Pop Your Brand: How to Start a Podcast to Amp Up Exposure when Things Get Stale

The following post was an entry by one of our spectacular finalists in our Awesome Engagement Strategies Contest. Finalists showcased their ideas, and whoever got the most traction (i.e. comments and social shares) within five days of publication was crowned the winner. Check out this post for the complete list of Engagement Strategies Contest finalists!

Starting-a-podcastYou wanted to start an online business to promote your brand right?

You wrote a book, started blogging and thought you were in business. The problem is, you didn’t realize just how hard and time consuming creating a “platform” really is.

You’re a year into this thing and you still haven’t gotten a publisher, your blog sucks, you only have a handful of loyal followers and a few measly comments about your writing…

What’s the deal? Are you missing something?

The problem isn’t that you’re not passionate about writing, blogging, selling, and whatever else you’re doing. You are. But things just aren’t moving as fast as you thought.

Buy now, your brain cells are synapsing quickly and you reach the brilliant conclusion that the front end of everything is relatively easy: setting up the website, writing your first posts, doing promo’s, heck even writing the book was easier than building this platform thing.

Every where you look someone wants to tell you how to build your business to six figures, sell you an online course that will make you a super star, teach you to be a professional blogger, and give you the secrets to getting more traffic to your site.

You feel like a hamster on crack looking at all this stuff, trying to decide what will really help.

Why is building an online platform so hard? Because it’s hard to figure out what really works, what to spend time on, what super course to take to teach you that one secret that’s going to ramp up your business.

Don’t get me wrong there are some really good programs out there that can help. You just have to do your homework. For example, the absolute best advice I’ve gotten over the last year is from the course I took with Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing.

But let’s face it; I wasted a lot of time and money starting out in the hopes that this next thing would be the one that hit the real home run. If you’re like me you’ve probably put in lots of time and energy working this new miracle system in order to see some killer results, and what happened?

Nothing.

No new subscribers, no more comments on your blog, no increase in traffic.

Seriously?

Here’s where most people shut down, give up, close up shop and go home. Don’t do it!

It’s Time for Something New

When things get tough and you don’t know how to ramp up your social media presence here’s what you do; you start a radio podcast show.

No kidding. It’s not that hard and if you’re halfway decent at it you can actually get some solid followers. I know because I’m doing it. There are plenty of big name bloggers who have learned how to make a podcast integrate beautifully with their online businesses too, including Michael Hyatt, and Seth Godin.

Why should you think about starting a podcast? Because you can solidify your brand and diversify your message, and thanks to Apple’s iTunes, iPods and iPhone, it’s an easy and fun way to hear amazing content for free with your electronic devices, whenever, and wherever you want.

Podcasting also helps you build a stronger relationship with your audience.

How do you start?

I’m going to tell you exactly how to do it, but first, you need to clarify your vision. Here are some things to consider before you start:

Find Your Niche

I’m a therapist, so I talk about the cutting edge issues affecting the hearts and lives of everyone out there. Just like blogging, or writing a book, you have to have a specific target audience. Decide what your show will be about. Do some research and find out what others in your field are doing and learn from them. There is so much out there, don’t try and re-invent the wheel.

Have Something to Say

There is no substitute for great content. I have some of the top minds in the counselling and literary industry on my show to give solid advice. People are looking for something informative, educational, and unique, so think it through carefully before you dive in.

Submit Your Show

You need a name for the show and a description of what the show will be about. You’ll also need a logo to help solidify your brand. Hire someone to create a great graphic for your show and then submit it to iTunes. That’s where the largest audience hangs out.

Buy a Good Microphone

Sound quality is very important. I used a Yeti microphone when I started out. They are fairly inexpensive. You can also use the microphone that’s on your computer if you have a decent one. Audio Technia ATR2100 (USB connection) is $40-$50. Heil PR40 is amazing and a favorite of lots of podcasters; it’s $300. You’ll also need a mixer to go along with it, as well as a headset. See Podcast answer man.

Get Ready, Get Set, and Go

Now that you’ve decided what the show will be about, you need to understand some basic things before you can get moving. Here they are:

• You need to create an audio file in MP3 format.
• You need to create a XML file for publishing and distributing your show
• You need a player that allows people to listen to the episodes on your website.

You will need to create the audio file in MP3 to record the show using Audacity. It is available for Mac and Windows. GarageBand is great too if you’re on a MAC. It also lets you add music to your show from your iTunes playlist.

If you want to bring guests on your show, you need to have Skype on your computer. Skype doesn’t have built in recording software, so you will need to get it. Recording Skype is quite simple, you just need to find a good software. Pamela is a good option for those using PC and for Mac, you can check out eCamm.

Once you’ve recorded the show and have the MP3 file, you’ll need to publish it to your website, and to an RSS feed so that it can be shared with subscribers. Podcast Generator is a free solution, that is also quite user-friendly. You can install it on your site and it supports any media file while allowing you to create mixed audio and video podcasts.

Now you’re almost ready to go, all you need is to embed an audio player onto blog posts or pages so that people can listen to the show. WordPress Audio Player is a plugin that makes the process quick and painless.

Ready to Rock and Roll

Editing your content can be done in audacity once your file is saved. Once you have an episode recorded and ready to go, you’ll want to post it to all your social media sites. The key is to provide interesting and relevant content so people will want to come back and listen.

Pat Flynn offers a great Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial and there are plenty of other helps out there too to guide you through the process.

The best advice is this: Don’t Quit. Keep pressing on and follow your dream. Anything worthwhile takes time and effort. If it were easy, everyone would be a success. In time, you can build a successful business, solidify your brand, and actually start making money.

Back at you: Does your online business need a little boost, what has or hasn’t worked? Have you ever considered starting a podcast? If not, what’s holding you back?

Rita Schulte is a prolific writer and blogger,as well as a certified counsellor specializing in matters of the heart.

Comments

  1. Shelly Brown says

    Rita,
    This is EXCELLENT information. My BF and I have talked much about starting our own show. We will surely use your insight as a launching pad to put feet to our dreams!!
    Thank you!
    Shelly

  2. Elaine W. Miller says

    Thank you for the information, Rita. Wow! I wondered how to start a radio podcast. Thank you for taking the fear out of radio podcasting.

    I look forward to being a guest on Heartline on Jan. 10. Perhaps, I’ll start my own radio podcast now that I know how.

    Blessings,
    Elaine W. Miller

  3. ashley says

    Very helpful! Thanks for sharing your expertise. Its a must read for anyone needing a jump start in the business!

  4. says

    Thanks Rita, during reading the post I decided to prepare some podcast for my blog and I kept on downloading necessary software while reading. You have really given me inspiration for doing it quickly.
    Isn’t it better to make a video for YouTube like a presentation and speak in the background? Will it not be more effective than a podcast? Thanks for your advise. Good Luck

    • rita schulte says

      I think YouTube is great and I am working on that too. I think you have to decide what your goals are and what your niche is and then see if podcasting fits into that. Thanks so much for writing Ejaz

  5. Honor says

    WOW! I had no idea it could be so easy to set up a podcast computer platform. I googled all the tech requirements you recommended and discovered it wasn’t all that intimidating. Thanks for removing the fear factor.

    • rita schulte says

      That is key, we get intimidated and rule things out because of our fear. Push through and go get em! Tnx Honor

    • rita schulte says

      Oh I’m so excited for you Rebecca. Go for it. Glad the info helped and keep me posted on how it goes.

  6. says

    Great article Rita!! I’ve thought about doing one myself. You’re article really explains how a podcast radio show is done! Thanks so much for the helpful information!
    Janet

    • rita schulte says

      Absolutely give it a try. It’s fun and it gives you a chance to explore so much. Keep us posted James!

  7. says

    I love the clarity and how easy this sounds….I am right in the middle of building a platform and so relate to all you described…I will keep this for further progress!!! Thanks, Rita!!

    • rita schulte says

      Good. It’s tough at the beginning but once you learn its like anything else. It is time consuming if your doing your own editing. Glad it helped.

  8. says

    Thanks for the info, Rita. I’m intrigued by the idea of a podcast and how I could make that work with my (very visual) arts and crafts business. I’m thinking I might be able to tie it into the 365 Project I am running on my blog right now (http://craftyneighbor.blogspot.com). Interviews with celebs and other creative types….hmmmmm……

  9. J.m.Merrill says

    Rita, this is a real how to article… i wouldn’t know where to begin on my own. this is definitelay very helpful… ღೋ.

    • rita schulte says

      I am so glad it was helpful J.M. it’s really not as bad as is seems once you get the hang of it, but it’s a lot of work. I now have a producer and boy what a difference!

  10. Mauro D'Andrea says

    Thank you for sharing this great post, Rita!

    I thought about starting a podcasting series – and probably I’ll do it in the future – but now my spoken English is holding me back.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but many people probably won’t appreciate an audio format from a person who doesn’t have a perfect pronunciation.

    • rita schulte says

      It’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing what your passionate about, but wait till you feel comfortable. My show has so improved with time. Your Italian right? So am I. I think your accent would be awesome. Tnx for the comment.

  11. Lee Ann Jefferies says

    Rita interviewed me!! It was wonderful! She is so kind, professional and effective! I need that due to the fact that I am extremely Bipolar. Rita is just great!

  12. Dolores E. Torres/Green says

    Rita,

    As always, YOU are a true Blessing! I appreciate Your broadcast everyday and especially your commitment, dedication, love for ministry and others, and your positive example for those of us still learning to expand. Thank YOU!!!!!

    I look forward to reading more and listening more!!

    Sincerely,

    Dolores E. Torres/Green

  13. Karen Jantzi says

    Rita, as always, you have offered us incredible knowledge and wisdom! Your success shows in your work. I didn’t know much of what you talked about here, but I’m so appreciative that you shared it with us. Praying God continues to bring you huge favor and blessings. You are just a gift to so many! Love you! OX

  14. Chris says

    Rita – this information is fantastic. I can say, as a budding podcaster myself, you really hit the nail on the head. All of this information is right on point and there are many things I wasn’t even aware of. Podcasting is a great way to create new content and I honestly believe that you are helping people realize their dreams!

    • rita schulte says

      You know Chris I’ve listened to your show Smart People Podcast and it’s awesome. You are doing such a great job. You’re an inspiration to me!

  15. michael says

    rita, i wondered if this pod cast idea would translate into moola, greenbacks cold hard cash, or is this a way to challenge people and have an impact in their lives? i must say your analogy of a hamster on crack had me in stitches. your words flow like a soft river.

    • rita schulte says

      The idea is really to help build a platform. I will start making some money off this probably this year as I have gotten some sponsors and such. Glad you liked the hamster idea or was it a squirrel?

  16. Victoria says

    This is the type of thing that I have found very intimidating but you have put it in terms that even a novice like me can understand. I have shared your info on FB. Hopefully, my friends will find it as valuable as I have. Thanks!

  17. Shila says

    Rita, thanks for sharing with us. As a young professional it is easy to get frustrated and quit before you accomplish anything. Your comment about not quitting and following your dream is a great reminder that anything is possible…even if it is a challenge now. I am glad that Tori shared with me! Keep up the good work!

  18. George says

    You have challenged me to come out of the stone-age concerning the way I network in my business. Thanks for helping an old man to consider evolving into the 20th century way of doing things!

  19. says

    Hey Rita, great article and perfect timing. I’ve been seriously thinking about launching a podcast this year. I’m a pro audio guy so the tech part is no problem. Your tips have helped me clarify the content and direction, and confirm I should go for it. Gonna check out your site and show. Best to ya!

    • says

      I’m so excited it helped you! Thanks for commenting. I have gone to a professional producer and my show has been picked up by lots of cool places. Its been so cool. Blessings as you start up and let me know if you have any questions i can help with.

  20. says

    Great article! You have collected a lot of great resources here.

    A podcast is in the plans for me but I haven’t started yet. Could be a great way of presenting some material that just doesn’t seem to work out well in writing.

    Do you believe that podcast is suitable for all audiences?

    • says

      I can’t imagine why not. Find you niche. Decide how you can help others and build value into their lives. People love information these days especially if it’s free! And you will really have fun doing it. Good Luck Fredrik

  21. says

    Very informative post Rita! Congrats on being a finalist! I was also wondering whether to do videos or podcasts. Both would be great but I only have time at the moment to focus on one. Here’s to a multimedia filled 2013!

    • says

      Yes it’s definitely the way to go. It is also very interesting to see how much is available these days to help people launch new ideas and do what they are passionate about. Blessings sheila

  22. MARK SCHULTE says

    Great step by step info that helps others avoid dead ends in the maze of setting up a pocast. Thanks for the helping hand!
    Mark

  23. says

    Good stuff, Rita. I’m curious as to how specific and narrow a niche is necessary to get a following and how to promote your podcast. Also, I’ve noticed that you focus on self-development … is that a strong market for podcasting?

    Thanks again for this article! Very helpful.

  24. says

    I’m a counselor, so I chose to focus on matters of the heart and talk to some of the top counselors and writers in the Christian counseling community. I have been very blessed because once I got a producer the quality of my show skyrocketed and I garnered the attention of Focus on the Family, a huge organization in Colorado. Their media rep is now my media rep and he has helped me get sponsors for the show and launch on large Internet stations and elsewhere. I just kept approaching people like mad to do the show and got some high profile guests. Doors just kept opening for me. I started the show as a way to build a platform for my book, which will release this Fall with Leafwood Publishers, so i pushed the podcast hard. Just find your passion I think that’s a big key. Then go get em!

  25. says

    The idea of a radio show exploded within me yesterday. This morning, after sending the family off for their day with a kiss and a wave, I could hardly wait to begin researching for this new project. I opened my email, and there was your article. I couldn’t believe it! Perfect! Then I thought about it… I really shouldn’t be surprised, that’s usually how God works. :)
    Thanks! Be Blessed

  26. John J says

    This was very well thought out. As a professional recording engineer and producer that has worked with the podcast community I can state that this is sound advice for anyone who is looking to start a podcast. Great work!

  27. says

    Rita,
    You were inside my head as I read the first part of this article. All of these things have been pulling and tugging at my brain and my heart. Thank you for letting me know I was not the only one who was going through this. And yes you have made podcasting sound so easy, thank you for that. You are the second person that has touted the benefits, so it’s at the top of my to-do list.

  28. says

    I’m just now starting to do a few video or vlogs. Podcasting is something I’d like to do soon, but need to invest in some of the equipment. I love your suggestions, especially on having something important to say, and the link for equipment and tech stuff.

  29. Darryl says

    Hey Rita,
    Timely information without all the hysterical hype (really refreshing) I’m about to launch a ‘how to’ digital marketing podcast for SME’s on an internet community radio as well as being hosted on my website (yet to be launched). Lots of work for em phew!
    Thanks for a very informative and actionable post.

  30. Gregory Diamond says

    Thank you Rita … Excellent concise information. I am looking for a venue to categorize my resources and experiences in the Eating Disorder and Addictive Behaviors category.. Great tips from your successes.

    • says

      Thank you Gregory. What a great niche to explore. As a therapist I treat a lot of eating disorders and we have done some great shows on the topic. Hope you’ll check it out. Blessings

  31. says

    Awesome! I have a 100,000+ Blog Talk Radio Show. It has always automatically added my shows to iTunes, so I have a podcast without any additional effort. My channel name at iTunes matches my show name at BTR: Marnie’s Friends. It’s been awesome! I highly recommend that others look into starting a podcast or online radio show. What an incredible time to be alive — when anyone can do this thing! Marnie

    • rita schulte says

      You are so right Marnie. There are so many cool opportunities available out there, you just have to spend some time doing some research, find what you’re passionate about and jump in. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  32. says

    Rita,

    Thanks so much for sharing your EXCELLENT tips! I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but my typical introverted self normally avoids public speaking, so this time around I’m going to let my extroverted joint venture colleagues/friends do the talking. :) Thanks to your info (which I’ve shared with them), we can get started VERY SOON, knowing that it can be done for a very low price or even free! We encourage music making for all ages, especially hobbyist musicians and older learners (teens and adults) and we also provide live entertainment for special events—private, corporate, local, and across the country.

    Radio shows would be awesome value-added offerings to students and clients in my line of work since not very many in the field do this sort of thing.

    BTW, therapy/psychology, health/nutrition, and spirituality happen to be my other areas of interest, so I’m checking out your stuff too! :)

    Again, thank you and Happy New Year! Blessings!

    • rita schulte says

      Nancee I am so glad it was helpful. It’s a great venue and you will improve with time and practice. Thanks for checking out my site and thanks for sharing!

    • rita schulte says

      It’s so cool to see so many people thinking about stepping out and trying podcasting or other types of social media. Thanks Tammy.

  33. christian McGillicuddy says

    Excellent insight. I have been searching for ways to start something simular to this, this is a great help to get started. Thanks for putting this information together. This was very helpful!!!

  34. says

    A most excellent post! I wish I’d gotten to see it a couple months ago. I’ve been “bugged” by the idea of podcasting for awhile now, and I wanted to get into it but had no idea where to start.

    I bought a brilliant program on it and don’t regret that, but this one post has more usable info in it than all the searching I was doing on the topic a couple months ago.

    I found myself in a place with my business where I HAD some subscribers, I WAS seeing results, but man . . . it was excruciatingly slow going, and they all seemed to be waiting on me to do something. And I didn’t know what!

    Finally, thanks to FPM, I realized everyone was waiting for some engagement!

    I got into podcasting, and I’m still pretty new to it, but it’s more fun than a lot of people would think. I treat it like “speaking a blog” and it works like magic.

    Thanks for your ideas. I’m going to check out those links to make sure I haven’t missed any good pointers on the subject!

    • rita schulte says

      How cool Lindsey! It is fun and I hope some of my ideas can help you. Blessings to you and thanks for writing.

  35. says

    Rita,

    This is awesome information. You are great at interviewing people because I was one of them. It flowed so easily and I was so nervous but you made me feel comfortable and at ease.

    This great information and I will really look into doing this when I get some time.

    Thanks

    Leslie Raddatz

    • rita schulte says

      I’m so excited you’ve listened. we have some great guests lined up for 2013. Thanks for your kind comment.

  36. Gail says

    Hi Rita!
    This is great information! You really lay out a good, clear path to get started in podcasting with all the detail you have provided. Your encouraging words are definitely coming from someone as yourself who has perservered and has never given up! You are an inspiration!
    Blessings,
    Gail

  37. says

    NICE POST! I do a live radio program and have toyed with doing a podcast. (I already upload my recorded show to a podcast, but I would like to have more production control). Like so much in life, doing it right is crucial and your detailed description makes it seem a little more doable.

    • rita schulte says

      Thanks Sharon, i finally hired a producer and its made a world of difference in the quality of the show. But it’s good learning experience to do it yourself because you learn so much. You also know what works and what doesn’t and how to improve. Sounds like you’ve done a good job already. tnx for writing.

  38. Joe Shallcross says

    Rita,
    Great observations! I’ve enjoyed listening to your pod casts and have been moved by the insights. It’s certainly a challenge to achieve a measure of success. It’s also clear that it’s no easy feat and that persisitance and hard work every bit as important as skill and ability. Thanks for summarizing some of the methods processes you’ve yoused to successfully navigate the difficult waters of marketing yourself!
    All the best to you for continued success.

  39. says

    Rita,

    This was incredibly helpful. I have to admit that starting a podcast seems a bit “scary” so I really appreciate the walk through. This is a great tool for nonprofits looking to get some exposure and gain awareness.

    Thanks!

    • rita schulte says

      Yes it would be. There are so many opportunities for exposure today with social media. Keep it in mind and thanks for commenting.

  40. says

    Great page, site and info Rita! We currently have an Internet radio program but we’re considering doing a podcast or blogtalk radio. You offer some great info and I will read the post again and check out some of the links and sources. Thanks for sharing this with me!

  41. says

    Thanks so much for sharing your remarkable insight. I never thought I could talk very well, but enjoyed a blog-radio interview with Lena Nelson Dooley. It certainly sparked my interest!

  42. Stephanie says

    This is so innovative Rita! Doing podcasts are such a wonderful tool to reach a large and diverse audience. I know God is using your podcast is amazing ways! This was also really helpful to me because I would love to do something like this one day. Thanks so much for your effort to give people hope who are wanting to break into blogging, writing, and business!

    • rita schulte says

      Thank you Stephanie. I am so glad it was helpful and I hope one day you’ll be able to put this advice into action. Thanks for commenting!

    • rita schulte says

      Thank you Genet. It’s absolutely a great way to reach and help lots of folks. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

  43. Norm III says

    Y’know, Rita, I’ve actually been toying with doing something like this, in terms of blogging about role as father and successful fathering, especially through difficult times in the father’s life. (I’ve wrapped up a rather difficult five years of my life, and have not lost my sons’ hearts, in the process. It Wasn’t Easy To Do, I assure you!)

    Your post makes it more accessible, more believable, more attainable.

    Your post encourages me to share my perspectives with other fathers (and mothers, as well), as I “re-invest my life, with bigger purposes and plans, in mind.”

    Good job, Rita, good job!

    All the best,

    Norm III

    • rita schulte says

      Thanks so much Norm. I’m glad it was encouraging. Looks like you’ve had a lot to consider over the last few years. The re-investment piece in life takes courage, tenacity and stick to it ness. Thanks for writing. Best of luck in the future.

  44. Pat Sullivan says

    Great information! Specific, useful, and easily doable. The links to specific other sites and recommendations for equipment are particularly useful. Ms Shulte should write a book on the subject. Thanks much.

    • rita schulte says

      Thank you Pat. I am so glad the links were helpful. I’m not sure about a book on that though. I’ll leave that one to my producer! Tnx for writing in.

  45. Cindy says

    Rita you are so willing to help others with your wealth of information and hard earned experiences. Thanks for sharing your care for those around you.

    • rita schulte says

      Thanks Grant. This is a great site full of awesome info. You will learn so much. Thanks for reading the post.

  46. Melanie says

    This is great information.
    There are so many people blogging now
    that it’s difficult to get the traction needed
    to be truly successful at it. Your thoughts on how
    to succeed and how we shouldn’t give up after
    a few attempts is encouraging.
    Thank you!

  47. Mehret Mandefro says

    This is great content that is relevant for anyone who is trying to make an impact in this world! Thank you.

  48. Jasmin Rae says

    Rita,
    This is a very detailed and informative post. I recently wrote a piece about how podcasting will pretty much help brands win in 2013. I am not confident many brands are aware of the power behind podcasting, which explains why it hasn’t been a big part (if it’s been a part at all) of their marketing strategies.
    I invite you to read my piece and let me know what you think.
    Thanks!

  49. wilma says

    Rita you are such an inspirtion to all women–spirit, soul and body thank you so much for your obedience to the Lord. Blessings over you Mighty Woman of God.

  50. says

    Rita,

    Interesting article with some great “how to” tips. But here’s what I don’t get.

    What makes podcasting special? Why, if the blog or the book or the articles are not getting traction, would podcasting be different?

    Help convince me, please. Thanks.

    Howard

    • rita schulte says

      Howard, it’s just another way to reach out and share your message. The way technology is going people are streaming everything from their apps, phones, computers and pads. People like to listen to something and it has to be short and to the point—and this is another way to garner attention. If you’re good, you can actually get picked up by some stations. If what you’re talking about is beneficial and offers great content someone will notice. It’s just like anything else, you have to keep at it and be persistent. Thanks for writing

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