Today we continue the three-part series on the power of podcasting to build an engaged audience, and move from from the ‘why start a podcast’ topic of last week to the actual podcast launch plan. If you decided a podcast is something for you, or if you’re still deciding and want to see the road ahead … this second part is really going to help!

In part 1, I shared three areas that were the main reasons for why I started my podcast: strategically it made sense, for my audience it was a good fit, and for my credibility it added a new dimension to both the consulting and education work we do.

So, basically, it was a perfect platform for me to step into. If you haven’t read the part 1 article or listened to that first episode 33 – it’s probably best you do that and then come back to this part – episode 34 focusing on the podcast launch plan.

There are plenty of resources you can find online for the “7 steps” kind of approach to getting your podcast launched, but most of them don’t really give you the full strategy to get your show into the podcast charts.

It’s one thing to get your podcast hosted and submit your podcast to the major podcast directories. It’s a whole other ballgame to get into the top 200 charts for any given category or country.

So here, I’m letting the cat out of the bag. I’m going to be sharing the podcast launch plan strategy that I followed that worked really well for me. And the credit for this is given to Anna Parker-Naples. I started with her 5-day online challenge and podcast checklist, got all my why and how to start a podcast thinking done, I got my initial planning and prep done and I got my launch plan together.

Then I pulled the trigger!

And up to three-quarters of the way I hadn’t fully decided or committed to the forging ahead with my own podcast. But because I’d done all the strategic thinking work for a successful podcast launch plan, I had the confidence to move forward.

So please do listen back to last week’s episode because really ALL this starts with strategy – being clear why a podcast fits the goals for your business and for yourself, as well as your target listeners.

 

Remember – purpose, audience, occasion.

Right so let me outline what I’m going to cover first, and then we’ll dive in.

I’m going to be sharing my experience of executing a successful podcast launch plan – and by ‘successful” I mean:

  • I personally launched the Leveraged Business Podcast at the end of October
  • it shot into the charts for my chosen categories and
  • became a top 10% global ranking show within just a few weeks
  • instantly grew my website visitors by 300%.

And that came down to what I did in terms of:

Podcast Launch Plan, Preparation, Production and Promotion

What you’re going to need to do for make the idea into a reality comes down to effective implementation of a full end-to-end podcast launch plan.

And that’s what we’re going to cover today, I’m going to share my four steps to a successful launch and outline the ongoing workflow so you can see the launchpad and the road ahead from there too.

Although we’re focusing on the launch – this is also a strategy for launching any product – the preparation (that thinking part we covered last week), so we’ll touch on that again here – and the pre-launch planning, production and promotion stages. We’ll then move into part 3 talking about post-launch tasks that will keep your podcast thriving so it’s really serving you, your listeners and your business.

Launching is a great euphoria – and huge celebration, especially if you’ve followed the plan and you shoot into the podcast charts. Best feeling ever!

Then what? You have to keep it going – build momentum, build your listenership – and for that it really helps to have a great workflow process of all the little steps involved in getting an episode out there, or finding, booking guests. So I’ll be sharing that part of things too. Launching, production and sustainable growth.

Now…before I go through the steps to a successful launch, I’d like to address a question I’m often asked about starting the Leveraged Business Podcast, which sort of circles back to last week’s question of why start a podcast and what’s involved. I could leave that to closing thoughts, but I think it fits pretty well as an opening motivator!

 

Q1. What was your experience of the whole launch process?

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a big fan of crazy launches – but as with my book, in today’s busy marketplace, you can’t just push new things into the world and keep quiet about it. Because getting in the rankings, the charts is a big part of the success trajectory. You need to get noticed. When you get that initial traction, it can take on a bit of a life of its own. If you don’t, then … so I’ve heard … it can be a massive uphill battle to have people find you. So you need to promote your new show hard, fast and furious, at least to start with.

That did go against the grain a little bit for me – I’m much more of a soft launch kind of marketer – rightly or wrongly, that’s just my style. However, I have to say the whole process of launching was actually really fun – kind of exciting and daunting at the same time. What do I mean by that? Well, I felt both euphoric that I’d finally done it and put myself out there, and I felt a little nauseous that I’d finally done it and put myself out there!!!

The Leveraged Business Podcast has been an incredibly valuable vehicle for me for building an engaged audience and consequent business growth. And I’m going to talk about some of the benefits that we’ve been monitoring, in terms of the impact that it’s had on the business.

So I’m paying it forward to you in this episode, sharing what I actually did and what happened, and I’ll say a little bit about the ongoing workflow and how I organise all of that to keep growing my audience, my list and my client base.

I’ll also be addressing lots of other questions that people asked already. And if you have further questions from today, you can go ahead and submit those via a form or recorded message. at jayallyson.com/podcast/qa.

 

4 Steps to a Successful Launch

Okay. So I’ve got four steps for success in launching your new podcast.

  1. Purpose and Profitability
  2. Clarity and Cohesion
  3. Setup and Production
  4. Launching and Promotion

All in all, in terms of building a brand, building an audience and driving traffic into your offer, especially if you’re in the business of consulting or teaching, training or coaching, in terms of how you help people, a high-value, education-focused podcast is a great front-end to what you offer on the backend.

So yeah, launch strategy. It’s definitely worth putting some effort into and doing it well. The other part of the success equation though is networking and marketing. Like anything, keeping the momentum going AFTER your launch needs a bit of help. Although you can let it trickle along and miss a week of promoting, but it’s obviously needs something that is continuous, um, in terms of, of getting people to know about your show.

That takes time and a bit of work. So, I’m including what’s required AFTER the launch – because to me, there’s no point planning, preparing and launching if you’re not willing to keep up the flow and ongoing promotion to grow your listenership. Consistency and patience are really important.

And seeing the road ahead will also hopefully help you decide if it’s right for you. I’m going to go through this really quickly.

Right, here’s the first step…

 

#1 Purpose and Profitability

 

The whole podcast challenge process really helped me with getting even more clarity on my purpose in terms of what a podcast would bring to my business and myself personally, but also in terms of who my audience is and what it is I want to bring to them.

If my immediate goal was visibility, then I needed to get my voice out there in other ways than my articles and books. I wanted people to hear me and see me beyond just reading my content. And by voice, I don’t just mean my audio voice, I mean my message – what my ideal clients need to hear, you know, what’s going to really inspire them to think differently about their business strategy, and help them not just survive but thrive.

I think the biggest thing about the purpose of your podcast for you audience is what’s the main problem your ideal listener is walking around with – whether it’s their life, their happiness, their business, their relationships, their health. What’s the one thing they want that you can help them with.

When I was thinking about the theme of the podcast, I was focused a lot on what is going to make my target audience want to engage more with me and turn them into loyal subscribers. How can you get people to rave about your content and about you! I think the term people use nowadays is raving fans – that’s not quite what I’m going for, but you get the idea, right?

So the impact with a podcast, the potential impact, I felt was a lot more leveraged than other channels in terms of the depth of engagement, the depth of trust and the depth of loyalty.

And how can I take the engage and educate my podcast is doing and move people towards the decision to enrol on my programme and work with me on a deeper level.

Because at the end of the day, your podcast needs to have a hook to attract your intended target audience. Like any marketing, you’ve got to be speaking to the problems and needs of your listeners.

And this connects with my end goal for the podcast, to build my list of engaged followers, to share valuable material that inspires and guides, and attract the right-minded people to work with me. That’s how I monetise the podcast! Otherwise, it’s just a hobby, a free service, isn’t it? And that may be fine if that’s the purpose, if it’s non-profit. But for me, it supports my business, it’s how I earn a living. I put a huge amount of work into the show and I love doing it, but it has to be profitable.

Closely related to purpose and profitability, is the clarity and cohesion of all this and that brings us to step 2.

 

#2 Clarity and Cohesion

Thinking about the podcast really clarified my offer positioning, my fundamental belief that a leveraged business gives you work-life balance and true freedom and the vehicle by which I help people achieve it. These brand values permeate everything I do and it’s a strong message through my book too, and my online programme, the Leveraged Business Accelerator.

The practical part of that materialised when it came to deciding on the format, fit and frequency of the podcast. Some of those are easier than others, but unless you’re clear on your target listeners’ interests, needs and digital habits, it can have you going round in circles or playing a guessing game.

Now let’s turn this around from our own goals as content provider and think of ourselves as consumers of that content; to think of ourselves as listeners for a minute. Because whether you listen to podcasts frequently, occasionally, rarely or never, one of the things that was interesting as I was planning my show was going into iTunes and listening to some podcasts, doing a little bit of a review. It really hits you what you like and don’t like when you dip into a few of them.

Listening to other podcasts in your category really helps you plan out the format and frequency and style of your own podcast.

So I definitely recommend you pick the category that would fit your niche and do a little critique on the different styles, the length, the music, the vibe, you know, whether it was solo, whether it was interview. Write down what you liked more, less and use that as the best gauge.

Because often our ideal listener is like-minded, a lot like you. So chances are if YOU like a particular format and style that would make you tune in, lean in etc then your ideal listener is more than likely to jive with that too. Makes sense really.

Why will they listen to your podcast? That was a question that you asked. Um, yeah, because I’m, I’m brilliant because I’m great because what I say is interesting. Well, it’s also because it fits with their lifestyle, it fits with their, you know, their business needs, et cetera. And it fits with when and how they want to listen to content.

So that will dictate the choices you make. The more you know your audience, the more you’re going to be able to style your show to suit their needs. So these are the things that you have to decide upon, I mean, they say it’s all up to you. There’s no right or wrong. It’s what suits you and what matches your audience.

And the thing that really, I think people really wrestle with the most are their podcast name, artwork and music track. And it’s so funny, because podcast studies show that these are not the reasons why people find or choose your show.

Go to ThePodcastHost.com/discovery, there are some really enlightening stats on there about what’s important to people when considering a new show.

Even part of the podcast group that I was in, when I was preparing my podcast launch plan, it was amazing that the posts and requests for feedback that got the most attention and engagement and, and people commenting on each of the things was the artwork.

It’s something we’re drawn to because it’s visual, I suppose. But that’s really only part of it. The interesting bit of stats that came up was that it’s actually the podcast description is what’s most important to people when they’re deciding whether to listen to a podcast.

So that’s the thing to get into, make sure your keywords are in there, but also that it’s going to really resonate with your target listeners.

The artwork was kind of half important, certainly not in the top half of the list. The next important was the episode title – not the podcast title, the episode title. Yeah. And some of the other things that matter or don’t matter are quite opposite of what you’d assume.

Like, the fact that you’ve heard of the presenter was bottom on the list. So it isn’t actually that important. You don’t have to be well-known to start a podcast. Cause that actually doesn’t factor in how important it is for people when they’re looking for shows.

The biggest part of what I got out of doing the preparation bit as an online challenge that took me through a process of thinking this through. It helped me decide whether or not it was the right thing for my business.

AND by the way, talking about online challenges and why they work so well to help people with a specific thing they’re looking to do, I have an awesome guest with me in a couple of weeks’ time. I have the fabulous Tonya Kubo on the show, who’s going to share her insights and experience of online challenges – and we’ll go through the same kind of thinking we’re doing here for podcasting, and look at online challenges – starting with why you might want to do this, who it fits, how to do it well and the leverage points for your business.

So part of the podcast launch plan is the preparation you do that gets you clarity and cohesion is in terms of your brand positioning. And that’s a neat segue into step 3 setup – preparing to launch and what pieces you need to have prepared.

 

#3 Setup and Production

 

The preparation you do in advance of launching a podcast really makes you think. All the setup and production in terms of the brand pieces – format, style, music, artwork, intro & outro – are super important for focusing on your purpose, audience and occasion.

When you start creating your artwork – that’s the little square cover image you have for your podcast – you want to stand out. And of course we dived into a lot of that in my interview on branding with Danny Matthews a couple of weeks ago, episode 32.

And it’s the same with your music track. On the radio we call them jingles. The music you choose for your intro and outro sections, that wrap around every single episode – that’s also a brand statement, it should match with the style and vibe you want, it should be something your listeners enjoy hearing each week (or however often you broadcast) and not something that would get annoying time and again.

The intro should be short, snappy and get people in the right mood for your show and eager to hear from you.

The outro likewise shouldn’t be mad long – and should send people to your podcast website to get further resources or support. It’s also a great place to invite your listeners to subscribe, to rate and review.

For me, doing the preparation was a really enlightening exercise for a successful podcast launch plan, because I actually wasn’t a podcast listener, which I know is pretty ironic actually. And I still only listen occasionally not frequently but I’m subscribed to quite a lot of podcasts now and it’s changed my habits.

It’s the same with audiobooks and before that it was the same with moving from reading printed books to kindle. I’ve certainly got more into it and I’ve got an echo now on my desk – and I can just ask it to play my favourite podcast.

Some of the tech has made things significantly easier to engage with digital content, and well people can now just tap a few keys, or say a command and instantly tune in. And I really liked that ability to play podcasts in different places through your various devices. So when an episode releases of a podcast you’re subscribed to, it pops up a notification on your phone or computer and you can listen or download for later.

So definitely get subscribed and you won’t miss an episode or forget and end up with a whole bunch stacking up. Unless of course you’re one of those who love to binge listen 

As I mentioned, audio is an incredible growth trend for how people consume content – and having your own podcast can build a whole new audience for your business.

And I also want to mention that an often invisible part of a successful podcast launch plan is the advance networking you can do in podcast communities, which are full of amazingly passionate and supportive people. I’ve met so many people through podcasting, through having a reason to network with people I ask to be guests, to entering their world. But also because you’ll get a tonne of feedback on your ideas and focus as you progress through the planning process. And you’ll find a lot of people there willing to be part of your launch team.

Once you’ve got the planning and preparation sorted, you’ll know if you want to go ahead. And if not yet, then after you do a few episodes, you’ll know if you like it.

So let’s look ahead for a moment to what you need to do in the run up to launching and so you can work backwards from there to set the actual launch date and get everything set up. We’ll start with how many episodes you need to get ready before you go live, and then move into how you promote your show in those crucial first few weeks and months.

 

Q&A

Let’s go through some of the practical nitty gritty – like equipment, software, content planning, recording, editing, hosting.

 

 

Question – what equipment do you need?

Answer – a microphone and headphones, that’s it.

I was recommended a Blue Yeti, and that was out of stock, so I bought something else, cheaper in fact, and it’s been fine. I bought a pop filter (that stops the hard consonants from clicking as you record) but I haven’t found it makes any difference – perhaps it depends on your voice! The microphone I bought came with a foam spongy head cover, and I haven’t found that made much difference either. I think if your room is echoey those things may be more important.

 

Question – what does it take to put an episode together, what software do you need?

I mentioned this in last week’s episode too, but what I really love about audio is it’s easily repurposed into other kinds of content. You can record with video on zoom and use the audio for your podcast, transcribe it into an article and if you want put the whole video or a teaser at least up YouTube. I do things a bit differently depending on the topic and how much structure is required. But the ideas, the content is done once. That’s the leverage opportunity.

When I first started, I would write my article, partly as that’s what I was already doing for my blog or for my courses. So I shifted to writing longer articles and then I would record it. And as I got more used to being in front of the microphone and I got a little bit more confident in the medium, feeling like a radio show host, it all became a little bit more natural and more spontaneous. I started to add other bits of things in, and, and extra pieces and extra stories and things. And for a few episodes, I just had a set of headings and just talked my way through them and produced the article from the audio – so the other way around.

I really sort of felt that I found my voice, so even though I’d previously been recording my audiobook, podcasting is pretty different. And that relaxed style, it didn’t come straight away. And sometimes some people, they actually prefer to record a number of episodes kind of in private, and go back and re-record them because they’ve got so much better just by doing a few episodes. For me, all of a sudden, I was like gosh, you know, I’m really in the swing of it, I’m really in the flow.

And going back to the credibility part of all this, the high level of connection, the humanity, people are going to get more connected and more engaged with you when you can chill down a bit and just be yourself. They get to know you more, the real you.

A friend of mine heard my first trailer in the early prep stage and he was like ‘oh Jay you sound really posh – that’s like your telephone voice!’ It made me laugh, because he was right, in the beginning I was a little stiffer than hopefully I am now.

 

Question – what’s the ideal length, frequency and format for your episodes?

Well now you know I’m going to say ‘it depends’ and take you back to earlier points on strategy and planning. Because it really does depend on your purpose and audience. It depends what you’re trying to convey. It depends on who you’re trying to convey it to. But from the research I did planning out my podcast and with the data that I’m now tracking, I guess in my experience at least over 30 or so episodes, there are a lot of variables going on in any given episode, but I guess there are some general rules of thumb.

From my stats, when I analyse the downloads for each episode, I don’t see any significant difference whether an episode is 30 minutes or 60 minutes, my guest episodes tend to run towards the 60 minutes and my solo episodes around 30 to 40 minutes.

But my guest episodes tend to get more downloads, because my guests are also promoting it to their audiences too. Or theirs are just more popular than mine. Perhaps you folks prefer guests to me droning on the whole time.

It’s really hard to know from just the stats. But feedback seems to suggest people like the mix. And the double or triple series seem to work well, so people want to dive in deeper into certain topics it seems.

So for my audience at least, 30 and 45 seems about right. I think for 30 minutes is probably about right for a solo episode. If you’re doing a guest interview and you’ve done all the work to get the guest on, it makes no sense to just interview them for 30 minutes, unless you’re going to do it as a two-parter, but so far the way the interview is structured, I don’t feel that would flow as well.

So I don’t feel there’s any ideal except to bear in mind how your people would be listening? Where are they listening? What they’re doing when they’re listening and so then you can know more if they’re likely to want 10 minutes, 20 minutes. If they would listen first, and maybe go back and listen again when they can write stuff down. I’ve heard some of my listeners say they do that.

And at the end of the day, ask them, you know, people that on your list, just ask them, because that’s, when you’re going to get the best answer rather than second guessing.

 

Question – recording an episode, what’s involved?

First, you’ll need an audio editing application – I use Audacity, it’s free and it’s really really good for both editing and mixing. Once you have your episode ready you export it as an mp3 file.

And you’ll need a hosting platform – I use Libsyn (Liberated Syndication) because that’s what was recommended to me at the time. It’s about $15 a month $20 if you want to batch upload. But there are others if you search for reviews it will help you decide. You set up your podcast information there first, and then upload the mp3 episode files and fill in the title, description, author and so on. And then you schedule it for release.

On advice, I also got a little software app called ID3 Editor, which is about $12 a year. It’s a neat little tool that helps you set up the right tags on your audio file for each episode that import along with your mp3 file when you upload your into Libsyn.

When you publish, your episode and all its tag info gets syndicated to a whole host of destinations – such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube and many many more, even Heart Radio!

Finally, I often get asked what tech support might you need? And whether you can outsource the production of your podcast. Simple answer is I did it all myself and then later outsourced the bits that didn’t need my personal involvement. If you don’t have good tech skills and don’t want to take the time to learn audio editing or all that I just described, you can just do the recording and send the whole thing to a podcast production agency or hire a VA with the requisite skills.

It’s hard finding someone who can help with both the creative side and the tech side, but not impossible, particularly if you’re willing to do the necessary onboarding and training. I now have a wonderful podcast production workflow that makes very clear who does what along the various steps from content plan to episode release.

Happy to share that and talk you through it if you reach out via jayallyson.com/contactme.

And we cover some of this too in episode 24 on how to hire the right virtual assistant, an interview with my guest Selina Johnson who runs a VA agency and she would happily jump on a call with you to discuss what you need from a content and/or tech VA. Link is in the show notes.

Now let’s move to step 4 – the actual launch and promoting your show.

 

#4 Launching and Promotion

First, here’s a quick launch checklist and then we’ll dig into questions.

  1. Update your podcast’s website and create a pre-launch teaser to generate buzz.
  2. Create a short link or get a dedicated domain and point it at your iTunes podcast URL.
  3. Fire up your launch team and plan a launch strategy across social media and email.
  4. Have your launch episodes finalised and uploaded to your podcast hosting provider.
  5. Submit your podcast’s RSS feed to every major podcast directory.
  6. Send everyone to iTunes for the first several weeks and ask them to subscribe, rate and review your show – keep an eye on the podcast charts.
  7. Prepare to continue to publish new content and promote each episode.
launch a successful podcast

These are some of the typical questions I get on the launch plan.

  • How do you actually ‘go live’ with your podcast?
  • How do you track where you are in the charts?
  • How many episodes do you need to launch with?
  • What will your first few episodes cover?
  • How far ahead can you plan out content?
  • Who can you invite to help you launch the podcast?

I’m not going to go through the detailed ‘how-to’ because that level of detail you can do a search and find elsewhere. I worked with Anna Parker-Naples’s through her Podcast Membership to get just that detailed guidance. She gives you a step-by-step to doing it right and the training videos and resources are really good.

What I simply want to do here is share the kinds of things that you need to think about. I just want to emphasise the key things that are going to make the biggest impact to getting that early momentum going once you go live. And so that you see what’s involved if you want to launch a successful podcast rather than launch a podcast.

 

Question – How do you ‘go live’?

Before submitting your ‘feed’ (the url you get from your hosting platform), you should validate it. Submit the validated feed to iTunes first and foremost since Apple Podcasts has the largest user base and that’s where you want to get into the charts.

iTunes is responsible for as much as 70% of a podcast’s listens and downloads. Pretty much, there’s iTunes (renamed Apple Podcasts) and then there’s everything else.

Part of the submission is to put in your title, description, cover artwork, author and to choose three categories for your podcast. Your goal is to get into the charts for that category, so think about a main one as the most relevant and another two you may stand out in against mainstream competitors.

You can track the charts through a few different providers. I use Chartable and keep an eye on things via Podfollow and another is Podcast.co, but Chartable is all you need really.

 

Question – How many episodes do you need ready before submitting your podcast?

General advice is to create a trailer episode first – a short 10-minute piece that sets the stage for your show. Anna’s advice is to release at least 2-3 episodes including your trailer. I released my trailer and three episodes when I launched, including an interview episode, so new listeners could get a sense of the formats and style of our show.

Related to this, people have also asked about ongoing content creation, production and promotion.

 

Question – How far in advance do you create content and what will your first few episodes cover?

There’s a few ways to answer this. First, it’s a broader question of how you’re generally planning your content in terms of themes and titles – it’s the same for podcast topics as for any content.

And if you need help with that, you can go listen back to episode 28 and my interview with Laura McDouall, who gave some great advice on leveraged content strategies and gave away a free content planning tool – which I totally recommend – it’s life changing and helps you outsource a lot too, more on that later.

Just be aware of the SEO juice you can embed, both in your podcast name, description and episode titles and descriptions. And what I said about search engines being able to search the actual audio too.

So I always like to make sure I’ve got three to four weeks minimum content planned out in advance. So that’s just another little tip.

That way, I avoid ending up against the wall if I don’t have scheduled episodes scheduled. That’s happened sometimes when I’ve been busy with other things and then I get all stressed and panicked.

Depending on your package, Libsyn will allow you to upload as many episodes as you like. If you have a plan with less storage, you’ll just have to hold them on your own drive and upload once your storage refreshes each month. But given it’s the difference of five bucks, it’s better to batch record and batch upload and be done with it ahead of the curve.

 

Getting Help to Launch Your Podcast

While you doing all your planning and preparation and production, and particularly if you’re part of a community of podcasters, one of the most important things you can be doing alongside that is to start identifying and inviting people who can help and support you with your podcast launch.

Personally, I gathered my launch team came from three sources and offered prizes of my audiobook to everyone who did all the steps I asked. It’s good to pick a prize that’s relevant to your podcast, or just something quirky – and of course you don’t have to use incentives, people will help you out anyway, the prizes just add a touch of fun and buzz to the whole launch process. I used a little app called gleam.io to run all that, it was super easy to set up.

One source was personal contacts, because they already know you and want to support you. So that’s an easy one. Even if they’re not my ideal audience in terms of listeners, they’re going to support me for that first part of the launch.

Another source was my existing clients and my existing list. And again, not all of them were that bothered about our podcasts, so they didn’t want to do the extra work. But enough of them were happy to help, or curious to listen.

And the other sources came from the podcast communities I was part of. As I was learning, whether I wanted to do this and how to do it, if I was going to do it, all through the planning and preparation stages, there were others on the same journey. We were all in the same boat, so we supported each other.

And in fact, other communities I network in, not just podcasters. Those JV partners are a really a big component of a successful launch. Yay to networking, it pays forward when you do these things.

And it was fun for everyone involved. It was exciting. And you know, that helps with the emotion that goes with all this as well. You have a community of people that want to see your success, that want the thing you’re launching too.

Launching anything is not something that’s easy to do alone. If you try and do it alone, unless you already have a massive audience, you’ll likely just hear crickets. You need the support of others to get you some initial impetus. You need to get people raving about it, sharing it, subscribing, rating it and leaving you positive reviews.

Once you get your first episodes published and you ‘go live’, that’s when your launch team kicks in to promote it.

So, you’ll need to have materials together to help your launch team promote the show for you, and for yourself or your team to set up campaigns for your email list, social media, press releases, speaking events, whatever is in your launch plan. Pushes you into the charts and from then on you’re into a much more consistent content plan and workflow.

So the first bit is super exciting, but at the same time, super daunting, um, terrifying, wondering whether it’s actually going to all come off. But once you’re in the flow of it, then you can put a workflow in place for everything that’s involved in producing, publishing and promoting each episode, reaching out to potential guests and getting the interviews recorded.

And for me, it all starts with having a content plan and then once you have your list of titles, for each episode the rest of the workflow kicks into play. We’ll cover that in part 3 next week.

Those early birds, that activity, that’s what’s going to get you into the charts, and once you’re in the charts, then you get found and it starts the snowball rolling to build your audience. It’s very similar to a book launch and how Amazon promotes things within the platform.

Once you get books sales, ratings and reviews, and even more when you’re in the best-seller lists, you get noticed. With a podcast it’s about focusing on iTunes and getting into the charts in your chosen categories.

Which takes us to the next question:

How do you get people to subscribe, rate & review your show

Besides your launch team, and general promoting and PR for your show, help build momentum and get your show noticed, week on week, you can also just ask!

I mentioned earlier about creating an intro and outro. These are the bits that sit either side of your episode – every episode. So the intro is great to set the tone and vibe so as to get people engaged in wanting to listen. And the outro is a great place to invite people who enjoyed the episode to subscribe, and leave a rating and review. Tell them how it really helps you, so they understand how they can support you and the show.

Of course, the outro is also a place where you can make your offer, where they can go get a freebie from you to join. So they can get on your email list. Just keep it structured, snappy and genuinely heart-felt.

So those are really important pieces, and something that you probably might want to re-record. As you get more experienced and confident, after a few months of going, you might actually want to go back and create those again, or make them shorter, change the offer.

So I’m stopping there for this week.

 

Quick recap

This was the second in my three-part series on The Power of Podcasting to Build an Engaged Audience. We talked in part 1 about why you might want to start your own podcast, and how popular audio is becoming (big understatement) as a channel and I shared some staggering statistics about podcasting as a growth trend and a way to reach a massive audience.

And in part 2 today, I shared my launch strategy and some of the lessons learned, both from the person who helped guide me, Anna Parker-Naples and my own experience and things I picked up being part of various podcast communities.

Next week will be the third and final part of our series and we’ll be getting to the heart of the leveraged strategy for ongoing podcast production, promotion and growth.

See you back here then!

Jay xox

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