Should I Have a Podcast?
Yes. No. Maybe. Who is your audience? Are they listening to podcasts? Is your business well-suited to an audio-only format? If you need to have visuals, well, then obviously a stand-alone podcast might not be for you. You might so better with a video show.
But if you can share interesting, entertaining tips on how to solve your customer's pressing problems, this is a medium that should not be ignored. You'll find it a much less crowded platform than blogging and that it helps you communicate in a very different and much more personal way.
Who Are You Talking To?
I like to refer to my listener as "listener." Ralph and Carol Lynn refer to theirs as Fred. The nice thing about referring to them in the singular is that people are alone when they're listening (generally speaking). It's also a good reminder to have clearly in mind who you want to talk to. That one person. What is their question today? How can you help them in their business today?
Do You Need Show Notes?
Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes! I make these into a full blog post to provide another format for the valuable information we get from our guests (or in this case our guest host). That way, people can get the information in the format they want. Also, you might mention other podcasts, websites, or tools on the show that your listener can't write down if they're listening while driving, running, mowing the lawn, etc. Give them a place to look for these links.
Also, as nice as it is to share your podcast audio from SoundCloud to Pinterest and Twitter, you'll likely find people (including guests), more likely to share show notes.
Do you Have to Be a Technical Genius to Start a Podcast?
There are podcasts about podcasting. Blogs about podcasting. Groups about podcasting. Courses on podcasting. Other people have already figured it out for you, so use those resources. Some of the ones we like are:
- Podcast Talent Coach
- Podcast Answer Man
- OverGo's Pinterest Board including all the equipment and software we use.
- OverGo's How to Podcast Pinterest Board
It should be said that Ralph is kind of an audio geek with a knack for hardware. He helped us so much in getting our podcast ready. We have a mixing board, recorder, fancy microphones, headsets, amplifiers, etc.
But really all you need is a way to record sound. While most podcasters want to be on iTunes and so use a service like Libsyn to host their audio files, you might find it simpler to start with Soundcloud, as it doesn't require you to do as much production work - just upload an .mp3 file.
What We've Learned From Our Adventures in Podcasting
Be OK with the mistakes. It will never be perfect. Make it natural and fun.
I've learned that if you can do a better job live, you'll save a LOT of time in podcasting. I have also learned that I need to work on my "soooo" and my transitions. Hopefully that will get better with time. My favorite part so far is the way podcasting has allowed me to reach out to some fantastic people and get to know them better - with a good excuse. :) Sharing my audience with people makes our conversations a win-win-win.
What if You THINK You Might Want to Podcast?
Rather than just asking at your next company meeting, "What do you say we have a podcast?" record three 15-minute shows and listen back to them. Present them to your team along with some research on the benefits of podcasting. Let them hear what it can sound like. Let some of your customers hear it and get their feedback. Would they listen? Are you addressing their questions?
Should You Outsource Your Editing?
This is one I've struggled with because it can take so much time. However, if you let someone else edit your conversation, it's so hard to get it all right. Listen and edit your podcast (in Audition or Audacity). If one of the hosts can do it, they'll learn so much about what is working and what isn't. You'll also become so familiar with the sound of your own voice that you will cease to be self conscious about the sound of it. Trust us, it's not that bad.
Should I Live Stream Video?
Live streaming with Periscope and Meerkat gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your podcast. You can also get some great live feedback. Or, if you're shy on camera, you can live stream audio only.
Ralph is a programmer and web developer who is the co-owner and technical genius behind both Web.Search.Social and Rahvalor Interactive, where he’s in charge of keeping his team of programmers, coders and developers on track building custom websites and applications. If you need to make things happen on the web in a way that ties into your big-picture marketing goals, Ralph is the one to do it.
He’s been in the business of creative digital services since the late 1980s. He is also an educator, offering his experience and expertise to businesses as they strive to make sense of the world of online marketing, and he teaches web development to inquisitive young minds at Manhattan College in New York City.
Ralph loves whiskey, playing guitar, Halo and relaxing weekend afternoons reading great science fiction by the fireplace. He also gets poetic about Game of Thrones at least once a week (give it up, Ralph, you'll never convince me), and takes his Mom to lunch every Friday. He's joined in life and business by his amazing, talented, and beautiful wife, Carol Lynn - except today. Today I ripped them apart heartlessly for this crossover episode.