Today I want to dive into ALL THE THINGS we did to create and launch The Unstoppable Woman Podcast. Use what we learned as a Blueprint if and when you launch your own podcast…
We know that the trends for marketing are moving towards more audio, and there’s so much conversation I want to create to help you get out of your own way so you can experience more freedom… so it was a no-brainer to get on the bandwagon and get our podcast launched this year!
And with more people at home right now, podcasts are a highly consumed form of edu-entertainment, as well as a great way to build your know, like, and trust with your audience.
Today I want to share EVERYTHING we’ve learned about what it takes to create, launch, and produce a podcast. :-)
First, you have to have a plan!
If you’re going for a casual, fly-by-the seat of your pants approach in your business, I suppose you could just get yourself any ol’ microphone and start recording using Quicktime on your computer… but I think it’s essential to have a clear, well-laid plan.
You’ll want to consider things such as:
- Show name: This might take some research to ensure there’s not another podcast using the name you want or that you’re not infringing on any copyrights. The name should align with your brand and clearly communicate what it’s about and who it’s for. Don’t get so clever that people don’t know at first reading what you’re all about. I recommend taking a look at all the podcasts in your industry to see what’s in use, what naming structures you like, and what’s working for other people. Since we’re building a brand around The Unstoppable Woman (and we hold the copyright!), ours was a natural choice.
- Content: What are the topics and talking points that are most important to cover? This comes back to your positioning, offers, marketing, and business. What are your clients’ and customers’ biggest pain points? What are the most commonly asked questions that you get? What are the core pillars of what you teach? Having worked with leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners, authors, and creatives since 2013, I know my audience REALLY well! The team and I sat down early on to map out potential topics, stories, and formats that would best serve our audience, and we regularly check in about what would be most relevant and useful… and we listen to our community! (Got a topic you want me to teach on? Click here to leave us a short audio message and we may do a whole episode on that very topic!)
- Show format: It’s important to know what your format is going to be… just you teaching? Interviews with different guests? Clips or excerpts from speaking events or programs? Behind the scenes? A mix? Once you get going, you may decide to mix things up, but take some time to get clear on your format upfront.We decided to do a mix to keep things interesting… I do solo teaching episodes, some of which Sarah Hockett, my fabulous Marketing Manager, interviews me on afterward for an “unpacking the episode” special where she asks me deeper questions on the topic I covered. We have our Deconstructing the Path to Freedom series where I break down how successful entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and creatives achieve at such high levels. We also take the daily lessons from our Morning Mindset Club and combine them into one weekly episode (soon with bonus content at the end). And we’re about to add Unstoppable Woman Spotlights featuring interviews with some of my clients and other powerhouse women from a variety of industries and professions!
- Show flow: This is similar to figuring out your format… what is the general flow you want each episode to go through? Is there a standard intro with music at the start? Do you highlight a compelling snippet right off the bat to pull people in? Do you want to plug an offer or call to action in the middle? Is the outro music different than the intro? And what, ultimately, do you want people to do after they’ve listened?For our episodes, we take a short and compelling snippet from the podcast and place it before the intro music, right at the beginning. This engages the listener right off the bat so that they’re intrigued!
We also wanted music to set the vibe for the podcast and give it a more profesh feel. After listening to what felt like every song available on Audiojungle and not having anything feel JUST right, we reached out to an artist who had a great song available on the market. The beat was right, the tone was right, but the words felt off. We asked him if he could create something just for us, that would represent our Unstoppable Woman brand. A few days and $199 later we had the perfect music. (Yes, that’s all a custom song cost us from someone in the Ukraine–beautiful small world that it is– and it was SO worth it!) I hope you love it as much as we do!
We also thought through and recorded a clear call to action at the end that leads people to our free stuff page. This allows them to learn more about us, join our community, and get a ton more valuable free content! (You should check it out too. We keep adding more good stuff there.)
- Medium: While marketing trends show us that the move to audio is strong, video is still a HUGE driver when it comes to consuming content! You need to decide what medium you want your podcast to be. It obviously needs audio… ;-) But do you want to film a video while you record and share that on YouTube? Or to have small snippets of you talking for other places like Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram? If so, this gives you more options for repurposing, distributing, and promoting your podcast. That said, we decided not to film video initially because of some technical issues we were having (pro level video is a whole other ball game!) but to create an animated still with the audio so that we could add it to a playlist on YouTube. This is something many podcasters do as well.
- Production plan: This is how you edit and produce your podcast. The quality of your audio is determined by your equipment, which I’ll talk about next. What we do is record our episodes in advance. Once we have the recording, we put it in an Adobe Audition template that we created ahead of time. (You can also do this in Garage Band.) This allows us to save time on editing when we already have our theme music in place, and outros loaded and on the ready. We choose the juiciest snippet we can find and add that to the front end, so listeners get a taste of the awesomeness right away. We have this system dialed in now, with Sarah picking the intro snippet, then sending it to me for approval. My best advice here is find what works for you and create a streamlined process around that so that you’re not re-creating the wheel each and every time.
- Schedule: You need to think about how often you want to release new episodes and be consistent in publishing. Some of the best days during the week are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Whether you’re doing three episodes a week or one a month, decide on the schedule and determine which day of the week you want to release. Consistency is KEY!! We release new episodes on Thursdays, bonus “unpacking the episode” features on Tuesdays, and our weekly Morning Mindset Club episode on Saturdays. Find what works for you.
- Location: Where will your podcast live? A page on your main website? On its own website? We created a branded podcast page on our site, as well as unique post templates for our blog so that you feel like you’re in an exclusive podcast zone! My tip: keep it simple. No need to create a second website if that’s going to keep you from getting started and putting yourself out there. Use what you’ve got, upgrade as you go.
- Marketing: What’s your plan for getting the word out when the podcast launches, but also each time a new episode is released? This requires thinking through your online and offline marketing strategies and seeing where it fits into the flow.We have quite a flow!! For each episode, we include a link to it in our email newsletters, share a teaser audio snippet and quote graphics to our social media channels, upload a video to the YouTube playlist, and share it in our groups. We get it out EVERYWHERE we can. :-)
Second, you need the equipment.
It’s easy to go down a rabbithole of options and possibilities when it comes to equipment, so I’m going to share with you what we use. Just know that there are options for ALL budgets. The most important thing is making sure your microphone is as high-quality as you can afford… sound is everything!!
Here’s what I have for my current setup:
- Microphone: At the recommendation of an expert, we use the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. It’s a fantastic microphone, and I love the quality.
- Microphone stand: This isn’t totally essential, but it does make things easier. :-) I use the Auray BAI-2N Two-Section Broadcast Arm to position the microphone close to my face while allowing myself to be hands-free.
- Headphones: Having headphones is great for doing interviews, because you need to be able to hear what the other person is saying (which most external microphones won’t allow for without headphones plugged in)! They’re also great for being able to hear yourself and your sound quality as you’re recording. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphones, and I love them!
- Recorder: I use the Zoom H6 Recorder with an XLR Cable and 128GB SD Cards to record the audio rather than connecting the microphone to my computer. This allows for a higher level of audio control and sound, but it’s an investment!! Personally, this was so worth it and makes recording for me a breeze!
This is what I look like in action!
Pretty cool, huh?!
Third, you need to launch!!
Your launch can be as big or as small as you want. That said, launching something new and free is a great reason to make a lot of noise! You want to get as many subscribes, downloads, and reviews as possible right out of the gate. If you get enough, you can be featured on Apple’s New and Noteworthy section, which gives you great visibility.
- Branding: Podcast cover art needs to stand out amongst the sea of other options. Choose brighter colors, crisp and straightforward imagery, and bold text. Plus use only essential and necessary text. Make sure the title and your name are visible and legible from a distance. Play with different options and see what resonates with your people… in fact, consider creating a poll! This is an excellent opportunity for engagement with your audience.
- Show description: This is the information that will help viewers decide whether or not they want to check out and subscribe to your content. Make sure it’s clear and compelling and sets you apart from everyone else in your industry. We ran through several variations, lengths, wording, and tones to find what was most captivating!
- Show notes: This is the content you see that goes along with each episode and lets you know what to expect. One of the easiest ways to create show notes is to have the audio transcribed somewhere like rev.com and then edit that into a short episode description and a list of talking points that you cover throughout. Show notes are also an excellent tool for SEO. This is the place to load up on keywords for your business and your episode – as long as you still make it sound natural. This is why we go with an overview first and then a bulleted list of talking points. This allows us to include all the juicy tidbits, that makes us searchable and still have it be easily digestible to the listener that’s about to hit play.
- Pillar episodes: To increase your odds of a successful launch, you’ll want to create a handful of pillar episodes to release all at once. These should be some of your CORE teaching topics and concepts because, in addition to being the base of your launch, they’re generally topics you’ll refer back to over and over. For example… our pillar posts touched on what it means to be an unstoppable woman, Universal Laws of Success, embracing truth, subconscious programming, and the Manifestation Matrix. If you know me, you know I talk about these things A TON, because they’re important. This allows us to start the podcast off strong while also giving us episodes we can refer people back to!
- Ask for support: Make a list of ALL the people you can reach out to and ask them to subscribe, download, and review. I emailed old friends, colleagues, clients, family, connections, acquaintances, and social media connections. Phew! I personalized every message and made it VERY easy for them to do all the things we needed. And guess what… this got us 48 five-star reviews to kick things off!!If you have a moment to leave us your own five-star review, we’ll send you one of our BRAND NEW Unstoppable Woman makeup bags for FREE!! (Isn’t it adorbs?!)
Here are the steps:
2. Click on Listen on Apple Podcasts – in purple rectangle – Listen on Apple Podcasts
3. Write Review. :)
Send us a screenshot of your review with your mailing address!
- Set up syndication: There are a lot of different syndication platforms out there these days to make this process easy. We use Blubrry because of its seamless integration with WordPress. This service allows us to post each episode in one place on our website and have it automatically distributed to all the most popular channels such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more. The setup can be a little tricky, but their customer service is outstanding and that initial setup only has to be done once. For the sake of efficiency, I highly recommend utilizing some sort of syndication service, no matter what that may be. This saves us loads of time!
Lastly, you need to be consistent in creating new content and marketing it!
This is simple: stick to the plan you’ve created!
Course correct when needed… but don’t go to the trouble of launching your podcast only to fizzle out after a handful of episodes. Don’t be inconsistent and expect your audience to be there excited for a random release here or there.
Hold yourself to a higher standard and commit to consistency. This might mean getting ahead of yourself (we try to stay four weeks ahead when we can!!) It also might mean hiring support to help with different aspects of production, marketing, and even content creation.
There’s a lot to it and we’re constantly iterating to improve all aspects of our podcast and marketing. For instance, we’re in the process of developing a way for you to search for particular episodes and content. Stay tuned for that!
Podcasts are a GREAT TOOL for building your audience and getting yourself and your message out into the world. If you’re going to do it, do it well and do it consistently.
Not sure if a podcast is the best way for you to grow your business right now?
Let’s hop on a quick call to talk about the best next steps for you to grow yourself and your income regardless of outside circumstances. :-)
Click here to book a time (spots are limited, but I would love to talk to you!).