On the 28th March, we welcomed podcasting expert and host of the #1 North East business podcast, Ian Farrar, to lead our #DUSocial Podcasting Masterclass. There was a lot packed into one morning, and so we thought it would be a good idea to produce a summary of what was covered - great for if you missed the Masterclass or if you attended and are looking for a recap!
The Masterclass was split into 2 main sections: Recording and Distribution.
Ian kicked off the Masterclass by giving us a bit of an insight into the reality of starting a podcast, and the level of work that goes into creating and distributing one.
We are led to believe that it’s ‘easy’ to churn out hundreds of podcasts by the likes of Gary Vee and other high profile ‘influencers’, but what we don’t realise, as Ian explained so well, is that they have…
- Guest bookers
- A marketing team
- A huge, high-spec studio and top quality equipment
What do we have? Probably none of these things. This does not mean in any way that we can’t start a podcast, it just means that it will take a little more graft than expected.
Ian shared quite a shocking statistic – only 1% of all podcasts reach just 20,000 downloads, and 5-8% reach just 5,000 downloads. This just shows how saturated the podcasting market is at the moment, and how difficult it is to get people to notice, and more importantly, listen to you.
Ian’s podcast, Industry Angel, has now topped iTunes New & Noteworthy and has consistently achieved thousands of downloads – and it all started with basic equipment on a kitchen table. This included his laptop, headphones, and a mic, proving that you don’t need a fancy studio to get started. Ian then took us through his process of recording and editing his podcasts. This included using Microsoft’s Audacity software to cut out all the unwanted bits – the ‘Um’s and pauses, for example.
He also spoke about his method of encouraging his guests to talk more – by consistently saying “mhm” and other encouraging words while they speak – a great way of pulling more information out and also making the guest feel more at ease.
Another key piece of information we learned during the Masterclass was the following formula:
Content + Consistency + Community = Engagement
Ian touched on consistency quite a bit, and a couple of attendees had questions around how often they should be publishing a new podcast episode. This was really interesting, as Ian pointed out that weekly podcasts seem to hit the sweet spot, and that sometimes you can actually be too consistent. There are a lot of incredibly famous businesspeople and influencers who publish too many podcasts, and this ‘flooding’ effect only puts people off.
One attendee asked if it was ok to publish just one episode a month to get started, and Ian reassured them that this was fine, as long as they were consistent!
iTunes Currency = Subscribers, Ratings + Reviews
Ian stressed the importance of encouraging ratings and reviews, as this helps your podcast to rank higher, and also creates a sense of community if you reply to your reviewers in your podcasts. He used a quote from Dale Carnegie, author of ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People’ (great book!):
“A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
This is both in reference to mentioning reviewer’s names when thanking them in a podcast and using the guest’s name when asking questions – as again, it reinforces that they are important, making them feel more comfortable.
In the second half of the Masterclass, we then covered distribution – the most important part of gaining traction for your podcast.
Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are great platforms on which to promote your podcast, using images, videos and graphics. You can create great graphics on Canva, which make your podcast more shareable on social media. It’s also important to promote it on a website, where people can access them easily.
Ian pointed us towards a great web app called Headliner, which allows you to create shareable video clips from your podcast, radio show, or audiobook.
Lastly, we covered key metrics to measure after releasing podcast episodes. These are:
It’s important to hit all 3 pillars in order to achieve podcasting success.
Ian’s finishing point was…
“Build a business behind your podcast. You’ve got to make money ‘because’ of your podcast, and not ‘from’ your podcast.”