As someone who has been to podcasting conferences for years, I am always excited to see things that make it easier for a podcast launch. This year I focused on new tools and features available to encourage beginning podcasters to launch in 2023.
Podcast Launch Tip 1 — Gear up for the Future
So. much. MORE GEAR!
PM22 was full of podcasting gear and mics at multiple price points from multiple brands, including our friends at Shure. To see these podcasting gear companies showing up for podcasters to test live on-floor was something. As a bit of a mic hoarder, I was thrilled..
More companies are taking note of who podcasters are, what they are looking for, and listening to their needs. It’s one thing to see a mic in a picture. It is quite another to hear your voice transformed by the right mic and have experts there to explain the multitude of settings.
The Libsyn booth also had the Shure MV7 Black with the SRH440A Headphones on demo with our Libsyn Studio tool. Combining professional audio recording gear and Libsyn Studio allows creators to record show segments and provides an easy-to-execute framework for their show.
More gear and production tools:
- Podcast Studio Pro — An amazing tool to organize your content. This is an example of a product that was intended for television writers but has made an adapted version for podcasters.
- Hercules Stands — Every kind of mic stand, boom arm, lighting and speaker stand you can imagine! While the they still primarily focus on musicians, they have developed cool podcaster products. These include cool stands to clamp to your desk, and small stands to get that Rodecaster Pro II off of your desk — more room for you!
- Hindenburg — You can publish directly to Libsyn from Hindenburg.
- Shure —Love the sound of Elsie’s Voice? She loves her Shure microphone.
- Rode, Electrovice & Heil also had booths spotlighting their podcast-related products.
- Focusrite, a company that has made great interfaces for years, showcased products specifically for podcasters.
I always say, you pay with one of two currencies: time or money. If you’re out of time, there are services that can help you edit, find guests, and market your show.
In addition, Podcast Movement hosted entertainment lawyers offering services, as well as editors, promotional teams, and so much more. Because podcasting is getting so popular, more and more companies are creating products or services packaged specifically for podcasters.
Pair Networks, part of Libsyn has websites specifically for podcasters.
Finally, as more people start podcasting, more and more affordable tools are created. Five years ago a device that acted as a recorder (with separate tracks), a USB interface, a jingle player, and headphone amplifier would’ve cost you $1000 and taken up a large chunk of your desk. Now there are units that do all that (and more) that sell for $200 and fit in your pocket.
That said, if you’re on a budget, check out this video series where Elsie, myself and Brian show you how to start a podcast and get great equipment for <$100!
Podcast Launch Tip 2 — Show Me the Monetization
Even if you are just launching your podcast, you might have ideas about setting up your podcast for monetary success in the future. It’s great to identify this upfront. First, you can focus on using advertising breaks in your show to ask your audience to share your show with a friend (monetization through ads is not a great idea until you grow your audience). Later, when your audience is bigger and you fill those breaks with ads, listeners are used to hearing you “take a break,” and it is not as shocking.
At Podcast Movement, ways to monetize your podcast from the very start through super stardom were available, as were some great resources and conversations about ads, including a panel from some of the folks from Libsyn’s AdvertiseCast Marketplace.
Think you’re ready for all the money? These are some great questions to ask yourself as you think about plans to monetize your podcast:
- Am I able to deliver content consistently to meet ad buy requirements?
- How picky am I about the brands I work with?
- Do I feel comfortable promoting other brands?
- Do I know my audience well enough to know what products they might like?
- Do I have an audience that is large enough to make real money with podcast ads?
- Does my podcasting host platform support the addition of ad spot markers for dynamic ad insertion when I publish (Note: Libsyn does)?
- Does my podcast host provide the IAB Tech-LAb Verified stats that media buyers and ad networks are looking for? (Again, note: Libsyn does.)
If your answer is a resounding YES! Check out this video with Dave Hanley from AdvertiseCast explaining What You Need to Know about Podcast Advertising!
From host-read to dynamic, there are more and more options for getting automatic ads inserted into your podcast, as well as to make money with your back catalog.
Podcast Subscriptions & Donations
If you are wavering, or just launching, or just want to make asome cash to buy a new mic, consider Glow.
Say, you have a loyal fan base of 50 listeners, chances area few of them might be interested in donating a bit to keep you going (think podcast tip jar) or even paying for a monthly subscription to get to know you better or get access to some exclusive content you publish.
So, there are download minimums for Glow. Wherever you are on your podcasting journey, it’s an option.
Plus, Elsie has some great ideas about how to repurpose content you already have as exclusive content for your subscribers! Streamline the work and make a little cash!
Finally, more and more podcasters are finding that advertising on other podcasts is a great way to get the ball rolling!
Podcast Launch Tip 3 — Stats That Show Success
When it comes to measuring the success of your podcast, I covered a lot of other ways to measure succes and audience size in my own session. Understanding the analytics available will help you know where to look for growth metrics.
- In Apple’s Podcast Portal you can see a stat called, “Engaged Listeners” which represents people who have listened to at least 20 minutes of your episode or 40% (for those episodes under 20 minutes).
- Spotify’s Podcast Portal can give you demographic information.
- Google’s Podcast Portal can show you what keywords people have used to find your show.
- Amazon’s Podcast Portal also shows you how many followers you have. Did you know that when you list your show in Amazon Music you can ask Alexa to play your show (and it adds you to Audible)?
These tools (along with the IAB Tech-Lab Verfied Stats in Libsyn) really make it easy to see what is working and what is not.
However, if you are just launching or in your first year, be sure to look at things like:
- How many followers you have on social media.
- How many people sign up for your newsletter.
- Invitations to guests on other podcasts.
- Invitations to speak at a conference or on another platform.
- How many new customers you might get for your own products and services.
These are all valid measures of growth and success.
And finally, relationships — don’t forget about those. A podcaster really gets paid in relationships. Many people say to me over and over again, “I get to talk to people I have no business talking to Normally. If I would have asked them, ‘Hey,can I talk to you for 20 minutes’ maybe a celebrity would say ‘No, get out of here.’ But because I have a podcast, they’ll come on my show.” In my case, the relationships I built at these conferences and my podcast helped me land a job at Libsyn.
Podcast Launch Tip 4 — Video Podcasting Views
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention video podcasting, with the recent announcements made by YouTube, all the resulting commotion at the conference, and not to mention every corner of the podcasting pundit universe.
Libsyn has always offered podcast hosting for video podcasters, but there are some new players on the court. How this will shape the future of video podcasting is a bit too early to tell as even YouTube is still learning.
If you’re just starting out, audio is easier (and requires less gear, so less expensive to start). I see people who try to launch with both, and because you are learning so much at one time, it can be overwhelming. I recommend starting with audio, and later when you feel comfortable (and you have space in your schedule) start a video version of your show.
If you just want some video clips to promote your podcast on social? Check out Headliner. They rolled out some exciting updates at the show.
Podcast Launch Tip 5 — Wrapping Your Head Around It
A psychologist is really what is needed at any podcast event. I’m not kidding. As I help more and more people with their podcasts, it is not the tech or the topic, it’s your own brain that is stopping you.
You’re worried about sounding unprofessional. You won’t because it’s not live radio. You edit out any part that might make you sound less than intelligent.
You’re worried about THE AUDIENCE. When you first start out, you don’t have one, so you’re fine.
You’re worried about wasting your time (what if nobody listens?). Look at it this way (as we’ve all had things come and go in our lives), you will either end up with a great podcast or a fabulous story about the time you started a podcast (and sold the equipment on eBay).
You’re worried because you are out of your comfort zone. You felt the same way when you learned to read, write, tie your shoes, drive, send an email, etc. When we learn new things it opens the door to grow as a person. I know I am a more well-rounded person because of podcasting.
At Podcast Movement, I forced myself (as I can be really shy) to “go make a new friend.” I sat down at a table with an absolute stranger. As you can see, I lived to tell about it (and it gets easier every time I do it — as it will with you and podcasting).
Don’t let the one thing that is stopping you be you. Take it one step at a time. You got this.
Podcast Launch 2023 BIG Takeaway — Meet Podcasting People In-Person
As we look forward to more events in 2023, I keep coming back to the many different and important levels of communication that happen only in person with the podcasting community.
There’s body language, the ability to look someone in the eye, and it’s these little things that make communication/networking better — more personal, tangible, effective.
But my most important takeaway? From day one, I talked to so many people who said “Just with what I’ve learned so far, just by talking to a few people, the trip is already well worth it!”
If you’re looking to Launch in 2023, make becoming a part of the podcasting community one of your primary goals!
Here’s to PM23!