If you are recording your own company or brand podcast, here are nineteen tips which will instantly up your game.
The great thing about podcasting is that there are no rules! If you have the content for an hour or two hours, go for it. Equally, if your content fills 15 minutes with a punch, then don’t try to drag it out. Generally, we recommend between 30 and 45 minutes because this ties in with other things people do while listening to podcasts. Perhaps they’re on a work commute, doing household chores, out for a walk etc These activities take between thirty and sixty minutes, so if your podcast fits in with this, it works.
#2 Start Strong
Like a good movie, get to the action as soon as possible. Drop idle ‘how are you’ chatter at the beginning and get straight to business. Create an amazing hook and give people a reason to listen till the end. You want them to press play and put their phone in their pocket as they go on that run or go to the gym or on a commute. That’s what you want to nail.
All the music that you play on your podcast should be royalty-free or custom-made for you by someone you hired. If you are caught using music illegally, all your past shows will have to be pulled from everywhere you’ve ever published. Search Google for ‘royalty-free music’. There is lots of it and it’s not expensive.
A short script for the start and end of your podcast is great because then you begin and end strong. Even if you are not good at reading scripts, it won’t matter. The audience will appreciate your brevity. We call our scripts ‘running orders’. They include contact details of the host, producer and guests, a short intro and outro plus the interview questions.
#5 Be Yourself
Lean into who you are and be yourself. It’s what makes you 100% unique and becomes your unfair advantage. Nobody else is like you. When you try to be like another podcaster, you’re only going to be second at best. When you’re fully you, you will attract the right kind of people into your community and that’s really powerful.
The most important thing when it comes to podcasting is to invest in a great microphone. Everyone goes for ‘condenser’ microphones but they are super-sensitive and pick up every noise in your office or home or the street outside. For a host, we always recommend a ‘dynamic’ microphone. Designed for singers and stage work, they are brilliant at capturing your voice but not the stuff going on behind you. Our suggestions include Samson Q2U or the Shure MV7.
#7 Portable Microphone
As you go about your work day, there are often times that you are having a conversation with someone you might like to have on your podcast. Well, do! Take out your phone, hold it like a microphone and record a quick chat using the phone’s stock Voice Memo app. Don’t worry about duration or quality. On the podcast, you introduce the interview clip by saying ‘I met xxx and we had a brief chat at the office’ It sounds very authentic and makes you sound like you are on it (which you are!)
The same applies if you are at a trade show or hosting a sales evening. These events are stuffed with people who are great guests for your podcast. For those events, take a small easy-to-use microphone. I recommend the Zoom h1, which may be cheap as chips but it’s like, so easy to use and if you like you can plug in lavalier mics for even better recording again!
Zoom, Teams and other remote meeting systems will give you compressed audio. This doesn’t sound great especially as your final podcast mp3 is another level of compression. If you have a guest using a Bluetooth mic, then you have a third level of compression. It’s like having a photocopy of a photocopy. You want the best audio quality possible on both sides. Use a service like Cleanfeed, Squadcast or Riverside to capture the best quality on both sides of the interview.
#9 Guest Interviews
Make your guest feel comfortable as soon as they connect. Relax them by saying you are not recording yet. Explain that the podcast is like having a chat over coffee and the audience is just a fly on the wall. Before you record, chat briefly about their kids/pets. That really calms people.
The best tip for interviewing is one word: listening. Listen to what they are saying and go deeper into what they are saying with follow-up questions. If it goes nowhere, you can edit it out. Often the solid gold of an interview is in those follow-up questions.
Try to get the guest to tell stories. People love stories. One way to do this is to ask your guest to give an example of whatever it is they are talking about.
If you are inviting customers or clients onto your podcast to show how amazing your product is, talk to them about their transformation. What was life like before they used your product? What were the struggles and what are the challenges they had? Then what’s life like after? When people hear that transformation story, they’re going to want to go to who they got that help from. And of course, that’s you and your product.
# 10 Edit
When you edit your podcast, don’t worry about removing too many mistakes. If you make a big mistake or sneeze or something, that’s fine, but removing every breath and every ‘you know’ doesn’t sound like normal human speech.
Batch process your production. When you sit down to record a podcast, try to record two or even three. This way you can get ahead and not fall into the trap of the content hamster wheel. You won’t feel that pressure of the next episode and it makes the podcast experience a lot more fun to plan.
Batch your planning also. Try to do a content calendar for the next six to eight episodes. Working ahead and batch recording actually sparks your creativity even more and bumps up the value in your podcast.
#12 Show Notes
Podcasts are auditory, so mentioning websites, contact details, book titles, movies to watch etc are not the things your listener will write down. Especially if they are walking the dog while listening! Use Show Notes to add these details so the listener can refer later. Then all you need to do is say ‘details in the show notes on your podcast app’ or ‘check the show notes at brand.com/podcast
If you are talking about something visual on your podcast, pop that visual onto the show notes page on your website and make it easy for them to go there. Not only will people go to brand.com/podcast to see that but you can collect an email or offer them something else to get them into your funnel.
#13 Boost Downloads
A jump in your downloads will help you leap up the podcast charts which is great for discovery. If you’re looking for a large number of downloads in a short period of time, publish five episodes in five days in a row just for that short period of time. You’ll get more downloads and more new listeners.
#14 Promote Your Podcast
The best way to get discovered is to be a guest on another podcast. While you are on, a listener’s app is already open so, if they like what you’re saying, it’s easy to find your podcast. Also, you are being endorsed by the host that has spent all this time building trust with that audience.
Start with other podcasts by people who you know first. If you see a podcast you might want to be on but don’t know that person, try to get an introduction and find somebody who knows both of you.
If you’ve had your podcast up for a while, go to your podcast page on Apple Podcasts and scroll down to the bottom. In the ‘related podcast’ section, there are suggestions for other shows that your listeners are actually listening to. That’s a great conversation starter when you reach out to those podcasters and say ‘hey, we have shared audiences. Let’s maybe collaborate’
You are a brand. You are in the business of selling a product or service. Make full use of your podcast by ‘sponsoring’ it with that product or service. A quick commercial, or host-read script, works very well in the middle of the show. It also works well with the audience. Through the simple fact of choosing to listen, they are way more open to what you have to say about your brand and are way way more open to buying what it is you have.
When you talk to people or share your podcast on social, you have to realise that everyone has a different way of listening to pods. You cannot force a person to listen via a specific directory or app that they just don’t use. So here is how to make it as easy as possible;
Firstly, register your podcast with Podfollow. When someone visits that link, your podcast will open directly in Apple Podcasts for iOS users, Google Podcasts or Android folks and desktop visitors to your website. If you like, you can set it to send them to Spotify, our own mobile player or wherever you want!
To get people to that link, set up a URL forwarder on your website so anyone who visits brand.com/listen is brought straight to that link, which opens their podcast app of choice directly on your podcast. Could anything be easier?
Recap podcast episodes are great once or twice a year. We use them for the summer holidays and Christmas! By playing clips from previous shows, you are introducing new listeners to the best shows you’ve had which they can go back and listen to. It also reminds regular listeners of previous shows and the most valuable points and information in them.
#18 Finish Quick
As you’re ending a podcast episode, don’t spend too much time summarising. Get in a quick call-to-action and wrap it up. That leaves the audience wanting more, so they can click ‘follow’ to get all your podcasts or even listen back to some old episodes. It happens.
# 19 BONUS
If you need help or have just a question or two, let us help you out. We believe podcasters are a community and it feels good to help people, which is why it’s a free call with no commitment. Just book a time below which suits you to chat in the next few days.