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James Marriott. Podcast Strategist
1: Know Your Aim
I tend to tell people to ‘start with the end in mind’ when it comes to podcasting. It’s so important to establish what you want out of it, right at the beginning. Doing something because it’s going to sound good, or be fun, is fine - but you’ll quickly start to drift. Be really clear on your aim from the outset so you can track how you’re doing
2: Don’t Get Lost In Numbers
When it comes to tracking how you’re doing, the temptation is to make it all about numbers - namely how many listeners / downloads you’re getting. That makes sense of course, on the surface it’s a logical way to measure success. But for most of us, it’s probably not the best metric. If your aim is to increase your social media presence, it’s better to keep an eye on your engagement levels. Or if you’re looking to grow your business, monitor your incoming enquiries. Downloads are not the be all and end all.
3: Sound Quality Matters
We have millions of podcasts out there now. There’s usually several on most subjects you can think of. To make an impact, you need to be better than the rest. Recording on Zoom using your internal laptop mic is ok, but you can do better. Good quality, easy to use USB microphones are really cost effective now and there’s some great software solutions to get around the issue of horrible internet glitches on remote recordings.
4: Be Clear On Your Audience
Trying to talk to EVERYONE doesn’t work. You need to really understand who your podcast is aimed at, so you can pitch the content and the whole sound of it accordingly. Sometimes it’s useful to create an avatar of your ‘typical’ listener. Give them a name and build them a bit of a profile - Wendy who’s 44 and married with a couple of young kids. If you can really visualise who you’re talking to, you’ll find it much easier to make a connection with them.
5: Your Podcast Is A Brand
It’s a mistake to think of a podcast as literally just that. It isn’t - it’s actually way more. The artwork needs to be great, you need a good social media presence, and you’ll probably benefit from a website of some sort, even if it’s just quite basic. I’d get a domain as well to give you that professional edge. Increasingly, some form of video content is important, even if it’s just repurposing your audio. Ultimately, you want to turn your podcast into a brand.
James Marriott is a Podcast Strategist and Founder of Sound Media, which helps people to set up and grow their podcasts, alongside top notch editing and production work. Contact him via Twitter @JamesMarriott or email firstname.lastname@example.org