When was the last time any of you guys actually read a whole article from start to finish. However, when was the last time you had your earphones plugged and listen to music, an audio book or even the good ol’ radio on a 45 minute train ride? Probably last week.

Podcasts are a thing people, now let’s just get past the unfamiliarity and jump on that bandwagon.

Podcasts are evolving; they’ve come a long way since the early days and are now an integral part of more developed media landscapes like the US and UK. Normal technology advances and the fact we all have access to fast and affordable data has made it easier and just convenient to listen to podcasts.

In the US, over half the US population (165 million people) have listened to a podcast with 2019 over 100 million people listen to a podcast every week, at least in 2019.

man in gray shirt leaning on table with headphones facing another man leaning on table with headboard

Southeast Asia is seeing a growing trend as more podcasts gain popularity such as Startup Snapshot, For Women Who Love The F-Word or even Analyse Asia are some of the Southeast Asian podcasts that are keeping the industry vibrant. So, now why aren’t you setting up a podcast for your business? Well, OK, yes you are, because you’ve managed to read this far. Here are some of the first easy steps to get your podcast up and running.

Understand what you want to achieve

Before you go any further, ask yourself these two questions:

  • What is my podcast for?
  • Who am I trying to reach?

Why do you want to make a podcast? Is this an educational or lead generation tool or are you looking to entertain? If you have identified podcasting as a great way to build authority, and provide your customers and target audience with valuable and entertaining content.

Knowing why you’re doing it, will help you identify what you should be focusing on with your podcast.

The next question tackles a couple of important points:

  • Are podcasts the right way to reach your target audience?
  • And the type of the podcast that would resonate with your preferred listeners?

The thing is, unless you know exactly who you’re making your show for, and why you’re doing it, you’ve got no chance of growing an audience. If you’re coming at it from a business point of view, and you’re a marketer or digital strategist, then you need to target other marketers or business owners through your podcast.

If you know the answer to these two main questions, then yes you can go ahead and read on.

man wearing quilted black leather jacket

Find that name – it is very important

This can be one of the hardest things to do. How do you name your podcast and why does it matter? The process and what works for you is very subjective, but we have a few options you can consider, which might help you come up with something that really works.

There are three potential types of names you can consider:

  • The creative quirky name
  • The descriptive name
  • Using your own name

Each have their own benefits. Creative and quirky names have the benefit of being identifiable and catchy, but at the same time may not actually tell people what your podcast is about and may impact those who find it organically. I personally enjoy the show “For Women Who Love The F-Word”, but had no idea what the show was about until I listened to a podcast.

The descriptive name can be the safe (and boring choice) that flat out tells the listener what to expect. Take the podcast “History of Southeast Asia”, which, unsurprisingly, gives you a history lesson about the region. Fascinating listen for those who are keen on the region’s rich history.

Then podcast named after you is something that solo entrepreneurs, trainers and online personalities tend to prefer, as it is a form of self-branding. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, though businesses may struggle to pull that same tactic off. Take for examples ‘The Jay Kim Show’ – a very insightful startup and tech podcast that interviews entrepreneurs.

How long should my podcast be?

Podcasts are generally between 10 minutes to well over an hour, depending on the topic and the podcast. Personally, the sweet spot for a lot of podcasts is 20-30 minutes of strong conversation and engaging topics.

However, it is dependent on what you are focusing on. If you have 50 minutes of really good content, there’s no reason to cut it down to 20? Vice versa, if you’ve said everything you have to say in 10 minutes, why try to force it to a long and boring 30 minutes?

To be honest, you may not even know what works for you, until your listeners tell you if they think your episodes are too short or too long. When you get that data, of course, there’s no need to stick to the same length each time, but it’s good to have an ‘average’ so your listeners know what to expect.

How often should I release an episode?

Be consistent!

So, if you can only manage once or twice a month, that will have to be the cadence. If you can manage every week, that’s even better. The impact can be same whether it is more frequent or not, just make sure you’re able to maintain it over a sustained period of time.

Focus on quality over quantity and remember, podcasts are not like regular scheduled programmes so having to put out a new episode every third Tuesday isn’t a must.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this section, where we talk tech and everything else required to get your podcast off the ground.