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9 Steps to Creating a Show That Attracts Your Ideal Audience

Starting a podcast is a great way for an online entrepreneur to expand your reach, gain new followers, and increase your brand awareness. 

Starting a podcast also allows you to connect with your target audience on a more intimate and accessible level. In addition, you can repurpose your podcast content and turn it into blog posts, videos, social media updates, and more.

Creating a podcast is simple and affordable compared to traditional forms of advertising like radio and TV. And you can record podcasts in the comfort of your home or office, which eliminates costly studio rentals or outside production fees. 

Here’s some more good news: the recording equipment you need to create your podcast is pretty easy to set up… and in most cases it won’t bust your budget. In fact, many streaming services such as Spotify offer free hosting options. So you don't even need a dedicated website to get your podcast out to the world. 

Want to connect with more folks in your niche? Well, hosting a podcast gives you the chance to connect with influencers and invite them to be guests on your show. This can help you develop long-term relationships with influential leaders in your market. And this in turn could lead to some really cool (and profitable) affiliate partnerships.  

A podcast also gives you an opportunity to build relationships with prospects who may be unaware of the product or service you offer. And when these potential prospects listen to your podcast they’ll gain a feel for how they might benefit from working with you. This means your podcast can be a powerful lead-generation machine that generates significant long-term growth for your business.

Most importantly, hosting a podcast is a great way to set yourself apart from competitors and become a recognized expert in your market niche. You can do this by sharing your passion and demonstrating to your audience how you bring value and transformation to their lives. Do this well and it can really jack up the “know, like, and trust” factor with your followers.

Finally, having your own podcast is a great way to develop “super fans” who respect and admire the passion you have for providing your audience with value. This in turn can attract them to your business!

Now that you have an overview of why you should start a podcast, here are nine essential steps you can take that will help you answer the question – “How do I start a podcast?”  

1) Brainstorm Your Idea 

To get the engine cranked up, brainstorm your podcast idea and decide what role it will play in your overall business strategy. Consider how your podcast will provide value to your listeners. And think about unique insights you can share with your audience that other podcasts might be ignoring. 

Next, make a list of topics that are important to your market niche. Think about how discussing these topics may help your audience bust through challenges they’re facing. In addition, map out some entertaining stories you can tell that your target market will enjoy hearing.

Getting clear on each of these points will help you develop a podcast structure that just may be a smash hit with your target market.  

2) Choose Your Publishing Frequency 

Next, think about how often you want to produce and release your podcast episodes. Here are a few things to consider as you make this decision.

First, decide how long you want each episode to be. Fifteen minutes? A half-hour? Forty-five minutes to an hour? Zeroing in on a timeframe for your podcast will influence whether you want to produce your show weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. 

Another factor that will help you decide on your publishing frequency is the amount of content you’ll need to create for every podcast. So you also need to consider the time you have in your schedule to produce content for each show. 

The content you’ll need to create includes…

  • Interview speaking points
  • Show notes
  • Social media posts
  • Web page copy

Again, developing this content takes time. And the amount of time you have to create it will influence how frequently you produce your podcast. 

Generally, it’s recommended that you publish your podcast at least weekly. This will encourage listeners to remain engaged and keep up with each episode. But a biweekly or monthly schedule may be better if you don’t have the time to create a new show each week. The key is to create a production schedule that you can maintain consistently. 

3) Determine Who You’ll Select as Guests

Spoiler alert: having awesome guests makes it much easier to have a great podcast. 

Select guests for your show who can provide meaningful insight on topics that are relevant to your listeners. It’s smart to choose guests who have an engaging personality that will appeal to your followers. In addition, make sure they’re willing to collaborate with other guests or co-hosts you have on your show. 

A great way to find good guests is by reaching out to contacts in your network. You should also invite industry thought leaders who could bring new ideas and fresh conversations to your show. Asking market influencers to be on your podcast is an ideal way to form relationships with them. Who knows, this could lead to future business-building that otherwise wouldn’t have come your way. 

You can also find guests by using specialized booking services that connect you with qualified professionals who may be a good match for your show.

When you invite a guest, make sure they have enough time in their schedule to record your podcast. And, be certain each guest understands the role you’d like them to play in promoting your show. 

Lastly, before you book a guest you don’t know very well, review audio samples of other interviews they’ve done. This will help you determine if they’re a good fit for YOUR show.

4) Create Your Visual Look and Feel

Think about how logos and other design elements for your podcast will look on streaming platforms. It’s important to create visuals that are eye-catching and memorable. This will help listeners recognize your podcast when searching for new content.

One key factor to consider is how well your logo and artwork stand out against other podcasts. So use vibrant colors that are visually striking and grab attention. You can do this by using contrast, different color gradients, or bold typography.

Additionally, your artwork should be simple yet effective. Keep text to a minimum and make sure the image you use looks good in a small thumbnail. 

You must also consider how your logo or artwork relates to the topic of your podcast. To make your podcast log jump off the page, you may want to include an iconographic element that immediately helps viewers know what your podcast is about.  For example, if your show is about music – having musical notes in your logo design might make it pop. 

Finally, make certain that your artwork meets any guidelines set by streaming platforms. This may include things like maximum file size or image resolution requirements. 

Maintaining consistency between episodes is also important. So try to stick with one design palette that covers all your visuals. This will help you establish a unique identity for your podcast that over time becomes instantly recognizable.

5) Choose Recording Equipment 

When you select recording equipment for your podcast, think about how easy it is or isn’t to use… and determine whether or not it fits into your budget. The most important factor with a podcast is sound quality. So it’s worth investing in high-end microphones and audio interfaces to ensure your podcast sounds professional. Keep in mind that you may need extra microphones and headsets if you plan to have multiple co-hosts on set with you for each episode. 

If you’re looking for a more portable solution, USB mics are a great option because they plug directly into your computer or laptop without the need for an audio interface, which converts sound signals into a format your computer can recognize. However, USB mics tend to have less dynamic range than XLR mics (which use the audio interface). So if you’re recording in environments with varying sound levels, consider using XLR models because they provide more accurate recordings. 

The microphone you choose should also have enough frequency response for the type of content you want to record. For example, some mics are better suited for voice recordings while others make it easier to record music. 

When you shop for an audio interface, look for one with enough inputs and outputs to accommodate your microphones and other devices – such as headphones. Audio interfaces usually come with either XLR or quarter-inch connections. Make sure the one you choose is compatible with your microphones. 

Finally, look into post-production software such as Adobe Audition or Pro Tools. These programs allow you to record multiple tracks simultaneously and then edit them afterwards. They also provide effects like compression and equalization. These features can help you improve sound quality during the mixing process. 

Investing in good recording equipment will result in podcasts that sound professional and engaging. This will help elevate your stature as a podcast host, and increase the chance your show gets heard by a wider audience.

6) Set Up Social Accounts 

To build a large audience for your podcast, you have to set up social media accounts so your audience has multiple ways to interact with you. 

Think about how often you want to post when you set up your accounts. Consider the type of content that will attract your ideal avatar. And decide how you can use your social posts to direct folks to your podcast. 

Think about what matters most to your audience as you plan your content. Consider how your expertise can help change the lives of your followers. Then create messaging that focuses on this transformation. Doing this will attract more eyeballs to your content – which is the key to building your fan base. 

Additional ideas for social posts include notices about upcoming events, alerts about new podcast episodes, and industry updates that are important to your audience.  

You’ll also need to decide how frequently you want to post on each platform. And you'll definitely have to determine how many social platforms you can manage without spreading yourself too thin. (Hint: if you’re choosing between platforms, go for the one where more people in your audience are hanging out.) It’s better for your social presence to be an inch wide and a mile deep… than a mile wide and an inch deep. 

Whether you focus on several social platforms or just one, put a premium on creating social content that is friendly, authentic, and value-driven. You can further increase engagement with your podcast listeners by responding directly to their comments and questions. You can also do this by creating polls and quizzes. Another awesome way to connect with your crowd is to personally thank them when they share an episode of your show.

7) Submit Your Podcast 

Finally, it’s time to launch your podcast! To do this you need to submit it to audio streaming platforms. Popular options include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and SoundCloud. 

To get rolling, you need to create an account on each platform. All of them will probably have a submission form that requires you to provide information that includes your name, show title, description, and podcast cover art. 

Some platforms may ask you to verify that you own your podcast. You should be able to do this through email or a unique URL – much like the process you follow when verifying your email for a new list you’ve subscribed to. 

You’ll then need to wait for final approval after you’ve completed the podcast submission steps for each platform. It can take a few hours or a few days depending on the service. They’ll notify you when you’ve been approved.

8) Monitor Your Show’s Performance 

Once you get your podcast up and running, you need to monitor your performance metrics if you’re serious about maximizing your show’s success. 

There are several important metrics you should track to ensure your podcast is reaching its desired audience and gaining traction. They include total downloads, listener retention rate, time spent listening, audience demographics, and topics that generate the most listener interest.

Total downloads indicates how popular a podcast episode is, how quickly it’s gaining traction with new listeners, and how much engagement it has among followers. You can monitor downloads through platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Tracking how many total downloads each episode receives gives you insight into how effective certain topics or formats are for your show.

The listener retention rate is another important metric that will help you evaluate your podcast strategy. This metric takes into account how many people listen to an entire episode. This will help you gain a sense of how well you’re holding the attention of your target audience. A high listener retention rate can indicate that people are enjoying your content. A low rate could mean people are dropping off during particular sections or episodes due to a lack of interest in the topic.

Time spent listening is a metric that shows how long people spend on each episode or segment within an episode. Tracking this helps you determine if listeners are “jumping around” your content to listen to sections of your show that interest them more than others. Ideally, your time spent listening metric will rise over time. This would be proof that your content is resonating with viewers because they have a sincere interest in ALL of what you have to say.

Audience demographics is a metric that provides you with valuable information about who is actually listening to your show. This will inform you about the diversity of your listener base. Reviewing your demographic metrics will tell you a lot about your listeners, such as their age and gender. The more you know about your audience demographics, the easier it is to determine if you’re actually reaching your target audience.  

If you pay close attention to your metrics you can better identify which subjects appeal the most to your listeners. This will make it easier for you to plan content for future shows. When you know what your audience wants to hear from you, it’s much easier to shape content that helps you retain your audience and attract new like-minded viewers. 

9) Maintain a Consistent Production and Promotion Plan

It is critical to maintain a consistent production schedule for your podcast. You can do this by developing a repeatable recording schedule. As you plan your podcast strategy, make sure you can dedicate specific times each week (or each day) for tasks related to producing your podcast. 

It’s essential that you stay organized and remain committed to your production schedule. To remain on track, it’s a good idea to continually build a list of show topics so you’re not scrambling for material at the last minute.

Next, keep in mind that the podcast industry is constantly evolving and there’s always new things to learn. So throughout the life of your show, make it a point to stay up to date on the latest recording equipment, microphones, and editing software. Doing so will empower you to always improve the quality of your podcast. This will go a long way towards helping you maintain a solid, professional reputation in your market niche. 

Do you want more people to know how wonderful your podcast is? Then you have to create a promotional plan and refine it regularly. This entails doing research that helps you determine the most effective ways to promote your show. You’ll also want to reach out to key market influencers who could help build awareness about your show with their audiences. Connect with the right folks, and this simple strategy can add thousands of new listeners to your fanbase. 

This may sound a little old school, but it’s still a good strategy to send media outlets news releases about your show. The result can be low-cost, high impact publicity for your podcast. Guest posting for bloggers who have large audiences is another strategy that can help you significantly expand viewership for your show. 

To wrap things up… if you set your intentions and follow the nine steps we’ve outlined for you, you’re well on your way to having a rockin’ podcast. 

If you stick with it and maintain a consistent production schedule, you have a great chance of growing a dedicated following that loves hearing what you have to say. 

And when we say “what you have to say,” we mean YOU! Have a voice. Be bold, be fresh, and inject your true personality into your show. If you’re funny, be humorous. If you’re tough, be edgy. If you remain true to yourself, you’ll attract viewers who resonate with what you have to say. 

Draw a line in the sand and state your opinions with confidence. And then stand behind them. Tell stories. Open up. Be vulnerable. And be genuine and sincere. The world is waiting to hear from YOU – not some generic version of what someone said you should be. 

Finally, it must be said that there are no shortcuts to creating a successful podcast. Building a large loyal audience requires commitment and dedication. Scheduling guests, creating content, developing promotion campaigns and maintaining a consistent production schedule are vital to creating a podcast that listeners want to come back to… again and again! 

Good luck, and go for it! 

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