Podcasting Requires More Than Good Stories
Updated: Feb 8
One of the lessons we've learned since starting our podcast Musicians and Beyond, is that creating a successful podcast requires more than good stories that capture an audience's attention. Careful planning, time management and deliberate communication are essential to managing the growth of a podcast. The stories, ideas and content are equally as important, but wont get told and delivered to the masses if you ignore the other components.
The planning stages of podcast development begin at concept. As many podcasters have learned, as you determine your theme the ideas flow from one to another all too easily. So naturally, one begins to take notes and form an outline to organize and add structure to your thoughts. Through this process a plan is developed. This is overly simplified, but you get the point.
As the themes are developed and content is curated you begin to focus on scheduling your time, guests, release dates. We decided on releasing once a week, typically on Tuesday. It's smart to really think this through, you don't want to over burden yourself in the beginning. Make sure you can commit to the deadlines because consistency is a big part of developing a following.
Develop a calendar; John and I use our google calendar. We have two hosts, some podcasts have teams and the Google calendar makes it really easy for everyone to see when things are scheduled. It is also really easy to share invites and reminders with your guests. It also great to have the app on your phone to easily see the month in a glance or to reference on the fly if meet a really interesting, potential guest and want to book a time right then and there.
Along with the calendar, Google makes it really easy for everyone to see important information such as guest contacts, relevant information such as website, bio and any other important research and information. Sharing the information ensures all parties are prepared will make sure you avoid any pitfalls and aggravation. While we use Google, any CRM that you are comfortable with is great but take advantage of all the free tools you can so that your resources can be used efficiently.
Communication is key!
You, your co-hosts, your team and your guests will constantly be communicating ideas, information and dates. It is so important to make sure your team is aware and everyone is on the same page. The tools you use are important and so is talking to each other. Make sure you save time for yourself or for your team to talk between pre-production meetings, studio and research time. Take time to review how things are going along your journey and discuss where you want to see the podcast go moving forward.
John and I talk several times a week, sometimes it's just to laugh at something that happened during a recording. There are texts, phone calls and emails flying back and forth between us and our guests all in the pursuit of excellence. John does most of the guest interaction, whether it's outreach to them or, as is the case many times, someone using IG or FB messenger to make an introduction and inquire about being a guest. The internal and external flow of communication is just as integral as the conversations that happen in the studio.
Podcasting is fun and it's a great journey to be on, but it does require work. If you put the time in and prepare and make sure you pay attention to the little things you will enjoy it and be successful. Now, get moving and get it done!