Ten tips to ensure your podcast preparation is a success

Podcasting is a fantastic way to share your ideas and enthusiasm for your role with a captive audience. No fewer than a million podcasts exist today with over 60 million episodes whizzing their way to your ears.

I’ve been researching them recently as I’ve been asked to produce my own one for the legendary Business Matters. I’m excited because it’s right up my street – interviewing successful business owners on the reasons, inspirations of why they first started and how they’ve managed to navigate through life’s pitfalls and turn chaos into triumph. All in a mere thirty minutes! In true Cherry Martin fashion I’ve spent hours geeking out on the do’s and don’ts, here are the ones that I’m intending on doing …

Invest in a good microphone and don’t forget the pop filter

Don’t buy cheap, you’ll only pay twice – Rode, Sennheiser and SubZero all do excellent home recording packages ranging from £150 upwards. You’ll need to double check that the corresponding app can handle your recording desires and potentially editing skills too. Chances are that they’re more than adequate.

Make sure you place the pop filter between your mouth and the mic to eliminate ‘popping’ noises when you speak into the microphone. If you use plosive words that begin with a ‘p’ for example, the sudden air pressure will cause the microphone to pop. Test out talking into your mic, experts advise to position it slightly to one side  of your mouth and talk through it as opposed to striaght in front of it, but see what works for you. Then when you’ve found the perfect position for speaking maintain it every time. Use nearby objects as a guide.

Silence around you is podcast gold

Choose your smallest available room, keep the windows shut and record in there. You want the sound to be as pure and undisturbed as possible. By a road? Don’t record at rush hour. Trust me, it’s a bad experience all round.

Settings get you on track

Ever been listening to a podcast and the sound levels aren’t consistent throughout? If you’re not going to shell out for someone to correctly edit your audio then you need to ensure the setup within your recording suite/app shows consistent levels. You want to avoid startling your listeners for all the wrong reasons.

Create an intro and outro to your podcast

Feeling editor savvy? Brill – download a copyright free track and edit your heart out. Not sure how to do this? Panic not, there are tonnes of tutorials online, they are a simple Google search away. Failing that, do what the masters of podcasting at Business Matters Magazine have done invest in someone to create one for you.

Research your guest, a lot

Whether you’ve sourced your guest via their PR team or agent, directly from your own contact, the more research you know about them going into the podcast the better. Why’s this essential? Well it can help shape your questions to ensure you’re getting the most information from their time. Researching their history may show life incidents or quirks that make for great stories to be shared during your session with them. Crucially, if the conversation looks as thought it’s in danger of drying up you can quickly insert a little fact about them, boost their confidence and carry on with your set of questions.

Remember the 80:20 interview rule? Perhaps make it 90:10 …

As much as it’s your podcast, if you’re interviewing someone and the listeners are tuning in for it, remember that they don’t want your voice to dominate. Unless the entire podcast is focussed on you and you alone, don’t forget to let your guest have a good say in the entertainment.

Be certain of your niche, message and aim

It’s the same for any brand of content, you need to know what your overall message needs to be. Is it focusing on a particular sector of the business world or is it news and reviews? Remain consistent and people will tune in for your show and look forward to the next one. Are you deepening discussions in your genre, do you want to attract more clients or are you happy where you are and just want to engage with people?

Keywords to be used in your description

Continuing the train of thought on your brand’s podcast, think carefully about your name for it and ensure that the accompanying description contains as many keywords as possible within it.

Where the podcast magic happens

I always say that collaboration is where the magic happens and it’s no different when podcasting. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with ideas and other people. Yes, some people may try and copy you, but they can never be you. Pairing up and doing a joint podcast means double the marketing and double the listeners.

Which leads perfectly onto the next tip … planning

Imagine your podcast is successful, you’ve got more listeners than you ever dreamt of having and suddenly you run out of ideas. Your blood runs cold, people are tweeting that they can’t wait to hear your next podcast, you’re supposed to be recording tomorrow and you don’t know what to do … Content strategy and proper planning will negate this as ever being a problem. If you plan to your episodes at least three months in advance you can always alter and switch them around but it means that you’re giving your brain enough time to have new ideas and source new people to talk to and work with.

  • Source people on social – depending on your genre, choose your platform and get searching by hashtags for beliefs and popular names and accounts. It’s the easiest way to connect directly with people you want to get involved.
  • Ask your audience who they’d like to hear from next – it’s great consumer engagement and you’re going straight to the source of who you want to inspire and impress
  • Ask your guests after each podcast if there is anyone within their network they’d recommend
  • Read more magazines – at Business Matters we profile on average ten incredible business minds every week. That’s a whole lot of inspiration just ready online and in print for you to get stuck into …

Cherry Martin

Cherry Martin

Cherry is Associate Editor of Business Matters with responsibility for planning and writing future features, interviews and more in-depth pieces for what is now the UK’s largest print and online source of current business news.
Cherry Martin

Cherry is Associate Editor of Business Matters with responsibility for planning and writing future features, interviews and more in-depth pieces for what is now the UK’s largest print and online source of current business news.

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