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As you all know, I launched the Day in the Life podcast in October of 2017, but really, I had been planning this podcast for months. The idea came to me in early 2017 but it took me until October to actually launch the dang thing.
In full disclosure, I didn’t spend January – October feverishly working on the podcast. I thought of the concept of the idea first, let it simmer for a while in my brain, and then really started to take action in May.
I wanted to document my experience and what it was really like to launch a brand new podcast. Everyone has different experiences, but I wanted to share my own in case any of you were interested in learning more about the process and for any out there who wants to start a podcast but doesn’t know where to start.
Again, this was my own personal experience, in no way is this me saying YOU MUST DO ALL OF THESE THINGS because I’m still learning what it takes to maintain and market a great podcast.
So, here we go. Below is a detailed description of what it’s like to launch a new podcast. The good, the bad, the funny!
What It’s Really Like To Launch A New Podcast: The Good, The Bad, The Funny
How I Started
First and foremost, the number one thing I had to do before I got started was I had to get over the fear.
I had a lot of self-limiting beliefs on launching a podcast.
Who am I to launch a podcast? I know nothing about launching a podcast. Who will want to hear me speak? Won’t people be annoyed by my voice? I’m not interesting enough for people to want to listen to. Nobody else will care about the topic.
These were all thoughts that went through my head and ultimately, I had to listen to my gut.
The fact of the matter is, I had a higher purpose for launching the Day in the Life podcast.
With everything that’s going on in our world, it was important for me to launch a podcast that could help bring people together.
I wanted to interview people that looked different than me, that had different backgrounds and experiences. That looked at the world differently than I do.
And hopefully, in sharing a variety of people’s days, we could all find common ground and realize we’re all more alike than we probably realize.
We all have fears, ambitions, struggles, and successes.
We go through amazing life experiences and also sucky life experiences.
There are good days, there are bad days.
In the end, we’re all just…humans trying to make an impact in the world.
I definitely had to be in the right mindset before launching otherwise I wouldn’t produce the best podcast I possibly could.
Other than getting over the fear, I do a few things that got me a jump start on launching the podcast.
Tips for getting started
- I bulk recorded episodes: I recorded about 10 episodes before I launched the podcast. Not everyone does this but I knew I wanted to have enough recorded ahead of time so I wasn’t stressing about finding a guest and recording a new episode each week.
- I started talking about it with people: I talked about the podcast to anyone that would listen. Seriously. My family, friends, person walking down the street. Anyone. Okay, I’m slightly exaggerating about telling randos on the street about the podcast but I wanted to get the word out there about the podcast. I think this contributed to a successful launch day because people had been following my journey on launching the podcast so they were super excited once it launched.
- I pitched a bunch of people: I remember the day I made my first list of people to pitch to be a guest on the podcast. My husband and I were driving to San Antonio for my birthday and we brainstormed all of the cool people in our lives and who I should interview. Once I had this list, I create a pseudo-email template (kind of like my podcast pitch template) where I’d pitch them the idea of the podcast and if they’d like to be interviewed. This was helpful because at the time, people couldn’t listen to an episode to have a clear understanding of the podcast, so I needed to be able to explain it so people knew what to expect. Creating a template helped me minimize the time I was spending, but I could also make each email personal.
How I Set Up For A Recording
I did quite a bit of research before purchasing any equipment for the podcast. No one has ever accused me of being tech savvy, so I was starting from complete scratch.
I looked at podcasters I’ve admired and the tools that they recommend to get a head start. Pat Flynn’s podcasting tutorial was the most helpful for me.
To record each episode, I have a routine that I follow to ensure each episode is recorded the same. I shared a video of how I set up for each episode in the podcast Facebook group if you’re interested in seeing how it’s set up.
Here’s my routine before recording:
- Put my phone in airplane mode & do not disturb: Though I record on my computer, I don’t want my phone buzzing with notifications while I’m recording.
- Turn off notifications on my computer & put on do not disturb: Same thing with my computer. I don’t want to be getting 7 zillion Slack messages while I record, so I turn off any notifications to ensure our recording won’t be disrupted.
- Take my dog’s collar off (ha): Learned this the hard way as my dog started scratching is ears right next to my desk while I was recording.
- Open up two versions of my outline of questions: I have an outline of questions I follow for each interview. I like to have two versions of the document open, one to have on each screen.
- Open up Skype and make sure Ecamm opens: I record on Skype (more on tools below) and I make sure Ecamm (which helps me record the call) opens and is working properly.
Tools I Used
This is the list of tools I use to record podcasts or keep things organized. This is up-to-date as of January 2018.
- Skype (free): I like being able to video chat with guests so the interview feels more authentic.
- Ecamm for Skype ($29.99 one-time fee): This allows me to record the Skype call.
- Acuity Scheduling ($10/month): This is the link I send people to once I’m ready to schedule a time to chat. This saves me SO much time and gives guests all of the information they need to record. This tool also sends reminder emails so I don’t have to remember to 🙂
- Boomerang for Gmail (free): Sometimes I like to write emails on the weekends but I don’t want to send out emails on the weekends, ya know what I mean? Boomerang allows me to schedule emails to go out for the future as well as “boomerang” back emails that I’ve sent but haven’t been responded to.
- Canned responses for Gmail (free): If you don’t have this turned on in Gmail ARE YOU CRAZY?! This is one of my favorite features of Gmail where you can save email templates for emails you send often (don’t we all send like, the same 10 email responses all the time?).
- Microphone ($108.19): I use the Blue Yeti microphone. From my research, this was a middle of the road microphone to use. I’m sure I’ll eventually upgrade but it works perfectly for me right now!
- Foam cover ($12.95): This helps drown out noises coming from all angles of the microphone.
- Headphones – AKG K 44 ($48.99): I bought these headphones on Amazon. They feel comfortable on my ears and fit my oddly large head (hahaha).
- Logitech Camera – C920 ($59.86): This wasn’t absolutely necessary, but I wanted an update camera as my computer is older.
- GSuite ($10.00/month): Google Drive is where I keep any outlines for episodes as well as social media and website graphics. My team members have access to these which cuts down on emails.
- Thunderclap ($55 one-time fee): I used Thunderclap to spread the message about the podcast on launch day. This was 100% worth the $55 (there is a free version) and would highly recommend using this tool for future launches.
- Libsyn ($30/month): This is where my podcast editor uploads the episodes to distribute to all of the different feeds. This is also where you can see your stats (aka downloads per episode because nobody knows how many subscribers they have). The amount you pay will depend on how long your episodes are and how much space they take up.
- Asana (free): Omg, would NOT be able to keep track of all of the to-dos for the podcast if it weren’t for Asana. This is where my team and I communicate back and forth about the podcast episodes, what’s done/not done, etc.
- Planoly ($9/month): I was using the free version of this for a while, but now I upgraded to the paid version to be able to upload episode promo graphics to Instagram ahead of time. You can follow the Day in the Life podcast Instagram account here.
People I’ve Outsourced To
If you don’t know me well, you may not know that I can be stubborn at times. Yes, I admit it. And sometimes my stubbornness can get in my own way.
Though I technically can do all of these tasks on my own, that was not going to be the best use of my time and I’m definitely not the expert of any of these below. I’m so grateful to have these three women helping me with the podcast and I couldn’t do it without them!
The Good, The Bad, Funny
Alright, here’s where we get to the nitty-gritty stuff of what it’s like to launch a podcast.
- The systems I set up: I’ve had so many people compliment me on how it’s super easy to schedule a time and much of my process is automated which is amazing for me. Definitely using Acuity, Asana, and Boomerang help with this.
- I was already connected to all of the people I pitched, so I got 99.9% yeses. Because of the nature of my podcast, I could interview almost anyone. Thankfully, I have a lot of amazing, incredible people in my life that would be perfect guests for my podcast. They were excited to say yes because I already had a relationship with them.
- I talked about the podcast so much leading up to launch day. SO MUCH. Guys, I think I talked about it for at least 6 months straight before launching. People were really excited to finally hear it once it came out, which I know helped on launch day.
- Thunderclap: This was one of the best tools and was recommended to me from my mastermind buddy Andrew Brockenbush from Beefy Marketing (also podcast guest 008).
- My DOG. I hate putting my precious pup in the bad category because um, hello, I’m obsessed with him and think he’s perfect, but UGH, the barking. Once we’re in a house I’m hoping this won’t be a problem anymore. #Apartmentlivingprobs
- I didn’t figure out how to work the microphone until well into recording episodes. BRITT. What were you thinking?! Again, no one has ever accused me of being tech savvy and reading instructions to me is bo-ring, but I didn’t even realize I could mute until like, the 8th episode. 😳
- Critiquing myself: Once episodes started to air, I really started to critique myself. I say “like” “so” and “you know” way too much. While I’m guilty of being too critical of myself, it is a lesson in public speaking and helping me pay more attention to the words that I say.
- My first episode I was SO nervous. Like, it took me a good 10 minutes to actually get into it. In fact, the bit at the very end of the trailer for the podcast (you gotta check it out if you haven’t yet) was from the first episode I recorded and my guest (Kali Rogers) convinced me to use it in some sort of way.
- Podcasting is weird because no one truly knows how many subscribers they have. Seriously, no one. Come launch day, I really had no expectations to reach a certain number of downloads, ratings, or reviews, because the Apple Podcasts charts are so elusive. They use a combination of subscribers, downloads, ratings, and reviews to rank you in the charts…but to what degree? No clue. It was funny to me because I obsessively refreshed my Libsyn screen, but I really had no expectations other than hoping the numbers would continue to increase, and they did!
How You Can Help Me Spread The Word
Like I mentioned above, the more people that listen to the podcast, the higher the podcast ranks on the charts.
Ranking higher on the charts means the podcast can reach more people. Reaching more people means I’ll be able to continue interviewing high-quality guests.
Ranking in the charts means a better chance at monetizing the podcast too. To be blunt, the podcast is not making money right now. Which is totally cool! I knew going into this that it was going to be a passion project that I poured my heart into.
I do invest money into the podcast (you can scroll up and see my expenses). I’d love to get to the point to at least bring in enough money to cover my expenses.
So…that was a long-winded way to say, here’s how you can support the Day in the Life podcast (or really any podcast you love!):
- Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify…should be available on any podcast app!
- Leave a rating and an honest review on iTunes. The ratings and reviews help for two reasons: 1) Most importantly, I get to know you, the listener, and what content you enjoy the most. 2) The more reviews the podcast has, the better chance it has at getting in front of new listeners.
- Follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Use the hashtag #DITLpodcast to share what a day in your life is like!
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