The Podcast Starter Kit
So you are starting a podcast, here are a few things to think about before you press send on your first show.
1. Have a clear plan for how you would like for your audience to find you & interact with your podcast.
While searching for podcasts to add to my list I found many podcasts on twitter with only a hashtag as a way to find them(ugh). Social media accounts are FREE! Make use of them. This is an example of a podcast I listen to that has a twitter account & website but here she asks a question for listeners of the podcast & uses her account. She used her twitter account, probably because she has more followers...
She used the shows hashtag BUT how would an audience member not following her personal account know a question was being asked about the podcast & they should be searching the hashtag for more info? They dont. It might seem like more steps but tweet it from your podcast account & rt it form your personal account. Build a network of communication with your audience. This is like taking your job home, build boundaries! Keep it simple and use one main service for all news on your podcast. Nothing worse than following a personal account & they are ranting about things we do not want to see or posting meme's or being an asshole an all we want in podcast information.
* not saying you cant have every social network account but be realistic about updating each service and what you will use the most. And dont be afraid to mention where to find info while on your podcast! I listen to The Read and they always do this, tweet The Read news/info from their personal accounts & i choose to be the annoying fan who @'s them an says "Dont forget to tweet this from @ThisIsTheRead." Im thier number one fan, its kinda my job.
2. Where do people listen to your podcast?
itunes & Soundcloud are my favorite places because they are simple to navigate and both have free options. Itunes is the more popular option because they know how to promote themselves & iphone users use their phones more.
" “Android devices are the majority of smartphone market, but they’re not the majority of podcast access,” Seth Lind, director of operations at popular podcast “This American Life,” told Digiday. "
So first you go to iTunes & then head to other places!
3. An accurate description of your podcast is important.
There are millions of podcasts everywhere & if you want yours to standout you need a great description. Example:
I noticed while creating my list of podcasts, finding podcast descriptions is hard! I personally love The Reads an its been around as far as I can remember. I learned to start looking for itunes links because if there is a description its usually there. So many put a witty quote & that next to a podcast that is an hour plus long? You are just asking people to close the page an move on. It doesnt need to be this detailed or long but it should describe what you want people to know about you & your podcast.
4. Videos & pictures!
I've found that with all the new podcasts I'm trying out its hard to recognize who is speaking & when. I tried a podcast called Tha Reality Is who has three guys & sometimes a girl joins in. I couldnt figure out the voices to connect to the names though so I asked if they could post videos on instagram to help and they did! Love their instagram & they are fineeeeee too. Also Excuse My Adlib does good with instagram posts especially for their #YamsOfTheWeek features.
If you are going to have multiple people on your podcast find things like instagram videos to help new listeners discern who they are listening to an agreeing with & who they do not agree with. Its all a part of your conversation with your audience and how they feel included so they keep listening.
5. Engage your audience
Black Girl Nerds is great about this , TGOS does this also. They are great about making sure their listeners know how to reach them & where they can get a response. Some email, some tweet the people in podcasts, some live tweet with the hashtag they figure the podcast uses but really this is a new area that people are trying to figure out. If you want your audience to find you after listening, tell them where to find you & how to get responses. Is it by email? Do you search the a certain hashtag on a certain social network? Do they post on any social network with a certain hashtag? Most listeners seem to talk back to podcasts & want their voices heard. You hear it in the listener letters for podcasts that let you write in, listeners want to be in the conversation, how are you letting them in? and how are you engaging them once they are there? Host a chat, tell them where to meet you, find your audience.