When we started Almost 30 on our closet floors, we didn’t have mentors to model ourselves after or a blueprint to follow. We just did the thing and learned as we went. We made a lot of mistakes along the way and grew through trial and error.
Thankfully, we can spare you some of those painful lessons so you can skip ahead a few steps and get right to becoming a successful podcaster.
We’re sharing five tips we wish we knew at the beginning of Almost 30 that have been complete game changers for us!
Don’t let fear or perfectionism hold you back from starting
We just listened to our first episode for our four-year anniversary and WOW! Listening to it, we laughed, we cried, we cringed! Our graphics were so different and we were talking about all sorts of random stuff, but we had to start somewhere. Remember that starting out is just that — the start. Your podcast will constantly evolve and improve, so it doesn’t have to be PERFECT from the beginning. Of course, don’t launch until you know you have strong, quality content that you’re proud of. But at the same time, trust that over time your show will improve even more. (Ours definitely did!) Don’t let perfectionism or fear hold you back; make that leap!
Establish intention early on
One mistake we made in the beginning was not defining our intention. We learned that it’s not enough to have an idea in our heads — it has to be defined out loud, on paper, in our branding, with our audience, AND with each other! Here are some questions that you should ask yourself when you first get started:
- Why do you want to start a podcast?
- What about podcasting do you enjoy?
- What is your mission for creating your show?
- Who is your ideal audience? What are they interested in?
These will help build your mission and vision. Remember, this information can and will change as your podcast evolves.
Ask your target audience what type of podcast they want to see
There are so many different podcast styles — interview style, solo, narrative/journalistic, news. You can also combine any of these structures or create your own. Regardless, we learned that we HAVE to define our demographic and create content they want to see. If you’re not sure what your audience wants to see, just ask them! We suggest asking them questions like these:
- How long do you like podcasts to be?
- What type of show format do you like best?
- What topics are you most interested in?
Create an Instagram Story and ask followers via a poll or do a survey if you already have an email newsletter or blog.
Engage with your audience
Be consistent with your social media posting. Commit to a schedule that works for you, whether that’s once a day or a few times a week. Don’t overcommit at the beginning. You can always increase your posting schedule once you get into the swing of things. Engagement is key, so make use of Instagram Stories and the swipe-up feature. But the most important piece of advice: make it a conversation with your audience! Answer/engage with EVERY comment and DM. No exceptions!!!
Have a strategy for launch, marketing, and growth
We didn’t have a clear strategy for launch when we first…well, launched. What we learned is that a strategy doesn’t have to be full proof but it definitely should be intentional. A creative idea will reach the right people, but if you add a marketing strategy, it will reach them more quickly. Quick tip: Be clear about your ‘why!’ Answering the questions above will help you with this. Defining your ‘why’ will make marketing WAY easier.
We wish we had this advice when we first launched, so we’re really happy we can pass it along to you! If you’re looking for even more guidance on how to start a podcast, check out the full PodcastPro Program.
If you’re looking to grow your pod’s reach and begin to monetize, check out our new Podcast Accelerator Program, which includes weekly calls, individualized support, mentorship, tools and resources, and access to a dynamic like-minded community. Learn more about the accelerator HERE.