Looking for a way to expand the audience for my website, PubClub.com, I started looking into launching a podcast.
And while I have been a guest on radio shows – even hosting my own show at a station – and have tons of Public Relations experience, I really knew nothing about podcasts. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea.
What I eventually did was launch was I call a “visual podcast,” a show based on the PubClub content. By “visual podcast,” I decided PubClub is a very visual website and made it a livestream show broadcast on the Facebook live platform. I also brought in a co-host and co-producer, a local bar DJ and personality who is well connected in the Los Angeles Beach Cities, where we would do the broadcast.
I then contacted the owner of a very popular bar in Hermosa Beach, Tower 12, about hosting us, and they immediately agreed to do it. It took a lot of trial and error but eventually we got it nailed down and now we get more than 1,000 views a show. We quickly took the show on the road to festivals, concerts and even onto a college campus where we did a series of broadcasts on a football weekend.
Here are 10 tips based on what I have learned about hosting a successful podcast.
1.) Have A Theme For The Podcast
This is the overall most important element of starting a podcast. You need to have a theme and stick with it. Ours happens to be bars, nightlife and festivals (and the spinoffs off that such as food & drink and music); make your something unique, of interest to you and of interest to your listeners.
2.) Have A Theme For Each Show Within The Podcast’s Theme
I call this a “theme within a theme.” We have themes such as St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, National Beer Day, etc. Do the same with your podcast.
3.) Do Your Homework And Have A Plan For Each Show
Make sure you know what you are talking about; don’t just ramble on about whatever pops into your mind. Have a plan for each show. It’s good to write down what you will talk about on the show and in what order.
4.) Be Consistent With The Broadcast Day & Time
Whatever day and time you choose to do your podcast, be sure it is consistent. You need to do it pretty much at the same time each show. Now if something special is happening you have to adjust to it, but have a regular broadcast day and time.
5.) Create A Consistent Look To Your Podcast
If you are going to be adding a video element to your podcast, create a look that represents your brand/topic and keep it consistent from show to show. It may take a few adjustments to nail it but one you get it, stick with it. People like a consistent look.
6.) Be Sure You Have A Solid Internet Connection
This is HUGE! You don’t want your podcast to be jumpy. This is often a challenge for us when we go on location and we are always looking to find the best Internet connection. Of course, we are a live show broadcast on Facebook live so that makes a difference but still, you don’t want to have any technical issues when you are broadcasting your show.
7.) Invite Interesting Guests (Even Musical Guests) And Guests With A Good Following
The quickest way to build an audience is to invite guests who already have a following. This could be in your subject matter or the community. For example, we invited on the head of the local chamber of commerce. She had such a fun time she wants to come on again and no doubt we will make her a regular guest. Same thing with local musicians and event promoters. If you are able to land a national guest, well, then you’re golden.
8.) Give Away Prizes
One thing we do to engage others is our prize wheel. We have our guests spin it and go around the bar to ask others if they would like to do it (girls almost always do, by the way). We give away small, silly items such as an exploding golf ball but also our host bar gives us $20 food and drink coupons and we have also given away tickets to the local IndyCar grand prix as well as a music and food festival.
9.) Be Creative And Have Fun With It
First and foremost, we have fun. We are smiling, laughing (and in our case, doing cheers with drinks) and the the audience feeds off our our energy. Nearly every guest we have had on the show has so much fun they want to come back – and they tell their friends and followers about it.
10.) Marketing & Promotion – Getting The Word Out To Build An Audience
This is the part that takes the most work. You just can’t stick a microphone in front of your face and expect people to tune into it. You need to tell them about it ahead of time and in particular, share the link all over Facebook and social media afterward. We many only have a hundred or so live followers but by sharing it – particularly on Facebook groups – we wind up having 1,000 or more views.