Starting a Podcast? Here’s What You Need to Know.
This month we’re shifting away from interiors and I’m showing you how we do things behind the scenes at Lesley Myrick Art + Design. This week? Podcasts! You might know that I host the Bust Out of Boring podcast, and I also co-hosted the Designers Getting Coffee podcast which just wrapped after 50 episodes. If you’re starting a podcast (or want to start a podcast), here’s what you need to know.
About 10 years ago, blogging was starting to become really really big and everyone started a blog. Then five years ago, it was video – everyone started doing Instagram lives and YouTube videos and getting their face on camera. And podcasting is where it’s at in 2020.
Starting a podcast isn’t as hard as you might think, but, there are definitely some things you need to know and consider before jumping in. So, I want to share what I’ve learned in a year and a half and help you get started on the right foot. (And hey – if you prefer watching video over reading lengthy blog posts, you can watch the video version of this post right here.)
#1. Starting a Podcast Takes Commitment and Consistency
Like any content channel, whether it’s your social media or a blog, you’ve gotta commit. You have to show up when you say you’re going to show up and be prepared to invest time to build an audience. You’ve got to be consistent. If you’re going to start it, make a plan for a new episode to launch at the same time each week. Consistency builds trust, and your raving fans will want to know when they can expect to hear more from you!
#2. There’s Free and Easy Software for Podcasting
When I first started, I had NO IDEA how to record a podcast, or make it go to all the podcasting places like iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. But thanks to the advice of podcasting friends, I learned about Zencastr and Anchor. (Both are free, by the way, with paid upgrades.)
Zencastr records your audio online, and makes it really easy for you to interview guests. Anchor is where you’d upload your audio file from Zencastr and it pushes your podcast out into the world. (If you take nothing else from this blog post, remember Zencastr and Anchor! They’re the best for getting started for free.)
When we first started the Designers Getting Coffee podcast, we knew none of this. We were recording on two separate computers and trying to sync up the tracks and figuring out how to upload them – and it was a hot mess.
#3. It’s Worth Investing In (Inexpensive) Recording Equipment when Starting a Podcast
You don’t need a decked-out home recording studio when you’re starting a podcast, but you do need some basic equipment that’s a step up from what comes with your computer. I use a podcasting microphone and a pop filter. (This was another mic I considered, and it’s only $50.)
It’s not a big investment, but it is absolutely worth it to get a better sound quality than just your regular headphones or computer microphones provide.
#4. Small Tweaks to Your Room = Way Better Sound
It doesn’t seem like something as small as closing the door or turning off your air conditioning will matter, but those little things help you produce better sound quality. You can always tell when you’re listening to podcasts when someone is recording on their iPhone walking around versus being a space that is more conducive to a recording session. If you don’t have a dedicated room to record in as I have (which is just a closet with a quilt hung on the wall and a curtain behind me to dampen sound), there are simple things you can do in any space. Close your door, drape some blankets over hard furniture, sit close to your mic. Small things make a big difference when recording audio.
#5. Hire Help to Get Your Podcast Out There
You don’t have to do this all on your own – you can totally hire freelance help to make your podcast happen! Of course, you’ve gotta be the one showing up and talking into the mic, but there are talented people you can hire who can edit your show, who can publish it for you, and who can create show notes. For Designers Getting Coffee, we hired out all of that. We didn’t have the time – or the skills, quite frankly – to edit the episodes the way they needed to be edited and fix the sound. And with our design businesses keeping us busy, we certainly didn’t have time to go back and listen to the hour-long episodes and write show notes! The team we hired to help was worth every penny. If you don’t know where to look for freelance podcasting help, try asking around on social media, or check out a freelancing site like Upwork (I’ve had great luck there!).
Don’t let the overwhelm of starting a podcast keep you from getting your unique message out there. The important thing is you show up at the mic, you share what makes you unique and your point of view, and then you let other people do the technical stuff to help you get that message out into the world and into people’s ears.
If you’re digging these business tips, check out How to Create a Week’s Worth of Content in 10 Minutes, 5 Essential Business Tools I Can’t Live Without, and get it on my FREE #BizTipMonday emails too.