Bite-sized lessons in building an online business that feels good.
The Digital Product Kickstart Kit: Your guide to creating and launching a digital product that sells.
I help online entrepreneurs (like YOU!) launch and relaunch digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry
Today, I'm answering all of the questions that you guys submitted about podcasting and most specifically about starting a podcast such as where do I even begin, what kind of equipment, what to talk about on a podcast, how to edit it, and how to choose those topics.
And all of the nuts and bolts into starting a podcast, growing it and making it successful.
How do I even start? So the very first place I would say for anybody who's thinking of starting a podcast should begin is why are you doing it? Start with why. Why are you wanting to start a podcast? Because the reason why you are doing it, the why behind it, the vision of what you want this podcast to become, this will shape the way that you set up the show, the way you format, you go with the structure, etcetera. So what is the goal of podcasting for you?
Then once you know why you're doing it. The next thing to consider is who is it for. Who is that ideal listener? If you can articulate who that ideal listener is, then you're going to have a really hard time creating content for your show. Once, you know who it's for them, we can start to look at what is this topic that I'm talking about on my podcast. What is that broader subject area that I'm covering in my episodes?
And why should people listen to my podcast rather than any of the other podcasts that already exist talking about this same topic or speaking to that same ideal listener? If you can't articulate why people should listen to your podcast, they won't, it's that simple.
We do all of these before you've even bought your microphone. By the way, before you've even bought that microphone and hit record, we want to make sure all of these elements of your strategy are clear and in place, before you hit record, the problem is that most people get stuck by, they go out and they buy the equipment because they read a blog post on the best podcasting equipment to use.
They go and buy that microphone and they set it up and then they don't really know what to talk about. So they stop. And it becomes something that gathers dust on their shelf and they're like, oh, well, I'll start a podcast one day. But that's back to front. We want to start with that strategy first.
Then go and get your equipment because, in the process of doing that strategy, you might find that you're not actually that passionate about the topic you want to talk about, or you might discover that maybe it's better suited towards a blog or YouTube channel. So go through that strategy first. Then once we've got that equipment outlined, some episode topics start outlining those episodes and record your intro and outro.
And find some music you like for the intro and outro. Then record those episodes, edit and upload the episodes, and publish them to a podcast host that podcast host then distributes the files to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all of the different platforms where podcasts can be distributed. That's kind of the overarching framework of where I would begin. I walk you through the step-by-step podcast launch plan.
I chose this question to answer because I think it's quite a common fear that we all have when we're starting a podcast. If you start your show and nobody listens, then you probably haven't communicated why somebody should listen or you haven't communicated it to the right people.
A podcast is very similar to building a business or building a course. You don't just build it and hope people find it. You have to actively get it in front of the right people. You have to actively market your podcast. Yes, Apple podcasts and Spotify will do a little bit of distribution for your podcast.
If it's noteworthy, if your podcast is good, it's getting those downloads. Then you'll reach more people by being on the top charts or by being featured in something new and noteworthy. But your podcast itself, won't reach those people without you doing a bit of legwork to get it in front of those people. So if nobody is listening, it's either because you're not getting it in front of the right people or they don't understand why they should listen to it.
Once we know who that ideal listener is, where are they hanging out? What communities are they in? What other podcasts are they listening to? How can you get in front of those people? Now the easiest way to get in front of those people and bring them back over to listen to your podcast is to identify what problems and struggles they have and what value is your podcast creating for them.
Once you can articulate that if you get in front of those people, it becomes a no-brainer for you to say, well, Hey look, I know you're struggling with this. In my podcast, I talk about this, this and this, and it's going to help you by delivering whatever outcome it is. So a really great way to grow your podcast is to get on other people's podcasts because if you think about it, people who are listening to podcasts, are people who like listening to podcasts.
So finding the podcast that that ideal listener is already listening to, and then pitching them. Pitching them with whatever value you can deliver to their listeners. Because remember that it's not about you, it's about the podcast you are pitching. It's about the person who is hosting that show. And how they can help their listeners, how you can help them to help the listeners.
Question #4: How long before you start seeing results or a return on investment?
I guess it really depends on how we define results and how you define results is going to depend on what your reason for podcasting is, and why starting a podcast is now. For me, I invested so little money into my podcast. I invested in a microphone and I think the microphone that I started with was $90 and I knew even if I didn't stick with podcasting, I knew I would still use that microphone for zoom calls for, you know, recording videos for other things in my business. So it was kind of a no-brainer.
So that return on a $90 investment came pretty quickly. I never really took on sponsors with the show and it's only been really recently that I joined the HubSpot network. But when I first started that show, the return on investment came in terms of clients who wanted to work with me. If we look at the return on the energy invested into podcasting, it probably took about one or two years before I started to see a real return on the amount of time and energy.
And that doesn't mean that it wasn't worth it. It was absolutely worth it because I needed to do those first, that first year or two of podcasting to figure out what the most effective offerings and messaging were going to be in my business. It would have been a lot quicker if I had already worked it out.
If you're not already making sales with the people who are coming into contact with your business, it's a little bit like pouring water into a leaky bathtub. It's just going to pour straight out. So it's really important to get your message in your business clear.
Question #5: What should I talk about?
I think about this podcast and all five hundred and twenty-seven episodes of it so far and I think about what I talk about has evolved so much as my interests have evolved as my business has evolved. As you, my listener, have evolved. So I started with what I really enjoyed talking about and at that point in time, I enjoyed talking about social media. That's why the podcast is called Socialette.
Now as I stopped loving social media so much and started loving, launching, and other forms of marketing and started really learning a lot about growing my own business and having those lessons that I could share with you, I pivoted. And so can you, you can always pivot or gradually move and transition that topic that you talk about. If you get sick of what you are talking about on your shot.
That's really important because that is why somebody's going to listen to your show. Don't start a podcast for the sake of starting a podcast, please do not.
If you can't pinpoint what you're talking about and why somebody should listen to that show, they're not going to, and it's going to be really hard to stick with it unless you have that crystal clear idea. That doesn't mean that it's impossible to come up with that idea. It just means that it takes a little bit more thought and a little bit more strategy than maybe what you had considered.
Question #6: What is the best tech for starting my podcast?
If you're just starting out, it's not really worth a big investment. It's quite a high price point. And I wouldn't invest that money if you're just starting out and you don't know if podcasting is something you're going to stick with.
Pick something, pick a microphone that works really well with the room you are recording in and this is something I dive a bit deeper into the podcast launch plan. You know, picking that best microphone for where you're recording for the style of show that you're doing because there is no one size fits all best microphone. Having said that, the room that you've recorded is going to make such a big difference to your sound quality, especially if you are recording with a budget microphone.
Question #7: What is the best hosting platform now?
There isn't one best hosting platform and please don't spend hours researching the best hosting platform, unless you need a really specific feature. So, for example, we used to use Libsyn for this podcast. But I needed dynamic ad insertion, which most people won't need, but I needed it for my particular show because I wanted to be able to add and remove ads without having to rerecord an entire episode.
Now for me the easiest platform and the easiest plan that was going to give me the dynamic ad in the session was Sprinkle. It went from being $5 a month or $20 a month to like a hundred dollars a month because of that dynamic ad in session. But we needed that particular feature and we easily get that ROI.
So don't spend all of that time researching which is the best platform. Unless you have a very specific feature in mind now. There are many blog posts out there that will pop up when you Google this and they will tell you, this is the best one. They are probably affiliates, right?
Question #8: How does the ROI compare between podcasts, Instagram, and email marketing? I'm really struggling with figuring out where to spend my time.
In my business, I don't look at one particular platform for ROI because they kind of work hand in hand. They are where I start, I start by thinking, okay, what podcast episodes do I want to share this month? This quarter? From there, the podcast episode becomes an email to my list and I've actually really increased the number of emails that I'm sending to my list because I can see the click-throughs and the correlation between the number of emails I send and the number of downloads that my podcast gets.
And then if I feel like it, I post it on Instagram. I don't love posting on Instagram. I don't see much of an ROI on Instagram, so I don't really post that much on Instagram. Occasionally if I have an extra special episode, great. I'll post that on Instagram. Now ROI depends on so many different things.
It depends on how you are monetizing your podcast. If you have a lot of downloads and you're monetizing with sponsors, great, you might actually get a bigger ROI on your podcast. However, if you are monetizing your podcast by growing your audience and selling them your products and services, is your best effort. There is probably going to be driving those listeners onto your email list.
And then sending, setting up that funnel to nurture them and sell to them and this is actually something I walk you through inside the podcast launch plan because it's not as simple as sharing podcast episodes and then somebody goes and buys your product. Sometimes that happens, but more often in my business, people will listen to the podcast episode, then go and subscribe to my email list. And then a month later they'll buy something when I talk about it in an email. So yes, personally, email is the highest ROI for me. But podcast drives people to my email list.
Question #9: How do you choose topics?
I find my best topics come from serving my audience. So for example, this blog where I'm answering your questions, these are my favourite kinds of ones, because I know these are the things that you are all struggling with. So I get to answer those questions. Sometimes the questions that people ask in my survey, become an entire standalone episode. So for example, if you submitted a question and I'm not answering it in this episode, it might become its own podcast episode one day.
It doesn't mean I'm never going to answer it. And likewise, the questions that I'm answering quite quickly in this episode, might one day become longer episodes of their own. That's my favorite way to choose topics. I also look at various launches in my business. Then I also look at what else is really topical and relevant right now.
Question #10: What metrics do you consider to warrant your podcast? A success?
Oh, I love this. So this comes back to what your goal is like, what is your “why?”. Why are you podcasting? If you're podcasting to make money from advertisers, we would look at what is that CPM you are earning. What is the overall dollar figure that you are earning? What are those download numbers?
It really depends on what that overall goal is. If your goal is to grow the audience of your podcast, great. What is your email list size doing? What is your audience doing? These are all different things. Are we wanting to sell products?
So it's not just about download numbers. Download numbers can help you to track how the podcast itself is performing, but it's not helping you to track how those other goals are performing as well.
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I help online entrepreneurs (like you!) to build a profitable online business that keeps growing even when they're offline.