With a rise in podcasts during this so-to-say “Podcasting Renaissance” it is so important to put your best foot forward and really take the market by storm. So what exactly does this mean for you? Well, simply put, there are so many great experts to learn from and to take pointers from that there’s no way to go wrong. Rather than stumbling into the podcasting world without any clear direction, prepare by drawing from the tried and true results of those who do it best.
To help you navigate through the ins and the outs of Podcasting we’ve put together 7 amazing lessons that you can learn from the most successful podcasts in the world. These key pointers come from those who have been through the drill, who have made the mistakes for you, and know exactly how to set you on the right path to hosting a successful podcast.
So let’s dive right in!
1. Just do It! – Chris Ducker
Often times we limit ourselves by so many different fears and doubts. “Who will listen to me? Will I be interesting enough? What value can I contribute, if any?” This stops us in our tracks, and so many of us don’t even make it off the starting block. Chris Ducker, founder of Virtual Staff Finder, recommends just that. Getting started and off to the races! Once you get past the initial stumbling block, everything else will follow suit. One of the main things Chris points out is that you’ve got to start, and you’ve got to start soon, because your competition is already thinking about it, or have even perhaps already launched.
2. Launch Big or Go Home – John Lee Dumas
Shoot for “New and Noteworthy”! This statement rings so true, and as mentioned by John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, iTunes is currently the leader in terms of podcast traffic and not giving everything you’ve got to get into the New and Noteworthy section is not even an option. His tips include:
- Releasing a minimum of 3 podcasts on launch day
- Spending the first week connecting with your audience to boost your downloads and gather ratings and reviews.
This process allowed Entrepreneur on Fire to be ranked last the #1 business podcast on the new and noteworthy section for 8 straight weeks. So go ahead and put that extra effort into launch day… you won’t regret it!
3. Create Content You Would Actually Listen to – Farnoosh Brock
The focus of this lesson is that podcasting can provide some of the most unique content, even more so than blogging and social media. The reach you can gather is remarkable because first of all, you are directly speaking to your listeners (in their ears) and if you provide them with amazing, valuable content you can build such an incredible connection with them. That is what Farnoosh calls, “the Power of Podcasting”.
Farnoosh Brock is the founder of the Daily Interaction Podcast who is dedicated to proving how great communication can help you get anything you want in life. So what does she recommend?
Create content that you yourself would listen to! Speak on topics that you are actually excited about and that create a delicate balance between the story you are telling and the value you are providing to your listeners. Another unique approach is to ask the listeners how they want to “feel” after they are done listening to you, and then back that up with an actionable step for them to take. So ask yourself the question… would I listen to my podcast? This should give you a clear starting point!
4. Focus on Sound quality – Daniel Rowles (Digital Marketing Podcast)
This lesson is one that is understood. Your audio quality absolutely must be top notch! Your aim should be to get the audio quality to be pleasant to listen to, without too many disturbances and background noise. If the audio isn’t where you need it to be, listeners will not even think about the content. They will simply not be able to overlook the bad quality of the audio, which will completely deter their attention from the content at hand.
Now getting a great audio sound doesn’t have to be super technical or expensive. It can be as simple as making sure your pets are somewhere other than your recording space, muting the microphone when you are listening, and using a pop filter. An additional recommendation by Daniel Rowles form the popular Digital Marketing Podcast is to use an audio reflector. This is a great tip for those who haven’t been able to find a suitable recording space. The reflector sits just behind your mic to absorb all the echo, and helps when you are recording in noisy, terrible recording environments.
5. Really Listen when you interview – Chris Brogan
Often times we feel the need to follow such a strict script, step-by-step, with a strange fear of deviating off the path. This can make the interview feel robotic, and doesn’t allow for the flow of conversation to take place. Although structure and guidelines are important to keep you on track, don’t forget to take the time to actually listen to what your guest is saying!
Chris Brogran, CEO and president of Human Business Work also runs a successful podcast called “The Owner’s Mind”. His best advice is exactly this, “Be a listening interviewer, not a question list reader.” He advises podcasters to really listen intently and let the story reveal itself through the conversation that you are having with your guest. This creates for a great episode with a dynamic feel that is much easier for listeners to follow along with. So challenge yourself to shift the focus away from that canned set of questions and instead listen to what the message is.
6. Bring New Voices to the Podcast – Derek Halpern (Social Triggers)
Although this is contrary to our natural inclination, instead of focusing on all the big names and “usual suspects”, invest some time and energy into finding new people to feature on your show. This introduces new faces with new ideas, opening up a whole new community of thought to your readers.
So does this actually work?
Derek Halpern, host of the Social Triggers Insider podcast advises new podcasters to do just this. He says that the usual suspects are “old, tired, and boring”, and that his podcast is proof of the concept that listeners are glad when they hear new voices. This is one of the reasons why he was able to generate 100,000 downloads within only a few months.
Many times these new faces may be “non-names” in the online world, but offline they have an immense impact. And this is where you will find your podcasting “edge”.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Ask – Daniel J. Lewis
So often we think that it is beyond our scope to even dare to ask anything from our listeners. We’re already asking so much just for them to subscribe, right? Well, we would say the exact opposite! Your listeners have chosen your podcast for their own benefit and because they truly find value in what you provide. Given this, they would likely do whatever it takes to see you succeed in the process. This is where it is so key to remember that it is okay to ask!
Daniel J. Lewis from The Audacity to Podcast recommends that if you want something, especially from your listeners, don’t be afraid to ask them for it. They will gladly offer you feedback, ratings, reviews, or sometimes even donations! Your listeners are your biggest fans, so show them your sincere appreciation and help them to help you in return!
Now over to you!
- Were these lessons valuable? What are some other important pieces of wisdom you can share with fellow podcasters?
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