…and Considerations if you’re Starting your Own
Creating a podcast will allow you to reap unique benefits, including establishing yourself as an expert in your field and attracting new customers. In fact, a recent Edison Research and Arbitron report supports that “podcasting is becoming one of the more viable methods for acquiring and retaining customers.” I’ve experienced this firsthand for over 11 years since I launched the Affiliate Buzz, which is the first and longest running podcast in the affiliate marketing industry.
It was clear to me before I launched the podcast in 2003 that I needed a way to communicate directly with my students. The year before, I had published a popular ebook called Affiliate Marketers Handbook that served as a training manual for those getting started in the industry. It was still only 2002, and the term “podcast” didn’t even exist yet—and yet it was clear to me and my editor that recording an audio newsletter would benefit us greatly.
At the time, we were getting bogged down with questions via email from our readers, and it was becoming impossible to answer each query individually. We decided that recording a podcast twice a month would allow us to provide valuable mentorship to our students, while simultaneously positioning myself as an expert on affiliate marketing.
Determine your Podcast Audience
Since the creation of Affiliate Buzz we’ve recorded hundreds of podcasts, but it all started with the realization that we needed a new way to communicate with our readers. Before publishing a podcast of your own, the first step that you have to consider is who you are trying to communicate with. Depending on your circumstances, your podcast may be targeting:
- church members
- community residents
There are many reasons why you may want to produce a podcast, including to:
- offer training
- establish expertise on a subject
- share corporate news
- provide entertainment, or to
- preach sermons
But before starting a podcast it’s essential that you know precisely what you’d like to communicate to your listeners. Personally, I was hoping to keep my students up-to-date with the latest changes in the affiliate marketing industry that would affect their diverse businesses.
Setting Goals for your Podcast
Before starting your own podcast, first make it clear to yourself what you are hoping to achieve. When I started the Affiliate Buzz podcast, my primary aim was to better connect with students of my handbook, increase sales and speaking engagements, and to further establish my reputation as an expert in the affiliate marketing industry.
Learning how and creating a podcast can play a crucial role in:
- attracting a larger audience
- developing your personal or business brand, and
- providing you with a competitive edge
All of these benefits can be achieved by publishing a podcast so long as you’re focused on achieving your goals for producing the show.
Establishing a Format
Once you know your audience and have established your goals, the next step in podcasting 101 is to make decisions about podcast length, frequency, and style. Podcasts generally last 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes, with the half-hour format being the most popular. Regarding frequency, podcasts range from daily to monthly—when I first started recording podcasts we created two a week, but as our industry grew that increased to weekly podcasts.
Like length and frequency, the style of your podcast also depends on your industry and your specific goals. You may choose to:
- host your own show
- interview guests
- be interviewed by a third-party host, or
- interview guests with a co-host
The flexibility allows you to take full advantage of the format and establish yourself as an expert in the eyes of your listeners.
Branding your Podcast
Your show’s name should be short, catchy, and descriptive, and it should end with your name. It’s important that readers know what they’re getting, which means making a positive first impression. The first thing that potential listeners will see are your graphics, so it’s prudent to spend some money on a quality 1400×1400 image for iTunes along with smaller sizes. Here are some great examples of podcast graphics:
Another key aspect of branding your podcast is setting your intro/outro.
Scripting your Podcast
Your prerecorded intro typically lasts 15-30 seconds and is played at the beginning of each podcast. It’s led by a professional voice talent which sets the stage for the show, and incorporates licensed music and sound effects.
I have included for you some sample intros we have created for clients you can listen to:
This Week in Real Estate
The School of Internet Marketing
The same idea holds for the outro which plays at the end of the show and wraps up the podcast. You can sample outros here:
The Law Show – Sacramento
Powering Up for NON-TECHIES!
Forever in their Hearts
Healthy Smiles – The Oral Health Show
You should also create a simple fill-in-the blanks template and develop a script for each episode. This allows you to standardize the flow of each show and break each podcast into clear segments. Here’s a sample outline for a podcast:
Episode #9 – Is Gold an Effective Hedge Against Inflation?
Yes, this is your host Erik Reynolds … and I am here with Byron Striloff “Senior Investment Advisor” at CIBC Wood Gundy and today we are talking with Byron about gold and its ability to act as a hedge against inflation.
We will discuss:
– how a hedge works
– how inflation affects investors
– and what assets will offer protection against rising inflation
… now before Byron joins us …just a reminder that if you have questions or require assistance you can reach Byron at (604) 535-3700, that’s (604) 535-3700.
Hi Byron, it’s great to be talking with you today!
Question #1: Our subject today is gold and its ability to act as a hedge against inflation. I know there is a large concern that excessive printing of money by central banks will lead to inflation and gold is considered an inflation hedge. Before we talk about gold, could you explain to our listeners how a hedge works?
Question #2: So, I understand that inflation causes my purchasing power to decline. But how does inflation affect investors who have money invested and are making a return on their capital. Does that offset the effects of inflation?
Question #3: Wow, I couldn’t imagine paying 18.5% on my mortgage. But that does bring us back to our main question, does gold actually act as an inflation hedge. Should retirees, or anyone concerned about losing purchasing power of their income or savings invest in gold to hedge against a loss of purchasing power of their retirement income?
~ commercial break at 9 minutes ~
I can see we are up against a break. We’ll be right back with Byron Striloff, Senior Investment Advisor for CIBC Wood Gundy and when we return we’ll be discussing gold and its ability to act as a hedge against inflation.
~ 2-3 commercials ~
Alright, we’re back with Byron Striloff and we’re discussing what assets will offer protection against rising inflation.
Question #4: So if it is not really an inflation hedge as is commonly thought, what causes the large prices changes in gold and is it perhaps viewed more as a hedge against a financial or economic crisis?
Question #5: So. If gold is not an effective, or at least not a consistent hedge against inflation, what assets will offer protection against rising inflation?
Question #6: That is very interesting. Do you have any last thoughts on gold for our listeners?
I can see we’re out of time.
If you know someone who would benefit from what we have talked about today, please go ahead and share this podcast with them! I’m sure they’ll thank you for it.
You can visit Byron at www.byronstriloff.com, that’s triple w dot byron striloff dot com, and you can always reach Byron by telephone at (604) 535-3700, that’s (604) 535-3700.
Byron, thanks so much!
It’s also helpful to display notes that are available to listeners which detail what is being covered in each episode. You can provide links to items mentioned in the podcast and direct listeners to web pages that will be beneficial for both of your interests.
Acquired Talent: DIY vs. Done for You
If you are the “do-it-yourself” type and are not intimidated with learning how to create a podcast, I recommend you take care of the task items you are comfortable with tackling and outsourcing the rest of the work to talented professionals. You can hire:
- Voice talent to create audio for the intro, outro
- Graphic designer to create your podcast’s graphics
- Host to conduct your interviews
- Producer to edit, produce and upload your podcasts
- Writer to create your show notes
- Virtual assistant to handle a variety of tasks, including publishing, adding to your website, syndicating, and promoting on social media
Done for You Services
For those who are very busy, have the budget, and would prefer to have someone else handle all the heavy lifting, can take advantage of our “Done for You” services.
In order for listeners to access your podcast, it needs to be hosted online. It’s simple to arrange your hosting through a third-party service, such as Libsyn.com which has a $5 podcasting plan + $2 basic statistics package.
When making your podcast, you have several recording options to choose from:
- Skype: Requires a computer with Skype (free), a headset with a microphone ($40), and a Pamela Call Recorder ($24) for interviews
- Conference Calls: You’ll need a high quality telephone line and an account with AccuConference.com (4.9¢ per minutes)
- Handheld Device: For this method of podcast recording, you’ll need the Roland R-05 Portable 24-bit Digital Audio Recorder
- Using a Producer: You’ll need a computer, skype, and a microphone
If you want to give your podcast a professional feel editing the raw audio recording is an important step to ensure a great experience for your listeners. I have a producer that handles my editing, however, on occasion I use a free audio editing software called Audacity to do minor edits such as removing any ums and ahs, and to add the tags and the intro and outro. If you plan on handling the editing yourself, I recommend it.
In order to prepare your podcast for syndication, you should write a detailed description of the show, grab your show graphics, and your RSS feed. It’s now time to submit your podcast to the largest podcast directories, including Spreaker, Blubrry, Podbean, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and especially iTunes for the widest exposure.
At the time of this writing I have just completed recording episode #347 of my podcast. One of the things I am most proud of is our consistency in the publishing of our episodes. It has been very rare over the last 11-years for us to miss an episode. What I have learned over the years is that loyal listeners rely on your episodes to arrive on time. In fact, they expect it.
It’s a good decision to organize a publishing schedule right away for the benefit of your listeners—Google Calendar does the job easily for everyone. Remember consistency and reliability in the delivery on your episodes is a key to building, keeping and retaining listeners.
While the aims and audiences of your podcasts may vary depending on your needs, the steps outlined above remain constant from one podcast to the next. Capitalizing on the benefits of a podcast is all about determining your goals and choosing the optimal strategy for accomplishing those objectives. We offer different options to suit your circumstances ranging from DIY training to “Done for You” services, along with a free report to help you get started. Find out more here how to launch an effective podcast for your organization.“Done for You” Services Let us do all the heavy lifting. “DIY” Training Do it yourself with some know-how.