I started listening to business podcasts back in 2013 and I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot. Some of my favorite podcasts back then, such as Mixergy are still the most downloaded podcasts on my iPhone. One of my favorite shows is hosted by William Channer who interviews entrepreneurs and if you’re looking to venture into starting a blog or online business, you’ll like this.
Before going through how you can set up a business podcast, let’s start with the basics:
What is a business podcast?
A business podcast is a pre-recorded audio program that is uploaded on a website and made available for public download on computers or mobile devices, to share information about the business.
Below is an example of a business podcast by Tony Robins as he discusses how to master business sales:
Podcast business model
Podcast gets its name from the iPod which was created by Apple and released into the mainstream media in 2005. Apple released iTunes 4.9 with the ability to get users to listen to podcasts, since then, downloads have continued to explode over the years and now they feature nearly every genre; music, education, health, sport, business, fashion, etc. Initially, podcasts began as free content for iPods, over time ads were added on the podcasts and it became a great tool for businesses.
Most people view podcasts as just audio shows. But shows used to be on particular radio stations, then when the internet came; the shows started being published on Sirius XM, Audible and more recently, Spotify. These shows were hosted on specific platforms, but when Apple launched the iPod the shows became like blogs; they were published to the internet and hosted by their providers. Then they were identified by RSS feeds. If you had a podcast player you could get a podcast from anyone. Apple created an open web for audio content, but this move came with the challenges of developing a business model to fund that content on the open web.
Recently a new premium podcast app called Luminary was created in a bid to solve the challenges. It offers access to 40+ new podcasts alongside thousands of shows you already have. It is available for listeners in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland.
To listen to podcasts on Luminary you pay a monthly subscription but the problem is the podcasts also have ads. Netflix also gives you podcasts but they have eliminated ads by paying some share of revenue back to the podcasters who permit ads on their shows.
How To Start A Business Podcast
The following are steps for creating your business podcast
- Learn the basics of podcasting
- Find your niche
- Choose a name
- Select a format
- Define your style
- Decide on the length
- Figure out the frequency
- Recording and editing
- Conducting interviews
- Cover art
- Launching and promoting
Learning the basics of podcasting
If you are a newbie, a podcast is an audio file or series uploaded online. It is similar to a radio or TV show and has episodes and seasons. A listener subscribes by paying a monthly fee to get specific podcasts, download episodes as they become available, and listen anytime anywhere on mobile devices or computers.
Finding your niche
Decide the specific topic you want your podcast to focus on. It is important to find a balance between a topic that is wide enough for you to explore many aspects of it, and one that is narrow enough to catch an audience with that specific interest.
Experts in the field of podcasting advice that, if you showcase quality content targeted to a specific group of people interested in that particular content, you will find your voice and start to grow your audience.
Choosing a name
Use a name that is self-explanatory for your podcast. Another option is creating a catchy name but making sure it captures your niche. Alternatively, you could incorporate your name into the title, but this only works if you have huge name recognition. It is important to note that the name needs to instantly catch the attention of listeners looking for your topic.
Selecting a Format
There are many types of podcast formats, the most common are; Solo shows where the podcaster speaks directly to the audience, co-hosted show where you share the mic with another presenter or an interview show where you speak with guests either solo or with a co-host.
The important thing is to choose a format that fully explores your subject matter.
Defining your style
Let your podcast be conversational and engaging to establish a connection with your interviewers and listeners. Be authentic. Talk about what you know using the same words and tone you would normally use with a friend.
Determining the length of your podcast
Determine the length of your podcasted based on how much you have to say on a topic and the needs of your audience. Ordinarily, podcasts tend to be 20-45 minutes but you can vary the length to suit your objective. You don’t want to overstretch your material to fit a rigid timeframe or bombard your audience with so much information that they are overwhelmed.
Setting out the frequency
Your content will determine how often you release new episodes. However, if you are trying to build a brand or gain traction with a following, have a regular more frequent release schedule. You might feel pressured to release new episodes to avoid this you could create a few episodes before you launch your brand. This way you will be able to stick to a regular schedule without feeling the pressure.
All you need to record a podcast is a tablet or laptop, audio recording and editing software and a high-quality microphone for recording. Your microphone is the most important gadget, use a USB microphone that plugs into the USB port of your computer. For a good podcast; use a high-quality model from online retailers. Condenser microphones also provide a rich sound and are very popular. Consider purchasing a pop filter to mute the clicking and smacking sound experienced when people speak normally into a microphone.
Audios are best recorded in quiet locations; to reduce time spent editing each podcast. Consider secluding off a room and adding dense, sound-absorbing materials such as thick carpet floors and hanging clothing to absorb ambient sounds. You could also use pop and reflection filters.
Recording and editing
You will need audio software to create your podcast. Apple’s laptop and tablets, MacBook, and iPad are equipped with GarageBand, a professional-level studio editing application that is free and easy to use. If you are using pc there are applications like Audacity and Adobe audition which are similar to GarageBand you can use for editing. Audition app is free but you pay a monthly subscription if you prefer to use the Audition app. Alternatively, you could use Alitu, which is a tool for making podcasts that helps build episodes by processing, editing and publishing your show automatically.
Conducting the interviews
If you plan on having guests on your show for interviews, you need to compile a list of your guests and contact them soonest possible. You can utilize a service like Acuity scheduling to help with the hustle involved with scheduling. People book a date and time to be interviewed directly within your calendar.
You can use tools like Skype for recording calls if you have remote guests or use other tools in the market like Zoom, Ringr, and Zencastr for recording your podcast interviews.
Have the necessary interview conducting skills you need to get information from your guests. A good interviewer builds rapport with the interviewee and keeps the interview moving forward while maintaining focus on details and ensuring it is relatable.
These are intro and outro. The intro is a short voiceover usually characterized by music, which introduces each podcast episode and the host(s) at the beginning of the show. The outro is used to thank listeners and direct them to your website at the end of the show. You can record them yourself or hire a professional voice over actor to record them through different services like Music Radio Creative. You will just be playing the records at the beginning and end of the show.
They add personality and professionalism and if done well make a good first impression.
Use music that brings out the personality of your show in the intro and outro. You can have a local band or musician tailor-make some for your show or select a clip from their existing songs, this is a creative and budget-conscious option. Alternatively, you can source from libraries with free-to-use music, though this comes with the disadvantage of the music being extensively used. If you have the budget for it, you can get royalty-free music for a one-time fee from Jamendo or access thousands of music tracks through monthly subscriptions service like Audio block.
Your podcast cover art is the first thing listeners will see when looking from directories like iTunes. The cover art should be 1400 X 1400 pixels, in JPG or PNG form, and below 500KB to meet specifications given by iTunes.
The podcast artwork should convey the subject of your podcast, include a logo if you have one, and use simple fonts and high-quality images. Let the image be uncomplicated.
You can design the art yourself or hire an artist. Also, you can use stock images to create covert art on platforms like Canva or Snappa, or you can pay for custom art through sites like 99designs, Fiverr, or Podcast Design.
When you finish editing the audio, adding images and music for the podcast intro and outro, the next step is exporting the finished podcast to your website and any distribution platform of your choice.
To upload your podcast to podcast directories in the market, you need first to create an account with a media host, which is a monthly subscription. The media host will be storing your audio files, provide stats, marketing tools, and podcast websites as well as serving as a link between you and podcast directories such as Google Play and iTunes. There are many media hosts in the market including, Buzzsprout, Podbean, Transistor, Libsyn and more.
The media host will give you an RSS feed, which is a URL. You will then submit this RSS feed to platforms like iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud,TuneIn and Stitcher. Finally, you can advertise your RSS feed to listeners so they can find, download and subscribe to your show.
Launch and promote
You need to generate buzz on the launch day, prepare several episodes ahead and have them uploaded. Advertise the launch in advance to your business network via social media and email to build an audience before you launch. Encourage new listeners to subscribe and leave a review, this will get you noticed and featured by giants like iTunes. To benefit the most from your podcast come up with ways to regenerate your podcast content on your blog and social media channels. This is especially helpful if you’re targeting current and potential customers.
What is the best business podcast and what works for small businesses?
We have compared over 100 top-rated business podcasts in the US, UK, Australia and below are our top favorites:
1. The Tim Ferris show
It is hosted by Tim Ferris and is known as the top business podcast. Tim interviews world-class performers across industries such as business, art, investing, sports and much more. Listeners get to learn tactics and routines they can use in their lives daily.
2. The Twenty Minute VC
The podcast is hosted by Harry Stebbings. Harry exposes listeners to the world of venture capital and funding startups. The podcast also provides analysis and predictions on the latest trends in technology.
3. Invest Like the Best
The podcast is hosted by Patrick O’Shaughnessy. Professional investors are interviewed to teach the listeners the best strategies of investing their time and money
4. How I Built This
The show is hosted by NPR’s Guy Raz who features stories behind some of the best-known companies in the world. Listeners learn the journey of innovation, entrepreneurship, and idealism.
Businesses use podcasts for various purposes, including sharing information about their company, their products and general information related to their trade.
5. Accelerate your business growth podcast
You can find over 300 podcasts at the Accelerate Your Business Growth on Apple’s Podcast here. In 2020, this podcast is featured on Inc.com’s list of 100 Podcasts
6. BBC Business Podcast
The British Broadcasting Corporation or the BBC hosts a few of the oldest podcasts including a daily business podcast that can be accessed on their website. You can get episodes posted over the last 30 days on the website.
BBC also hosts other podcasts such as the BBC World Service Podcast and the BBC News podcasts with daily episodes which you can download on their website for free using the red button as shown in the snapshot above. You can also listen to the podcast on Youtube and on other distributing channels such as Apple Podcast.
BBC podcasts host discussions for topics such as Corona Virus, Tesla and the future and the Future of Coal in America.
One of the most popular BBC podcasts is the BBC Business Matters Podcast. Below is a snapshot o its web homepage:
7. Podcast Business of Fashion
Podcast Business of Fashion is our 7th best business podcasts in 2020. Over 600,000 email subscribers have signed up for this podcast located in over 200 countries. Here is a link to their website and here is a link to their Apple Podcasts’ page.
8. Business Book Podcast
A lot of podcasts have emerged to continue discussions that are highlighted in the book. For example, there is a Freakonomics business book podcast. As you can probably imagine already, the Freakonomics Radio podcast regularly hosts Steven Levitt, the co-author of the book. As of Feb 2022, it already has over 405 podcasts.
9. Business Analyst Podcast
Mastering Business Analysis Podcast is one of the most popular podcast discussion business-related topics. The blog has a website and hosts its shown on Apple Podcast and on Google Podcast.
Here is a link to their latest podcast.
Podcast business cards
YOu can use a business card to promote your podcast. You can choose between VistaPrint or GotPrint to prepare your podcast business cards. For just $5, you get 100 business cards to share with your audience and promote your podcast. If you are based in Germany, some Reddit users recommended http://onlineprinters.de/.
Here are the key details you need to put on the business card:
- Blog/podcast name
- Short description
- Website address (have a nice domain)
- Contact/feedback information
- Network affiliation
- Host face(s) (see below)
Anatomy of Business card
You can put your face on your podcast business card:
White space for notes
Here are the reasons to get podcast business cards:
- To let people know of your blog and suggest to them that they can check it out
- It enables you to do targeted marketing where you can set up several cards for each business podcast you host. You can share the cards to show your authority in the specific business niche you are promoting
- To enable you to easily share your business contact info
- It makes you look professional!
- It can make it easier for others to share your card (with QR code) as shown in the card above.