So, you’re thinking about hosting a podcast, but you don’t know where to begin? Podcasting is one of the best mediums to personally showcase your skills and talents. One of the most important things you can do for your speaking career is to find out how to position yourself as an expert. And having a podcast can demonstrate to others that you are an expert on a particular topic of interest. Furthermore, you can build your network by inviting guests in your area of expertise to join your podcast, which will help them extend their reach as you grow your network. But how do you start a podcast on Spotify, Apple, or others? How do you build and grow an audience?
For answers to these questions and more, read on.
How to start a podcast (and get it on Spotify/Apple)
Determine your genre and audience
As outlined in our post on how to become an expert, the first step to becoming an expert is to pick a target area of expertise. So when you’re wondering how to start a podcast on Spotify, Apple, or others, you need to choose a genre of podcast and an audience. The audience you want to speak to may change over time, but start by picking an audience.
Your niche and your area of expertise should ideally be determined by something in your background that gives you an edge over others interested in that area, or at the very least a strong desire to learn and know more about your niche topic. (For more on finding your niche for a given audience, check out our podcast on just that.)
Spotify recommends you get to know your audience better once you start by analyzing their data on what episodes listeners are streaming the most, which can help you plan future episodes or get sponsors. Through Spotify, you can also “dive deeper into each episode with details around how long people listen and where they start and stop, all while tracking your follower growth.”
Finding your niche
How do you start a podcast with no audience, and how do you find that audience? As you determine your niche, it may be helpful to go narrower than you think, while maintaining a balance of finding an area enough people are interested in. Jeff Rose, a certified financial planner, joined the Speaker Lab podcast to talk about how he positioned himself as an expert and became a regular contributor to Forbes.
According to Rose, who started out as a personal finance expert, he could have gained a lot more traction as an expert sooner if he had developed a more specific niche. Rose started out writing about numerous different niches within personal finance, from investing for newbies to social security to pensions. “I didn’t have a really clear strategy,” Rose said.
But as he developed his niche, Rose started to find success by honing in on a niche of life insurance. After publishing a couple hundred blog posts, a couple dozen YouTube videos, and a podcast on life insurance over 9 months, Rose found a lot more traction.
“It got more traction in probably one fifth a time,” Rose said. And “the revenue and the opportunities that came along with that came so much faster, because all I talked about was life insurance for about nine months straight.”
Whether it takes you 10,000 hours, hundreds of blog posts and Youtube videos, scores of quotes to reporters, a podcast, or a book, defining your niche of expertise is core to becoming an expert and getting your podcast on Spotify. If you’re still not sure what your niche is, or you’d like to learn more about how to find your niche, you may be interested in our podcast with Jill Christensen on finding it here.
Start a website to support your podcast
If you want to speak on your area of expertise, have a solid personal website. If you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. A website is the most common way for clients to find and research you. And no, we’re not talking about a Facebook page or a LinkedIn profile. An actual website on a domain you own. (for more on doing speaker websites, check out this episode of The Speaker Lab podcast)
If you want to have a second site for more niche material, it may make sense to have a separate name and URL for that page. On it, you can host your blog and share other material from your podcast.
Make sure your site looks sharp. Whether we like it or not, please judge books by their cover, so if your website looks like it was designed by your 2nd grade child, they’ll assume you suck as a speaker or podcaster.
According to Jeff Rose, the certified financial planner and Forbes contributor, his blog was the best place to start, as he posted client case studies and showcases of different projects he had worked on over the years. He bolstered his blog posts with Youtube videos, podcast episodes, and a social media presence.
Even after you’ve built a site and posted some initial material, don’t expect to receive major publicity. It may take years of consistent churning out posts to see substantial returns. But that can come sooner through networking – read on.
Choose good software and equipment
Next, to start a podcast on Spotify, you’ll want to choose some good software and equipment to record and upload your podcast. Podcaster Jeff Sanders recommended several in an episode of the Speaker Lab podcast here. “The basic USB dynamic microphone is the key,” Sanders said. “The Samson Q2U is a good brand, and the ATR2100 is another good one.” Both of these are less than a hundred dollars.
Should you do the producing on the back end yourself or hire someone? Sanders said his philosophy is to do it yourself first and then make the decision based on whether you are good at it, whether you can do it quickly, and whether you can hire someone else to do it better and faster and cheaper. Based on the answers to these questions, you may decide it is more efficient to hire someone on Upwork to do the mixing and sound editing. Regardless, Sanders says, “audio quality does matter. So if your show sounds like dirt, don’t publish it. Make the audio quality decent, because listeners will tune out and will stop listening if your show is really difficult to hear.”
If you’re interested in using an editing software yourself, you might consider Garageband (which comes free if you have a Mac computer). There are also free options such as Audacity, and more expensive software like Adobe Audition. Make sure to save the file in a .mp3 format. Make sure you label the file clearly so you can refer back to it later. Then share your podcast file to a podcast host (details below)
Find a podcast hosting hub
If you host your podcast with one of Spotify’s aggregator partners, it’s easy to get your podcast on Spotify! Find out how from Spotify’s listed aggregators below:
If you’re interested in getting your podcast on Apple, a full list of their hosting partners can be found here.
So you’ve found your niche, started your website, and cranked out some podcasts. Now what? One way to give yourself a megaphone for greater reach is to connect with journalists and media that are in your area of expertise. Jeff Rose used the free site HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to connect with reporters in the finance space. Up to three times a day, they would email a list of journalists and bloggers who were looking for quotes for different categories.
Once you have a sense of who the writers in your space are, look them up. They’re often on Twitter or LinkedIn, and after you start following them and sharing their content, you can more confidently engage with them online. With you fresh in their mind, a response to their request for a quote can be more likely to be received.
Another good move can be to attend conferences for whatever niche that you’re in. But make sure that you’re attending these conferences with the mentality of “How can I help you?” to those you meet.
One final method of networking can be to use your site to create a warm introduction with someone you’d like to connect with. For example, you can create a list of the top 10 influencers in your area of expertise and list one or two people you’d like to reach out to. This may put you on their radar without even emailing them yet. If you are able to name them on a major site such as Forbes, CNN, or The Washington Post, you build their brand and increase their credibility as well as your own. This can help you make a cold email much warmer.
Stop looking for a shortcut. Becoming an expert takes time. This is not an overnight thing. The foremost experts on the planet and those who have had the most successful careers didn’t get lucky. They didn’t find a magical shortcut that is hidden from you. They worked their butt off on their craft and their area of expertise. There’s no shortcut here. Just do the work.
All in all, starting and maintaining a podcast can help you to further your speaking career. Podcasting is personal, and can keep an audience coming back for more while putting a positive spin on your brand for your audience. How to start a podcast on Spotify can be simplified with an audience and a strategy for implementing your content for that audience.
If you found this piece helpful, we have a great podcast with Grant Baldwin and Cliff Ravenscraft on how running a podcast will grow your speaking career. He talks about the connection between podcasting and public speaking and how he’s helped people start 40,000 podcasts (!). You also check out this podcast with Grant Baldwin on hosting events vs podcasting, and which has greater marketing impact.
So you’ve learned how to start a podcast on Spotify. Want to read more about speaking tips? Take a look at our 100 tips for motivational speaking for any speaking engagement! Happy speaking!