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It’s your time. For women reading this, you must realize podcasting is no longer a playground where only boys get to play. You are increasingly making your voices heard.
Yes, on the surface, you wouldn’t think so, with only 13 percent of female-hosted podcasts appearing in the U.S. iTunes top 100 podcasts chart as of April 2017. However, that number is deceiving because the women that are successful are really creating a storm.
Today, there are talented female entrepreneurs who have boosted their brands by using value-rich podcasts to provide useful information to their specific audiences.
Some of these successful women are personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi, who hosts So Money, which has featured high profile guests such as Tony Robbins and Seth Godin; Amy Porterfield of Online Marketing Made Easy, which has routinely been a top-rated business podcast; and Kate Erickson, host of Kate’s Take: The EOFire Audio Blog, which offers tangible advice on running a successful enterprise.
These ladies have graciously agreed to pass along some golden tips to all the female entrepreneurs out there looking to launch a podcast.
Figuring out your show idea
For some, this is probably one of the toughest things to do. Seriously, what will you talk about? Especially, if you’re doing a weekly interview-based podcast, your show focus better have legs, because you’ll need to have consistent content.
In order to receive some clarity, Torabi suggests you ask yourself these questions:
- What is a podcast that I would want to listen to?
- What’s missing from the marketplace that I can provide? How can I make my show really different than the rest?
- What unique perspective will I bring?
In order to spark more reflection, Erickson adds that you should write five things you’re passionate about, five pain points you might have and five things you have experience with. Afterwards, analyze your answers to see where there is overlap that could lead to a great podcast focus.
Erickson also suggests that a show idea could be leveraging podcasting as a marketing and/or content repurposing tool such as an audio blog or series podcast.
Improving your on-air interviewing skills
If you’re a businesswoman without broadcasting and interviewing experience, you might encounter a steep learning curve when you first sit in front of a microphone. And that’s completely OK.
Torabi says, “Listen to your guests, rather than waiting for them to finish so you can jump to your next question. You may discover some incredible transitions from something your guest says.”
She also feels you need to deeply research your guests before the interview. Don’t just read their bios. Find out where they went to high school and anything else that will create a better connection with them and your audience.
Erickson says you’ll also need plenty of practice and patience because it’s going to take time to find your voice. She recommends listening back to your past episodes to take note of what things you can improve for the next time.
Guest booking for your show
So, you’ve decided to start an interview-based podcast. Now, how do you convince guests to be on your show even though you’re a fresh-faced rookie on the scene?
Porterfield suggests you connect with human beings face-to-face instead of through your smartphone.
”Attend conferences and live events, even if it’s just a few times a year,” Porterfield recommends. “Some of my best relationships are a result of me showing up and meeting people in real life. I know it can be uncomfortable and awkward when you are just starting out, but push yourself. It’s worth it for sure.”
According to Torabi, you can also ask around for guest suggestions.
She adds, “Provide other benefits, if possible, for guests to join your show. For example, mention your other affiliations where you will promote the episode. Always ask guests, ‘How can I help you?’”
Related: How to Make Money With a Podcast
Marketing your show
It’s tough getting the word out about your podcast, especially if you’re just starting out.
Erickson says, “Join an online community in your industry or niche where you can provide value daily and create meaningful connections and relationships. When you consistently provide value to others they’ll naturally want to know more about and share what it is you have going on.”
In addition, you can be a guest on other podcasts that have a similar audience as yours.
Porterfield has some different options to consider, such as using video in the form of Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and Snapchat. She suggests finding the platform where your audience spends time, then tease your content there.
“While you are recording, invite them in and give them a hint at the upcoming episode,” Porterfield says. “The day your episode goes live, jump on InstaStories and give them a reason to go listen. Make it about them, not about you, and they are sure to pay attention and take action.”
Porterfield also thinks creating anchor episodes are a winning strategy.
“You can talk about them again and again as you engage with your audience on social media, or mention when you get interviewed on some else’s podcast or even talk about when you are out and about at events and conferences,” she explains. “You get to talk about them (and thus drive traffic to them!) because anchor episodes are focused on the topics you get asked about the most.”
Monetizing your creation
In most cases, you won’t see much, if any, money rolling in right away. Podcasting is a long game, but if you’re committed and offer great relevant content to your audience, you can make it a profitable one.
Porterfield loves the power of email list building. She’s used her podcast to grow her list, often creating cheat sheets and checklists to accompany her episode content. She believes the energy of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list.
“I don’t sell at all on my podcast,” Porterfield admits. “However, I use email marketing to deepen my relationship with my listeners and when the time is right, promote my programs. Growing my email list via my podcast strengthens my relationships and boosts my revenue.”
Torabi has used the sponsorship route as one of her monetization methods. But, it doesn’t have to be a one-woman job. You can work with an ad sales team to help find sponsors. Torabi uses AdLarge.
Yes, podcasting can be a daunting thing at first. There is so much to learn, but there have been many women who have traveled that path and succeeded. Erickson is one of them.
“Give yourself mini goals to hit along the way so you can show yourself progress,” she says. “Sometimes it might feel like you’re not getting anywhere, but when you can prove to yourself otherwise, it will serve as a great encourager and motivator.”
On your podcasting journey, Torabi points out that being a part of support network, such as She Podcasts on Facebook, can be helpful.
As for Porterfield, she feels you need to stop comparing yourself to others because you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes of their business.
“Keep your head down, focus on your audience and your show, and do it your way,” she recommends. “If you stay true to who you are and you genuinely care about your podcast listeners, that will shine through.”
These successful hosts realize podcasting is not a man’s game anymore and they’re proving that with the thousands of listeners they’re positively impacting in some way. The thing is you’re not far away from that yourself. You just have to start.
There are plenty of detailed how-to podcast resources online, including this one, to assist you.
It’s your time.