Should your startup start a podcast? This is the first and most crucial preparation decision you will make. Yes. I think podcasts are one of the most valuable means of content any startup can create, however, they will not be a good fit for many.
I have eight questions to consider before starting a podcast. The first four are listed below and the second four will be in next week's newsletter.
1. Do you (or someone on your team) have the time to manage the on-going pre-production work for each episode (ex. scripting, researching, scheduling)? If not, do you have the resources to outsource it?
Episodes don't magically happen. Each episode requires planning and scripting to be the most effective and clear for the listeners as well as for the people on the podcast.
Depending on the style of episode, each of these steps must occur.
For solo episodes:
What is the main idea?
What is the content being shared?
Is it a word-for-word script or will the host use talking points and then elaborate? In either case, it must be scripted.
Depending on the script, research may need to occur.
What is the call to action?
For co-host episodes
What are the key points being discussed? In what order?
Who will answer and address each point?
What research needs to occur?
What is the call to action?
For interview episodes:
Researching and recruiting potential guests
Scheduling and preparing the guest
Scripting the show order
Confirming guest bio and their call to action
Who in your startup will do this and do they have the time? Don't underestimate the time involved, so if you do not have someone who can manage this, it is best to outsource it.
2. Do you (or someone on your team) have the time and experience to edit and produce the audio or do you have the resources to outsource it?
Once the episode has been recorded, work must be done before the audio podcast can be published. Regardless of the style of episode (solo, co-host, interview), post-production will be necessary. This includes adjusting the conversation balances to make sure volumes are similar, editing the conversation to remove any lengthy pauses or outside noises, and adding intros, outros, or any additional pieces not part of the conversation. There are tools and software which make this easier, yet it is still work which must be accomplished.
Once it is edited, the file must be uploaded to a podcast hosting site for distribution to all of the podcast platforms (i.e. Spotify, Apple, etc). Included with the audio file will be relevant show notes and titles created for this episode.
3. Do you (or someone on your team) have the time and experience to edit and produce the video and other repurposed content to promote your startup? If not, do you have the resources to outsource it?
Record the video with your interview. Let me repeat this: please record the video with your interview. Do this even if with a solo or co-host style of episode.
Video catches the eyes and draws people's attention. It let's potential customers see and hear you. It can be split into smaller videos, shorts (less than 60 seconds), or a full podcast video.
Regardless of whether you have the resources to leverage the video portion of the interview at the moment, it is worth recording the video. You can use it six months or two years from now as easy as you can use it today. Having an archive of the video from your conversations can be valuable.
4. Do you have the authority to pay for it? If not, will the person who controls the sales/marketing budget pay for it?
This is the most critical question of the bunch for us today. It does not cost a lot of money to start a podcast, but it does require an investment to be successful, either in time, money, or both. Understanding this at the beginning will prevent you from getting three episodes into it and bailing. Podcast content is an asset which can be repurposed and leveraged for years to come. It's not like printing 100 fliers, handing out 33 at an event, and then chucking the rest in the bin.
It's not simply the content though. The relationships you develop interviewing guests can expand the reach of your startup. The trust you build with listeners and the potential sales leads grow exponentially over time. The more episodes you create, the more you will see this compound interest factor appear.
This is one of the reasons I pursued podcasting long-term. Several years ago I created a ten-episode podcast season and did not market it once it was finished. Four or five months later, people were still downloading episodes with no marketing or advertising. That's when I realized podcasts are a treasure-trove of content which last for years.
How did you answer the questions? If you have mostly nos and maybes, this gives you four questions to consider. You can make a plan and determine how you can get them to yesses. If you were all or nearly all yesses, a podcast might be worth further investigation.
My goal is not to discourage you, but to prepare you for success. Next week I will share four additional questions to help you in your research.
If you recently subscribed to Podcast Prep, you might check out these previous editions:
If you would like to see other editions of Podcast Prep, you can access them here.
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🧰TOOLS OF THE TRADE🛠
Riverside.fm is my go-to tool for recording audio and video for podcasts. I am a recent convert to Riverside, having used Zoom for three or four years previously. Since I started using it in May, I would be hard pressed to use anything else. I find it easy to use and it produces stellar audio and video quality, along with solid transcript and subtitle files to use. Use this link to check it out and you can try it for free.
Buzzsprout is my favorite podcast hosting site. It is easy to set up initially and easy to update each week. I have used others in the past, and Buzzsprout is by far the best. You can try it for free and if you upgrade to any paid plan with this link, you will receive a $20 Buzzsprout credit.
Till next time!
P.S. If would like to know what done for you podcasting can look like for your business, where we handle everything so you can relax, reply to this email.
P.P.S. And there may be an affiliate link or two lurking in the email above. It doesn't cost you anything to click them.