You have decided to start a podcast. Welcome to the club. It seems in the past few years everyone who breathes air has started a show. And since everyone else seems to have a podcast, you think your business needs a show to stand out and compete. How to start a podcast for your business is not as simple as you think, but below are some ideas and vendors I recommend.
Is a podcast right for your company? Maybe. Maybe not. The truth is a podcast can be your best marketing tool of all time, or it can be a giant waste of time and money. Too often people think starting the show will get them leads, but until the show is established as an important resource in your industry, there is little value. Building an audience is hard. Keeping that audience is even more difficult.
I started my podcast, “Making Waves at C-Level” (formerly known as “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do”) over six years ago. I have now done over 600 episodes, as well as having interviewed about 400 other people on other podcasts that I host (see: Hire A Podcast Host For Your Company), a video show called The Webinar Talk Show, and live on-stage corporate interviews / panel facilitations. Learning to host and interview is not easy, and you have to have a long term commitment to creating a show that will provide value.
Most Common Questions About “How To Start A Podcast”
- How Do I Pick A Name For My Podcast? I suggest you make it simple and easy to understand. When I tell you my show is called “Making Waves at C-Level”, you should quickly understand that I will be talking to business leaders about how to succeed and shake things up in business. If I called the show “Purple Alligator Bones” you may not have any clue what the show is about if you have never run across it before. Many people find my show because they are searching for business podcasts, and it is clear what they will get if they listen.
- Do I Need A Production Company? Unless audio editing is your main skill, hire someone to do the technical work for your show. I work with a company called Podfly Productions, and they are the best vendor I have ever worked with. They are not the most inexpensive, but for over 600 episodes, they make the donuts. You have lots of options, but doing it yourself is a fast track to the show fading away.
- Who Should Host The Show? If you or someone in your company has the personality and the time, and internal host is a good choice. However, if your heart is not in the project, then the show will fail. The host must love doing the show or they are not the right choice. Hiring an outside host (like me) is a great idea if you are worried about long-term continuity for the show. The paid host can co-host with a variety of team members when it works for their schedules, but frees your employees up to do their regular jobs.
- How Often Should We Release Episodes? If you are not going to do a minimum of once a week, you may not ever get traction. It can take dozens of shows before it catches on with an audience, so once a month means two to three years to get to that level. I do my show twice a week, which is a lot, but it has paid off in both listenership and my experience level as a host.
- How Long Should Each Episode Be? There is no right answer. There are popular podcast that are under ten minutes, and ones that are four hours long. I like the thirty minute length as most people are used to media in 30 minute chunks. Television and radio for decades have broken down to that length, and it seems to work well for those who listen while working out, driving, or on a plane.
If you found this article on “how to start a podcast for your business” via search, I am happy to have a phone call with anyone and share what I have learned. If your company wants and outside host to help run the show flow of your episodes, I can talk to you, or refer you to dozens of other podcasters who understand business and would be a great “talent” to make your show stand out.
Thom Singer is the host of several podcasts and is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies / EmCee. He is an expert for business networking skill and works with organizations that want their people to engage more with each other and clients.