So you’re a podcaster, or you’re thinking about starting a podcast. With current tools and technologies, starting a podcast is relatively easy. There are very few barriers to access (which is part of the reason why there are so many podcasts available).
But just because you can start a podcast doesn’t mean you should. And just because you do start a podcast doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful.
Here are three things that every podcaster needs to know in order to be successful.
1. Know your audience
In your interpersonal conversations, who you are talking to impacts what you say, when you say it, and how you say it. When you’re sitting across the table from someone, you choose your communication method in order to communicate in a way that the other person understands and wants to engage with.
The same is true across any medium, and the same should be true for your podcast. You have to know who you’re broadcasting to so that you can create compelling content that commands their attention and meets their needs.
Who are you trying to reach? Do your research and find out how you can meet their needs.
2. Do your prep
Just like you should know your audience, you should also know the podcast guest who you’re interviewing—more than their title or credentials or the bio paragraph they sent you. Know who you’re talking to before you begin the interview.
“That stands out right away,” Jason Romano, the director of media at Sports Spectrum, said. “When you’re talking to someone and you haven’t done the prep, you’re going to ask very generic questions, and they’re going to know that you have no clue who they are.”
Not only does your guest notice this, but your podcast listeners also notice it. And it’s not a very compelling interview.
When you’re doing your prep, Romano says to look for one or two little nuggets on that person that are personal and about them. In the interview, ask them a question about that little nugget you found. More often than not, when guests hear these kinds of questions, they’ll light up and want to go deeper. Not only will it make the interview more fun in the moment, it will also be more engage for your listeners later.
3. Do it well
There are a lot of podcasts out there. If you want your podcast to stand out, you have to do it well. Maybe you’re just getting started with your podcast, and you’re not sure what it takes to produce an excellent podcast. Talk to someone else who has been podcasting for a while. Learn the tips and tricks of producing a high-quality podcast.
You can also use online resources to help you improve the quality of your podcast. There are articles and videos available online that will go a long way in equipping you learn the ins and outs of podcasting.
You may be tempted to just turn on Zoom and start talking through your laptop microphone and then release the recording for listeners. But if you want to create a successful podcast, put in the prep and use tools and resources that allow you to create an excellent podcast.
“People are going to care about what you’re talking about and the broadcast work that you’re doing if they know that it’s good quality,” Romano said. “So be excellent at what you do.”