind of differences you can offer if your actual content isn’t that unique.


Delivery

 

So you’ve got your idea, how do you bring it to life? Consider the following:

 

  • Are you going to go it alone or do you need a co host(s)?
  • Are you going to bring guests onto the show, either ad hoc or on a regular basis?
  • Will your podcast be scripted, unscripted or somewhere inbetween?
  • Is your delivery going to be formal or informal?
  • Are you going to allow adult language?

The above questions should help you start to get a feel for how your podcast will run, so now go into more detail:

 

Length

 

  • Most podcasts are between 20 minutes (news, educational, informative) and 1 hour (banter, chat, interviews) - some people believe 45 minutes is the sweet spot.
  • Note, people don’t have to consume entire episodes, it’s very normal to stop and start throughout an episode as podcasts are often a ‘convenience medium’ consumed during commuting or during exercise.

Intros & outros

 

  • Write a script to top and tail your podcast with. Regardless of whether the rest of the podcast will be scripted you should make sure you have a good solid introduction to your show. Try and keep it to no more than 30 seconds and attempt to deliver both the concept and style of the show within it.

Publishing schedule

 

  • Weekly, fortnightly or monthly, you decide, but stick to it and release on the same day of the week each time. Consistency is key to building your followers - if you can become part of their routine then you’re winning.

Music

 

  • Youtube has a great source of royalty-free music. Get into their library and start listening - envisage your content, delivery style and purpose to try and find the right fit. There are other websites out there that sell royalty-free music, you may need to pay a few pounds for a track which is fine - don’t be tempted to use copyright music, you’ll get caught out!

Artwork

 

  • Every show needs at least one image, called ‘cover art’. Think of it like an album cover - it needs to encompass your show in just a single square. Cover art is often viewed as a thumbnail as well as full size so bear that in mind - be bold, eye-catching and don’t try to include too many ideas. I make all mine using Canva - it’s a simple-to-use graphic design website, you can get something looking great with no prior experience in no time!

As with the last episode, I thought I’d leave you with a personal podcast recommendation - it’s a bit more niche than the last one, but only slightly - everyone loves Harry Potter, right?! If you do, then check out Harry Potter and Sacred Text. Each episode reviews a chapter of the book through the lens of a theme, like love, shame, or disappointment, and sees if there’s anything we can learn from the characters in the book to take into our everyday lives. A fascinating listen!

 

NEXT TIME: the tech required to begin podcasting, from microphones to software and everything in between.

 

About Alex...

 

In 2014 Alex Ryan found his niche in the world of gift and homewares design/supply, spending 6 years as the Head of Global Marketing at Paladone Products Ltd.

While furloughed in 2020 Alex volunteered free marketing support to businesses that were struggling to operate in the pandemic, leading him to launch his own agency, Marketing 101. Since then, Alex has quickly become a sought-after consultant to the Gift & Homewares trade and now runs the podcast for The Giftware Association as well as sitting on their National Committee.

Click here to connect with Alex.

How to start a Podcast: Part Two

Alex Ryan, podcaster & gift/homewares marketing consultant, helps remove the overwhelm of creating your own podcast and pulls back the curtains on the technical side of getting yourself published.

Last time Alex tackled the ‘why bother?!’ of podcasting. Now it’s time for the nitty gritty as we learn about what you need to sort before recording your first episode, from concept to tech and everything in between.

 

PART TWO: ‘look before you leap’

 

There’s no two ways around it, creating a podcast takes a lot of work. You might need an hour or two to prepare and record the episode alone. Then you’ve got editing (unless you can afford to outsource it) and promotional time. If you’re publishing weekly then that’s a big chunk to commit. For that reason, you need to:

 

  1. Know what it is you’re getting into
  2. Do everything possible to ensure you launch successfully

This week I’ll be talking about two things; firstly, the concept of your podcast, the core idea behind it, what you want to give to your audience and how your concept will be presented. Secondly, I’ll help you figure out the delivery of that concept. How long will your podcast be, who will be talking, how will you talk, how will you plan?


Concept

 

Often the biggest barrier is figuring out exactly what it is that you plan to talk about on your podcast. The options are endless, but the most common styles of podcast are comedy, educational, self-help, chat/banter, reviews, news, history and crime. While I can’t tell you what your podcast should be about, I can tell you that you should try and tick these three boxes:

 

  1. Don’t sell your product - podcasts aren’t adverts, they are entertainment
  2. Choose something you enjoy talking about - you’re going to be listening to yourself talk about it a lot
  3. Be genuine - this may be part of a marketing strategy, but like all marketing, it will be most successful if delivered genuinely

Before proceeding, make sure to do a bit of research on podcasts that already exist and are similar to what you’re planning. While there’s nothing wrong with covering subjects that are already being discussed, or even in creating a very similar podcast to another, you do need to try and make yours unique. I like to think of it like ‘breakfast shows’ on the radio. Every station has a ‘breakfast show’ and they all have the same purpose, but they are all delivered in very different ways, be it the presenting style, the music choice or the energy of the show. These are the kind of differences you can offer if your actual content isn’t that unique.


Delivery

 

So you’ve got your idea, how do you bring it to life? Consider the following:

 

  • Are you going to go it alone or do you need a co host(s)?
  • Are you going to bring guests onto the show, either ad hoc or on a regular basis?
  • Will your podcast be scripted, unscripted or somewhere inbetween?
  • Is your delivery going to be formal or informal?
  • Are you going to allow adult language?

The above questions should help you start to get a feel for how your podcast will run, so now go into more detail:

 

Length

 

  • Most podcasts are between 20 minutes (news, educational, informative) and 1 hour (banter, chat, interviews) - some people believe 45 minutes is the sweet spot.
  • Note, people don’t have to consume entire episodes, it’s very normal to stop and start throughout an episode as podcasts are often a ‘convenience medium’ consumed during commuting or during exercise.

Intros & outros

 

  • Write a script to top and tail your podcast with. Regardless of whether the rest of the podcast will be scripted you should make sure you have a good solid introduction to your show. Try and keep it to no more than 30 seconds and attempt to deliver both the concept and style of the show within it.

Publishing schedule

 

  • Weekly, fortnightly or monthly, you decide, but stick to it and release on the same day of the week each time. Consistency is key to building your followers - if you can become part of their routine then you’re winning.

Music

 

  • Youtube has a great source of royalty-free music. Get into their library and start listening - envisage your content, delivery style and purpose to try and find the right fit. There are other websites out there that sell royalty-free music, you may need to pay a few pounds for a track which is fine - don’t be tempted to use copyright music, you’ll get caught out!

Artwork

 

  • Every show needs at least one image, called ‘cover art’. Think of it like an album cover - it needs to encompass your show in just a single square. Cover art is often viewed as a thumbnail as well as full size so bear that in mind - be bold, eye-catching and don’t try to include too many ideas. I make all mine using Canva - it’s a simple-to-use graphic design website, you can get something looking great with no prior experience in no time!

As with the last episode, I thought I’d leave you with a personal podcast recommendation - it’s a bit more niche than the last one, but only slightly - everyone loves Harry Potter, right?! If you do, then check out Harry Potter and Sacred Text. Each episode reviews a chapter of the book through the lens of a theme, like love, shame, or disappointment, and sees if there’s anything we can learn from the characters in the book to take into our everyday lives. A fascinating listen!

 

NEXT TIME: the tech required to begin podcasting, from microphones to software and everything in between.

 

About Alex...

 

In 2014 Alex Ryan found his niche in the world of gift and homewares design/supply, spending 6 years as the Head of Global Marketing at Paladone Products Ltd.

While furloughed in 2020 Alex volunteered free marketing support to businesses that were struggling to operate in the pandemic, leading him to launch his own agency, Marketing 101. Since then, Alex has quickly become a sought-after consultant to the Gift & Homewares trade and now runs the podcast for The Giftware Association as well as sitting on their National Committee.

Click here to connect with Alex.

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