I can hardly believe it, but this is the 50th episode of Priority Pursuit! Kelsey (my podcast editor), Maile (who writes many of the blog posts and show notes), and I have been creating episodes for a full year, and I’ve loved getting to hang out with each and every one of you on a weekly basis.
That said, while we’re now a year into Priority Pursuit, I dreamed of starting a podcast for a few years before it came to fruition. With my workload as a wedding photographer and as an SEO coach, I had no idea how I was going to be able to maintain a podcast well.
But, between the help of contractors, setting up workflows, and choosing the right tools, having a podcast is now something I’m able to pretty easily fit into my schedule.
And, in case you’re dreaming of starting a podcast, in this episode of Priority Pursuit, we’re celebrating 50 episodes by discussing how and why to start a podcast as a creative entrepreneur.
Your podcast doesn’t have to educate others in your industry.
Before we get into the steps of creating a podcast, I want to clarify something. Your podcast doesn’t have to educate others in your industry. Instead, your podcast can educate your current ideal client.
As small business owners, many of us tend to listen to a lot of business-related podcasts. As a result, many of us assume that the only kind of podcast we can or should create has to be a business podcast. However, that’s not the case. You can create a podcast aligned with whatever your business goals are.
Now, a big part of my business is educating other creative entrepreneurs—especially photographers—through the In Focus Marketing Summit, SEO coaching, business coaching, and a few other exciting things that I hope to be able to share soon. As a result, Priority Pursuit is a business-related podcast because it is aligned with my business goals.
However, if your current ideal client listens to podcasts, you can absolutely create a podcast that resonates with and serves them. For example:
- If you’re a wedding planner, you could start a podcast that includes wedding planning tips, interviews with wedding vendors, interviews with marriage counselors, and episodes about wedding trends. This would serve engaged couples well and establish you as an authority in your industry.
- If you own a boutique, you could start a podcast where you discuss fashion trends, bring on hairstylists to discuss hair trends, and establish yourself as the go-to resource for the next time Gen Z tells us skinny jeans and side parts are out.
- If you’re a family photographer, you could start a podcast for moms where you share about how to preserve family memories through photos, how to display photos in your home, as well as all kinds of mom and family tips and tricks.
The possibilities are endless, but podcasts present a unique opportunity for us as small business owners. While nearly everyone in your industry is probably posting to social media regularly, you could be the one of a few in your industry who is creating long-form content via your podcast that your ideal customer can easily consume while driving, working, walking the dog, doing dishes, or whatever else.
This will allow your ideal customers to connect with you, be more invested in you, and see you as the go-to resource for whatever your small business offers.
How to Start a Podcast as a Creative Entrepreneur
Whether you’ve been dreaming about starting a podcast for years or the reasons we just discussed are making you consider starting a podcast for the first time, let’s break down how to start a podcast as a creative entrepreneur.
1. Decide why you want to start a podcast & your podcast’s unique brand position.
First, you need to decide why you want to start a podcast and what your podcast’s unique brand position will be. For instance:
- How will your podcast serve your business? Maybe you want to create connection with your prospective customers, reach new customers, build relationships with others in your industry through interviews, or establish yourself as an authority in your industry with the goal of being able to sell current or future products or services.
- Who do you want to serve with your podcast? Hint: This should be your ideal client.
- What will your podcast be about? In other words, what topics would be beneficial to your ideal client?
- How does your podcast serve listeners in a unique way? If you haven’t listened to “Episode 008: How to Define & Communicate Your Brand Position with Nathan Holritz,” I highly recommend giving this episode a listen before starting a podcast or any business venture for that matter!
Basically, before you start a podcast, you need to be clear on your business goals, why you want to start a podcast, and how you’re going to serve your audience well through your podcast.
2. Decide on a format for your podcast.
Once you know what your podcast is going to be about, you need to decide on the format of your podcast. For example:
- How many episodes do you want to release and how often? Once a week has proven to be as much as I can handle, but you can do whatever you like. Consistency is key!
- Do you want to do interviews, solo episodes, or a combination of both? On Priority Pursuit, we do both.
- How long do you want your episodes to be? For this, you simply need to determine how long your ideal client wants episodes to be.
- How do you want each episode to be formatted? Do you want a recorded intro? Do you want to start interview episodes with a quote from your guest? Do you need an outro? The possibilities are endless, but having a format for each episode will help streamline the process of creating each episode.
With these questions, there are no right or wrong answers. You simply need to decide what you can consistently handle and what will benefit your ideal client most.
3. Determine how you want to monetize your podcast.
When you start your podcast, you’ll likely have to pay for it out of pocket. That said, that doesn’t have to be the case long term. There are certainly ways to earn sponsorships, but as you grow your audience, an easy way to cover your expenses is to utilize affiliate marketing, especially for products or services you either already use or need in your personal life or in your business.
For example, if you listen to Priority Pursuit ads, every ad is for a product or service I currently utilize. For instance, Photographer’s Edit is my editor. As a result, every time a Priority Pursuit listener uses the affiliate link for Photographer’s Edit that I mention in ads, they get a discount on their editing, and I get a credit to put toward the cost of my editing. This may not be direct income, but it is covering the cost of another aspect of my business.
To take advantage of affiliate marketing via your podcast, create a list of products and services you love or need that would be beneficial to your audience. This could include meal delivery programs, your CRM, your favorite shoes, or whatever else. Then, do some research to find out if these products or services have an affiliate program.
If they do, you’ll simply need to get your affiliate link and then create landing pages on your website with a button for your affiliate link and recorded ads for these products or services that can be included in your podcast episodes.
Just to give you a rough idea, between paying the contractors who help with the podcast, the software needed for the podcast, and the gifts I send to all podcast guests, it costs me about $500 per month to produce Priority Pursuit. And, in all honesty, my podcast isn’t profitable yet, but affiliate links certainly help me cover the cost of the show. And, the business I get from the show—especially SEO coaching—makes the cost of producing Priority Pursuit entirely worth it.
Side Note: For me, producing Priority Pursuit is about setting my business up for long-term success. I cannot wait to be able to share what’s coming next!
4. Hire a podcast editor & a writer to transcribe episodes for you.
While you can absolutely edit your podcast episodes yourself and write the blog posts and show notes (more on this shortly) you need for each episode, you likely already have a lot on your plate.
For me, I knew that if I wanted to consistently produce podcasts episodes, I needed someone to edit and upload episodes for me and a writer to write blog posts for interview episodes. (I write the blogs and show notes for the solo shows myself.)
As a result, I hired Kelsey of K. Bryson Solutions to edit and distribute my episodes and Maile (a local freelance writer in my area) to write the copy for all interview blog posts and show notes. (Side Note: Having a corresponding blog post for each episode is crucial for SEO. A lot of Priority Pursuit listeners find the show initially through blog posts.)
We’ll talk about how a podcast editor and copywriter fit into my workload more below, but as a wedding photographer, I have a full plate. And, I know that there’s no way in heck Priority Pursuit would exist without the help of an editor and copywriter. You can absolutely learn how to edit episodes, write show notes, and transcribe episodes yourself. But, if you already know that you don’t have the capacity, I highly recommend investing in help from the beginning so that you can continue to be consistent with your episodes.
5. Choose your software & tools.
Next, you need to choose your software and tools. I’m going to detail the software and tools I use below, but if you’re going to work with a podcast editor, I highly recommend chatting with them first as they may have software and tool preferences that will make working together easier. Plus, if you work with an experienced podcast editor, he or she will likely be able to guide you in the right direction about countless areas of your podcast.
For Priority Pursuit, we use the following tools and software:
- Libsyn – This is our podcast host. Basically, Libysn stores all of our edited recordings, and Kelsey then uses Libsyn to distribute each episode to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere people can listen to podcasts with just a few clicks.
- GarageBand – I use GarageBand—which can be found for free on all Apple products—for all solo shows.
- SquadCast – I used Squadcast for all interview episodes. I love this tool because it allows me to see those being interviewed via webcam.
- Blue Yeti Microphone – After a lot of microphone research, this is the microphone I landed on.
- Apple AirPods – There is a lot of information about headphones out there, but I ultimately landed on Airpods for the sake of being able to use them in multiple capacities. So you don’t get any weird echoes, you do want to make sure that you choose noise canceling AirPods.
- Canva – Canva allows us to easily create graphics for each episode.
- ConvertKit – This is the email marketing platform I use to both create forms for landing pages and to email my audience about new episodes and other updates.
- Iris Works – This is the CRM I use for both my photography clients and podcast guests so I can easily send emails and reminders via templates.
- Calendly – I use Calendly so that podcast guests can easily schedule interviews.
- A Website with a Blog – It’s so important that each podcast episode can be found on your website for both SEO purposes and for the ease of your listeners.
There are all kinds of tools out there, but you certainly need a website, podcast hosting software, recording software, a microphone, headphones, software to create graphics and visuals, and an email marketing platform. Having a CRM and scheduling software will also make having a podcast significantly easier and more streamlined.
6. Design a distribution strategy.
Now, it isn’t enough to simply record podcast episodes. You also have to share your podcast so that people know it exists!
Ultimately, you want to share your podcast wherever your ideal client is hanging out. For Priority Pursuit, we always share episodes on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and with my email list.
We’ll discuss the entire Priority Pursuit workflow below, but it is critical to think about how you want to share and promote your podcast and how you’re going to get your podcast in front of new listeners.
7. Create needed graphics.
When you start a podcast you’ll need a square graphic for your podcast, and I highly recommend creating templates for graphics you can share on social media for each episode.
If you listen to podcasts regularly—which I’m assuming you do since you’re here—you’ve likely seen the square graphics every show has regardless of where you listen to podcasts. When you start your podcast, you’ll need to create a square graphic. Ideally, this graphic will be 3000×3000 pixels with a DPI of 72.
This graphic will appear small in most places. As a result, you won’t want to include too much information on the graphic, but you do want to make sure the name of your podcast is included.
In addition to this graphic, I also highly recommend creating templates for social media graphics. That way, when a new episode is released, you can easily share your new episodes on social media.
For Priority Pursuit, Jen (my graphic designer) created templates for graphics for Instagram posts, Instagram stories, and Pinterest. When a new episode is created, Kelsey simply uses the templates Jen created to create new graphics for each episode.
8. Create a podcast workflow.
Between setting up tools and software, building a team (if you decide to do so), and creating graphics, starting a podcast is quite a bit of work upfront. But, once these pieces are in place, I promise that podcasting does get easier and more fun.
However, as a creative entrepreneur with a long to-do list, I can almost guarantee that the only way you’ll be able to produce podcasts consistently is if you have an established workflow. And, I highly recommend writing this workflow down and getting really specific so nothing is missed or forgotten and so that if you eventually add to your podcasting team, new team members can easily jump in.
In case this helps, this is what our podcast workflow looks like:
- If the episode is an interview, I send potential guests a an email made from a template via Iris Works that includes a Calendly link that allows them to schedule their interview, questions for their interview, and other logistical information, such as the photos we need from them, how they need to have both headphones and a mic ready, etc.
- Once the interview or episode is scheduled, I update our content calendar (which we’ll discuss in more depth below) and provide the team with all information they need, including due dates, keywords, ads, links needed, and other pertinent information.
- I record the episode via GarageBand if it’s a solo episode or via SquadCast if it’s an interview.
- If it’s an interview, I send the guest a follow-up email thanking them for their time and giving them an official air date. I also mail the guest a thank you gift.
- After the episode is recorded (whether it’s a solo or interview episode), I send it to Kelsey to be edited.
- After she’s edited the episode, Maile writes the blog post and show notes for the episode if it’s a guest post. If it’s a solo episode, I tend to write the blog post before I record just because it helps me clarify ideas.
- Next, Kelsey uploads the edited audio to Libsyn with the show notes and schedules the podcast for distribution.
- Kelsey then uses the templates in Canva to create graphics for the episode.
- Next, Emma (my virtual assistant) adds the blog post, including an audio widget Libsyn provides, to my website so the episode can be found on my blog/website.
- If it’s a guest episode, I send the created graphics and a link to the blog post to guests so that they can use the graphics and help share the episode. I have a template for this email.
- I then schedule social media posts and stories (including a Facebook post, a post in the Priority Pursuit Facebook group, an Instagram post, and an Instagram story), as well as develop an email to be sent out.
- Then, listeners get to enjoy episodes!
- After the episode airs, Emma pins the episode so it can also be found on Pinterest.
There are a lot of moving parts, but with systems, templates, and a workflow in place, you can feasibly produce a podcast.
9. Create a content calendar.
Rather than frantically determining what your next podcast will be about each and every week (or however often you plan to produce episodes), I highly recommend creating a content calendar, which in this case is simply a calendar that includes what episode is airing when.
Having a content calendar is going to allow your team to stay on the same page, help you knock out episodes in advance so you don’t feel scrambled, allow you to communicate well with guests, and—ultimately—plan great content so that you can serve your audience well.
Personally, my goal is always to be at least four weeks ahead of the content calendar. That doesn’t always happen. But, at least having topics picked and mapped out via the content calendar allows my team and I to make adjustments, serve listeners well, and produce episodes as efficiently as possible.
10. Start recording & releasing episodes!
Once all of these pieces are in place, you’re ready to hit record and start sharing your episodes via the podcast world!
When you launch your podcast, I highly recommend releasing three to five episodes immediately. This is going to allow listeners to listen to multiple episodes at once, decide if your podcast is right for them, and result in some faithful followers from the beginning.
Then, from there, let your workflow commence! Before you know it, you’ll be 50 episodes in!
Recommended Podcast Courses
Starting a podcast isn’t an easy task, and in case you’d like more help, here are a couple podcast courses that come highly recommended:
- Steph Taylor’s “A-Z Podcast Launch Plan” – I personally took this course before starting Priority Pursuit, and I highly recommend it.
- Jenna Kutcher’s “Podcast Lab” – I haven’t taken this specific course, but I’ve taken several of Jenna’s courses, and I’ve had nothing but great experiences.
Again, starting a podcast does require quite a bit of work upfront. However, many people listen to podcasts and few creative entrepreneurs are taking advantage of podcasts. As a result, if you’re willing to do the work, podcasting is a unique opportunity to both attract and serve your ideal customers.
Now that you know how and why to start a podcast as a creative entrepreneur, don’t let a little work prevent you from missing out on a great opportunity!
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
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