Have you ever wondered if maybe you should start a podcast? Or how difficult it might be to get set up and running with a podcast of your own?
Either way, I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on podcasting with you, because I’d love to get you thinking about your own podcast. In fact, I bet you’ve got an idea brewing inside you right now for a podcast you’d love to produce and deliver!
I’ve been producing my podcast, Private Practice Made Perfect since 2016, but I first started thinking about getting started back in 2015. It took me a whole 12 months to finally get to the point where I hit record and produced my first episode! Hopefully it won’t take you quite as long, especially with the tips I’ll give you here.
So, let’s talk about podcasting, pull it apart, and demystify it a little bit. I’ll walk you through the main reasons why you should (probably) start a podcast and the steps to get started (because it’s actually not as hard as it sounds!).
Why start a podcast
1. Podcasting is the new blog
What I’ve read from all the weird and wonderful places I go to for business reading, is that increasingly, we have less and less time for reading and that our ability to sustain our visual attention for reading is getting lower. That’s not good news for bloggers, but it is good news for podcasters!
Podcasting is an amazing way to absorb information, and I believe that listening and sound is the way of the future. (I know my podcast production crew would 100% agree with this!)
So if you’re looking for an effective way to engage and educate your potential clients, I believe podcasting is the way to go – possibly moreso than a blog.
2. It suits your time-poor clients
Think about the clients you serve as an allied health professional and business owner. What’s one thing their carers and educators have in common? It’s that they’re time-poor! (As time poor as YOU are, although in different ways.) And that’s why podcasting is absolutely perfect for them.
Podcasting is a great multi-tasking tool because your listeners can tune in while they drive, exercise, and do other tasks. You can be sure they’d love to get some short, snappy, downloadable content that helps them get in and around their challenges, dial up their success, and improve their lives.
3. There’s demand for podcasts in the allied health and clinical education space
Whenever I’ve looked online, there are very few podcasts that talk about allied health and clinical education topics. I can see there’s a little bit of content on autism and different diagnostic groups, but overall, there’s very little to choose from in the disability field.
So unlike almost all the other popular content types out there (like social media, blogging, and YouTube), there’s a lot of demand in this space. We’re nowhere near close to this podcast phenomenon peaking, and you can still get in while we’re in the early days. That means more listeners who are eager to hear what you’ve got to say, and less competition to get started.
4. It’s the perfect way to tell a story
As you know, marketing our businesses as allied health professionals is tricky. We’ve got to find ways to get around the testimonial thing, and that’s why content marketing is perfect for private practices and allied health businesses. It allows us to tell stories, share information, build trust, and we keep it really focused on adding value and helping people – not being salesy.
5. It’s an amazing marketing tool
Think about where you’ve seen my podcast… it shows up everywhere! LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, my website, and so on. I find it’s a brilliant way for people to hear a bit about what I do, why I do it, and what I believe in. And that just makes it a little bit easier for them to step forward, get into my diary, and kind of talk to me about their business and how I might be able to help them.
6. Getting started isn’t as hard as you might think!
And perhaps my favourite reason of all why you should start a podcast… it’s actually not that hard to get started! Especially if you break it down into simple steps (like the ones I’ve listed below).
10 steps to get started with your podcast
1. Know what purpose it serves
When I was planning my podcast, the first thing I did was focus in on its purpose. What purpose was it going to serve? I realised that it was super important for me to support allied health business owners, capture their stories, and talk about their challenges. Plus I wanted to bring in other people I know from my extended business community who could provide really useful, generous, interesting tips. Knowing my podcast’s purpose has helped me stay focused on delivering on my promise with every episode.
2. Know your listener
You’ll need to consider who your listener is. Think about what they might be worrying about and what information you have that can help them overcome their challenges and live better lives. Because if you focus on your listener and really help them, they’ll keep coming back to listen – and they’ll tell their community about you, too.
3. Brainstorm your content ideas
Now for the fun bit! It’s time to go nuts on the brainstorming and content plan! Whatever method you use, whether it’s a mindmap, spreadsheet, Trello, or something else, the main point is to get the content ideas out of your head onto paper or screen. That’s when it’ll start to become real and you give yourself a greater chance of following through and doing well. And over time, this content plan and list of ideas is something you can keep adding to.
4. Get into micro-topic level
What I usually find happens in step 3 is that your topics are a little too high level. The smaller the topic, the tighter the conversation, and the more effective and powerful it will be. And of course, the easier it is to plan and talk about. Every podcast episode you produce shouldn’t be a research-based PhD. Niche down and get super specific. All you need is 5 minutes to talk about a micro-topic. So once you’ve got that content plan and the overarching topics, break those topics down into micro-topics and see if you can write out three tips for each micro-topic. Then they become your podcast episode. Simple, right?
5. Settle on a style
Now it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll style your podcast. This one’s simple too – just be you! It’s like the quote…
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde
I mean, if you’ve listened to my podcast, you would’ve heard me cough and splutter through episodes and deal with background noise. You’ve heard me literally drop the mic. But that’s okay! In fact, I think you’ll find that marketing, sharing, and storytelling have become increasingly casual and “authentic”, because that’s what people connect with – real people!
So just relax and be yourself. You’re not here to try and win awards for your podcasting and how you record the episode. You’re here to connect with your audience in an authentic way.
6. Decide on a format
Now think about your format. You might decide to produce solo podcasts, bring in a guest each time, or mix it up with a bit of both (like I do). And with your podcast length, I find 10-15 minutes is a bit of a sweet spot at the moment because that’s enough time to cover a micro-topic in detail without any extra waffle. Plus, your listeners might not have a solid chunk of time to focus on a longer episode. That said, a lot of my guest interviews are between 40-50 minutes, but to be honest, they could’ve gone for hours! (You’ll likely find this too if you set up guest interviews with your podcast.) But what I try to do is not worry too much about the time, and just focus on providing valuable topics and tips for my audience, and let the conversation flow.
7. Figure out the recording tech
It’s the step you’ve been waiting for – technology! First of all, don’t worry about it. There’s a tech solution and it’s not difficult, but more importantly, there’s always somebody to help you if you can’t figure it out on your own. If that person is me, that would be my pleasure, so contact me and we’ll set up a time to go through how I get all of that stuff done with my podcast team.
But to record all my podcasts, I use Zoom. I record it to the cloud (I’ve paid for the extra storage capacity) which means I can record on-the-go without carrying around an external hard drive. Then I pass the recording onto my team who level it out, tidy it up, and make it that little bit more pro. But if you don’t want to get it edited properly, that’s totally fine too. I’m seeing more and more raw, honest, and authentic podcast recordings hitting the market, so full-on editing is optional.
8. Record your intro and outro
This step is optional, but a lot of podcasters like to have an intro/outro with some stock music, which you can purchase online. If you do decide to record an intro and outro, just keep it super simple – sum up what your podcast is about and who it’s for. And perhaps in your outro, let people know where else they can find you.
9. Figure out the editing and publishing aspect
As I’ve said already, you can work with someone or do it yourself to get your podcast edited, produced, and made live. You’ll need to sign up for a hosting platform to host the files, and make sure you’ve got a way to get them published in a feed, then get your podcast listed in all the best places where people can find it (like iTunes, Stitcher, and all the other popular podcasting platforms).
10. Create your artwork
Finally, before you can hit publish, you’ll need some artwork done. I’m talking about those little square tiles that you see with the name of the podcast on it (also called ‘show art’). You can get a graphic designer to whip something up for you, or you can get it done in Canva.
Of course, there are more sophisticated checklists you can follow, and plenty of other comprehensive guides to get started with podcasting. So once you’re done here, go do some further reading on podcasting to keep getting your head around it.
But I just wanted to float this idea with you that you have a story to tell, that you have awesome, helpful information to share, that people will want to listen, and that it’s an amazing marketing tool for your business. And it’s not all that complicated to get started.
A few final podcasting tips
At this point, I can almost hear you now… the objections are starting to come up! You’re probably thinking things like…
- Oh, I’d love to do a podcast, I just don’t have time.
- I’d have to do it over the holidays… I could do it on my leave.
- Maybe I’ll have a think about that in January. (We all know what happens in January, don’t we?)
- I don’t know about the tech.
- It would be too hard.
- I can’t afford it.
- Who would listen?
- What would I talk about?
If it seems like I’m reading your mind, it’s because these are the exact thoughts I had back in 2015 when I first looked into podcasting. And then I procrastinated for 12 months. But then I just hit record, started talking, and the rest is history. So let me please encourage you to have a think, follow the steps above, and just get into it!
Just imagine what you could achieve. You could be providing your participants, your clients, their carers, and their families, with so much gold.
So don’t put that podcasting idea too far down your list. Please don’t wait until the holidays to get it done. Reach out to me – I’m happy to introduce you to my podcast team if you need help. And let me know if you decide to start one – I’d love to check it out. Leave me a comment below with the name of your podcast and what it’s about so I can look it up!