When our team at W2 Communications prepared to launch our own podcast a year ago, we weren’t aware of the amount of work it would take. Our host, Senior Account Director Christine Blake, had never done this before, and I was only briefly exposed to audio editing while studying at Virginia Tech. We were both neophytes, starting from scratch. Thankfully, we had recording equipment and an idea, and that’s all we needed to start.
To get off the ground, we focused on a clear-cut vision for the desired end goal. We knew what kind of program we wanted to offer and the audience we were targeting. In hindsight, I think this was the most important component that led us to a successful launch. You can have all the money and resources to pump into your podcast, but if you haven’t crafted a vision of what you want your show to be, you’re in trouble.
After we named the show – “Inside the Media Minds” – and built our studio, we started booking guests. The podcast was exiting the realm of planning and preparation, and was about to become reality. There was a sense of anxiety and nervousness before our first episode, and in retrospect I feel that was a fitting vibe. We were diving into something with zero prior experience, which is typically a recipe for disaster. Luckily, we managed to launch without any catastrophic errors … and here we are 20 something episodes later.
We dedicated the required time to avoid failure. As the producer, I taught myself how to record and edit audio. Whether clicking on YouTube tutorials on how to use certain software or calling up forum threads containing tips and tricks about how to record clearly, I knew I could start to pick this stuff up. Christine also clocked many hours researching guests and finding her voice as a host, which is no easy task. Our appetite for improvement was, and still is, very strong.
So, with one year of production under our belt, here’s more advice that may help you with your own podcast journey:
Roll with the punches.Mistakes and setbacks are inevitable. You’re going to have audio problems. Guests will reschedule, or not show. Any type of mistake you could fathom is par for the podcast course … So don’t fret when things don’t go according to plan.
Do it your way.Podcasts are still a relatively new medium for content. There are no established paths for successful ones. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things.
Keep it simple.The production of our podcast is comprised of two microphones, a laptop and a host. You don’t need to shell out your hard-earned money on expensive equipment, at least not yet. As long as you can record clear audio, you have a show.
As we continue to release content for our loyal listeners, I’m very excited to watch this program expand its reach. I know there are people out there who are unaware of #IMM but would absolutely love it. So our focus moving forward is to find our way to their ears. With all that we’ve accomplished in just one year, the future is looking bright.