"How to (actually) start a podcast"
This week we’re starting at the beginning and examining two crucial steps that get ignored way too often.
“How do I start a podcast?”
Hands down the most common question that we encounter.
Do you hire a producer? A consultant?
Let’s talk about equipment, should you start researching microphones? Cameras? Does a podcast even need video to be successful?
Let’s not forget the creative angle; title, format, artwork, episode length, guest or no guest, et cetera.
Yes, I’m trying to illustrate how overwhelming it can be. And no, you don’t need to worry about any of the above when you are at the beginning of your podcast journey.
First Step: Establish Your Why
The process begins much smaller, the process begins with you and your ‘why’.
Quite literally, why do you want to make a podcast?
Don’t roll your eyes just yet – most people don’t consider this super simple question and it’s reflected in their finished product.
If we’re going to start properly, we need a clear direction. Let’s take a look at some possible reasons “why”:
You see a need for your content or a gap in the discussion that you can address.
You have expertise that can solve a problem.
You have an idea, process, system, product or service you want to raise awareness about.
You want to build an audience for a personal brand.
Keep in mind that your “why” can always change – the key with this exercise is to identify a basic motivation.
Second Step: Build a Functional Purpose
Now don’t freak out from the header here, I’m not going philosophical on you.
As the creator, it’s necessary for you to identify your purpose. It helps establish your focus as well as a clear direction for your content – this is important later on for building an audience.
Your podcast also needs a purpose, just like you. Developing that purpose involves addressing a few key areas. For ease, we’ve broken it down into three questions:
What does your podcast address?
It’s necessary to have a general orientation for your content. Pro tip: The more specific, the better.
Who is this podcast for?
Construct a listener that your content is made for, what do they look like? Consider demos like age, occupation, income – but don’t be afraid to explore this “ideal” listener’s perspective as well.
What can the audience expect to experience?
Will they be entertained? Informed? Educated?
These questions will guide you through the process of iterating on your concept more comprehensively. Your answers don’t need to be concrete and can change as much or as little as you want them to.
Takeaway: In under 15 minutes, you can establish your topic, how you’ll position yourself and even some features of your audience.
All of this put together constructs your “functional purpose” and marks an important foundational step in creating your podcast.