Laura L Bernhard
15 Steps to Launch A Podcast Episode
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Every week, I release an episode on The No Formula Podcast. Every week, a new entrepreneur shares their story about how they got to where they are today. Every week, I repeat the same process before launching every episode. Podcasters have their own process to release their episodes but I thought I would share my process in more detail. In case you're new at podcasting or want to adjust your process, this blog may help. Here are my 15 steps to launch a podcast episode.
Please note that the process is different depending on what kind of podcast you have. For example, my podcast is interview-based. Therefore, I need to coordinate interview sessions and research periods. This might be different for the podcasters who have lifestyle podcasts or those who might chat about current events. I also know podcasters who make their processes SO efficient that they spend very little time on their process. However, I believe that the longer you spend on your podcast, the more you will learn from it.
Also, note that this process is constantly being updated. I am currently trying to cut down the number of activities on this list so I can focus on the 20% of activities that yield 80% of the results. If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment below or tweet me at @nfpod.
Step 1: Guest Strategy
As I write this blog, I am currently in the guest strategy phase. I need to decide the criteria on who can be on The No Formula Podcast. Every month, I get about 5 requests from entrepreneurs, business owners and solopreneurs who want to be on the show. As I continue to put out episodes and get swarmed with requests, I need to be more selective and strategic. Over the last two weeks, I jot down any entrepreneur that I may want to interview. This weekend, I am reviewing the list and better defining my criteria as well as considering the strategic direction of the podcast. The guest strategy is not a weekly task but it takes several consecutive hours to get this right.
Step 2: Guest Outreach
After creating a list of guests I want on the podcast, I need to determine the best way to reach them. If they haven't already reached out, I need to figure out how to get in front of them. Entrepreneurs are usually super busy and won't give me the time of day if 't give them a good reason to. Therefore, I strategically pick a platform, mention the possibility of a collaboration and approach them with a win-win mindset.
Step 3: Coordinating Schedules
A lot of podcasters use Calendly to schedule their interviews. However, I like to have control over my calendar. If you accommodate everyone's schedule, then you'll spend all your time trying to fit in their schedules.
I schedule the interviews about a month in advance. This increases the chances that they are available on the day that I want. I usually do my interviews every Wednesday night. (Note, I am considering batching the interview so I do many in one day. But I've had two interviews in one day and that is A LOT of thinking capacity. Right now, I prefer one or two a week). For my international guests, I allow my schedule to be more flexible and I am more accommodating because of the time difference.
Step 4: Send Release Form
I've always had a release form basically saying that both parties can promote the interview in any form that we see fit. Not many podcasters have them, but I've always had one so I just continue using it.
Step 5: Research Guest, Prep Outline
For every guest, I prepare an outline for myself. It's a list of questions and bullet points of their stories, accomplishments, and challenges. The outline helps me prepare for the interview. I know I did my homework! Plus, it's a security blanket in case I draw a blank. However, I've had several interviews when I didn't use them at all.
Step 6: Conduct Interview
On the day of the interview, I review my notes. I chat with the guest for about one hour.
Step 7: Listen and Take Notes
At first, I thought it was necessary to edit every "um," "and," and pause. It took me hours to remove them. I realized that it wasn't worth the trouble. Plus, it took away from the naturally flowing conversation. Now, I relisten to the conversation. I only edit it there was a moment that needs to be taken out. For example, a technical issue or if a guest recommends taking out a part.
Step 8: Add Logo and Export
My interviews are audio and visual. So once this draft of the episode is complete, I add the No Formula Podcast logo and export it to put on YouTube. I create the thumbnail, add the description and include keywords.
Step 9: Write Intro and Outro
I listen to the episode so I can write a summary of the conversation at the beginning and at the end of the episode. I write a unique intro for every episode that includes a description of the guest and a preview of the conversation. At the end, I include a summary of my favorite takeaways from the conversation.
Step 10: Record Intro and Outro
Then I need to record the intro and outro. This can take 5 minutes or 3 hours. Depends on how my mic is cooperating.
Step 11: Add Intro and Outro
I add the intro and outro to the conversation. I also add the music at this time.
Step 12: Publish on Anchor
I use Anchor to distribute my podcast on all platforms. I upload it to Anchor where I can schedule the episodes to go out on Tuesdays.
Step 13: Create Graphics
Not all guests promote their episodes soI try to make it easy for them to do so. I create the same four graphics for every guest. That way there is a variety of options for them to choose from. For anyone wondering, I use Canva to make the graphics.
Step 14: Email Guest
I have an email template I send to each guest the night before their episode goes live. I attach the graphics, all the links and thank them for being on the show.
Step 15: Promotion
There is no point in creating an episode if you don't spend time promoting it. This step is definitely the most time-consuming. I spend one week promoting every episode. I can technically promote any episode I want but I like to dedicate one week of promotion to each guest. "Their time to shine." I can also spend every waking moment promoting the podcast. I got into the trap of wanting to promote it ALL THE TIME. But that's not healthy. Now, I try to be more strategic. I focus on fewer platforms and better quality content.
I have many steps in my process and I am constantly improving it. Just writing this blog, I'm thinking of ways to make it more efficient. Hope this blog helped you with your processes. Does your process look similar?
Share this article with your network!
Join the Facebook community. In 2021, I will use the group to add additional free content and marketing tips for entrepreneurs. Join today to help shape the content on the show!
How to get more Podcast Listeners
5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Podcast