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?
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