25th Mar 2019
5 minute read.
They may have been around since the 80s and 90s, but back then our trusty podcasts were known as audio-blogging and had a little bit of a daggy reputation. It wasn’t until 2005 when iTunes began carrying podcasts that the podcast movement began to grow, but it was a slow movement.
So if we fast forward to 2018, there were over 60,000 podcasts on iTunes and every day this number continues to grow. And let’s not forget the download rate, which outnumbers the number of available podcasts by miles. To put into perspective what is achievable with downloads, Mamma Mia, one of our favourite independent media groups recorded 40 million downloads to their podcast in 2018! 40 million.
Naturally, those sorts of stats can make every business wonder “should we start a podcast?“.
I remember being at a networking event last year and one of the icebreakers was “what’s your favourite podcast right now?”. How could I possibly have time to listen to podcasts!? That was basically my answer, and one of the girls at the table said: “trust me, just listen to them on the way to work”.
And so I did. First, I asked a few people for some recommendations, particularly for ones that covered topics like entrepreneurship and digital marketing. And out of the handful of people I asked, at least 3/5 of them recommended the same person. And I was familiar with her. In fact, I knew she talked my language because I was following her on Insta, but it was when I started listening to her podcasts that my admiration grew a little more.
I love how she interviews other industry players, there was no competition with her podcasts guests, even if their services overlapped, they both respected and valued each other insights, her intro tune was catchy and literally put a spring in my step. So when I decided to research podcasts and how to start one, the first person that came to mind was, Stevie from Stevie Says Social.
Without further ado, get your cuppa ready and have a read of an interview with Stevie Dillon, Founder of Stevie Says Social.
In 2018 Stevie launched her podcast, and now 50 episodes later Stevie Say Social is leading the way for how to run a successful podcast. Stevie started her podcast because she wanted to provide an accessible platform for anyone to be able to get tips and tricks for all things social!
So we asked her all the questions you might be wondering if you’re looking to start your own channel.
how to start a podcast
Your podcast is so resourceful and fun, it must take a lot of effort, so let’s start with why you started it?!
It launched in January 2018; just over a year ago! I’d previously spent a LOT of time writing epic, 3,000-word blog posts every week, and I figured podcasting would be a way for me to still give as much value without spending entire weekend writing. It’s hands down the best thing that I have EVER done for my business!
Do you think having a podcast is a good idea for all businesses?
I recommend that ALL businesses have a form of valuable content that they release regularly – whether that be audio (podcasts), written (blog posts) or video. The benefit of doing so?
That you become an attractive business delivering consistent value to your prospective customers. You become known as an expert in your field, and it gives prospective customers the opportunity to get to know you and decide whether you are someone that they would like to work with.
The added benefit of podcasting is that it is such an intimate medium. People feel like they get to know you; you’re literally in their ear whilst they are driving, at the gym and on their morning walks. This is incredibly powerful.
So the short answer is, YES!
For startups, podcasts sound expensive to start. Can you start one with just an iPhone?
Absolutely! If you want to get started as simply as possible, download the Anchor app to your phone, start speaking into it and you are good to go.
Of course, podcasting is getting more and more saturated so if you want to really get noticed and stand out, I recommend doing it properly.
Sound quality is a big must in my opinion, and this often can’t be achieved with simply an iPhone. I think at the minimum, you need to invest in a USB microphone; they aren’t expensive and they are the difference between being professional and not.
If we do venture into podcasts, what should we ask ourselves before we consider starting?
The biggest thing is whether you can commit to consistently producing new episodes. That, and whether you are willing to be in it for the long term.
I have heard a stat that over 90% of podcasts never get past 10 episodes! It’s one thing to launch a podcast, but it’s ongoing work and before you commit you to need to be okay with that and factor it into your schedule.
You also need to realise that often the traction is a slow build; you need to be willing to keep going in the early days even if there are only ten people listening!
If we get back to the basics, how do you start a podcast?
I started mine with a simple USB mic (check out this freebie for all of my equipment https://www.steviesayssocialacademy.com/podcast-course) and Garageband!
I signed up to Libsyn to host my podcasts, installed the Libsyn plugin on WordPress so I could easily publish episodes, bought a catchy theme tune from Premium Beats and off I went!
People get caught up in the tech, but it’s much more important to get started and then spend your time refining things like your interview technique, the way you present and the like.
These are the things that matter that you get better at over time. I listen back on early episodes of my own and cringe – most podcasters do!
For the beginners, how would you explain what an RSS feed is?
An RSS feed is the feed that you send to iTunes and the other podcast channels with all of your episodes.
Does it cost money to upload your podcast on to Apple?
Not at all – it’s free!
I would also recommend uploading to the other major podcast channels, in particular, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. I managed to get featured in the ‘new podcasts’ section of Spotify when I launched and it results in hundreds of new subscriptions!
Your main costs will be your hosting (I use Libsyn at around $15US a month) and editing if you outsource that. I still edit my own podcasts – but that will change soon!
And how do you come up with content ideas?
Usually, from my students.
The questions they ask become content for the podcast. Often, the same questions will arise over and over, and I simply make a list. I have enough content ideas for years of podcasts just from the input and questions I get from them!
Any other big tips or recommendations you have for someone looking to start a podcast?
JUST START! Now is the time.
What are your top 3 favourite podcasts to listen to?
I listen to geeky marketing podcasts! I currently love Perpetual Traffic, The Jack Delosa Podcast and Superfast Business.
Where can we listen to your podcast?
Head to steviesayssocial.com/podcast or simply search ‘Stevie Says Social’ in your favourite podcast app!
And lastly, what’s your business and life motto?
We only live once, so let’s make the most of it!
Thanks so much for sharing Stevie!
If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, the number one thing you need to do is have a content strategy first. All great podcasts (like Stevies) run inline with their social media and marketing channels and take a lot of planning and preparation. So as Stevie said above, make sure you are willing to put in the hard yards before you commit. And if you need help or don’t know where to start on your strategy plan get in touch with us, that’s what we do and we’d love to help!