Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

How to Advance a Podcast With The Right Priorities

Listen up! Audio content like podcasts is one of the fastest growing opportunities in the past few years. An NPR study found that some of the top reasons audiences are listening to the spoken word more and more is because it’s flexible: people can listen wherever, whenever, and however they want. Plus, there’s a higher trust associated with audio sources as listeners can identify with certain hosts who often specialize in specific industries/topics.

It’s been over a year since I started my podcasts Curious Monica & Dear Workplace, and it’s been a blast. Not only have I had the opportunity to interview innovators who come from all backgrounds with mind-blowing insights, but I’m also honored to know that it’s helped my listeners evolve in the work they do while untangling some of the latest trends, changes, and challenges in workplaces today.

Plus, I also know that a lot of innovators today are looking to start or advance their podcast as well! And I’m beyond excited for them!

But there are some common misconceptions about starting a podcast. Namely:
  1. Podcasts Are Low-Budget or Free
  2. Podcasts Are Easy. You Just Talk, Right?

I’m not saying there isn’t’ SOME truth in those statements. But podcasts require a lot of work, and you’re going to have a lot of competition.

There’s billions of hours of podcast content out there fighting to get more than 20-100+ downloads per episode. As of October 2020, there were 34 million podcast episodes ready to be consumed, and over 1,500,000 active shows. Most companies won’t even consider sponsoring your episode until you have at least 1k-5k download per episode.

These sure are challenges but nothing an innovator can’t handle! With the proper work and prioritization, a podcast is a wonderful way to learn, connect with your audience, and make some money. 

Of course, your goal – right of the bat – may not be to make money. Podcasts can also be used to drive traffic to your site, make connections in the industry, and present yourself as a thought leader. 

No matter what the goal for your podcast is, here are my key tips for those who are starting their podcast for the first time or wanting to scale their existing podcast with a little more investment.

3 Questions Every Soon-To-Be Podcast Host Should Ask Themselves:
  1. Why do I want to do this show?
  2. Who is this for?
  3. What am I willing to invest for this show?

Chances are, your audience won’t care about your show unless you have a clear understand of why you’re doing your show in the first place.

Alongside our show Dear Workplace, I started my show Curious Monica because in working with clients and communities around the world, my curiosity to study patterns that I found in the workplace grew rapidly. I knew I wanted to delve deeper into different industries and communities that are often misunderstood, and what better platform than podcast?

I also knew who I was making the show for — the innovators who, too, shared my curiosity for other industries and workplace dynamics.

Asking yourself these questions will help you navigate how to compete in this space and find your niche.

And the investment? By that, I want to clarify that I don’t just mean the $$$. While you will certainly aim for the ROI in the long run, but first, you must determine the value. Podcasting requires investment in time, energy, and general bandwidth to make it all worth-while. And fun in the process.

As entrepreneurs and innovators, how and where you spend your attention, budget, and energy will make or break your show development.

For example, do you spend money to fix a graphic or invest in audio quality?

I can’t stress enough that podcasting is a lot of work that requires strategy, budgeting, and analysis. But it’s also a lot of fun when you do it with the right expectations!

Oftentimes, you see a lot of people wanting to start a podcast but never do. Or they’ll continue podcasting without working to improve/upgrade their content at a time where everyone is pivoting and evolving.

You can change that by doing the upfront work of being unique and valuable while managing expectations about the logistics: time and money.

Now let’s talk about mapping out the podcast itself.

Mapping Out Your Podcast in 4 Key Steps:
  1. Map Out Your Podcast Processes
  2. Build A Diverse & Passionate Team
  3. Decide Where to Spend And Prioritize $$$
  4. Decide Where to Spend and Prioritize Energy & Attention to Detail

These 4 areas are key. You’re gonna get sold a lot of services/influencers who will offer to take a lot off your plate but truthfully, it’s your lens that will make your show unique. You need to be able to outsource what’s appropriate, while still investing enough time on your end to have enough creative ownership.

1. Map Out Your Podcast Processes: Your podcast isn’t finished the second you hit “stop recording.” You need to map out the process of what happens from start to finish. For example, once you do the interview what happens to the audio? Who schedules the show for you? How many episodes do you want? Deciding these key steps ahead of time as you map out the process will save you a lot of hassle even when things inevitably change.

2. Build A Diverse & Passionate Team: Our journey building our two shows was so much easier because we prioritized building our diverse, in-house production team. Because I had audio engineers, graphic designers, brand designers, and web developers, we were able to team up and conquer all areas that are key to a podcast hosting and development. My team allowed me to focus on what I should be focusing on – content development. Importantly, I know that I can ask for help, clarify and ideate new ways of doing things with the people I’ve surrounded myself with. They are just as dedicated to bring value as I am.

3. Decide Where to Spend And Prioritize $ I knew that I wanted to prioritize original music and high-quality audio production to channel our creative storytelling. Yet, we did not have expensive microphones. So instead of investing in expensive microphones, we found great audio editors who could upgrade our audio quality, as well as our fantastic visual identity.

4. Decide Where to Spend and Prioritize Energy & Attention to Detail. In terms of time, I prioritize our guest innovators. We spend a lot of time following up with each guest to thank them, so they know how much we appreciate their expertise and time. Doing this properly requires a lot of hours and attention to detail, but as someone who’s been a guest on other podcasts before, I know how important follow ups are. These were my priorities due to my resources, experiences, and podcast type. Yours might be different — take the time to prioritize.

Feeling like you have a little more tool in your mental toolbox to start that podcast? Next, find out what technical tools you need to start a podcast – stay tuned. We will go through all the essential software and technical tools you should consider when improving your podcast quality and audio.

Still struggling with creativity? Feel like you’re stuck in a rut and need a fresh perspective? Check out our variety of services to help catapult your business and team success here.

About the Author

Picture of Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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