Have you ever thought about starting a podcast to get your message out there to more people and showcase your expertise? If you’ve ever wondered how to start a podcast, what’s involved and whether it’s really possible to have your own podcast, read on. In this blog post, LIT co-founder Melissa Parks shares her experience launching her podcast, Founders’ Fears and Failures, and everything she learned along the way. 

Why Consider Starting a Podcast?

There are many reasons why starting a podcast might appeal and could be a good idea for your business. First, it’s an excellent way to get your name out there and solidify your place as an industry leader and a well-known figure. 

With a successful podcast, you could reach more of your target audience and connect with them authentically. As a result, a podcast could help you get more clients or sell your offers (especially if you’re strategic about your podcast and who it will appeal to). 

And if you’ve ever struggled with creating content, it’s an effective way to produce consistent content that you can repurpose on other platforms, such as social media, YouTube, and your blog. 

So, starting a podcast could be a great decision for your business. But it’s also not the right choice for everyone, and there are plenty of other factors to consider before making your decision. For example, you should think about how much time and effort will go into the podcast, whether you will do it yourself or hire help, and more. 

3 Key Questions to Consider Before You Start a Podcast

Here are some crucial questions to think about before jumping into your podcast launch. Taking the time to consider these beforehand will help you a lot in the long run! 

1. What are your goals for your podcast?

First of all, Melissa recommends thinking about your hopes and dreams for your podcast. What is your key motivation for starting a podcast? 

As mentioned above, a podcast could help you get clients – but that depends on what your podcast is about and whether your target audience matches your ideal client. You also need to factor in the time it takes to grow your podcast and build an audience of listeners because it doesn’t happen overnight. 

Melissa’s motivation was to get her name out among startup founders and entrepreneurs. However, the startup world is very niche, relying mainly on word of mouth. Even more critically, most business founders are very short on time – but one thing they are interested in is appearing on podcasts. So, it made sense for Melissa to start her own podcast, put herself out there as an industry expert, and connect with startup founders at the same time by featuring them on her podcast. 

Melissa Parks' podcast - Founders' Fears & Failures

For you, a podcast might be a way to position yourself as an expert, diversify your income streams (via ads and sponsoring), or promote your services or another offer like an online course. Either way, you should be clear on your goals for the podcast as that will guide you in all the other decisions to follow. 

2. What style of podcast will work best for you?

Once you’ve got clarity on your goals for your podcast, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty: 

  • What kind of podcast will you create? 
  • Will you host it alone, with a co-host, or have guests on? 
  • Will it be a mix of interviews and solo episodes?
  • Who is your audience for the podcast?
  • How long will your episodes be? 
  • How often will you release your episodes?

Answering these questions should give you a good idea of your podcast format so you can start producing your episodes. 

Of course, there are pros and cons to all the options. For example, if you have a co-host, you can share the workload between you. And if you bring on guests for interviews, you don’t have to create as much podcast content beforehand as you can rely on the guests and the interview format for that. 

Image of three women recording a podcast together
Photo by Los Muertos Crew on Pexels

But if you want to position yourself as an industry expert and grow your business, that can be difficult to do without solo episodes to showcase your expertise. Solo episodes are ideal for getting your voice out there and allowing guests to get more of a feel for who you are and what you do. 

As for podcast length and frequency, consider your target audience. How much time do they have to listen to podcasts? When and where do they listen to them, and how frequently? That will help you make the key decisions for your podcast! 

3. What equipment do you need to start a podcast?

You don’t need to invest in expensive technical equipment or a full recording studio to create a podcast. But at a minimum, you’ll need a decent microphone and headphones and a quiet place to record. Depending on how much of the work you’ll be doing yourself, you may also need to invest in editing software or other related tools. 

An image of podcast recording equipment - laptop, microphone, headphones
Photo by Chau Ngyuen Thi Hong

Another thing to consider is where you’ll record and how you can improve the sound quality and cut down on background noise. Your podcast doesn’t need to be professional or perfect, but you do want to ensure good audio quality for your listeners. There’s nothing more likely to turn people away than distracting background noise or poor audio quality. 

The good news is that there are some cheap DIY tips and hacks that can help. For example, surrounding yourself with soft furnishings like pillows and blankets reduces echoes. The larger and emptier a room, the more echoes and background noise you’ll get. So although it sounds a little odd, a small room like a closet could work well for recording your podcast! 

3 Tips to Help You Start a Podcast

Here are a few more tips to make starting your podcast as simple and stress-free as possible. 

#1: Plan Your Podcast Launch Carefully

Give yourself enough time to prepare for your podcast launch without getting stressed and overwhelmed! 

Melissa recommends starting work on your podcast at least three months before you launch. A lot goes into creating a podcast, from deciding on the name, podcast art, and music to planning episodes, writing scripts, and scheduling guests. 

And that’s even before you hit record for the first episode! 

For example, Melissa’s first episodes went live in February 2023, but she had already started work on the podcast in November 2022. She intentionally chose to have a long runway leading up to the launch, which helped her to keep the momentum up in the following months, too. 

Don’t leave it all to the last minute! It’s important to work back from your launch and ensure you have enough time to do all the behind-the-scenes work involved in starting a podcast. Then, pace yourself and work through those tasks to get your podcast ready for the world. You’ll thank yourself later on for getting ahead. 

Keep in mind that it can take some time to get your podcast approved on platforms like Apple, Google Podcasts, and Spotify, so factor in a little extra time for these delays. 

One Small Caveat: If you’re not someone who thrives on planning ahead, it’s possible to put together a podcast in a shorter time frame. However, don’t underestimate how much work goes into starting a podcast, and consider your other commitments and how you’ll fit it all in. 

#2. Pre-Record Your Episodes

Aim to have several episodes ready before you launch your podcast. That way, you’ll have done a lot of the work up-front and given yourself a buffer in case something comes up. You definitely don’t want to scramble to record and release an episode all within the same week. 

Podcast experts often recommend launching your podcast with around three episodes available immediately. The idea is that listeners can binge your episodes and get a good idea of what your podcast is about, making them more likely to come back and listen to future episodes. 

So, think about how many episodes you will release initially and your podcast frequency. 

Will you release new episodes every week, every two weeks, or more or less often? Try to be consistent with your episodes so people know when to expect them and can get into a routine of listening to them. 

Then, plan it out so you’re always a couple of weeks (or more!) ahead of your publishing schedule. That gives you some leeway if you get sick, an interview is cancelled, or you want to take some time off, allowing you to stay on track with publishing your episodes. 

#3: Streamline Your Podcast Production

Creating a podcast can be very time-consuming if you’re not careful, with tasks taking up as much time as is available – especially if you’re a perfectionist! 

But here are some hacks to streamline your podcast production and manage your time. 

Consider outsourcing some (or all) of the work:

You can hire a podcast editor or a virtual assistant to take on some of the tasks involved, such as editing the podcast, preparing the show notes, uploading to platforms, and promoting it on social media. How much you outsource will depend on your preferences, technical skills, and budget, but doing so will save you a lot of time!

For example, Melissa outsourced the fiddly audio editing to a pro (Ineke at Zourit Solutions) but chose to create the show notes for the podcast herself. Check out our blog post on outsourcing for more tips and ideas on how and where to hire someone. 
 

How to start a podcast - consider if you will do the audio editing yourself or hire help. Image of a woman editing the audio of a podcast on her laptop.
Photo by Syda Productions

Using AI to speed things up:

You can use AI tools to speed up your processes. For example, Otter is useful for producing transcripts (although you’ll still need to tidy them up), and Capsho is a powerful tool for repurposing content and marketing your podcast. 

Be choosy:

As with any marketing, choose your platforms and channels carefully. Think about where your target audience spends their time, so you can focus on those platforms, save time, and avoid spreading yourself too thin. 

Batch your episodes:

Think about when you’ll have time to record episodes and pencil this into your calendar. Ideally, aim to record 2-3 episodes on the same day; this is easier if you’re recording solo episodes, but you could also schedule a couple of interviews for the same morning. That will allow you to fully focus on your podcast during that time block without taking over your whole calendar. Equally, if you’re editing the episodes yourself, you could set aside an editing day and get a few done at once. This way, you’ll find that you’re more efficient and can stay ahead of your episode schedule. 

How to Start a Podcast: The Wrap Up 

As you can see, a lot of work goes into producing a podcast, so deciding whether to start a podcast is not a decision to take lightly. When considering if a podcast is right for you, think about your business vision and weigh up whether a podcast will help you achieve those goals. 

You should also consider your capacity – in terms of your time, energy, and finances – and work out how you will fit the podcast around your business and client work. Finally, consider how much of the work you would need to do yourself and what you could afford to outsource. 

Starting a podcast can be a fantastic way to get your voice out there and position yourself as an industry expert. It’s a long-term form of content that people can access months and years after you put it out into the world, so it can make a real impact. 

But only you can decide if it’s the right decision for you and your business at this stage in time. 

For Melissa, starting a podcast was an exciting and interesting journey, and she’s glad she did. But for now, she has put her podcast on pause to free up time to focus on other professional and personal pursuits. You can still listen to all the episodes of Founders’ Failures and Fears here! 

Next Steps

Let us know your thoughts about starting a podcast – we’d love to hear. Is it something you’re considering, actively pursuing, or a project for a later date? Or maybe you’ve decided that a podcast isn’t right for you (and that’s fine too!). The great part about running your own business is that you get to work out what’s best for you, and that will be different for everyone. 

And if you’d like more support in growing your location-independent business alongside other like-minded professionals, check out the LIT Community – our dedicated online membership for mental health professionals around the world. 

How to start a podcast as an online therapist - image of a woman recording a podcast with a LIT logo at the bottom
Photo by thecorgi

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