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Podcasting, in 5 Minutes or Less

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 8.42.45 PMWhen @AmyStark wanted me to talk about podcasting in a 5 minute talk at #SMDames17 (that happened today, as a matter of fact), I must admit that even I was a little intimidated to drink from this firehose in 300 seconds. There’s a steep learning curve to podcasting, and I’m still learning myself.

So, I wanted to share a little more about the “Podcasting Hierarchy” I flashed at the audience for 5 minutes today, and share a little more with you, the fab 13, on where you can go to dig a little deeper (or climb a little higher?) into the world of podcasting, if you’re so inclined.

I laid this out via Maslow. Let’s begin with the basics at the bottom. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, take out your smartphone, head to iTunes or wherever you buy apps and look for Stitcher. Download it. Then start picking out podcasts you like. If you don’t have a smartphone, use a desktop player, like ShortOrange.  Right now, I’m personally listening to a lot of EOFire, BizChix Podcast, The Ask GaryVee Show, Tim Ferriss, James Altucher, and of course, the Pharmacy Podcast. Find stuff you’re interested in and step into the world of podcasting by listening.

Maybe you listen – and you have your favorites. Great! The next step is…if you’re building a business or brand, to ask yourself: does your ideal customer or Avatar listen to podcasts? Do your competitors have podcasts? An episode I like of EOFire has a link on defining your ideal customer or Avatar. Personally, I’ve noticed that while my target market for many of my books tend to be women, more men than women listen to podcasts. I don’t really know why that is, either, but realize your ideal customer, then ask if they listen to podcasts, OR could YOU be the FIRST podcast in your space?

Next up – try pitching to be a guest on your favorite podcast that fits your brand. I’ve personally not been good about this – I’m a little more focused on getting great guests on my segment of the Pharmacy Podcast. But, if you’re a rabid fan of a podcast in particular and it fits you and your jam, then why not pitch to them? You can try on the podcasting concept on someone else’s show, before you get heavily invested.  Another way to test the waters low stakes is try the free app Anchor.  You can record little audio snippets and updates with this app, then post it online at your other social media portals. It is, methinks, ephemeral now – I think the anchor clips (or waves as they call them) go away after 24 hours.

Let’s say you’re hooked. Great! Next up, you’re going to need to learn the mechanicals of a podcast, and frankly – this is the steepest part of the learning curve. It’s also where you need to spend the most time getting educated and understanding your why – why do you really want to start a podcast? What’s the goal or outcome? It’s where I’m still learning – and that’s also the technical aspects of recording, editing and hosting a podcast. One of my favorite places to learn is She Podcasts, a closed Facebook group of women podcasters. I’m lucky, in that on the Pharmacy Podcast, I don’t do my editing – we have a founder/wizard in Todd Eury who does that. All I use is a magical microphone, my MacBook Pro, Skype and a call recording software for my computer. You could use Garage Band, or maybe even quicktime.

See, I’m still learning here.

If you have multiple parties speaking live in the same place and not using Skype, you should also have a mixer. Then you need to use Audition or Garage Band to edit the podcast, add the jingle/intro, and any audio jingle outtros. Also, it’s nice to get the “uhms” cleaned up throughout the recording. This is where I’m still lost – and I’m still trying to learn more about the editing process.

Last but not least, at the top of the podcasting hierarchy (at least technically speaking) is getting a host for your podcast. I don’t mean emcee here either. I mean, you can’t just throw your podcast onto your WordPress site – it needs to be hosted by a site built for the bigger bandwidth necessary to stream and listen to podcasts. We use Libsyn at the Pharmacy Podcast, but you’ll see in my slide above that there are several choices for podcasting hosts. I’m not even going to go there when it comes to getting registered and the podcast on iTunes…that alone could take hours. Even simple stuff, like the right podcast art thumbnail for iTunes is a science in and of itself.

The peak or summit of this hierarchy is honestly creating a sustainable podcast. There are costs associated with equipment, jingles, hosting and the most precious resource of all – your time. It takes a long, long time to make a podcast profitable with advertising revenue and/or helping you drive your business.  Massive time vacuum.

So, this post was a little longer than 5 minutes for me to write. But I wanted to leave a digital leave behind for more on this podcasting magic, because it really has been magic for me. I’m grateful to the Pharmacy Podcast for the opportunity to co-host, and glad to help the women in our audience today at #SMDames17 think about another channel for themselves and their businesses to consider….

 

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