What's the Point?
What’s the point of your podcast? If you don’t have an answer to this simple question, stop whatever you’re doing and don’t record another second of audio until you’ve watched this video.
The first step to launching a successful podcast is knowing the what, how, and why of your podcasts.
Then what is your pitch for your listener? The how is the format you choose, and the why is what sets you apart from everyone else.
What’s up, everyone. It’s Chris from AppSumo. We are all about sharing with you the tools, tips, and strategies for optimizing your performance in business and in life.
Launching a Successful Podcast
In this video, I’m going to dive into how you can launch a successful podcast.
So, the Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan’s of the world make it look easy. But, a podcast is more than just a microphone and four hours of conversation.
If you don’t have a plan, your podcast might turn out like this. “How are you? Great. You I’m okay.”
But don’t worry. After watching this video, you’ll be able to build a great podcast from the ground up in launch it successfully. And at the end, if you stick around, I’ll even share with you my 30-day launch checklist. So, you’ll know the exact steps to take in when to take them to launch a successful podcast.
What's Your What, How, and Why?
Before you invite your first podcast guest, you need to know your what, how, and why.
Tim Ferris literally says this at the beginning of every podcast:
“Welcome to the Tim Ferriss show, where it is usually my job to deconstruct world-class performers, all different types to tease out the routines habits, et cetera, that you can apply to your own life.”
In that one sentence, Tim tells us what his listeners are getting, how they’re going to get it, and why he’s the guy to give it to them.
So let’s quickly break down your what, how, and why.
What is your pitch to every potential listener? What are they getting from listening to your show? Tim Ferris gives his listeners the habits and routines of the best of the best so that they can apply the lessons to their own lives.
How is your podcast format? Where will your listeners get the value from an expert interview like Tim Ferriss’s show?
Or, maybe it’s just a conversation between you and a guest. You could even get creative with a full-on narrative, like the business Wars podcast, which feels like you’re listening to an entire season of a television show.
Whatever it is, choose your format and stick to it.
The last part is the most important and most difficult to figure out why you should your listeners tune into your podcast and not somebody else’s.
Just ask yourself why you listen to the podcasts that you do.
Why Tim Ferris? Why the next big thing? Why masters of scale?
You listen to any one of these podcasts because of their unique selling proposition, which sets them apart from other shows.
Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition
So here’s how you find your unique selling proposition.
Ask yourself these questions.
What makes you different from other people?
Why should people listen to you?
Do you have star power, like a celebrity, a personal brand, or do you have exclusive insight into some field or business?
The rework podcast should answers these questions well.
Their tagline is “the better way to work and run your business in base camp.” The show’s producers are a well-known startup advocating against startup hustle, culture.
Reworks listeners choose to listen because they know base camp in, what they believe.
The what, how, and why are some of the hardest questions to answer.
But if you don’t answer these questions, then you don’t have a show.
Who's Going to Be Listening?
Once you figure out the what, how, and why of your podcast, it’s time to think about who’s going to be listening.
Can you imagine getting an email from your favorite listener? What are they saying? What makes that interaction worthwhile?
It might be tough to imagine the exact answers, but that’s exactly why you need to know your target audience.
Knowing your target audience is the key to your marketing. It’s who you’re speaking to. Every time you record a podcast and who you are imagine is at home, listen to it to figure out your target audience.
Just think about your own listening habits.
Is there a podcast that you listen to every week, regardless of the guests or topics?
What is it about that podcast that draws you in week after week and always manages to deliver value to you?
The truth is that everybody listens to podcasts differently. Some people will listen to only one or two podcasts religiously, or they’ll constantly be flipping through different episodes of dozens of different shows in never finish a full episode of anything.
Your job is to find the listeners who listened to your podcast’s every episode and reach out to you after. It’s how you’re going to keep your show alive and build a natural fan base.
Remember Kevin Kelly’s rule that “you don’t need a huge audience to thrive. You just need 1000 true fans.”
Once you have your target audience, you know exactly who to focus your marketing on, and that’s going to improve your content dramatically.
Anybody can record one good episode of a podcast, but having a good show that constantly delivers good episodes is a whole different thing.
Preparing for the Long Term
If you want to launch a successful show and not just a one-hit-wonder, you need to prepare for the long-term.
I’m going to break this down into three essential parts.
The first is to create a list of guests upfront.
The last thing you want to do is scramble every week to find a new guest, you’ll never get into a show rhythm, and you’ll constantly be panicking about the next episode.
So my advice is to create a robust list of potential guests. You can do that in a Google sheet or database. Write down at least 25 potential guests right off the bat.
When you’re just starting, you’re not going to get Elon Musk or Oprah.
These people can be in a separate column as future guests.
What you want is to be realistic and start with guests in your immediate network or circle, who’d be great to have a conversation with. You can then work your way up to cold outreaches with experts in their fields, who would be great guests.
And after building that solid foundation, eventually, you can go and reach out to somebody big, but maybe wait a couple of years before hitting up Elan.
Having the Right Tech
The second thing you need to be thinking about for the long term has the right tech, get the right equipment, hosting, and software out of the way.
And you’ll avoid all of the headaches. Here’s the beginner remote podcasting setup.
We’d recommend the Samsung QTCU microphone and the recording/editing software Audacity as your digital audio workstation video conferencing software.
Yep. Zoom is the way to go hosting platforms like captivate Buzzsprout.
You can also check out bouncecast, a digital audio app for recording enhancing and mastering audio files on desktop and mobile platforms.
Be sure to check out the AppSumo store for a potential bounce cast deal.
How Do You Launch?
Let’s imagine you’re now getting ready to launch your podcast.
The panic starts to set in; when do I launch it?
How do I launch it? What if everybody hates it?
Relax. I’ve got you.
The last thing you need to do is prep your pre-launch.
Before we get to my launch checklist, you need your first episode, and you need to set up your RSS feed.
Think of your first episode as your trailer episode to voice out the what, how, and why of your podcast.
You’re also going to need the first episode to set up your RSS feed. To get it, sign up for one of the podcast hosting platforms and create your show.
Choose the categories that fit your show, and boom, your show is made.
It should come with an RSS feed like this.
After you publish your show, you need a copy of your RSS feed over to register.
At least the following directories, Apple podcasts, Spotify for podcasters, Google podcast manager, and pod chaser.
Here’s something you might not know.
You need your first episode as a placeholder. Apple podcasts, the largest podcast distribution platform in the world, needs at least one published episode to consider a new RSS feed.
Apple can take up to three weeks to accept your RSS feed.
That’s why most new shows start with a placeholder episode to replace later.
If you didn’t know these pro tips about podcasts, RSS feeds, you’re definitely going to want to subscribe to the AppSumo YouTube channel and hit the notification bell.
We’ve got way more videos to help up your content game. And we release new ones all the time. Having your first episode in RSS feed set up is a must for your pre-launch, but it’s the bare minimum. You can’t just launch with one podcast episode and call it a day if you want your show to stick around for a while.
The 30 Days Launch Checklist
I recommend you stick to my launch checklist 30 days before launch; make sure you publish your first episode and set up your RSS feed.
You’re also going to want to create a landing page for incoming guests so that you can send around the URL to line up your next three to five guests.
After your initial episode, those next guests are going to come from your list of 25, or more potential guests that you made on your landing page.
It’s also essential to have a pre-launch mailing list set up so you can get your first listeners before starting a show. You can use software like sandbox Fox for 14 days before launch so you can have episodes two to four primed and ready to be published.
Remember that reaching out to guests never stops unless you want to stop creating podcasts. So make sure you’re continuously doing this every week.
Now that you’ve made three to four episodes created and ready to go, you should have enough good marketing material to get more guests in.
Fill your email blast with plenty of solid content.
Seven days before launch, have episodes five and six recorded, edited, and ready to be published.
Remember that this is a growing backlog that works as a safety net touch base with your audience. Get them excited about what episodes two to six have to offer, but also make sure that you’re asking about what they want from your show.
And finally, on launch day, publish episodes two to four in one, go blast out an announcement to your email list, and let them know that they can listen right now.
Congratulations. You’ve now officially launched your podcast.
Now that you’ve done this, you want to market consistently every week, once a day on your chosen social media platform should do the trick.
Most importantly, always remember the golden rule of podcasting, never break the chain listeners expect episodes at the schedule that you declare. Don’t break their trust.
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