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Many people love the idea of starting a podcast. It’s a great way to connect with your audience, it helps you to grow your visibility, and the popularity of podcasts is growing rapidly. And, unlike starting a radio program or getting a spot on television, a podcast can be created fairly quickly and easily.
However, there are some mistakes people make when trying to launch a podcast, and I want to help you avoid them! So I’m taking this chance to share some of those mistakes with you so that you can make sure to get started in the best way possible.
Mistake #1: Thinking the podcast is all about you.
You’re excited about your podcast idea. You have lots to share about your topic, or you are passionate about the audience you’re planning to talk to. And often, you want to share your own thoughts and passions with the world.
The mistake that you might make, though, is making your podcast all about you.
Your episode ideas are based around what you are interested in.
Your intro starts of with your name and what you are all about.
Your content focuses on your experiences and stories.
This is a huge mistake.
Of course, your podcast is definitely about you in a sense. And it is a GREAT way to share your thought leadership, your experiences, and your expertise with the world.
Your podcast is about the listener.
Your podcast actually needs to be about the listener. It needs to be about the one person you are wanting to reach with your message. Everything you put out on your podcast should be of interest to him or her.
Once you’ve identified your ideal listener, you should ask yourself this question about every single episode and even the different parts of the episode:
“Would _______ care about this?”
If the answer is no, you may not want to include it, even if it’s something YOU love. (I know, harsh.)
Mistake #2: Spending too much time on the technology.
You’ve got your podcast idea. You know who your ideal listener is going to be. And now you’ve got to get the gear.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of choices and decisions you could make it when it comes to the technology and gear part of podcasting.
You might look at some of the top podcasters and want to get the gear that they are using. You might spend hours researching, watching YouTube videos and asking in FB groups, only to get a different recommendation from every person you ask.
You can spend hours bogged down on the technology part of podcasting, but that is a mistake. When you are first starting out, it is not necessary to have top of the line gear. Most podcasters who did invest a lot of time and money at the start will tell you that they ended up not even using some of the gear they bought!
Here’s the truth: you can get started with a simple mic, earbuds, and free software.
Once you’ve been podcasting a while, and you are getting your rhythm down, you may want to upgrade or improve your tech.
Here’s what I use:
Yeti Microphone – I know that some people dislike this mic, and sometimes it gets a bad rap in the podcasting community. But the truth is, it has worked for me, and I’ve learned the best way to use it for myself.
Earbuds – I use a set of earbuds and plug them into my mic directly so that I hear exactly what is being recorded. This helps me to notice if I am making noises when I bump my mic or something like this.
Zoom – To record interviews, I use Zoom, and for a long time, I was using the free version. One thing I recommend for recording with Zoom is to set up a direct line for the internet into your computer rather than using wifi. This recommendation would probably go with any internet-based recording process. I also recommend going to your preferences for the recording and choose “record a separate audio file for each participant who speaks.”
This allows you to have two tracks (or however many members of the call you have) and will make editing much easier.
GarageBand – For editing my episodes, I use Garageband which is included on my Mac. I used the following tutorial to learn how to edit my episodes, along with trial and error.
Note: as soon as possible, I will be outsourcing editing. While it is something I can do and taught myself, I would prefer to spend my time elsewhere.
Mistake #3: Being clever instead of clear with your show and episode titles
When it comes to naming your podcast, it is easy to want to get really clever and creative. Many of us, especially as entrepreneurs, have an endless stream of creative ideas. And we really want our podcast name to be fun and clever.
The problem is that clever and creative is not what people are searching for. Clever and creative may end up being confusing rather than helpful. And as they say on the Storybrand podcast, “When you confuse, you lose.”
So what should you do instead when it comes to naming your podcast?
Be clear and direct. Use keywords that your audience would likely be searching for and/or would resonate with as soon as they see them.
Make it obvious what your show is about, so that when someone see it, they say, “That’s for me!” or “That’s definitely not for me.”
As an example, I had a list of about 10-15 potential names for my podcast. I had come up with a variety of cute, creative, and clever ideas. I had some “boring” names and some exciting names.
In the end, I chose one of the “boring” names because it made it very obvious what my show was about. And guess what? I have people tell me frequently that they searched for the keywords in my title and my showed up for them.
What do you want to be found for? Consider using those keywords in your title somehow. Or, at the very least, make it obvious what you show is about and who it is for.
Note: the same principle goes for naming your podcast episodes. Keep it simple and be really clear what the actual episode is about. Why would your listener want to listen? What is going to make them click?
Just because someone is subscribed to your show does not mean they are going to listen to every episode. It’s helpful if you provide them with a clear reason they would want to click and listen.
Mistake #4: Making your artwork too complicated or fancy
Another common mistake you might make when starting a podcast is complicating your artwork. You might want to include a lot of info on your artwork, or have your name and face on it, or include the tagline of the show on it.
What I see most often is that people want their artwork to look pretty or reflect them, but what really matters is whether someone who has never heard of you is going to want to click to listen to the show.
Your current followers and those who already know you… they are probably going to listen regardless. But the people who don’t know you yet–who are considering whether they want to listen to your show–are going to partly base their decision on your artwork.
What’s important is whether your artwork is going to cause your ideal listener to want to click through and check out your show.
Once again, your show art isn’t about you. You can use your brand colors and fonts (in fact, I recommend it), but don’t make the actual show artwork about you.
Should you use your photo in your show art?
There is debate over whether or not you should use your photo, but I lean towards not doing so. Why? Because very few people are going to recognize you and decide to listen based on seeing you. The majority want to know what the show is about and get a feel for the style based on the artwork.
Mistake #5: Launching without a plan
The last mistake, and probably the most impactful, is launching your podcast without a plan.
Without a plan for how to have a successful launch.
Without a plan for how you are going to keep up and maintain your show.
Without a plan for how you are going to market your podcast.
Without a plan for how you’re going to connect with potential guests or with your audience.
Without a plan for how the podcast will feed your business.
This mistake, I believe, is one of the reasons many podcasts don’t last. Someone gets very excited about the idea of a podcast, jumps in and starts doing it, but then burns out quickly because they can’t keep up and they didn’t have a plan for how they were going to incorporate it into what they were already doing.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: running a quality podcast is a lot of work. It takes time, money, and effort to sustain. And it’s a long game.
So what should you do instead?
Launch with a plan! Before you put your show out there, take time to develop a plan and a realistic timeframe to accomplish it.
For some personality types, this is difficult, and you may need someone else to help you with this. And for almost everyone, even those with a planning and project management skill set, it’s helpful to have an outside, objective set of eyes on your plan.
If you would like help creating your plan, click here to learn about my Project Planning Sessions.
And watch for my next blog post where I’ll be giving you some tips on creating your plan!
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