Over the past couple months I’ve had a couple people contact me about starting their own podcast so I thought why not put a blog post together for people who might consider starting their own podcast in the future.
I was inspired to start my own podcast after becoming a follower of Lewis Howes podcast, The School of Greatness, and realizing that a podcast consisted of two things. First being it involved people and if you know me… I love being surrounded by people. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my alone time but if its my choice I want to be surrounded by a group of people. Second, it involved talking which goes hand-in-hand with being a Hobert. Everyone on my father’s side of the family should start their own podcast because we love people and we love to talk.
Step 1: Figure out what your podcast topic is and make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy talking about A LOT.
Now that I was interested in starting a podcast I had to figure out what the topic of the podcast was going to be. In order to build an audience that comes back weekly (hopefully) there needs to be some expectation of what the content of the podcast will be. You can’t start a cooking podcast, “In the Kitchen with Bobbbaaaay” and spend an epsiode talking about movies. It doesn’t make sense.
My orginial idea was to make a men’s podcast that talked about health & wellness, woman, fashion and crushing brews but I realized that was too broad. It seemed like a great idea to pretty much take Mens Health & turn it into a podcast but how was I going to balance talking about each subject? Did I want to make a podcast that was only directed towards males? I wanted something niche that people knew what they were getting into when they hit “play” on an episode but something that anyone could relate to.
With graduating college and not sure what I was going to do next that’s when the topic clicked. Everyone has a story with different interests and passions… but yet only a few can say they love what they do. I wanted to break down the stories of people who loved what they did and understand how they had gotten to where they are today based on that passion.
Thats how Purpose in the Youth was born.
Step 2: Invest In The Equipment
The way I looked at it… I can either buy decent equipment and later down the road reinvest in better gear or I can just go big & not have to worry about it. The verdict — I went big.
With the structure of my podcast always being one guest talking with me every episode I purchased two Rhode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphones ($229) each, a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Interface ($124), two 10 foot XLR Cables ($18) each, two RODE Swivel Mount Studio Boom Arm($98) each and two Rode Shcockmounts ($39) each. Grand total = $888.
For software, you can make use of programs like Garageband which are free that come on every Macbook or you can invest into an audio program of your choice. Right now I use Abelton Live 9 Standard which will run you for an additional $400.
Ask yourself if this is something you’re going to be serious about and not just a six month hobby that you’re eventually going to toss in your closet. If it’s a yes and you have access to the funds to invest in quality equipment then in the long-run it’ll pay off. If not, purchase what you can afford & save up. The quality of your podcast will only get better with time and so will you as a host.
Step 3: Creating the Brand
This can be the toughest part of the entire process. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the podcast and I could vision what type of guests I would like to bring on the show but now I needed to create an actual brand that people would see and recognize as my podcast.
Two words that kept jumping at me, purpose and passion. I couldn’t just name it “Purpose Podcast” unfortuantely because I’d probably have about ten different lawsuites at my doorstep before the launch of epsiode one with Justin Bieber pretty much owning the word after his 2015 album ‘Purpose’. After bouncing the concept of the podcast and the vision I had for it off of my longtime friend, Dylan Reese, he was able to put it altogeather to create the name.
With his expertise of Adobe Illustrator & being a creative himself, he was able to come up with this orginal design as the first cover for the podcast.
It was simplistic and was exactly what I needed to get the ball rolling. More recently as a 6 month anniversary for the podcast I felt that this podcast had become such a part of my life and journey that I needed to add some personality to it. Although every week I was bringing a new guest on the show to unfold their story, guest were slowly getting to know me. Certain topics come up during the epsiodes that I can relate back to my life and with that came the idea for a new cover design.
Depending on what your idea is for a podcast and if it incorporates more than just one person being part of it weekly… I think its a safe bet to include some type of image of yourself. Even though you’re just behind the mic and some podcasts do have a visual aspect… it’s a good way to build your brand and allow people to associate a face with it. For me, I didn’t want to just slap a picture of myself onto the cover and that’s why I had a cartoon drawn up of me. It adds a face to the podcast which can help build a relationship with your audience as they’re slowly starting to get to know you better.
Step 4: Research & understand podcast platforms
The beauty of living in this digital day-in-age is that any question you might have, you can probably find the answer on Google. Figure out how to get your podcast on platforms like Soundcloud, iTunes, Sticher etc. and put it on there. As much as you’d like to stick to just iTunes because that’s where a lot of traffic is going for the podcast world you’re holding yourself back from growing by doing that. I try to make sure my podcast is available anywhere podcast listeners attention is because I can’t force them to use one platform over the other. Whether they prefer Soundcloud or iTunes is up to them but as a content creator your job is to make sure the podcast is available for whichever platform they choose.
Step 5: Have at least 4 weeks of podcasts in the vault before launch
After purchasing the equipment, having the logo/brand created and doing some research about how I was going to attack this podcast I was ready to go. The one thing I told myself was that I needed to have at least four weeks of podcasts in the vault before I launched the first one. I figured if people were going to take me serious and I really wanted to build some type of following then I needed to be consistent with weekly content.
I’ve came across podcasters who said “have atleast 10” but I thought that was too much. I wanted to have enough so that I had some room to play with and I wasn’t scrambling last minute for an episode but I also wanted to make sure any present topics that were discussed were still relevant by the time it was released. It also gave me a chance to adjust to people’s feedback on what they like and disliked which gave enough turnaround time if I thought the feedback was useful.
Its better to be prepared than to be unprepared. It doesn’t matter if only ten or twenty people are listening in the very beginning. You have to start somewhere and that’s with ANYTHING you do in life but you also want to have content ready to go for these listeners. Its setting you up with good habits for the future so when you do have 10,000 listeners listening in, you’re prepared for it. Treat yourself like you’re already the #1 podcaster in the world so when the time comes… nothing in your routine changes.
Step 6: Launch the first episode & let the journey begin
August 31, 2016 will be a day I never forget. I had spent months getting my podcast ready and taking my time with it. It was the first time I had ever worked on something to this scale and I had never really thrown myself out to the world like this. The first epsiode for me marked the beginning of a very exciting journey ahead.
Enjoy the day your first podcast rolls out and embrace all the feedback you get from people. Let the positives keep you moving forward & any negative feedback fuel the fire inside you to becoming the best.
I was overwhelemed at first when I was getting into this world because there were about a million ways to go about it & thats the beauty of it. Theres no wrong or right way to do anything… it’s totally up to you and only YOU. See what works and what doesn’t and make adjustments along the way. What might work now might not work in the future so just be prepared for anything thrown your way.
My number one piece of advice — enjoy the process of getting it off the ground because the journey is the reward.
Hope this of some help to anyone interested in starting their own podcast. Feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions.
Learn about musicians, DJs, entrepreneurs, talent managers, film directors, photographers, make-up artists, skateboarders, fashion designers, models & many more about how they’ve gotten to where they’re today based on their passion on my podcast, Purpose in the Youth.