One of my favorite parts of my business is hosting a podcast and in a little over 2 months, I’ll be officially launching what will become my 2nd podcast called the I AM CEO Podcast with the thesis of sparking a conversation around what it means to be a CEO. Because of this, I’ve gotten a few questions about how to start a podcast and what equipment I use, etc. so I decided to put together this post to explain my tips and tricks to help you launch your podcast.
First, keep in mind that I evolved with my podcast. I’m not a former radio producer or anything special. I’m simply a curious person who is comfortable speaking to people, interviewing them and learning how I can be a better business owner. Also, I didn’t have a big budget or really any budget when I first started my podcast.
The CEO Chat Podcast launched about 2-3 years ago. The podcast launched because I would record interviews with the entrepreneurs and business owners to write a blog post. I didn’t do anything with the recordings prior to launching the podcast but one day, I thought I could easily take those recordings and create a low budget podcast. So, that’s what I did and it became another medium that people could use to digest the content. I still cringe when I listen to some of these :-).
I started without an editor and without any major equipment. I used Freeconferencecall.com with iPhone Headphones and just recorded the interviews and would add an intro and outro that was created on Fiverr.com.
What is a podcast?
First, I think it’s important to understand what a podcast is before you start one. It is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.
Please note, the word video podcast is also being used. This is essentially a video interview or video recording. A lot of content producers are using video interviews and repurposing the content into audio, blog posts and more aka waterfall strategy.
Here are 6 Steps (I recommend) to Start a Podcast
- First, have a purpose: There should be a reason to start your podcast. As you will see below, the new podcast–I AM CEO Podcast has the primary focus of being a networking and prospecting tool. There are other goals that I have but I’m launching it primarily as a way to prospect and reach my target market and build a deeper relationship with my referral partners.
- A theme, artwork, etc: There’s a lot of ways you can create artwork or a website for your podcast. You can hire a web developer and graphic designer (like us at Blue 16 Media 🙂 ) or you can go the Fiverr route. You might want to have a professionally recorded intro and outro as well.
- Get some equipment: See below for specifics but understand you don’t have to use the latest and greatest equipment, you can grow into it. You basically only need a computer or a phone with an internet connection and you can go from there.
- Check out the software and hosting: See below but there are various ways to host your podcast and even record your podcast.
- Find an editor: You might edit yourself using Audacity (below) or some other software or you may find an editor on Upwork or I even tried Podcasting Press for a little while.
- Publish the podcast to different channels: Depending on how you start your podcast, you might have to manually submit your feed to sites so that it publishes it. Most get the feed (e.g. Overcast) from Apple so once you show up there, you will show up on other feeds. Keep in mind, you will need your RSS feed first or in other words, you must have podcast hosting. Note that a Podcast host/platform like Anchor does all of the setting up of podcast feeds automatically.
Here are some directories you might want to claim:
Here’s what I use for my podcast:
- Blue Yeti – I purchased this on Prime day I believe it was around 30-40% off the regular cost. I picked the Blue one simply because is my favorite color but I’ve only heard good things about this microphone and it has been very good for me.
- Pop Filter
- Mic Arm
- Sound Proofing: I haven’t implemented this yet but because I do my recording in my home office, I will implement it soon though.
- Sound Shield: While I don’t have this, it’s something that you can get as well.
Update 4/8: I’ve done live podcasts more and more lately and expect to do a lot more. At 2 events, I’ve been the Podcast Sponsor (e.g Beyond the Papers Conference & PurpleCON). Rather than investing in another Podcast Microphone which I seriously considered, I found a YouTube video that showed me a fairly inexpensive and efficient way to record podcasts on the go.
- Zoom Recorder: I went back and forth about which Zoom recorder to get. After thinking, I realized that I would be fine with the H1 because I didn’t need more than 2 channels for the podcast. If I was thinking of doing multiple channels I probably would have selected something different or brought my podcast microphone.
- Lavalier Lapel Clip On Omni-directional Condenser Microphone (2 quantity): This is what you will clip on each participant.
- Stereo Breakout Cable: This allows the recording to be done on Left and Right channel rather than one channel. This makes it easier when editing.
- Audacity: This is free software that I use to edit audio. I do have an audio editor for my podcast though. I even used Podcast Press for a little while.
- Zencaster: This uses the freemium model. I’ve had some issues with it but lately, it has been better. I use this for the CEO Chat podcast primarily.
- Zoom: I use this for the new podcast and video podcast interviews that I do. Also, if interviewees want to see me during the interview, this is my go to.
- Skype: I personally don’t use Skype but I know a good amount of podcasters that use this and use a recorder like Ecamm.
- Squadcast: I haven’t used this but I’ve heard good things about it from some of my research.
- Podbean: This is not the number one way to host your podcast but it ended up being my choice after I decided to move away from SoundCloud for the CEO Chat Podcast. I generally don’t like to use the most popular platforms so that’s one of the reasons I chose this. I felt it was an up and coming platform. They also have made it a point to sponsor local podcast events like DC Podfest.
- Anchor.fm: The new podcast that I’m launching is using Anchor and I believe there are a lot of really good opportunities for Anchor because it ties in the podcast community like a social network and makes it very simple to create a podcast and publish it to the most popular platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, etc. Did I mention, it’s free? There are some sacrifices namely you don’t have access to the podcast directories. There are some posts about “not owning your content” but I honestly don’t think that’s the case. I’m also not a lawyer. They were recently purchased by Spotify.
- Libsyn: This is the most popular way to host your podcast. I looked into it but the draw of the unlimited pricing with Podbean made me decide against it. Many of the most popular podcasters use this.
- Blubrry: I was very close to using Blubrry because of it’s WordPress plugin that integrated with the hosting. It would basically publish a post for you automatically when the podcast went live. Because it’s their WordPress plugin it integrates better than with other hosting options. I decided against this too because I wanted something that was unlimited for a reasonable cost.
- Soundcloud: I initially started with SoundCloud because it was new and at that time just throwing its ring into the podcast game but I moved away because I wasn’t sure if they were still going to be in business. The company is reportedly having financial issues but it does have a freemium model that you can take advantage of. Keep in mind: I had to manually change all my feeds when I moved away from SoundCloud. It wasn’t an impossible process but wasn’t fun.
CEO Chat Podcast
The CEO Chat Podcast is the podcast that I’ve been running for a few years. Starting in 2018, it became a weekly podcast. I alternate between a solo podcast about a marketing topic which leads to a course that I’m planning on launching (You Are a Media Company) and an interview with an entrepreneur or business owner. As the new podcast grows and potentially becomes a daily podcast, I will have deeper content and longer content 30 mins to an hour or longer regularly on this channel. It’s more of a conversation. It could become primarily a video podcast.
My New Podcast – I AM CEO Podcast
Update 9/27: I merged the two podcasts together into one feed on Podbean. This was because even though they were 2 different podcasts, I thought that it would provide twice the download and an easier cross-pollination between episodes. As great as Anchor.fm was, I was willing to pay for some of the features and automation that Anchor.fm didn’t provide. The biggest feature I needed was the ability to schedule podcasts in the future. I wanted to be able to have certain times during the week where I could bulk schedule episodes for the future. That was a big reason for me changing. Between building upon the existing downloads I had and introducing more, I thought this would be a good decision to shift. Also, because I have unlimited audio hosting, I could leverage that for CEO Chat Podcast, I AM CEO podcast, and possibly CBNation.TV audio content.
As you see below, I was able to use one feed for this cool player below. Lastly, the support for Anchor.fm was really responsive when I reached out to request my feed be forwarded to my other podcast. I saw mixed reviews online about this process but they got back to me fairly quickly once the work-week started. You can subscribe to CEO Podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and more.
The I AM CEO Podcast is to some degree an experiment. Unlike the CEO Chat podcast, it has a very specific focus and goal. It’s a laser-focused podcast of around 16 minutes with a set template of questions. Season 1 featured Healthy CEOs and Season 2 is expected to feature PodCEOs. While doing the CEO Chat podcast, I learned how much I truly enjoyed doing the interviews. I also felt as if it was one of my strengths and talents that I wanted to leverage. I also have been able to get the actual interview down to a very efficient process which I might cover in a future blog.
I’m using the podcast to achieve multiple goals. Primarily it is a lead generation opportunity for me for Blue 16 Media. It’s an opportunity for me to connect with my target market and also promote a shop that I’m launching—CEOGear.co. Lastly, it’s a way for me to network in a unique way, connect more with the CBNation.co community and create more content for CBNation.co.
This is one of the reasons I have an intro/brainstorming call prior to the actual interview. It is a way to connect a little prior to the interview, answer any questions and make sure the person is actually interested in being on the show. It happens but you at least decrease the likelihood of someone flaking on the actual interview.
Check out the show:
[smart_podcast_player url=”https://ceochat.podbean.com/feed.xml” show_name=”CEO Podcasts Hosted by Gresham Harkless” ]
That’s basically it. Now the best way to get started is just to get started and start recording. Don’t overthink it!
Just for Laughs
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Lol… watching this on repeat. Maybe I should start drinking coffee… 🤔😂 #blooper #blooperreel #take1 #take2 #take3 #iamceo —- #Repost @ceoblognation (@get_repost) ・・・ When @progreshion forgets to drink his coffee before he hits the record button. Thanks for keeping it together @dr.a.moreno 😂🤣. I AM CEO podcast coming Summer 2018. #funny #outtakes #givetheeditoraraise #lol #newpodcast Cc: @iamceocommunity @witandreason