As with everything in life the more you put in, the more you tend to get out. You can create and publish a podcast with very little effort but could this actually be a false economy? Years after your podcast is created it is possible that new listeners will still be finding it and starting to listen. So investing a little bit more time producing your podcast may pay off in the long run. Of course, you have to find a balance!
Before I go through some tips that may help you, it’s worth reviewing your podcasts on a regular basis. I like to have them on my phone so that when I’m on a train or doing the cooking, etc., I can listen again and get a genuine experience of what my podcast is like (as opposed to how I remember it in my head). Everybody can improve and if you believe that then you can give yourself the feedback.
Here are 10 tips to help you:
1. Use your best content – whatever your niche this is your starting point when creating a podcast, blogging or making a video for You Tube. Great content is about catering for the needs of your followers or community. So can you make any improvements? Have you asked your listeners whether your podcasts are answering their questions? Is it thorough enough? Is it what they want? Survey Monkey is free and can provide great insights on whether you are nailing it. Can your listeners immediately put into action something they have learnt? I recommend listening to Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn because he has a natural gift for teaching, an honesty that is magnetic and he instinctively knows the balance between content and personality.
2. Get to the point – closely coupled with great content is how you deliver it. People are busy and the fact that they are listening to your podcast is something very special, so make sure you get to the juicy bit straight away and leave the rest! If you do this consistently, your audience will thank you for it. I love observing people who are successful in business and you generally find their time management is excellent – they don’t waste words. They are focussed on getting everything done in the least amount of time. In a similar way, your podcast should be full of content, not waffle. Yes, you can still be relatable but work out where the line is. Ask yourself if you’re being concise or whether you’re making something longer than it needs to be. It should always be your aim to keep your audience hungry for more.
3. Interview people – if you’re not doing so already, interviewing people relevant to your niche will add a whole new dimension to your podcast. You will probably find this a really enjoyable experience and hearing from other successful people can be inspirational. If you’re apprehensive or not sure how to get going, then check out this article on podcast interview technique.
4. Incorporate feedback – you wouldn’t be making a podcast if people weren’t listening to it so you don’t have to feel that podcasting is merely a broadcast. Reading emails and answering questions is an important way to build up your community. Plus it has the snowball effect as the more interaction your listeners hear, the more they are likely to interact.
5. Create features – so long as they are relevant and clearly defined they can be a great addition to your podcast. The most common features are simple and, as such, they are quick to prepare. For example, recommending a useful resource each episode as a top tip can break up the podcast nicely. Perhaps, if you’re teaching something you could read a breakthrough from one of your listeners. The next time you listen to a radio show, check out what features they have as it may spark off a great idea for you. Competitions can work well, too. The only thing to bear in mind about features is that they should have some regularity, just so your audience knows what to expect.
6. Make a structure on paper – when you record your podcast, a script can help you stay focussed. Typing out every word is not necessary but having a few notes or some bullet points makes content clear in your mind. This means that you don’t have to make it up as you go along because you know roughly what you are going to say, you have an outline. I like to add to this document as I have ideas, then when it comes to recording the podcast it’s normally a case of rearranging what’s already there.
7. Speak erm proper like innit – the internet brings with it the potential for anyone to have their voice heard. If you want to reach the maximum amount of people, start becoming aware of anything that might be distracting to your audience or worse still, if you are doing anything which is making your them switch off. The people that tend to command the most respect in life are those who do not have closed minds and they understand that they are continually learning. When it comes to how you talk and deliver you content, be open to improving. Are you repeating any words, like, when actually, like, it could get a bit, like, annoying… like? Become aware first of all and then try to change these habits. Superfluous words must go! Nobody has perfect English, so don’t stand still, keep on learning and growing. If someone plucks up the courage to correct your grammar, don’t take it personally and instead try to seize the opportunity to understand more.
8. Upgrade a piece of equipment – very few people have a perfectly equipped studio and quite often it would be money down the drain anyway. To get going you only need basic kit but when your budget allows and, particularly if you feel your podcast sound is not where it should be, consider what technical upgrade might benefit your podcast. Often it will be getting a new external microphone or a recorder. It still doesn’t have to cost a fortune and don’t be afraid to ask a fellow podcaster what he or she uses. Sometimes they’ll even tell you on a resources page. All of this is assuming that you can’t get any more from your existing kit e.g. your levels are good, you’re the right distance from the microphone, etc.
9. Clean up your audio – many podcasts are recorded ‘as live’ and this is a time efficient way of doing things. However, there is no doubt that some editing will make your podcast sound slicker. You have to understand how editing can eat into your day but if you allocate a certain amount of time to the job or outsource the task, undoubtedly you will get a more polished product. If you are familiar with Adobe Audition this tutorial shows how I tidy up my audio.
One final thing to remember. There’s no point in devoting any time to editing if the content is not right in the first place. This should always be your first priority. Editing is the icing on the cake.
10. Get some professional production – this is about branding. It’s not saying that you have to have a cliched film trailer voiceover, moreover that you have the opportunity to give your podcast an identity. Again this is not the first thing you should be thinking about, but it is something that is going to add to everything else you are doing. The style should be appropriate to your content and any music should be licensed. Are there any core messages you want your audience to remember? This doesn’t have to break the bank.
Music Radio Creative is the company I use for my voiceover needs. It’s really simple to get started, great value, quick turnaround and you end up with decent production.