GRACE LANNI Branding Influencer The Coolest Things About Having a Podcast For me, launching a podcast was a way to crank out content on a regular basis and engage with the new tribe (audience) I was creating around personal branding. I’ve written several blog articles and many presentations over the years with good feedback & engagement, but to crank out weekly or biweekly articles, not for me. Podcasting in an interview format with an interesting person is FUN! I had lots to say, however, I wasn’t yet convinced anyone was interested. I decided to interview smart branding folks and business owners who had a branding experience (good or bad). I joined a platform with ~35 podcasters and invested lots for a year on their platform. What I got was a gal who had years of experience on podcasting and pushed me to launch. VALUE received. Thanks for reading/listening to my podcast journey – hope it inspires you! podcastinsights.com The coolest things from launching my audio podcast include: ➢ Finding my authentic radio voice; ➢ eMails/ calls from people around the world who want to be a guest on my podcast; ➢ eMails/ calls from people who want me on their podcast, stage, online summit, online magazines; ➢ Having people sponsor my podcast for $$; ➢ An international award; ➢ Building my confidence to go video in 2020! Steps to Launch Your Podcast What’s the goal of your podcast? Your brand profile? / your tribe? / your offering? Research the podcasts your tribe is already listening to and determine how you’ll be unique. What’s your favorite format & length? Make a list of topics (hashtag strategy)/guests for your first 10 shows & outline the format of the show. Determine your hosting platform & syndication strategy Write out your intro, breaks, outro – will you have an announcer? What’s your logo, cover photo, description? Determine the hardware you’ll be using. Determine your production platform. Determine your show frequency Record the first 3 shows Produce the first 3 shows Upload the first 3 shows to your hosting platform Market the first 3 shows over time while you schedule shows 4,5,6. Create your marketing process. Measure your success. The Goal of Your Podcast? Your Brand Profile? It’s always a good idea to have a goal for a project prior to jumping in. My goal was outlined in the prior section. Here’s a list of goals for you to consider: This bonus .pdf is included with the Canvas Your Talent© online course. The eight sessions within will support you defining your brand profile & tribes. ➢ Provide interesting content to my audience ➢ Position me as a thought leader ➢ Provide a vehicle to acquire sponsors ➢ Platform to express opinions ➢ Educate ➢ Curate and synthesize ➢ Entertain - humor ➢ _____________________________ Your offering is the knowledge or product your tribe is willing to consume from you. It can be free or for a price. The course is one of my paid offerings. Your podcast is an offering – free content provided to your audience. Write out the description and share it with likely listeners. Take note on their feedback. podcastinsights.com 18MONTHS IN TO A WEEKLY PODCASTAWARD-WINNER! Research Formats Formats include: Take time every day to listen to other podcasts in your subject matter. Also – start asking your tribe which podcasts are their favorites and WHY. Some things to note: ➢ Subjects ➢ Stats (subscribe/download) ➢ Where they promote/market ➢ Format ➢ Length ➢ Air day/time ➢ Frequency ➢ Type of guests ➢ Type of music ➢ Intro/outro ➢ Ads / Offers The fact that you’re the host will be part of your unique offer. What else? ➢ Conversational interview – the host may ask a few questions – and the goal of this interview is to get into a conversation on the topic. More opportunity for dynamic discussions. ➢ Repurposed Content – reworking an existing podcast to a new audience or rework a blog or video to a podcast ➢ Formal interview – think of a TV news show where the host asks a question and the guest gets a chance to respond. ➢ Solo commentary – the podcast host is speaking the entire time on a particular topic. ➢ Panel – 2 or more individuals responding to similar questions. ➢ Nonfiction narrative story-telling – host shares the details of an actual event and often includes their opinion of the impact. ➢ Fictional story-telling – host tells a fictional story to illustrate and interesting point ➢ Hybrid story-telling – a combination of nonfiction & fictional storytelling Topics Hopefully in your research section above, you’ll have identified a long list of topics you did/didn’t like. The next piece to consider relative to topics is keywords – what are the keywords people are typing into search to find the solutions you want to offer? These keywords will be listed at the foot of your podcast in your hosting platform – along with your social posts. I have standard keywords I’m using now. #BrandStory and #ZoneofGenius are fresh hashtags I’ve added because my tribe is clicking on and engaging with these terms. #Personalbranding, #professionalbranding, #brandstrategist, #branding, #gracelanni, #allaboutthatbrand, #careercoach, #sidehustle, #brandstory, #zoneofgenius Guests Ideally, your initial guests are already comfortable speaking on podcasts – either as a guest or host. Feel free to practice with local friendly connections to get your sea legs with being a podcast host. So long as you’re providing valuable content to your tribe, you are on the right track. As you get more comfortable, and your following gets more solid, you’ll start to look for guests that: 1) Have a social following on a relevant platform that will promote their guest spot on your podcast – hoping for you to get new followers. 2) Have interest in being a sponsor on your show or introducing you to other sponsors & guests 3) Have a great freebie you want to provide to your listeners 4) Have a recent accolade you aspire to (i.e. Personal Branding Blog’s top personal branding speaker award. TOPICS / GUESTS TOPICS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 GUESTS Determine Your Hosting Platform Podcasting is a hot topic! New apps are launching all the time. Search for the best hosting platforms and then consider : ➢ Know how many hours/mo you need. Some of the free programs are limited; ➢ Consider signup, free offers, and renewal price points; ➢ Though most of the top platforms have 99.x% uptime guarantees – be aware of the SLA (service level agreements) provided for the hosting service you choose. ➢ Consider the features (syndication, analytics, video, etc) and what you need for your podcast. I originally launched on Blog Talk Radio because the program I purchased included it. Then, BTR merged with Spreaker and I moved all my shows over to Spreaker. <$20/mo, it supports syndication, social, and other features. I’m looking at Captivate for audience growth … we will see. Where Do You Syndicate? Syndication is sharing your podcast from your host out to other channels. It’s a word coined from old school radio & TV – very relevant here. The top directories today which push new shows out to their audience are: ➢ iTunes ➢ Google Play ➢ tunein ➢ STITCHER ➢ Spotify I recommend having 10 podcasts uploaded to your hosting platform prior to syndicating. The images/logo files you created for hosting platform may need to be resized for these other platforms. It’s likely your description will be able to be shared as is. Adding video to the show will mean for us that we’ll post audio on the current podcast channels as before and then on youtube, allaboutthatbrand.tv and .com. Intro, Breaks, Outro, Announcer After listening to several podcasts, I had some understanding of how I wanted my show to go. As a member of a network, I was required to put bumpers on the front and end of the show – along w/ ads. Initially, my shows were 20-30 minutes, and I didn’t break in the middle for an offer/sponsor. Today, the shows average 45 minutes with interesting guests, and the offers and breaks provide cool products for my listeners. Take the time to write out the pieces that will be repeated on each show. You can also use a teleprompter – just search and try what looks interesting. These days, I just use big font in MSWord with double spacing and scroll w/ my mouse wheel to ensure no sound is picked up. Logo, Cover, Description, Music As a branding person, you can imagine that these components weren’t easy for me initially. I’ll tip my hat to my initial producer who helped me create my logo (my face with AllAboutThatBrand) above and the green tomatoes with the one red – illustrating “differentiation” and my love of all things Italian. I recommend getting support for these branding elements – upwork.com, freelance.com, or others you know personally can help. I initially had an announcer and music that was very jazz room chill. Recently, we rev’d it up with an amazing Jamaican announcer (a personal friend) and new funky music sourced on premiumbeat.com Enjoy being creative here! Hardware Production Platform Hardware was a big challenge for me initially – not knowing what to use or not. Production is largely dependent upon the computer platform you’re using. Here’s my entire rig: As a PC user, I was told to use Audacity – which was not intuitive to me. PC (Microsoft Surface – allows me to easily bring my show anywhere there is internet access.) Blue Yeti microphone – USB plugged into surface. Zoom – allows me to record audio only or video & audio. I’ve even used Zoom on my iPhone w/ apple headset to record on the road – not 100%, and, adequate! I was turned on to Hindenburg.com by another podcast host and am SO grateful. For $99 onetime purchase, I and my producer have access to this application. It did take a day to get acclimated to the app and upload my music, intros, bumpers, etc. Now, it takes about 15m longer than the podcast to review/ remove bloopers, etc. This year, I have a team member (found on Upwork.com) that does the production work for me! Show Frequency Show Frequency is one of those things that needs to work for you. I was under contract to deliver weekly. I’m so glad I was – and – it was very difficult to deliver on a regular basis. It was recommended to schedule (4) podcasts the same day so that a month’s worth were done at the same time. Today, I’m hosting every 2 weeks. Once I have a team member who can research and schedule guests, I’ll roll back to weekly. OR – according to several podcast experts, they have multiple shows each week because each podcast is an income stream for them. Up to you - Record & Produce Your First 3 Shows Jump in and schedule your first 3 podcasts. Listen to each following to consider what you do and don’t like about your show. Producing and putting your first shows together can be challenging. After the first few, you’ll find your groove. I wish I had searched for a person to produce shows for me. Expect to pay ~$50/show to produce. Publish Your First 3 Shows on Host As mentioned before, I host on Spreaker. I listen to each show when it returns from production. While I’m listening, I craft: Title Description Hashtags Then, I upload the audio file, and add in the title, description, hashtags and select the day/time the show is to go live. I go live on Friday’s 8a. Market Your First 3 Shows Using Canva.com, I created a social cover photo for posting. It has the title and show details on the cover photo. Next, I upload the photo and 1minute interesting audio clip from the show to waave.co This allows me to create a short video w/ wavy audio graphic for social – a bit more interesting than a static graphic. Using Buffer, I share the waave video on LinkedIn on Tues, Facebook on Wed, IG on Thrs – at times known to be good on each platform. This allows me to see what the show natively produces for listens and downloads over the weekend, and then from each individual channel daily the following week. I also send a broadcast on the show to my email list. Marketing is the most challenging part of the process! I’m on my 3rd marketing person for the show – to date, my repeatable process has produced more than any other marketer. Measure Your Success- Data to Measure Monthly Ok – check back in with your goals for your show on a monthly basis. I allowed the network I launched with to market for me for the first 6 months and had little to no growth in metrics. Opt-Ins – are people listening and then downloading your opt-ins? On month 7, I started the marketing process I mentioned earlier – adding the waave and IG in the last few months. Affiliate Sales – are you selling affiliate products from your show? Sales – are you selling your products from your show? Sponsorship dollars & delivery In month 18, we won our award which only elevates our credibility as a show. Downloads & Listeners – Feedburner & Feedblitz can help track all these metrics where you syndicate. Monitor your ranking and reviews on your director syndicates.