Learn the ins and outs of starting your own podcast with our host, Jason Mudd. Jason is the managing partner of Axia Public Relations.
Five things you’ll learn from this episode:
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About Jason Mudd
Jason Mudd, APR, is a trusted adviser and dynamic strategist for some of America’s most admired brands. Since 1994, he’s worked with American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Southern Comfort, and Verizon. He founded Axia in July 2002.
Clients love Jason’s passion, innovation, candor, commitment, and award-winning team. In an increasingly tech-forward world, Jason’s grasp of technological demands on companies provides his clients in multiple sectors a unique advantage toward reaching their top audiences. After teaching himself HTML in 1994, Jason helped pioneer internet marketing strategies as an early adopter of e-commerce, SEO, and social media, inspiring tech giants like Yahoo.
At Axia, Jason attracts, develops, retains, innovates, and leads top PR talent and clients. He oversees strategic communications for the firm’s national clients and provides high-level consultations to client leadership teams at billion-dollar global brands, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer, including spokesperson training, crisis communications management, analytics, social media, online reputation management, and more. He also speaks frequently to corporations and industry groups and writes about public relations trends and best practices for American City Business Journals and other national businesses.
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- Hello, and welcome to On Top Of PR, I'm your host, Jason Mudd. In today's episode, we're talking about podcasts. Both podcasting with your own branded podcasts, and also getting on podcasts as a guest. This is a solocast today, it's brought to you by our friends at Burrelles. So it's just you and me, and I'm sharing some insight tips and some pro tips, on how to go about podcasting. It's gonna be a great episode, I'm glad you're here.
- [Presenter] Welcome to On Top Of PR with Jason Mudd. This solocast episode is brought to you by media monitoring company, Burrelles. Learn more at burrelles.com/ontopofpr. And now, here's Jason Mudd.
- Hello, and welcome to On Top Of PR. I'm your host, Jason Mudd with Axia Public Relations. Today is a solocast where it's just you and me, and I'm sharing some information with you about current topics, tips and trends, that impact corporate communications, marketing departments and the public relations profession. I wanna talk about podcasting today. I recently did a webinar for a professional association, and the feedback was really positive. And it seems like podcasting is becoming popular at even more on a regular basis, especially as we hit the pandemic. And it seemed like people were more and more interested in podcasting. Both as listening and producing and appearing as guests. So while we help companies do all of those things, I think that today we wanna spend a little time just talking about podcasting and how you might get started doing it. So with that, I want to begin to kind of explain to you what our purpose is going to be with today's episode. So with that objective in mind, let's help you make more money or get more money out of your podcast investment. So podcasting builds awareness, understanding, trust, and consideration. Or said another way, podcasting builds awareness, understanding, trust, and decision.
And that decision or consideration might be, to purchase from you. It might be to support you. It might be to vote for you. It might be to donate to your cause. It might be to partner with you in a project. It might be to approve a project that is pending approval in some capacity. It could be to form a strategic partnership or simply hire your company as supplier or a vendor or an advisor. There are many types of decision and consideration that public relations is asking for people to do. In fact, wearing a seatbelt is something we do every day,, but that's because public relations, changed the way the public thought about safety and seatbelt wearing. And so why should you podcast? Our research shows from Music Oomph, that 69% of podcast listeners have an income exceeding $75,000. That 63% make a purchase based on a host recommendation. So I'm a host of a podcast, and so possibly 63% of my audience are making purchases based on the suggestions and recommendations that I'm sharing with them. Also, why you should podcast, 45% of podcast listeners have a household income exceeding 1/4 million dollars. So those are some pretty impressive numbers to set the table for the audience that podcasts can reach. There are three ways to podcast. The first one is to consume, the second one is to produce and the third one is to guest.
And so I'm gonna explain each of those with you today. Producing versus guesting or produce versus guests, so in our agency, we think of producing your own podcast as a Brandcast. We also refer to that as owned media. And then secondly, we have a service we call PodcastValet, which is categorically earned media, where you're earning an opportunity to appear as a guest on a podcast. Now, there are three steps to get started when it comes to doing your own podcast, which is really the focus of our time together today. And the three steps to get started are one, build, second launch and third monetize. So build, launch and monetize; build, launch, and monetize. And so under the build area, we have five stages there, which encompass 12 steps. And so we're not gonna have time to go through those today, but that I will share at a high level, a lot of the steps involved in building your podcast. So the first thing we wanna talk about, and the first thing you should ask yourself for almost any internal or external or any kind of corporate communications, marketing campaign or advertising campaign, it's simply these four questions: whom does your company want to reach? What do they already know about your company? What do you want them to know? And last, what do you want them to do as a result of your messaging? So again, who does your company wanna reach? What do they already know about your company? What do you want them to know? And ultimately, what do you want them to do in response to this information?
So while you're thinking about building your podcast and you've begun to answer those four questions, then you need to start thinking about the vision and direction for your show. The launch plan, the target KPIs, or key performance indicators you're gonna use to measure the success of the podcast. You also need to figure out what your unique point of view or brand position is. Also, who is your target audience? What's your show format gonna be? Is it gonna be a one-on-one podcast like this, where it's called a solocast? Or are you gonna do a podcast with guests? Are those guests gonna be internal experts within your organization? Are they gonna be outside experts that you're inviting in? Are they gonna be your customers or clients? Are they gonna be your target and ideal customer and clients that you're using your podcast as a platform to start building a relationship with them and getting an introduction to them? And then also, if you bring in those outside guests, you can use them to ask for more recommendations or connections and contacts to not only promote your show, but also who else would be a good guest to have on your show. You're gonna need to figure out your show category. Is this a business show? Is it a comedy show? Is it a history show? Is it about fitness? So there are different categories that podcasts fall into that are pre-established. And you need to figure out which ones of those categories best fit your show and your angle. In addition, you're gonna need a cool show name, a show name that attracts people that helps people understand what you're doing. That's catchy that people easily remember, that someone else isn't already using, that's not difficult to spell or find on a search. In addition, you're gonna need a detailed show description that uses human optimized keywords as well as search engine optimized keywords, so that people can find you and know from reading that description, that this is the type of show that I want to explore. You're also gonna need an elevator pitch.
So when you have a chance to tell someone about your podcasts, you can do so clear and concise in a way that makes them interested in learning more and wants them to go explore your podcast. Of course, you're gonna need artwork like a logo and show artwork and episode artwork. And then you're gonna need a music bed, including an intro, midroll and extro, as well as a script for those, what are you gonna say? You need a show script and a flow. How's your show gonna flow? Is every episode gonna be the same? Are you gonna ask the same questions, are you gonna prepare your questions ahead of time? Is it just gonna be a real casual conversation like we typically do? And then you're gonna need obviously to find and identify a host and train them and get them more experienced. You're gonna need to find guests and perhaps other talent to be part of the show. And then you're gonna obviously need to set up the show hosting just like your website is hosted on a server and in the Cloud perhaps; you're gonna need to have your audio files hosted somewhere and then use that, hopefully that same hosting provider to also distribute each episode to all the different platforms. In addition, I recommend you get a domain name dedicated to your show. So when we first started podcasting in 2006, our show was called Axia Impact Podcast.
A year or so ago, we kinda reinvented our podcast and repositioned it. We started calling it On Top Of PR instead. And now we had a new format where we're mostly interviewing or bringing on guests to the show and we also added video. And so to that end, we decided we wanted our own domain ontopofpr.com. And I think you would want that too. That's the difference in the way we brand our podcast. It doesn't include our agency name and that's by design. And I would probably recommend that you do something very similar. So that website domain is also gonna need website content pages, such as: the host bio, your guests bio, frequently asked questions, and just the overall background about the show itself and some sort of feed of the recent episodes. You're also gonna wanna format your show notes and set up social media. So as you can tell, the building is really the heavy lifting part of podcasting. The second step, and the most exciting stage of any podcast is the launch stage in my opinion. This is where you'll produce, edit and air up to one new episode per day or per week. And I say up to, because per day is a lot and so is weekly, but that's the best formula we recommend, is publishing new episodes every week. Now there are other podcasts out there that only put out an episode on a monthly or quarterly basis, but you'll find that they don't have as high of a level of engagement with their audience because once a month or once a quarter, is not nearly as consistent as once a week might be. I have a friend who used to do a daily podcast and eventually he got what's called podfade, where he became fatigued with doing it every day and realized doing it just once a week or even twice a week was planning. And I don't wanna misuse the term podfade because podfade actually means something we'll talk about later; which is where you start a podcast, and then it fades away permanently. Not necessarily just temporarily, or you get a little bit burnout doing it. But under the launch stage, there are three steps: pre-production, production and post-production. And so the launch stage is also quite a bit of work as you can tell. And this is probably where after you do the build stage, which is a lot of foundation, right?
Now, you've gotta do a lot of maintaining, and producing a podcast is much more work than you actually think. And so, for example, pre-production includes producing the intro, midroll and extro, right? Actually producing it, not just writing it and doing the creative concept thing of it, but it's actually producing it. Step two is the audio. And if you decide to do a video cast like we do, then you're gonna wanna do audio and video checks. And then you're gonna wanna improve those setups with each episode, just make sure your lighting is optimized. Your background is as good as you can get it. And of course your sound quality is very high. And then you also have to use the recording technology to actually capture the audio and or video. And then the third part of launch is the post-production that's where you do the audio and video editing, the overlays, the captions, the transcriptions, the uploading, the episode, the hosting platform, scheduling episode distribution, uploading episode graphics and video thumbnails. We use Buzzsprout personally to do a lot of that part, the hosting platform and the scheduling of them. And I bring that up because the association that I spoke to, or the industry trade association I spoke to recently, they were very interested in learning how we do that. Obviously Libsyn is very well known, but it seems like Buzzsprout has really built a lot of momentum with an improved user interface. So both are very good options and I would explore each of those. And then the last step is monetize. And so in my monetize, we want to talk about the third stage here, which is really the head of sales and the CFO's favorite stage. But before we do that, I wanna take a quick break and give a quick shout out to the sponsor of our solocast, Burrelles, we thank them for their sponsorship. And in fact, to thank you for your loyalty to On Top Of PR, Burrelles has a special offer at burrelles.com/ontopofpr. And I highly recommend that you check that out. That special offer is good for current customers, as well as new customers.
- [Presenter] You're listening to On Top Of PR; with your host, Jason Mudd. Many thanks to Burrelles for its support of the solocast. Burrelles provides media relations planning, monitoring, and measurement services for Axia Public Relations and many other brands worldwide. Burrelles has a special offer just for On Top Of PR fans, check it out at burrelles.com/ontopofpr.
- Welcome back. We were just beginning to dive into monetize, and I started thinking about our own sponsors and wanted to make sure we took a minute to give Burrelles a shout out for their sponsorship of this solocast. So monetize is the third stage of producing your own podcast. And this is again where the head of sales and the CFO, they get excited to see some ROI for this investment. So really now's the time to turn this big effort that you've been making into a profitable endeavor. Now is when the hard work begins to pay dividends, and it's time to build relationships, promote the episodes, attract sponsors and ultimately convert leads. So again, with monetize, there's three steps. The first one is promotions and conversions. The second one is guest relations, and the third is sponsorships. And so what that really means, is that, step one, promotions and conversions, right? This is promoting the show and converting people to become listeners. So converting strangers who have never heard of your show before to become listeners of your show, and ultimately to become regular subscribers of your show; and then ultimately to become evangelist in sharing with others and advocating for you; and out there just promoting your show as a cheerleader.
And then guest relations, I mentioned this earlier, but it's ideal to invite your clients to come on as guest and build loyalty with them. And once you establish your show and you have your clients on, then you can start inviting your prospects or your ideal customers or your most loyal customers and those that you don't yet have converted as customers. Give them the VIP treatment, bring them onto your show. The nice thing is that's gonna really warm them up to wanting to do business with you, to like you, know you and trust you. In addition, their friends and family and their other influencers in their circle who might become customers or great guests, will be a great opportunity for you as well. And then lastly, sponsorships, everyone I've asked to be a sponsor of our show has said, "Yes." And so really all you have to do is ask, but you have to establish a credible show. You have to have an audience, you have to build up some loyalty and show that you're not gonna have podfade where your podcast disappears or fades away. So for us personally, when we relaunched our podcast as On Top Of PR, we waited until we had 10 produced episodes before we even announced our new podcast, and candidly before we even made those episodes available. So all on one day, 10 episodes became available. Because our research shows, that consciously or subconsciously, people know that if a podcast has not produced 10 episodes, it might not make it, or it might already be dead upon arrival. So as soon as they discover it, they consciously or subconsciously begin to wonder, "Is this podcast even still active? Do I even wanna commit to listening to one episode if it faded away?" And so to avoid podfade, we recommend you launch with 10 episodes. Because number one, that covers that conscious or subconscious bias; number two, it gives you that enthusiasm that you can't really burn out after doing 10 episodes if you haven't even launched without 10 episodes. So most podcasts don't make it past episode 10, and on day one, you've made it past episode 10. So I think that's really a great way to accelerate your process. And thirdly, just imagine the credibility you have now that you've got 10 episodes live when you start to approach clients and guests to also be on the show.
So as we're wrapping up here quickly, I've got 10 pro tips to share with you that have come from our experience producing podcasts. And the first one is, it's more work than you realize. And I think you have to keep that in mind. Some people come in thinking, "Oh, it must be easy." And certainly there are ways to scale it back and you can be nimble for sure, and you can be lean, but I would just caution you that I think it's a lot more work than you think by just listening to other podcasts. Another pro tip we figured out late is, batching recordings. Record three episodes in one day or two episodes in one day. And if you can handle it, maybe even more, that way, you're not recording every week or you're not recording at different times, because once everybody's in position; you've got your lighting check, your sound check, your background check, your producer is in place, you're recording the software's running, you've got dedicated and devoted time to focus on it. It's a lot easier to knock out a bunch of episodes back to back, as opposed to resetting the wheels and getting everything set up again.
I already mentioned launch with 10 episodes to avoid podfade. Step four is, have a launch plan, this is really important. So while you're working on those first 10 episodes, come up with a marketing plan for each of those 10 episodes. Come up with a plan for when you're gonna drop your first episode, how you're gonna promote each one. Be sure, and then not include, your pod... Excuse me, your launch plan should include; the pro tip number five, which is ask for reviews. You just simply ask those faithful audience members to leave reviews. We use, ratethispodcast.com, where people can find our podcast and give us a rating. In addition, we have found there's two ways to get your show ranking high. One is, reviews and views. So the more views and the more listens that your podcast has, the higher it's gonna rank, but also the more favorable your reviews are. So start putting in your launch plan, the 50 to 100 contacts you have that you could ask who you know would be kind enough to leave you a review. Obviously you want them to authentically have listened to your show and make sure there's something they like, but work that into your launch plan. In addition in your launch plan should be pro tip number six, which is to guest on other shows. Appear as a guest on other shows, so that you can share your show with their audience and their audience can hear from you at the same time. So it's really a win-win when two podcasters come together and they do a shared episode, or they guest on each other's show. Again, your launch plan, step seven, should turn strangers into guests. And that might mean making a list of the influencers in the industry you wanna connect with, the thought leaders in the industry, the vendors and suppliers you work with, your internal experts and external subject matter experts that you wanna feature on the show. And then step eight is to turn guests into fans and ultimately customers. I kinda hit on that a little bit earlier, but the idea here's to try to get guests to come on the show that you want to be advocates for you and friends of your podcast and ultimately, friends of your company and or your sponsors. And then pro tip number nine, ask guests for guests. And I mentioned that earlier as well. So the important part here is to, if you have a great guest, great guests know other great guests, and great guests have other contacts and connections that they're willing to make an introduction to you for. I know we've been able to get some significant major brands by asking others, who else do you know that would make a good podcast guest for us?
And they probably wouldn't have been a guest on our show if it would have been a cold invitation, but through a mutual acquaintance, they're willing to consider our request even more. And then finally, pro tip number 10, which is possibly my favorite, is get 1% better with each episode that you record. Constant improvement or Kaizen is part of the core values we have at Axia, and we live and breathe those through everything we do including this podcast. So another option, if this sounds like too much work, as I mentioned earlier, is to get on other podcasts. And so be a guest on other podcasts to build your credibility and visibility, and also share your unique point of view. Ideally, you have a unique point of view that is provocative and contrarian to what everyone else in the industry is saying, and that's how you will attract more followers and fans and build your thought leadership and your clout in the industry. Another option is possibly exploring clubhouse, which makes it so that you can go live anytime you want in front of a community and potentially with even less production effort. Clubhouse is relatively new, and so it will be interesting to continue to keep an eye on it and see how it grows. But that is another option that you might consider.
So based on this information, I'm gonna leave you with three next steps. The first one is do nothing. I hope you don't do that. The second one is to do it yourself, which is perfectly fine, but make sure you spend the time getting educated and learning as much as possible from others. Maybe even getting a mentor or hiring a coach to help you with this process. Or the third next step is to hire someone, which is probably the best place to get started. So you can get started a little bit quicker and you can have that expert guide to lead you along the way, as opposed to being lost and frustrated and confused; because that's never the best way to go. And so those would be the three next steps that I would recommend: do nothing, do it yourself, or hire someone. If you're gonna hire someone, I would consider hiring an expert; whether that's an internal W2 employee, or whether that's an outside independent contractor or even an agency to help you with that. If you'd like to pick up the conversation on this topic, email us at [email protected], that's [email protected], where we have packages that can get you featured as a guest on podcasts, and we have packages that can help you get launched with your own branded podcast. I hope this time and conversation was helpful to you during the solocast. We wanna thank Burrelles for their sponsorship of it. And again, if you have any questions, reach out to us at [email protected] Otherwise it's been my pleasure to present this to you today and help you stay On Top Of PR.
- [Presenter] This has been On Top Of PR with Jason Mudd. Many thanks to our solocast sponsor, Burrelles, for making this episode possible. Burrelles has a special offer just for On Top Of PR fans. Check it out at burrelles.com/ontopofpr.