Should You Start a Podcast?

Thinking about starting a podcast of your own?  There are a lot of things to consider, from choosing the right topic or co-host, to the more technical details like sound quality.  Let’s dive right in…


Podcasting has become a major influencer in the world of business, helping people that might not have otherwise been able to capture all that much attention become instant superstars in their industry and their market – catapulting them to a level of success that they likely wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise.


Sure, podcasting has been around for a little while now, but it’s never been as popular as it is today. More than 400,000 podcasts currently exist, with thousands more being added into the mix each and every year, and this means the space is very competitive.


So competitive that it’s making quite a few people wonder whether or not they should even think about creating their own, especially with such an already crowded marketplace.


If you are looking to create another “me too” podcast that simply copies from the successful formula of some of the other major influencers in your market, the odds are pretty good that you SHOULDN’T create a podcast.


But if you’re looking to add something new to the space, if you have a unique voice and a unique perspective, and if you’ve been able to find a way to provide your market with insights and information they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise you absolutely NEED to make a podcast.


The market deserves it.


For those still sitting on the fence as to whether or not they should dive right into the world of podcasting, here are just a couple of reasons that hopefully push you in the right direction!


You’ll get the opportunity to talk to (and network with) your heroes


One of the big reasons you’ll want to consider starting up your own podcast is that it will give you an opportunity to interview and speak directly with some of your biggest heroes in your business or in your market, giving you the opportunity to connect and network with them when you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.


Sure, when you are just starting out the odds are good that a fair share of your potential podcast interview subjects will pass on the opportunity – but enough of them should relish the opportunity to get out in front of another market and another listener base that you will have the opportunity to lay down a solid foundation.


Build enough of a connection with your audience, enough rapport with your interview subjects, and enough credibility to feel more confident and more comfortable connecting with though superstars of your industry and pretty soon you’ll have your heroes asking you to come and join the show!


Podcasting is really, really easy but offers a fantastic amount of leverage


Starting up a TV show – even one that you host on YouTube, for example – is an absolute nightmare. Especially if you’re trying to start it up from scratch.


Starting a new radio show is almost as challenging (though it’s a little bit easier because you don’t have to worry about all the difficulties that come from shooting high-definition video and editing it all together), and it isn’t that much of a picnic trying to get airtime, either.


Starting up a new podcast, however, is about as simple and as straightforward as it gets.


All you really need to get started is a smart phone or tablet with a recording application (though you could do it the old-school way and convert the audio on your computer with more traditional recording devices) and you are off to the races. Throw that audio on iTunes and you are officially the owner of a brand-new podcast!


Obviously, the show isn’t going to sound quite as great as Hardcore History from Dan Carlin with this kind of approach, but starting a podcast is about as easy as it gets, and flushing it out into a more complete podcast show is still a whole lot easier than trying to flesh out a full-blown TV show or radio series.


You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy complete and total creative control


Podcasting allows you to cover any and all subject to you are interested in in any and every way you wish, really giving you the kind of freedom for complete and total creative control you just wouldn’t have been able to exercise otherwise.


This level of creative control allows for the kinds of podcasts that have become runaway hits, whether we’re talking about the Dan Carlin podcast we mentioned above, Serial from the people at NPR, or any of the other amazing podcasts out there today.


You don’t have to do yet another interview show, but can instead decide to dive deep into specific subject, shed light on new topics, add your own commentary and insight into areas that have already been “covered to death” with a new and fresh spin – the opportunities are quite literally endless!


This also gives you the opportunity to fill underserved markets and niches. You may not reach the kind of mass audience you may have been hoping for with a niche style podcast, but you’ll still be able to knock it out of the park for that particular segment and create incredible influence that you might not have been able to create otherwise.


Podcasting forces you to become better at what you do


At the end of the day, podcasting is ALWAYS going to force you to become better than you were at whatever it is you do or whatever it is your podcast is about.


Interview podcasts, for example, are going to require you to do lengthy “legwork” about your subject, reading their books, watching their TV interviews, and consuming as much as you possibly can about their field of expertise so that you can create a worthwhile interview.


More focused subject matter based podcast are going to require you to really dive deep into the material, finding new ways to digest and consume the material so that you can present it in a fresh, exciting, and interesting way.


No matter what, you are going to be almost forced to become better at what you do by reading, learning, and diving deep into research that allows you to master your area of expertise a lot faster than you would have been able to before. Podcasting isn’t just going to help your audience, but is instead also going to help you considerably as well!


Closing thoughts


At the end of the day, you are going to have an opportunity to impact your market and your industry with a podcast that you might not have had just a few short years ago.  New media like blogs and podcasts is taking over.


Media has become democratized in a way that none of us could have ever expected thanks to social media, the internet, and podcasting in particular. We all have a voice should we choose to exercise it, and thanks to the amazing technology we all have in our pockets (in our smartphones and our mobile devices) it’s never been as easy as it is today to control our own fortune with solutions like podcasting.


Business titans would have killed for the opportunity to set up a radio show 100% free of charge, share it with an entire global community of passionate listeners, and continue to expand their influence in a particular industry or market without all that much effort (comparatively speaking) – and you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy to miss out on all the leverage that podcasting brings to the table.


So check it out.


Script to show, do your research, fire up a recording app on your iPhone or your Android device, and create a pilot podcast episode. Loaded up on iTunes and let Apple handle the heavy lifting of marketing your show and see what you can create from this spark!