Have A Vision … And Be Prepared to Move Away From It
We had big plans when we started our podcast. Our original idea was to have video footage of our podcast, as well as just the audio. Using a system of iPhone cameras and video camera (and very unflattering angles), we did attempt a video. But quickly scaled back to recording an audio-only podcast. So don’t worry if your original vision is a bust. Scale back until you find something that works for you and keep getting better. (Or not. I’m not sure we have!)
Your Topics Need to Spark Conversation
At Tower, our monthly content calendar is usually based on an overarching “theme” and the written content we produce, as well as our podcast content, includes topics that fall within our theme. We feel this gives contributors a good place to start when brainstorming what topics of discussion to bring to the podcast table. But that’s not to say that if someone has a trending topic, a personal anecdote, or a conversation starter outside of the theme, that they shouldn’t feel free to talk about it.
What’s most important is that the topics you plan on chatting about can sustain a conversation. So once you introduce the topic and lay out the basics, don’t let it fall flat. Ask the group for their opinion on the subject, whether they’ve ever experienced something similar, or how they feel it will impact your industry.
The Right People Can Make All the Difference
Maybe you have a number of people just clamoring to participate in your podcast or maybe you’re bribing and begging people to get involved. Either way, there are a few things to consider when choosing your podcast team.
- Fit the participants to the topics you’re discussing. Don’t include someone if the conversation will be over their head and they can’t fully contribute.
- Find a mixture personalities that compliment each other. Choose people who can riff off one another and have a good time. But, try to avoid scenarios where everyone talks over everyone else or everyone shrinks into the background.
- Include a referee (um, I mean, facilitator). Recording a podcast can quickly dissolve into chaos if you don’t have a point person to steer the conversations, keep people on track, and transition from one topic to the next.
To Edit or Not to Edit
Editing a podcast can be a time-consuming process and that’s part of the reason we choose not to do it. The other reason is that, from the start, we said we would let the podcast be a reflection of our culture and personality – the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, if you’re going for a more polished and professional end product, editing may be necessary.
Get It Out There
So now you’re successfully recording a podcast! But, where do these podcasts go? We upload our episodes to SoundCloud, where we have a small group of subscribers, but it was never intended to be our main platform of distribution. For every podcast we create, we also write a companion blog post (you’re reading one right now!) that recaps what we discussed and gives us a little SEO equity. Our podcasts have a home on our website and we also share them on our social media channels as well.