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30 Ways to Launch a Podcast

Guides to Successful Podcasting
Brett Friedman

Recently we asked dozens of marketers for their secret sauce. We learned that podcasting is one of the rare, low risk, high return marketing strategies. After getting on a couple (Startups' Roundtable and Growth Lessons) ourselves, we wanted to find out how to make our own. So we asked ~30 podcasters how they did it.

Sam LaLiberte, Freedom Lifestyle, Launch a Podcast on a Budget

'I started my first podcast to learn from others how to live as a digital nomad. I interviewed people who worked remotely to figure out how to do it myself, simultaneously becoming a thought expert on the subject. It also allowed me to reach out to successful people who I wouldn't normally reach out to. The networking potential of podcasting is incredible and it's led to multiple brand sponsorships. Not to mention, it gets you much closer to your audience than other forms of marketing because they get a sense of your true personality.

That being said, there are no rules in podcasting. Generally speaking, solo recordings are easier than interviews because there's only one audio file to edit and you have more control over your content. Audio quality is especially important because lower quality can be distracting. Plus, with interviewees, you might have someone who talks too long or whose just plain boring.

Either way, podcasting is an effective, inexpensive way to become financially free.'

Joshua Rhodes, Rhodes to Wealth

'I was the first Rhodes to graduate from college, and went to school to be a football coach. A few months before I graduated, my college advisor sat me down and recommended that I use the resume I built while in school, to ‘make some money first’. I agreed, and now sell an enterprise grade cyber security solution. With cyber security growing in demand, and the work ethic of a collegiate athlete, I started building a respectable amount of disposable income. After quickly exhausting my father’s financial advice, which ended around ‘save more than you earn,’ I needed to learn more about building wealth… So, I began interviewing wealth building experts.

I made a hit-list of the 50 people I want to talk to most and used my sales experience to reach out to them through LinkedIn and their websites. Thanks to the fact that I did my research before reaching out, reading books and consuming any media made by those experts, I was able to get a surprisingly high response rate including from personal favorites like Dorie Clark! She says herself that most podcasts die before 16 episodes, so I decided to record 25 episodes before I released the first one. Following up every interview by asking for a referral to a new guest within their network, I’m booked for months in advance with high quality wealth-builders.

Growing the podcast has been another great learning experience. Pre-launch, I built up social media with quotes and graphics. Post-launch, I’ll repurpose different portions of the video, audio, and quotes to build social content. I’m now learning copywriting to start blogging. Thanks to my interview with the Pitch Whisperer (John Livesay), I freed up my time for growth by outsourcing editing and some social content.

Overall, in my experience, I see two types of podcast approaches that succeed: the student perspective and the expert perspective. I take the student’s perspective: I had no idea how to build wealth, but I have the prerequisite: good income. Now – I’m in search of the best ways to build wealth, and I take each interview as an opportunity to do a deep dive in the guest’s industry by doing tons of research and asking lots of good questions.'

Yuri Cataldo, Advance Your Art

"In 2016 I started the podcast, Advance Your Art, but didn't actually launch it until a year later in the summer of 2017. To be honest I had everything in place but I was terrified of the extra work I created for myself. In 2017 I also created the podcast The Coin Chat with a co-host - from that, we wrote a book that just came out.

Tips:
-Don't think about it too much and try to create the perfect podcast, just do it. Find a format that you can do for the first month and use it as a test. Once you build your momentum you can also change it but if you take on too much too soon you'll burn out. It took me a year to build up the courage to actually launch the podcast. Now that I've done over 250 interviews between the 2 I am starting to figure out what I want to do.

I also created a system to make things easy. Here is what I use:

Hosting:
Captivate
https://www.captivate.fm/signup?ref=yuricataldo

This site is supercharged and tracks lots of data. It is a bit more than a libsyn.

https://libsyn.com/

I use libsyn for my coin chat podcast. It's real cheap ($10.00 per month) but it also is really basic.

Editing:
I use Adobe Audition because I already had an Adobe account. It's easy to set up editing after watching a how to a youtube video.

Other people also use Audacity or Garage band - I don't have experience
with these.

Recording:
I use a yeti microphone that plugs into my computer through a USB cable.
https://amzn.to/39HBs7D

I record my calls through zoom now which makes it easy to drop and drag the audio files into Audition and edit them as needed. I have my intro and outro prerecorded.

I ask guests to book a time using this link and have them send me their headshot and bio before our interview:
https://calendly.com/yuricataldo/47min

Once the episode is edited I load it up on to my website and schedule it for publishing.

Overall each episode takes about an hour to record and an hour to edit/publish."

Naresh Vissa, Krish Media & Marketing

"I'm the co-host of a new podcast called The Work from Home Show: The show is already syndicated on all podcast platforms, including iTunes/Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, etc., and the growth has been explosive - already more than 600 listeners since we launched last Monday.

My co-host Adam and I started working on the show late last week after tens of millions of Americans were suddenly told they had to start working from home starting this week.

Podcasting is not a complicated process. Much of the software and equipment is free and readily available for your use.

Microphone

You’ll need a good microphone so you’ll sound excellent on-air! A clear-sounding program will come across much better than something that’s hard to hear.

I highly recommend the following:

Mac users – Blue Microphone's Snowball USB… this microphone has some of the best sound quality on the market. Cost: about $55.

Windows users – Audio Technica… there are various versions of this mic. Generally, the more expensive, the better the quality. Cost: You can get a very high quality Audio Technica mic for less than $40.

USE A FOAM WINDSCREEN to capture and filter sound. Windscreens reduce the occurrence of wind, breath sounds and popping noises. They keep mics clean and extend their lifetimes. Most windscreens fit standard microphones, including the two I mentioned previously. Cost: $5

To buy equipment, USE AMAZON. Amazon is the one of the best online marketplaces on the Internet. The prices of products these days are INCREDIBLE… thanks to Amazon!

NOTE: DO NOT USE THE BUILT-IN MICROPHONE IN YOUR COMPUTER. Built-in mics are okay for casual use, but for professional quality, you’ll want to invest in one of the microphones I mentioned.

Bumper Music

Bumper music is the music that plays at the intro and outro of the show. You want to play music that suits the personality of you and your show.

For example, if your show is about hustling to make money and live life, you might want to consider a hip-hop theme. If your show is about spiritualism or God, then you’ll want something soft and light-hearted.

Unless you have your own ORIGINAL music, you’ll have to use royalty-free music for your shows. My favorite royalty-free provider is Audio
Jungle
. They have hundreds of thousands of music selections in various genres.

Cost: You can buy a yearly license for as low as $1. For the podcasts I’ve produced, I’ve paid about $10 a year per song.

Voiceovers

Voiceovers are those cool voices you hear with the bumper music. Usually, voiceovers are done by a male with a deep voice. It adds coolness and professionalism to your show. You can hire a true professional to record ten seconds of audio, but he/she will charge you close to $100.

The better alternative: outsource your voiceovers. Go to Fiverr and search for the highest rated voiceover artists. You can send them your script, and they’ll deliver audio files of your voiceovers back to you within a few days. Cost: $10-$15 for both intros and outros.

Conducting Interviews

Surprisingly, Skype and Google Voice are the easiest high-quality programs you can utilize to do interviews. The connections are generally strong from anywhere in the world, and the audio quality is much better than landline phones.

Cell phones are an absolute no-no. The quality can be so poor that listeners will need to turn up their volumes and pay too much attention just to hear the interview. That’s not what you want.

You can use both Google and Skype and make and receive outbound calls as well. They both offer pricing plans.

Price: If you’ll be interviewing experts from around the world, then you’ll want to purchase the Skype Unlimited World plan (Google calls it something different), which costs $13.99/month… or you can just pay-as-you-go if you don’t think you’ll be making much calls outside of a weekly interview or two.

Recording

Some paid programs out there are worth purchasing to record your audio. Their quality is excellent!

WINDOWS USERS:

MP3 Skype Recorder (free): www.voipcallrecording.com
Pamela (paid subscription): www.pamela.biz
Evaer (paid subscription): www.evaer.com

MAC USERS:

VodBurner (free): www.vodburner.com
ecamm (the best program for Mac): www.ecamm.com

These are all great programs (even the free ones).

Editing

Once you have all your software and equipment, editing becomes easy.

MAC USERS: GarageBand is already provided. You can use this to record (more complex to record, so use a recording recommendation I mentioned above) or edit audio.

WINDOWS USERS: Download the free program Audacity to edit music free.

Learning these programs is quite simple… just open the program and play around with it. Record yourself talking and edit some samples yourself.

Hosting

Just as every website domain needs to be hosted in order to go live to the world, so too do podcasts. This is because podcasters in 2005 found that exposure to iTunes' huge number of downloaders in its Podcasts section threatened to make great demands on their bandwidth and related expenses. That’s why podcasting entrepreneurs created content delivery systems, or hosting providers.

The hosting provider creates an RSS (stands for “really simple syndication” for non-techies) for your show, which you can then publicize to your listeners to subscribe to. You can also submit the RSS feed link to distributors like iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spreaker and SoundCloud (more on the importance of these later in the book). People who subscribe to your RSS feed will get automatic updates on new episodes that are released.

The best hosting providers I highly recommend are Liberated Syndication (Libsyn) and SoundCloud.

Assuming you want to treat your podcasting like a business, then you’ll want to carefully track your stats. With Libsyn, you get detailed stats of how many downloads and listens your show is getting. With Libsyn’s Advanced Stats, you also get geographic information and user agent info on where downloads come from.

That’s big.

Most podcasters have no idea where their podcasts will take them. By capturing geographic data (and other qualitative and quantitative metrics), you can better tailor your shows and target your audience for special offers and promotions.

Furthermore, with Libsyn, you can set up your podcast to publish directly to WordPress or Blogger. This makes life incredibly easy once you launch your podcast’s website (I recommend you use WordPress).

Other benefits of using Libsyn:

You can time when episodes go live and even when they do dead. This is convenient when you have travel coming up (or a long holiday) and need to record a bunch of episodes ahead of time.

You can set up the system to send messages out to your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts when a new episode is live. You can automate this through your account by creating a standard template like, “My latest podcast episode is out! Listen here: (and then the URL will automatically populate).”

You can get a custom smartphone app for your show. This means the show can be found not just in the podcasting directories – where only about 60 million people a month download podcasts – but also in the app directories where over 1.2 billion people a month download apps.

I’ve been using Libsyn since I started podcasting, and its data and features have helped me understand the art of podcasting.

Again, you don’t have to use Libsyn. The latest up-and-coming hosting service is called SoundCloud, which provides a superior embeddable player and other tidbits.

Whether you go with Libsyn or SoundCloud, you’ll be happy with either service. Libsyn has been around longer, so it’s what I’ve been using to host podcasts, but I’ve heard great things about SoundCloud as well..

SIDE NOTE: Google’s FeedBurner does not host media files, but it’s great for archiving episodes on the Internet. FeedBurner can be used to *manage* your RSS feed, which has to be created at a service like Libsyn or SoundCloud.

Transcriptions

Transcriptions are print versions of your audio episodes. Some people don’t like listening to things. They prefer to read instead. Transcriptions can come in handy for them.

Transcriptions are also GREAT for content generation. You can pick specific segments from your podcasts and post their transcriptions on your website’s blog. You can also turn good portions of a podcast into a blog post.

Let’s say, for example, you host a podcast dedicated to the movie and book *Fight Club*. Your podcast allows you to reach millions of *Fight Club *fans around the world, including actors Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Pitt’s publicist reaches out to you and asks if he can be interviewed on your show. Your dream has come true! So you interview Pitt.

Now, you want the world to know how cool you are. Your podcast will broadcast to iTunes. But having a print version of the interview – or summarizing the interview into a column or post – brings fantastic SEO value and has the potential of going viral all over the Internet because it’s easier to share.

That’s what transcripts do… they improve SEO and improve the chances of you and your show spreading.

You can hire transcribers in the U.S. for $50 per 30 minutes of audio. You can hire transcribers overseas for much less than that… as low as $10 per 30 minutes of audio.

I recommend you visit Elance and look at their transcription section to find transcribers overseas who will suit your needs and budget. Cost: $20-$100 per 30 minutes of audio.

Summary

In conclusion, the total start-up cost for a podcast comes out to less than $2,000 for the first year, assuming you get every weekly episode transcribed. Without transcriptions, your start-up cost reduces to less than $300. That’s close to nothing!"

Alan Donegan, The Rebel Entrepreneur

"Alan has wanted to host a podcast for a long time and has decided to do it now, during lockdown. The podcast is all about starting a business for free, and Alan says there's never been a better time to start a business.

To build interest around his podcast and help him create content, Donegan is challenging listeners to leave him a voicemail message about any startup idea, and he will come up with a way to start that business for free. He says lockdown is the best time to start a business."

Justin A. Hill, JAH Law

"I have started two podcasts. One is for my law firm and about my law firm. One is about our community in San Antonio. I started them together. There was a steep learning curve but I used a few resources. First, I listened to a lot of podcasts about starting a podcast. Second, I reached out to some people that have podcasts and asked them many questions. Finally, I got with an audio-video person to make sure I had good quality equipment. I created a master checklist that has been invaluable to keeping everything together."

Elaine Slatter, Fabulous Fempreneurship

"First steps to starting a podcast are

1) Define your audience, who is this podcast going to help?

2) Decide on the topics and format of the podcast (ie. interview style, monologue etc)

3) What platform are you going to use to host it?

4) What platform is best for the recording

5) Are you going to extend the distribution of the podcast by using in blog posts on your website?

My podcast is geared to helping women entrepreneurs. I already had a facebook group with an audience of 800 therefore it was easy to start up podcasts because I already had a ready-made audience. At first I chose Sound Cloud as the platform for the podcasts but later switched to Libsyn because it had better distribution coverage.

I use the interview style so that the guest is the feature of the podcast. Potential guests are given a short questionnaire to fill out so that I can capture all their information at one time.

If you are using the interview style, it's important on the day of the podcast to make your guest feel comfortable and relaxed before pressing record so that the guest performs well.

Find a good editor to edit out any mistakes and add intros and outros."

Michael O'Brien, The Kintsugi Podcast: Conversations about Resilience

"I felt compelled to start my podcast last month because today’s COVID emotions are similar to what I felt during my Last Bad Day recovery (i.e, near death cycling accident)

It’s called The Kintsugi Podcast: Conversations about Resilience. It’s in the spirit of kintsugi art - we might break but we can be put back together with more beauty because our scars represent our courage, strength and resilience.

Given everything today, I started with perfectly imperfect attitude and repurposed content from my weekly blog. I just did my first interview with Peloton spin instructor Christine D’Ercole and we talked about negative self-talk. Going forward it will be a mixture of short clips (10 mins) and interviews all focused in how resilience and loving our imperfections."

Sam Brake Guia, Publicize.co, The Loudspeaker, Brains Byte Back

"At the company I work for, ESPACIO, my job was to produce interesting content, traditionally in the form of articles or videos. However, I was really drawn to podcasts, something our company had never focused on.

I come from an academic background in psychology and a professional background in technology, I am passionate about these topics, but I couldn’t find podcasts in this space to help inspire my writing, so I decided to create one. I put forward a plan to create “The Sociable Podcast,” a podcast for The Sociable, one of our largest publications. By the third episode, we had the Vice President of McAfee on to discuss AI. Having such a high profile guest so early on was really encouraging. A few episodes later and we changed the name to Brains Byte Back. We now release episodes every week with a diverse selection of topics and guests."

Janice Elliott-Howard, Thoughts in the Car

"I started my podcast called Thoughts in the Car as a way to create awareness about my story-telling ability. The platform helps to promote my books. I have been creating content for the show since 2015. It is described as social philosophy by Apple Podcasts. I see it as a combination of current events and my point of view. The first thing I did before venturing into producing my podcast was to listen to other podcast shows and read all the articles I could find on equipment, and the technical nuances. A quiet room, a decent microphone (condenser or dynamic), and a host for your recordings to live on the internet and be accessed were all that was required."

Thomas Pederon, Vekhayn

"Anchor.fm is the easiest way to start a podcast and even make money from it. Anchor is a company owned by Spotify.

I was in your same spot, I just started my brand new podcast and needed a simple way to get it online. Truth be told, I am busy 24/7 with my website, work, family life, and more. I wasn't interested in spending weeks setting the podcast up.

Luckily, Anchor.fm is super easy. All you do is create an account, upload the MP3 file, and you're set. You can edit the audio from the dashboard, put ads in your podcast, and Anchor takes care of all the distribution.

Within days my podcast was on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and realistically every other platform out there. All I had to do was record the audio, and anchor did the rest and paid me quickly. I highly recommend it to anyone who's starting a podcast."

Julie Weldon, Stacey Pierce, Get Shit Done Entrepreneur

"Through their business coaching firm, they realized so many of their clients have amazing stories to tell as entrepreneurs. They decided others needed to hear the successes and obstacles of their clients and that is how GSD Entrepreneur was born! They started recording interviews in their dining room, eventually created a logo, an intro, and an outro for their podcast to give it another level of professionalism. Now they have thousands of subscribers and interview entrepreneurs all over the country.

Throughout their nearly 20 year-long journey of entrepreneurship, they've learned many valuable lessons along the way and would love the chance to share how using podcasting as a marketing tool has benefited their business-

Podcasts have been a key component of our marketing strategy with our coaching & consulting firm. Our podcast, GSD Entrepreneur, serves a dual role as a marketing tool and a networking tool. What we have found is that we can approach any small/medium-sized business owner, tell them we have a podcast, and immediately have an enticing connection with them that we wouldn't have otherwise had. Once we spend time interviewing them, hearing their journey, and learning about their business, the connection gets even stronger. The response has been so good that we started a second podcast, called Do It In Nature, that is part of the marketing strategy for our outdoor gear company, OME Gear. To enhance digital marketing efforts, podcasts establish the hosts as the expert and give a credibility that other digital mediums do not afford."

Lauren Hasson, The DevelopHer Show

"I’m the Founder of DevelopHer, an award-winning platform that teaches women how to build standout careers and earn more money. I’m also on the frontlines of tech myself.

I launched DevelopHer with a podcast - The DevelopHer Show with Lauren Hasson - and I didn’t know the first thing about podcasting.

Here are the first steps I took.

When I started a podcast, I didn’t know the first thing, but I did recognize the importance of the show name. My first step was identifying a strong name for the show. Then, I decided on the format. I went with interviewing guests about their careers and lessons learned. Once I had my show premise, I took the next step and cold-called prospective guests. Then it was a matter of researching how-to - how-to effectively record, how-to edit, and how-to publish. The result was a great launch of the podcast’s first episode and the beginning of an award-winning platform, DevelopHer!"

Thomas Gell, Gin and GDPR

"I realised it'd be a great way to connect with my audience, so started by researching the kind of topics that would interest them. I then made episode plans for each of them and worked out the kind of things I wanted to included in the subjects. I then notice something that mixed two completely separate things, and realised I could take what is often a dry and legalistic topic and make it a bit more interesting by throwing in some gin - which happens to alliterate well!

I then researched how to host a podcast and looked at reviews and comparisons of the top providers, before settling on Buzzsprout.

I already had some experience of making videos for my business, so had already downloaded audio and video software in which to record and edit the shows. I found it was super important to have a decent microphone - sound quality cannot be compromised on.

I then just went for it! I spent a day in my home office recording episodes and trying not to take things too seriously. The great thing about podcasts is the more natural they come across, the better then seem to be received by their audience, so I didn't get hung up on making them perfect.

I then edited, them to cut out awkward pauses, and mistakes, bought a licence for some intro music, and mixed it all together.

Once done, I uploaded it all to Buzzsprout and used their directory listing service to make sure I was listed on as many services as possible.

Also did lots of social media posting about it and encouraged people to download and subscribe, and importantly for Apple Podcasts, to review it too.

All in all it has been a great start!"

Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, Sex Therapy Podcast

"I launched my podcast in January. It has turned out to be incredibly successful. In the short time we’ve been on, we’ve gained a listening audience from around the world and we have a number of really well known guests who will be appearing in the next two months. For example, this month we have Riley Reid.

The idea of starting a podcast was something that people suggested. They thought it could be an extension of what I currently do, lecturing at universities and seeing patients. So, I sat down to think of a name and a format for the show. And I thought about where I would like to see the show evolve into. I really planed things according to my long term goals.

I also knew that for the show to be successful, we needed good audio. This is something all podcasters should invest in. A nice microphone and nice sound equipment, it is essential to have a high quality show. Don’t wait for this. From the very beginning you want to sound good so that people continue to listen. Don’t give them a bad first impression.

The next important thing is to have a nice image for your show. This its what people typically look at when deciding if they want to listen to you, so its much more important than some people think.

My final suggestion is to have fun. If it is something you are passionate about, people will notice, and they will be drawn to that passion. Don’t just do it because you think you might get noticed or you can make money. People want to hear someone who is real and authentic."

Kent Lewis, Anvil Media

"Ten years ago for five years, I co-hosted a weekly podcast, DadsUnplugged, where I learned the power of podcasting first-hand. My origin story as a podcaster was serendipitous, as a prospective client (Pagatim.FM) invited me to cohost a show. Even though I didn't have radio or podcast host experience, it was on my bucket list, so I readily accepted the offer. Since my co-host had an audio-branding agency that specialized in hosting podcasts, I only had to show up for tapings.

Beyond my personal experience with DadsUnplugged, I've helped other clients ramp up their branded podcasts. In 2018, we helped build a content and marketing strategy for the Craving The Future podcast, which resulted in the host landing a global hotel client within months after launching.

To better answer your question about how to get started, I will share best practices and direct you to an article I wrote on the topic:

* Start small. The basic equipment is very low cost (existing laptop and Internet connection) to modest cost (digital microphone and editing software). As you gain comfort and an audience, increase your investment by upgrading your mic, mixer and editing software, as well as consider a dedicated studio space.
* Quality is important. Even if you start with lower-cost equipment, invest the time and effort to ensure the recording quality is as good as it can be (clear vocals, no background noises, clean editing, etc.)
* Design matters. Create a compelling logo and theme for your podcast.... and start building that brand. Ideally, create a branded template that can incorporate photos of guests, description and other visual identifiers that increase recognition and reduce confusion.
* Market aggressively. In terms of promoting the podcast (outside of your own marketing channels and network) the techniques are similar to promoting YouTube video content:
* Optimize podcasts to rank in related searches
* Syndicate across podcast channels like iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud
* Buy targeted advertising on podcast networks, Google and social platforms
* Listen to your listeners: Ask for feedback, monitor listeners/subscribers, review comments and track ratings. Identify which topics, guests, formats and lengths perform best and do more of that. Never stop testing and refining!"
Podcast Strategy: A Roadmap for Businesses

Steve Chou, My Wife Quit Her Job

"My name is William Chin and I am a web consultant for MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, an eCommerce and 7-figure eCommerce blog ran by Steve Chou and his wife. Steve has been doing podcasts for years, but has not always been a business owner.

Steve has hundreds of thousands of email subscribers and a similar amount of visitors coming to his site every month. Here is a tutorial on how Steve actually started his podcast.

The purpose of all of his efforts is to educate his audience on the inner facets of running an online business, more specifically an eCommerce one.

To start - first, you need to ensure that you have content that can be used as Podcast topics. In Steve's case, he had articles that were plainly written thereby making it easier to transform into Podcasts. He also had content that translated into search volume on Google thereby confirming that there was interest in the topics he spoke about. You will always want to do related research on topics that are trending.

Here's the summary to Steve's article and the step-by-step process you will want to take when starting your podcast. This is AFTER you have validated that your topics have search volume:

- Visualize and conceptualize the pros of Why you should build a podcast.
- Layer in the cons of building a podcast, as well as the costs (Do you hire someone to help you?, equipment etc..)
- Next, you want to consider infrastructure - What type of hosting should you use? What platform should you use? What type of voice recording/ editing software should use?
- Afterwards, begin to build out your feed and podcast topics while simultaneously tagging them with relevant topics and headings so that you can ensure you capitalize on the highest searched topics."

Christie Lawler, CJL Consulting

"I am the founder and owner of CJL CONSULTING, a niche marketing agency that serves the national restaurant, hotel and entertainment chains across the U.S. Our company also houses a 501(c)(3) organization that aims to promote the future female leaders of our industry through mentorship as well as financial and emotional support when they find themselves in abusive or otherwise hostile work environments. But we aim to serve the entire industry as we not gender-exclusive in our approach.

Our podcast - Lawler Out Loud: Mixing up the Mainstream - has 28 live episodes thus far. Our topics cover everything from internal cultural development strategy, to personal growth, to the trajectories of celebrity chefs and mixologists. Our focus with the podcast is to shine a light on the needs and career paths of the food and beverage industry by diving into the personal stories and trajectories of our guests - from where they started to where they are now.

I started the podcast after being a guest on a colleague's show. It was really so easy! I chose Anchor FM as my hosting app and they do all the distribution work for you. It was free to register our show and one of my designers created our cover art. I completed two trailers and four interviews before we announced the show. I choose to conduct all interviews via the app and that makes it easy for our guests as all they have to do is download the app and get on a call with me. I do all the editing and promoting of each episode personally. I also chose to produce a new cover for every episode with my guest's headshot. Most podcasts have static cover art, but I wanted ours to be fluid - because quite simply - our podcast is not about us. It's about the stories of the people that come on the show and share their stories and bare their souls to our audience. We provide inspiration to promote career longevity in the food and beverage industry.

I love having a podcast because it allows me to use my journalist roots to get to know more about the people in my circle as well as learning about people I have never met. I find personal stories absolutely fascinating. And it's always so enjoyable to find ways we all intersect as humans."

Laura Beth Peters, Steel Magnolias

"1) How did you get started?
In the fall of 2018, I came to my sister with the idea to share our love of hospitality, cooking, Southern culture, events, and travel through the method of a podcast.

I just figured that this is the way people are enjoying learning about new things. I myself listen to several podcasts, and love the way I can listen on the go to any topic I want, or settle into a story via a podcast all while I clean my kitchen.

Turns out there were not many podcasts on the culture of the American south, and those that did exist weren’t producing new content any longer.

We decided that if we could come up with enough topics to sustain a weekly episode that we would jump into it. About an hour after discussing, I got a text from my sister with 30+ topic ideas, so I was confident we had content!

2) What were your first steps?
So we had the subject matter and name of our podcast, but now to figure out how to produce! Best resource I could point anyone to: Pat Flynn. He’s a master of podcast production and tutorials and is just an enjoyable teacher! I watched all of his free online tutorials on set up and production start up.. I bought a microphone, I already had a laptop with garage band on it, and we were off to pressing that red record button!

Today, Steel Magnolias Podcast is in the top 100 of “Places & Travel” on Apple Podcasts. 18 months after launching it’s been a slow grow but a very rewarding and fun one!"

Alison Storm, Chick-Fil-A Podcast

"I wanted to tell you the story behind My Pleasure: The Unofficial Chick-fil-A Podcast. After deciding to not return to my position as a morning radio host following the adoption of our daughter I was struggling to understand what I was supposed to do with my life. My husband and I went for a hike and after reaching the top we sat down on a rock and started talking about life, goals and ideas.

My husband was struck with an idea for a Chick-fil-A fan podcast. Being a Chick-fil-A super fan and knowing how
many of us there are in the world, I thought for sure there were already 10 of those. That night we got back down the mountain and I started researching the idea. Turns out there wasn't a podcast for Chick-fil-A fans! On top of that, ChickfilaPodcast.com was available, which to me seemed like a sign from God!

At the time I was also working with a Christian life coach so within one week in between our sessions I took my husband's idea and ran with it. I bought the URL, hired a graphic designer on Fiverr, launched the social media accounts, created a freebie to encourage email subscribers and recruited a cohost/editor. I set up a photo shoot with a friend and started working on curating products for our online store. I also started reading every Chick-fil-A book I could get my hands on and listening to podcasts about marketing.

I selected a launch day and got to work scheduling guests and recording interviews. From that day on the mountaintop to launch day was exactly 6 weeks! It was fast and furious, but sometimes I think that's the best way to go. I'm focusing on progress, not perfection! And every day I'm making progress!"

Michelle Glogovac, My Simplified Life

"I started my own podcast and as a producer, I've started/launched a number of other podcasts as well. I started out working on the podcasts of others before launching my own. I firmly believe that everyone has a story or knowledge that others should hear, which is why I've started my own which is focused on career moves and tips. I just launched my podcast launch course for others to launch their podcasts as well.

My first steps were getting a blue yeti mic and recording in GarageBand. I do work with an editor on all of my shows and in addition to that, made cover art, got a host (Libsyn), and recorded 3 episodes. Yes, it can truly be that simple!"

Warren Cohn, Herald PR

"How did you get started?
I picked up the phone and personally called my close contacts to ask if they would be interested in being a guest. It's a small gesture that goes a long way. They will then tell their friends about it, and it snowballed from there. Whether someone is a doctor, the CEO of a startup, or a teacher, everyone has an important story to tell if you ask the right questions. Everyone in your rolodex can be an asset.

What were your first steps?
I organized a team of 2 or 3 people to help me make important decisions such as :

* platform
* scheduling
* formatting of conversation
* branding
* post-interview distribution"

Dr. Kathy Gruver PhD, LMT, CHt, The Fire and Earth Podcast

"I'm the cohost of The Fire and Earth Podcast that has been running weekly for over a year now. I met a colleague at an NSA (National Speakers Assoc.) meeting in Los Angeles and had immediate rapport. We had several phone meetings about how
we could work together and came up with the idea of hosting retreats. After a few brainstorming sessions we realized we needed an audience first and the podcast was born. I'd say we had about 4 sessions of brain dumping trying to determine what our theme would be, who are target audience was, dividing up the tasks of editing/advertising, etc. And one of the hardest parts was coming up with the name. lol. After we got the name (zodiac inspired) we went back and forth with designs for our opening card, pulled some old music a friend had done for me and we launched in October of 2018.

It started out as really focusing on business topics and advancing work related themes, but moved more in to personal development. Often we have guests, sometimes it's just us but it's never scripted, no predetermined questions, it's just a great conversation. I believe we've struck a great balance as co-hosts, rarely talking over each other or running out of amazing questions for our guests. Each show is just under 30 minutes and we prerecord and release every Thursday."

Kevin Meyer, Gemba Academy

"It started as just an experiment with a new medium, which we do quite often, and because a couple of other people in our space had interesting podcasts. The first several podcasts were with people we knew well who were also well-known in our space, so that gave us some quick positive response. After that, we had no real shortage of guests, and now we get many people approaching us asking to be guests. The topics have ranged outside of strict lean and six sigma to include general continuous improvement and leadership.

A fairly strict outline has been followed since day one, obviously with some evolution. This has set guests at ease and also provided a consistency that our listeners like."

Hannah Vaughn, Tobin Leff M&A Podcast

"I recently started The TobinLeff M&A Podcast from the ground-up. I began by developing a project timeline and editorial calendar, laying out and executing all the steps to launch the podcast. Our podcast is distributed to thousands of clients and prospects.

Shelly Johnson, UCPlaces Podcast

"UCPlaces is a personal tour guide app for Android and iPhone that doesn’t rely on local, scheduled tours with traditional tour companies. Users can pick one of the UCPlaces prerecorded tours, in one of multiple languages, pop in their earbuds and discover various points of interest on their own schedule, all while successfully social distancing.

As a companion to the business, the UCPlaces Travel Podcast is perfect for anyone interested in travel and tourism but quarantined due to the pandemic. As the creative brainchild of UCPlaces CEO and founder, Uri Sperling, the podcast is the next best thing to being there in person! Humorous hosts, Mary and Shelly, offer an entertaining audio snapshot into the many tours available on the UCPlaces app. So those sitting at home can still gain a unique perspective on the various points of interest that will be available to them once the pandemic is no longer a threat.

How did we get started?

It helps that Mary & I are veteran podcasting hosts, but we first recommend finding an experienced podcast editor to help
with editing and mixing. We found ours on www.upwork.com. Next, you need a decent microphone – it doesn’t have to be expensive. We recommend a cardiod dynamic USB/XLR mic starting around $60 or so. Use this along with a pop filter/windscreen and a scissor arm microphone stand. There’s no need for a separate mixing board because you can plug right into a computer via the included USB cable utilizing free, easy-to-learn recording software such as GarageBand or Audacity.

Finally, you need an interesting topic and to hone your delivery skills. Once you have your first recording in the bag, a quick internet search reveals lots of free or paid podcast hosting providers who will distribute your podcast for you once it’s uploaded.

That’s pretty much it – good luck!"

Raeshal Solomon, PodKash Kids

"Hello I'm Raeshal Solomon creator of podcasts Podkash Kids and Raeshal Speaks. I was also a speaker this year at Podfest20.

How did you get started?

When you start a podcast you should have a clear vision for the show. Ask yourself what will be your show's theme or topic for example money, parenting, or movies from the 90s. You can choose any topic you want. Write out your desired show format. Will you have guests, how long will your episodes be, and how will your intro and outro sound?

What were your first steps?

I researched hosting platforms, recording software, and editing programs. I spent about a week on YouTube watching videos and teaching myself. The best I can give is to just start. The more you record the better you get and over time your show will grow with you."

Jimmy Rose, Agency Highway

"One of the most important things for our launch was building up an audience before we launched. It's hard to stand out because there are so many podcasts, so it helps if you can get some initial momentum by driving people to it.

I built up a Facebook group and email list of our target audience before launching the pod. This also means you can get quick feedback on what people want to hear, which episodes and topics resonate and can even be a source of guests.

The technical setup I created as well as the process to editing episodes as fast as possible is outlined here."

Jacob Racco, Down to the Wire

"Down to the Wire Entertainment is now a whole entertainment brand that hosts multiple podcasts, produces blogs and creates videos of all sorts.

However, it didn't start off like that.

Starting a podcast was a pipe-dream since I (Jacob) was in highschool, I even had a friend who was interested at the time help create a logo which is still the current logo for our original Down to the Wire podcast to this day. But we never actually started recording it or lined up what the show would look like.

It wasn't until the summer after my second year at university when I called up that friend along with another to get this idea we came up with years ago started. We recorded the 3 of us, with some additional guests some weeks, on the same microphone that would sit on a filing cabinet in the middle of a circle we'd sit around, all in my moms basement.

After that summer, the people that started the podcast with me were losing interest so I decided to start the show fresh. I brought it back up to university with me that September but with my friend and roommate John being the new co-host. We bought a couple new microphones that would just plug straight into my laptop and run it through Garageband. As for the the
location, we upgraded from my moms basement to my bedroom in my university home. We changed the narrative of the show and turned into what it is known as today.

Eventually we got studio space and stared recording video to go with the podcast, but we are still growing and made the Down to the Wire podcast into more than just a podcast. We created an entertainment brand called Down to the Wire Entertainment and it currently hosts two podcasts, creates blog posts on several categories, produces videos of the podcasts along with street videos and short series' and we are expanding into a fourth aspect to add into our brand that will be released later this year."

Michael Bradt, Deja Reviewed, Improv Tips, The Bureau Boys

"The first one, Deja Reviewed, was born out of a buddy and I in separate states trying to remotely finish a screenplay about time travel that became far too unwieldy. He came into town for a few days to try to hammer through it, and instead of finishing it, we had so much fun discussing film and television, we stumbled upon the idea for the podcast and decided it would be just as easy to do remotely as to write a screenplay.

The second one, Improv Tips, was born because I'm in the process of opening an improv comedy theater, and I wanted to be one of the first to have a skill for improv tips on the Alexa smart devices. There isn't a whole lot out there right now, so I figured I could get in on the ground floor as well as getting my name out there prior to the theater opening.

The third one, The Bureau Boys, is launching within the month. This one was conceived in the post-shelter-at-home world we live in. One of my favorite people to improvise with and I wanted to work on a project together, and we brainstormed the idea of doing an improvised true crime series. We've been practicing for this one remotely for a couple of months, and we finally have it in a place where we're going to start recording episodes for release."

Now we know how to start a podcast and moreover, how to succeed with one. It all starts with an idea, a friend, and a great microphone. Good luck!

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