Many of us have made the long commute to work more bearable by buffering the departure and arrival with a podcast or two. Some of us have compensated for the sense of isolation felt as new parents by consuming manageable chucks of podcasts during baby's naptime. And who hasn't tried to cut through the boredom – and worry – of waiting to see a doctor by losing themselves in a podcast? Podcasts can be soundness savers, informative, educational, inspiring or just plain fun.
As a result of its versatility, this form of media has grown in popularity since its inception in 2005. In fact, today, there are some 750,000 active podcasts, with over 30 million episodes produced. Nearly 51% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, up 7% from just last year. Viewers enjoy an average of seven shows per week, with 80% listening to all or most of each podcast episode.
Given podcasts' ability to attract and keep an audience, it's no surprise that business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers are looking to capitalize on the popularity of this medium. As a podcaster, you can position yourself as an authority in a particular topic or field, which will help you influence clients and customers in ways that encourage them to purchase your products and services, invest in your business, or promote you to their peers. And all of this can be done on the cheap, because in most cases, creating a podcast does not require a significant financial investment.
For the newcomer, a podcast is an audio series that is available online. Similar to a TV or radio show, it's made up of episodes and seasons. Listeners can subscribe to specific podcasts, download episodes as they become available, and listen to them whenever and wherever it's convenient for them. Tuning in to a podcast only requires a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.
•Find your niche:
The first step is deciding what you'd like the focus of your podcast to be. You need to find a happy medium between a topic that is broad enough that you can explore many different aspects of it, and one that is narrow enough to attract an audience with that specific interest. If your industry is underserved in the podcast universe, it's likely that there are listeners out there who are hungry for information and actively searching for new content. Carve out a topic niche in which you can easily and authoritatively speak for long stretches in language that's informal and engaging.
•Choose a name:
There are a couple of ways you can select a name for your podcast. You can come up with a descriptive title that is self-explanatory. Another option is to create something really clever and catchy, but just make sure it offers a clear connection back to your niche. The name needs to be instantly recognizable to listeners looking for info on your topic.
•Select a format:
There are several types of podcast formats – the most common are solo shows, co-hosted shows and interview shows. The solo show involves the podcaster speaking directly to the audience. With a hosted show, you share the mic with another presenter. In an interview show, you speak with guests, which you can do solo or with a co-host.
•Define your style:
The most successful podcasts provide targeted content in a conversational, engaging style. Podcasting is no place for a teleprompter. A short topic outline might prove helpful, but successful podcasters don't use scripts, because they lead to stilted language that doesn't resonate with listeners. Podcasts that feel like an advertisement or resemble college lectures won't cut it either. Be authentic. Talk about what you know, using essentially the same words and tone you normally use when conversing with a close friend. Successful podcasts allow listeners to get to know the podcasters.
•Decide on the length:
The length of your podcast is determined by how much you have to say on a topic and the needs of your audience. There are five-minute podcasts that appeal to a certain kind of listener and four-hour podcasts that offer in-depth coverage of a particular issue. The typical podcast tends to be 20-45 minutes, typically the same length as the average commute. Find what works for you, and don't be afraid to vary the length when necessary. What you don't want to do is stretch out material to fit a rigid timeframe or, conversely, cram so much information into an episode that it overwhelms listeners. The objective of a podcast is to connect with listeners and build acommunity over time. People will invest their time to listen to what you have to say, so make it worth their while.
You don't need to have a professional studio with fancy equipment to record a podcast. All that's required is a laptop or tablet, audio recording and editing software, and a high-quality microphone to record the audio for podcasting a start-up.
Using a poor-quality mic may result in lack of audio crispness and clarity that will brand your podcast as amateurish. Look for a USB microphone that plugs into the USB port of your computer. Do not use your computer's built-in microphone. Ideally, audio should be recorded in a quiet area, away from cars and nature noises.
•Recording and Editing:
You'll need audio software to create your podcast. If you own a MacBook or iPad, you are already ahead of the recording and editing. For PC users, applications like Audacity and Adobe Audition are similar to GarageBand. Audacity is free, and Audition is available for a monthly subscription.
If you are interviewing guests on your show, you'll need to put together a list of potential guests and reach out to them as soon as possible. A service like Acuity Scheduling avoids all the back-and-forth involved in scheduling. People can book a date and time to be interviewed directly within your calendar. If you have remote guests, Skype lets you record calls, and the quality is much better than landlines, plus the connections are usually strong. However, there are lots of tools on the market for recording a podcast interviews such as Ringr, Zoom, Zencastr , etc.
•Launch and promote:
To generate buzz on launch day, have several episodes already completed and uploaded. Announce the launch in advance to your business network via email and social media. You want to build an audience before you launch. To improve your chances of being noticed and possibly featured by iTunes, encourage new listeners to subscribe to your podcast and leave a review. To get the most out of your podcast, think of ways you can repurpose your podcast content on your blog and social media channels.
Benefits of starting a podcast:
If you're still having doubts about whether it's worth your time to create a podcast, consider the many benefits of talking directly to current and potential customers and clients. Podcasting allows you to build a relationship with your audience, which can open doors to new opportunities. Podcasting gives you access to movers and shakers in your field in a way few other experiences can. Perhaps most importantly, podcasting helps establish you as an expert in your chosen area or field because of your efforts to delve deeper into relevant issues during your show. You can become a trusted voice that others come to for insight and advice. Your brand will grow as you connect and engage with listeners, and provide them with the information they need most.
•Competition law for start-ups:
The objective of the Indian competition law is to promote fair competition and consumer welfare, by ensuring ethical business practices. The Competition Act, 2002 (as amended) (Competition Act) seeks to achieve this objective by (i) prohibiting anti-competitive horizontal and vertical agreements, including cartels; (ii) prohibiting abuse of a dominant position; and (iii) regulating merges and acquisitions, referred to a ‘combinations’ under Competition Act.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has recognised and appreciated the entrepreneurial spirit of young India and described start-ups as “effective instruments for India’s transformation”. Not only the government, but the start-up movement has been equally stimulated by the venture capital and private equity investors.
With the increase of easy-to-use programs, and the increase of mobile technology, we are able to create, access, and listen to podcasts wherever we go. There is a huge selection of podcasts being offered to consumers, with new ones being offered every day. No matter what the subject you are interested in, chances are there is a podcast for it.
i.Jonathan Michael, The 15 Best Business Podcasts for Start-ups (and Our PodcastToo…articles.bplans.com/11-business-podcasts-for-entrepreneurs/.
ii.Ross Winn, How to Start A Podcast: A Complete Step-By-Step Tutorial, www.podcastinsights.com/start-a-podcast/, 16 July 2020.
iii.Corey Ferreira, How to Start a Successful Podcast, www.shopify.in/blog/34911301-how-to-start-a-podcast-the-ultimate-step-by-step-podcasting-guide, 16 April 2019.