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Planning Your Podcast - Things to Know Before You Start

Podcasting is a great way for you to reach a whole new audience for your business or ideas. Recent studies show that 50% of all U.S. homes are self-described podcast fans, which means that 65 million people regularly listen to podcasts. Unfortunately, creating a podcast can feel like an intimidating undertaking. One of the main barriers that up-and-comers often run into is, “where do I start?” After all, there are already millions of podcasts out there covering just about every topic under the sun. Instead of feeling daunted by this fact, however, let it encourage you in the knowledge that many people have succeeded in this area and there’s no reason why you can’t.   

In this blog, we’ve created our own guide to answer the question of where to start. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn about finding and discovering your listener, planning out your podcast, and setting expectations. By learning how to storyboard and plan your podcast, you can ensure that you start on the right foot. You can also check out our podcast covering the same topic here: [Insert YouTube Link]. 

Finding Your Listener

When you start planning a podcast, one of the first things you need to establish is who you want your audience to be. This includes understanding who your listener is in complete detail; that way, you know how to better relate and speak to them. Ask yourself the following questions, “What does the listener look like? What problem do they have that needs solving?” When determining your audience and the problem(s) they are facing, an important aspect to consider is that your listener wants to be the hero of their own story. Therefore, these topics should NOT be about yourself and your business. Instead, the topics you discuss should be directed at an “avatar” - a single, imaginary person who has the problems you aim to solve.

For example, if you’re a health and fitness podcast, your goal should be to empower and guide your viewers in a coach-to-client relationship. You should not be talking to your audience as a whole, but rather as if you are talking to a single person. 

Planning Your Podcast

Once you understand who your listener is and the problem(s) they face, you’ll want to plan out how you intend to help guide the hero, the consumer of your podcast, to discover what problem they’re facing and how to solve it. This is part of the ‘niching down’ process that helps you to hone in on what your listener needs. This step should include the listing out of your content pillars; your main topic, followed by 3-5 subcategories that your listener needs in order to solve their problem.

Setting Expectations

One of the most helpful things you can do when starting and planning a podcast is setting realistic expectations. Most likely, you know of at least one or two large podcasts that make money. However, monetary gain is a part of the long-term plan involving an abundance of downloads, hosting advertisements, and sponsorships. Obviously, getting these things takes time and experience that don’t exist right out of the gate. Although it is possible to make money, roughly just 1% of podcasters are actually making a sizable amount of money.

So while it’s certainly possible to make money podcasting, an essential mindset when starting out is to network with the leaders in and around your industry who will often have their own successful podcast(s). This means meeting with and engaging with the industry leaders who have the ability to spread the word about your work, message, and podcast. Ideally, this could even lead to them having you on their podcast, furthering your reach, and potentially helping bring you more clients to your business. 

Another aspect of setting expectations when learning how to storyboard and plan your podcast is understanding that you don’t have to be perfect. Your first episode will not be and does not have to be perfect. No podcast starts out perfectly; even the biggest and most well-known podcasts today started a little rough. It’s a learning experience and, when done right, it should be fun. 

Therefore, our best advice is to enjoy the process of learning to podcast and don’t be so hard on yourself. Expect to make mistakes and to learn from them; after all, as they say, half the fun is the journey.

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