By Michele Lamoureux, Host of The Good Life Coach podcast, inspiring women to live the life they were born to live.
How do I start my own podcast? As a podcast host who helps women create lives they love, I get asked that question a lot! Here is my simple 5 step guide to bring you from brainstorming to launching – including where to begin, what equipment you need, and how to reach listeners.
I know first-hand that it can be overwhelming to start something new, but I assure you that your voice is necessary and powerful. The world needs your unique gifts, and I’m so excited for you to start your podcasting journey.
Before you jump into a Google rabbit hole about how to start a podcast, the most critical question you need to ask yourself is: “Why do I want to launch a podcast?”
Perhaps you believe it is a way to attract more business or expand your network? Maybe you have a message to share and think you’d enjoy doing it through an auditory platform like podcasting? Perhaps you listen to a lot of shows and think to yourself, “I can do this too!” All of these are valid reasons, but I believe to be truly successful with your podcast and have a positive experience your mindset must prioritize being of service.
People often underestimate how much time and effort it takes to create a quality show. Did you know that most new shows don’t get past episode #10 and even more stop by episode #20?
You’ll be on the right track if you get connected to your why and make sure serving others is part of the equation.
If you start by thinking of what you can do for your listeners, you’ll also open yourself up to all the potential benefits – including expanding your network, generating business, establishing your thought leadership, setting yourself apart, creating regular and useful content, and much more.
Now that you know why you want to launch your show, you need to choose the format. To help you gain clarity, answer these key questions:
• Who is your audience? This answer should be aligned with who you want to serve. The more niche you can make the podcast, the easier it will be for people to find and engage with your show. From fitness or true crime, to shows that educate or inspire, the options are truly endless.
• What style show do you want? Do you want to do an interview-style podcast, create solo episodes where you share your expertise, have a co-host, or perhaps a combination of these choices? Once you understand the goal of your show and who you want to reach, it will be easier for you to decide on a format that works best for you. For example, I chose to interview leading experts, entrepreneurs, best-selling authors – people with unique stories and wisdom to share with my all-female audience. The Good Life Coach podcast is intended to remind women of their power and show them what is possible with the courage to take action towards their dreams. In addition to interviews, I decided to also share my expertise as a mindset coach for over 16 years through additional solo shows. I enjoy the variety and the ability to connect one on one with my audience while also sharing the wisdom of my accomplished guests.
• How long will your show be? The answer will depend on your audience and what you are trying to convey. My interview episodes range between 30-60 minutes, and my solo shows tend to be about 15 minutes long.
• How often will episodes come out? Daily, weekly, two times a week? Whatever you decide, just make sure to be consistent. If people like your content, they’ll want to know when to expect the next show.
• What should you name your show? Hint – make sure it is something people can easily remember… and make sure to reserve the podcast name so that you own it.
Let’s talk equipment. There’s a lot out there, and I’m here to simplify things for you so you don’t have to dig through hundreds of Amazon reviews to find quality devices. Hint: The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money.
I use the Audio Technica ATR-2100 microphone. Priced at just under $100, it’s a great deal, and the audio is top-notch. This microphone type doesn’t pick up on background noise but requires you to speak pretty close to the microphone.
Other people prefer using the Blue Yeti microphone. This microphone will pick up on noise in the room, but you don’t need to be close to the microphone to speak. To find the best fit for you, it’s key to play around and test the audio to see what works for you and your space.
Headphones are always recommended so that you can manage the sound quality. I use a pair of Bose headphones, but any earbuds will do.
Other than that, you’ll need your computer and a way to capture the audio. You can use GarageBand for solo episodes if you own a Mac computer. Otherwise, people edit with Audacity, which is a free download for any computer.
If you have a co-host or are interviewing other people, you will also need to use a service like Zoom or Skype to record the audio. I use both services, but if you do go with Skype, you’ll need to purchase “Ecamm Recorder” from Skype. It is a one-time purchase under $100, and it allows you to separate the audio tracks which is helpful during editing (and comes in handy if your children or dogs pipe up in the background on your end).
Make sure that you record in a space with a rug and other items to absorb the sound. I record out of a small closet in my office. Luckily your audience doesn’t see you, so no need to have a swanky space.
Now that you know why you want to podcast, who your ideal audience is, what kind of format you will have, and what tech you will use, the next step is to reach out to guests or begin recording your solo or co-hosted shows.
I recommend having 8-10 interviews completed before you launch your show on the podcast platforms. Have fun with this part! Remember, it takes time to “find” your voice, so don’t be overly critical of yourself. If you encounter challenges, remind yourself why you began and know you will improve as you do more and more shows. You should also record a first show called episode 000 where you spend 1-5 minutes introducing the show’s intention, explaining who it is for and what the audience can expect (imagine if your podcast had a movie trailer – what would you include?).
I take time to edit each show, but some people hit record, stop, and upload it. I prefer spending the extra time getting it to be the most enjoyable experience for my audience both in terms of content and sound quality.
Once you have 8-10 shows completed, you’re ready to launch! This is where you submit to Apple podcasts and the other podcast players like Spotify and Stitcher. There are plenty of free YouTube videos that can walk you through the process. I choose to outsource this part every week as that works best with my schedule.
You may think that the launch is the simplest part after all of the hard work. However, I have spoken to many people who never launch their show. They try to wait for the “perfect” time or are worried about getting it out in the world.
The best advice I can give you is to go for it. Post three episodes and then get on your regular schedule, whatever you decided that would be in step two. You want to post three shows, so that if someone enjoys it, they can take in more content and look forward to subscribing or coming back for more. If you post just one show, they might not know your style or expect that you will have more for them.
You can create a simple website dedicated to your podcast in order to share your shows, social links, other blogs posts, etc. and to build your audience.