Ever had one of those moments?
A moment when your heart tells you to take a risk even though it terrifies you.
For me, that was podcasting.
But launching the Selling The Couch podcast has been one of the best professional and personal decisions that I’ve made.
It’s changed my career path and my family’s life in ways I could have never imagined.
As the Selling The Couch blog continues to grow, many of our colleagues in the health and wellness space have reached out asking for support in launching their own podcast.
So I thought I’d create this complete podcasting tutorial to say thank you for the trust you’ve placed in me and to help you get started.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. But I’ve tried my best to learn from my errors, now taking over 24 months worth of careful notes in my trusty sketch pad (if you’re a fan of the STC blog, I imagine that this doesn’t surprise you one bit! =P).
I was also fortunate enough to learn podcasting from several people who I consider mentors including John Lee Dumas, Kate Ericsson, Pat Flynn, Christy Hausler, and Joel Boggess. For them, I’m grateful.
I also attended Podcast Movement where I soaked in everything I could learn about podcasting from people more experienced than me. With this knowledge, I launched the Selling The Couch Podcast in March 2015. Since then:
- The podcast has surpassed 275,000 downloads spanning over 100 countries and has over 150 5/5 Star Reviews (As of May 2017).
- The podcast was rated one of the Top 15 New and Noteworthy podcasts and is now regularly one of the Top 100 Business and Top 30 Career podcasts in all of iTunes, which statistically puts it into the Top 1% of all podcasts!
- My website traffic has increased from 0 to an average of 7,200 unique monthly visitors (As of May 2017).
- My email list has grown from 0 to 4,247 (As of May 2017).
- I’ve built friendships with colleagues (thank you Cory, Keri, and Camille for those first interviews), best selling authors, and sought after experts from all around the world by interviewing them on my podcast.
- I’ve been featured in Psychology Today, one of the top 2,500 websites in the world (thank you, Michael for seeing something in me before I saw it in myself) and will be an expert presenter for Good Therapy, a website that receives over 1 million monthly viewers.
- I’ve become more confident as a person (this is something I’ve always struggled with) and a better public speaker.
- And the best part is that, for the first time in my career, I have a healthy work-life balance. Evenings and weekends are generally reserved for quality time with family, pick up basketball, and rest.
THE BEST (AND UNEXPECTED) PART OF LAUNCHING A PODCAST....
I once had a friend tell me that podcasting is one of the best ways to build relationships with others.
I didn’t know what he meant at first. I mean…all I was doing was talking into a mic.
But as I look back, his statement is absolutely true.
In less than 26 months, my own Facebook community for aspiring and current mental health private practitioners has blossomed from 53 to over 5,000 colleagues from all around the world.
I get to talk to them on a daily basis, figure out how I can serve them, and get to know them as people.
And, as often as possible, I like to personally welcome new members into my community (I feel like it’s the right thing to do because they took the time to join) and ask them how they found out about me.
The vast majority of them tell me that they found out about me thru the podcast.
Then they tell usually tell me something like, “Melvin, I feel like I already know you even though we’ve never met.”
Let’s think about that for a moment.
Colleagues that I’ve never met in person know, like, and trust me because they heard my voice on a podcast.
But that’s the power of podcasting.Podcasting is one of the most powerful mediums available today to built trust and authority. Click To Tweet
MY #1 TIP IF YOU’RE GOING TO LAUNCH A PODCAST…
Podcasting is a ton of fun and has enormous potential for you.
But it’ll take some time to set up your podcast and to get it going.
It’s definitely not a “get rich quick” platform (I’m never been a fan of those).
But what you create through your podcast will give you a solid foundation to take your business and career to levels that you and I can’t even imagine.
But I must warn you… the mental barriers and the insecurities that arise when we all start something new will come up when you launch your podcast.
And that’s where most people quit initially.
You may also find that you won’t have high download numbers initially (this is the second point where most people quit).
This is because people are just finding your podcast. You have to give it time.
I had 10 downloads on my first day (I’m fairly sure this was me, friends, and family =p).
I took a screen shot just for fun:
I joke about it now, but that was a hard day.
To be honest, I shed quite a few tears.
I wanted to quit right there.
But remember the magic of podcasting is that listeners find your podcast as you release new episodes.
Here’s a video to show you what I mean:
So my #1 advice is to “Stick With It.”
Your podcast is about helping your business reach new audiences, but it’s part of something much bigger.
It’s about leaving a positive impact on the world.
As much as we’ll talk about technology in this post, always remember this.
You have a message to share and a people to serve.
Next, I wanted to share some pretty interesting podcasting stats.
These stats speak to how rapidly podcasting is growing and the potential they offer to business owners.
Men Vs. Women
Some College And Beyond
Use Social Media Multiple Times Per Day
Listen To Every Episode
Respond To Podcast Ads
Spend $132 per year on books (vs. $32.18 for average US consumer)
Just looking at these stats, we can conclude that the average podcast listener is educated, has disposable income, reads a lot, is engaged and respond to product and service recommendations heard on podcasts, active on social media, and, in the US (they’re still working on worldwide data) is diverse and representative.
Next, we’ll get into the nitty gritty and talk all about gear and software, which is another place a lot of aspiring podcasters get stuck.
But not us.
So let’s get to it.
RECOMMENDED PODCASTING GEAR AND SOFTWARE
If there’s one tip that I can give you, it’s to KISS when it comes to podcasting gear and software (KISS = Keep It Simple Silly).
Don’t fall into the trap of needing the “latest and greatest.”
You can always upgrade later once your podcast is established.
My entire podcasting setup cost me less than $150. It’s how I’ve recorded 57 episodes. I could upgrade to one of those fancy $400 mics, but hey, what I have works.
Here’s what I use:
PODCASTING MICROPHONE AND ACCESSORIES
- Audiotechnica ATR2100USB: Fantastic starter mic for your podcast. This one should be worth at least 2x what the cost is. It’s the one I use for the Selling The Couch podcast.
- Neewer Mic Arm: The ATR2100 USB comes with a mic stand, but it’s small and impractical. I like this one because I can clip it to a desk, move it up and down, and angle it in different ways.
- Auphonix Pop Filter: I position this filter 2-3 inches in front of my mic to help reduce distracting sounds when you speak.
- Audio-Technica ATH-M30x: A reasonably priced (but very good quality) headphone. Having quality headphones lets you pick up distracting sounds on your podcast to edit out later. Recording without headphones will leave you with strange noises that are hard to edit out.
PODCAST RECORDING AND EDITING SOFTWARE
- Audacity: The free software I use to edit the podcast. Available for Mac and PC.
- Skype: Free software to connect with upcoming guests throughout the world.
- E-Camm Call Recorder: Use this software to record Skype calls if you’re a Mac user.
- Pamela: Use this software to record Skype calls if you’re a Windows user.
- Auphonic: The software I use to “level out” podcast episodes so everything sounds amazing. Use this to save hours manually editing.
- ID3 Editor: I use this program to “tag” my podcast episodes so they can be found in directories like iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.
- Libsyn: The podcast hosting service I use. You want to upload each new podcast episode to a hosting service and not to your website or directly into directories. Use Promo code “couch” at checkout to get your 1st month FREE.
Now that we have the gear and software out of the way, let’s go thru a few things you need to gather before you record your first podcast episode.
4 THINGS YOU SHOULD GATHER BEFORE RECORDING YOUR FIRST EPISODE
Note from Melvin: I know that podcasting can get a bit technical. So if you have ANY questions as you go through this tutorial, feel free to join me for an upcoming podcasting workshop. It’s free, and I’m more than happy to answer your questions and support you =). If you need 1 on 1 support, I also offer 1 on 1 podcast consulting.
Before we start recording your first podcast episode, there are a few pieces of information to gather (trust me, doing this now will save a lot time in the future).
- Podcast Name: This is the name of your podcast. Keep your podcast name short and easy to spell. If possible, include keywords in your podcast name (remember, iTunes is a search engine with millions of searches each month).
- Podcast Author: This is your name. Be sure to include any degrees or qualifications you have as well. Also include “power words” that show what your podcast is about. Mine says “Private Practice Building | Marketing | Social Media.” This section is keyword friendly. Finally, include prominent guests that you’ve had on your podcast. There’s a practice on the internet of including the names of famous people in this section that people have not had on their podcast just to get traffic from listeners who are searching for those names. Don’t do this. It’s insincere, and you’re going to be lose trust rather than build it.
- Show Description: This is a brief description of what your podcast is about. Keep it short and engaging and keyword friendly (but don’t stuff the description full of keywords). You can also put a link to your email list in the show description (this will show up as a clickable link on smartphones).
- Podcast Logo: I’m all about saving money, but having a designer create your podcast logo is one of the wisest decisions you can make. Your logo is the first visual that potential listeners see, and you want it to look professional. I recommended creating your podcast logo thru 99 Designs.
You’ll need to get different dimensions for your podcast logo. I recommend 1400 x 1400 when you submit your podcast to iTunes and Google Play (these dimensions sometimes change so here’s are links to Apple and Google’s podcasting pages so you’re getting the latest information). You’ll also need a 300 x 300 of your logo for ID3 Editor. I would also ask for a 4200 x 4200 for future branding purposes.
6 CRITICAL STEPS TO LAUNCH YOUR PODCAST: AN OVERVIEW
I put step by step videos below to guide you to launching your podcast.
But, before we get there, here’s an infographic called “The 6 Critical Steps To Launching Your Podcast” that explains the steps we’ll be covering.
Feel free to download the infographic so that you can reference these steps later.
Below, you’ll find videos that break down each of the above steps into manageable chunks.
VIDEO 1: SETTING UP YOUR MIC
VIDEO 2: HOW TO RECORD SOLO AND INTERVIEW-BASED EPISODES
VIDEO 3: HOW TO EDIT YOUR PODCAST
VIDEO 4: HOW TO TAG AND UPLOAD YOUR PODCAST TO A HOSTING SERVICE.
VIDEO 5: HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR PODCAST TO DIRECTORIES
We’re almost there. In this video, you’ll learn how to submit your podcast to directories like iTunes and Google.
Note from Melvin: Apple recently introduced a new program called Podcasts Connect that will make submitting your podcast much easier. You’re now submitting to iTunes Connect instead of iTunes (slightly different than what I share in the video).
3 COMMON PODCASTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED
As I think about all the questions others have asked me about podcasting, three of them stand out. So I thought I’d answer them to get you unstuck and moving forward!
How Do You Get Clients From A Podcast?
There are several ways. First, just having a podcast and using it as a way to talk about your expertise is going to naturally create listeners (there are over 800 million iTunes users and over 50 million monthly searches on iTunes).
The end of a podcast episode is also a great time to encourage a podcast listener to take the next step because they’ve taken the time to listen to an entire episode and are invested.
As a health and wellness expert, you can reference your website, a new program/group you’re running, or some other way to touch base with you.
One thing I’ve found helpful is to personalize the message to the content of your podcast episode (e.g., If you were talking about improving communication and have a group for that topic, reference it in that episode).
How Much Time Does It Take To Create A Podcast?
I would start by looking at your schedule and seeing how much time you can dedicate every week to podcasting (instead of committing to a 30 minute or hour long podcast, which is what many new podcasters do).
I’ve found that, for every 1 minute of recording time, you need to set aside 4 minutes for editing/show notes/promotion. So if you have one hour per week to dedicate to podcasting, I would create a 10-12 minute episode.
Should I Create A Separate Website For My Podcast?
If you already have a business website, simply add a section to your website for your podcast. That way you’re getting traffic from your podcast and other sources of traffic going to one location.
I would purchase the “.com” for your podcast name if it’s available and re-direct that website to go to your main website. That way, when listeners search for your podcast on Google, they’re get redirected to your business website.
If you don’t have a website, I recommended Site Ground (it’s what I use for the STC blog and my other websites; you’ll just need the lowest tiered plan if you have a single website) for website hosting and Elegant Themes for the website design (I bought the Lifetime access plan. It’s by far the best value especially if you’re thinking about having multiple websites down the line).
HOW CAN LAUNCHING A PODCAST HELP ME?
We’re in a unique position in mind/body health, wellness, and fitness space because we’re in an area that’s in high demand.
The personal improvement is a 10 Billion dollar industry per year in just the U.S.
An in demand industry plus a growing distribution medium like podcasting means a lot of potential for us in the health/wellness and fitness space.
Here are some concrete (and creative) ways to use podcasting to further your business and influence:
- Direct additional “warm” traffic to website. Because podcast listeners already know, like, and trust you, they’re more likely to take action (e.g., schedule a session or purchase a product you offer).
- Create your own platform through your podcast to share your message, services, and products with the world (instead of solely paying other distribution channels).
- There are 152 million blogs and but only 190,000 English speaking podcasts (as of January 2016) meaning that it’s much less competition and easier for you to rank in iTunes than in Google.
- Connect with influencers, authors, researchers in your niche.
- Speak at conferences.
- Create supplemental income through courses, ads, e-books, etc mentioned on your podcast.
- Create a lifestyle business meaning that you prioritize your wellbeing and loved ones and get out of the “trading time for money” trap that many of us fall into.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it for you.
I spent over 45 hours researching and recording it knowing that it will accelerate your podcasting journey.
As I mentioned, if you need additional support or have questions, I conduct free, live, online podcasting workshops regularly where I’m more than happy to answer any questions you have.
If you’ve found this tutorial helpful, please do me a huge favor and share it on social media using the social share buttons on this page or this Click To Tweet:
Hey all! Check out this Complete Guide To Launching Your #Podcast http://bit.ly/1RH7HrG Click To Tweet
AN INVITATION (THE HEALTHCASTERS)
I hope this tutorial has you excited about launching your podcast.
The potential of what how podcasting can change our career is enormous.
But, as podcasting continues to get popular, I’ve noticed that more and more marketing dollars are being invested into the space.
While this is a very good sign for the industry, it also means that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average person like you and I to successfully launch, grow, and monetize a podcast on our own.
So one day I had an idea.
What if I create a community for those in the mind/body health, wellness, and fitness space who want to podcast.
And, what if I could teach everything I’ve learned from my own podcasting journey to maximize the chance to launch, grow, and monetize a podcast successfully?
Enter, The Healthcasters. The #1 podcasting community and community for mind/body health, wellness, and fitness podcasters.
- Learn from me thru 6 modules and over 30 step by step video tutorials like those above.
- Network with other health, wellness, and fitness podcasters through a private community and receive support 24-7.
- Have access to sound engineers, editors, and social media experts in the community so that you’re never stuck.
- Access every cheat sheet, swipe file, and script I use for my podcast so you save time and money.
- Have other Healthcasters share your podcast with their audience so that you continually attract new listeners.
- Get discounts on podcasting services so you’re not spending more money than you need to.
- Learn how to use podcast to improve search engine rankings and truly connect with those you want to serve.
- Stay up to date in the world of podcasting thru regular teaching workshops.
Wishing you much success on your podcasting journey! ~Melvin