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If you want to start a podcast and think you have what it takes to make it successful, then let me start by saying, congratulations! Having that spark of an idea is the first step in what can become a fun and fulfilling journey.
Still, having the idea to start a podcast is only the first step you need to take; figuring out what the next steps are can be tricky if you’re unsure of the intent behind your podcast. Setting out on the road to becoming a successful podcaster can be bumpy but especially so if you do begin the journey without understanding the method of intentional podcasting.
What Is Intentional Podcasting?
The podcasting industry is constantly growing and is fraught with potential competitors. In today’s landscape, there are podcasts available for every topic imaginable. In order to have your voice rise above the din and reach your target market of listeners, new podcasters need to have a clear vision and niche in mind for the messaging.
When you sit down to intentionally plot out the plan for your podcast, you don’t have to write a 100-page thesis. Your written plan can be as simple as “I’m passionate about the TV show Friends, and I’d love to recap every episode and what I enjoyed about them.” The driving force behind any podcast is passion. If you try to launch a podcast about a topic you’re not knowledgeable or passionate about, your interest will dwindle by the second episode.
Business leaders, hobbyists and brands start podcasts with a myriad of intentions. Some may want to change people’s perceptions of a topic. Others might want to bring more attention to their new business or offer a cost-effective content platform for audiences to connect with a brand. Maybe they simply have a niche they love and are being pulled in some way to talk about it. Podcasts can also be a vehicle to build relationships after having inspiring and value-driven conversations.
How to Approach Intentional Podcasting
Based on my experience, there are specific steps you can take when intentionally planning out your podcast. They include taking time to dive deep into your “why” for podcasting, what you would like to get out of your podcast personally and professionally, and how to do the physical work to make your idea come to fruition.
Here are some essential steps to keep in mind with intentional podcasting:
The first important step of starting a podcast is brainstorming. What topics are you going to cover? Who are your potential guests? Better yet, who are your dream guests? Are you willing and able to do some solo episodes? Brainstorming can help you decide if you have enough “meat” for a well-rounded, intentionally-planned podcast.
2. Planning Your Time
We often read or hear about being intentional with our time. We all get 24 hours in a day, and if we’re not careful, those hours can quickly get away from us. To intentionally create a brand new podcast, you’ll need to look at how much time you have to give to your podcast idea. Typically, when podcasters first start, our excitement leads to overscheduling.
A good practice is to dedicate a two-hour block on two separate days to podcasting. For example, keep 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Thursday free for recording. You can use these four total hours to record shows or plan out future shows. You also need to allow time for marketing your podcast and doing behind-the-scenes work such as editing. Utilizing free services like Calendly for scheduling can allow you to organize your podcasting time well.
3. Practice and Future Planning
If you intend your podcast to be long-lasting and deliver a quality product, you must practice the craft. Nothing is going to be perfect right out of the gate. After recording a few shows and releasing them to the public, think about sustainability. Does it make sense to make the show a weekly podcast? Can you commit to that? If not, would it be easier for you to commit to a twice-monthly podcast? Perhaps, after recording and releasing a few episodes, you realize that your idea would be better as a serial show, meaning it comes out only once a year over the course of 12 weeks.
The longer you record and hone your craft, the better and more dynamic your podcast will become. All of that good content comes from intentionally planning out your show from the beginning.
Get into the game with intention and purpose to make your podcast stand out.
No matter the topic, podcasting is about storytelling. Great storytelling begins with a clear intention about what you want people to hear, learn and think about your topic. With dedicated planning, your podcast can join the ranks of some of the best out there, entertaining and informing hundreds of thousands of listeners each week.