The exact 5 steps I took to start a podcast

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Founder, Self StartHER

Hi, I'm Megan


I never had dreams to start a podcast. 

In my previous life,  I spent hours commuting to and from work every day, so I became an avid podcast listener. It just never occurred to me that one day I would no longer just be a consumer, but I would also be a creator. 

And let me tell you – choosing to start a podcast has been the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done (we’ll save that story for another day). 

Instead, we are going to dive into the exact steps I took to start a podcast. 

Maybe starting a podcast isn’t on your radar. If so, these principles and ways of thinking can be applied to many side hustles and new businesses. 

My goal is that these tips can help you kickstart whatever it is you are looking to begin.

Let’s dive in!

The Exact 5 Steps I Took To Start A Podcast

Step 1: Identify your strengths

I always knew that I one day wanted to start a business of my own. But, the idea of starting a business can be extremely overwhelming – at least it was for me. 

When I finally got serious about moving forward with this desire, I decided to take a step back and break down what it was I was naturally good at and enjoyed in order to help me figure out what it was I should start with first. 

I came from a corporate sales background, so I started to think about why I was good at this role. I determined that I was naturally curious, cared about people, organized and a great listener. I also realized that I cared more about the long game rather than instant gratification. 

All were qualities that would be excellent for podcasting. 

Here are a few things you can do to help you identify your strengths: 

  • What are some things that you find easy to do? 
  • What do you enjoy doing? 
  • Ask a few people close to you what they think you’re naturally good at. 
  • Take a strengths finder quiz such as the Enneagram test

Step 2: What’s your “thing”

There is no one size fits all in podcasting. There are shows that are solely focused on the host speaking, some have co-hosts, others do interviews. 

Remember my strengths included being naturally curious and a great listener? Because of that, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted mine to consist of interviews. 

But what on earth would I talk about? 

I knew that this podcast was just the very beginning of my steps to become an entrepreneur, aka “Self StartHER”, but I had no idea how to build a business.

So, I decided to use my skills to my advantage and interview women that had already started a business.

This would give me access to free education and it would allow me to charge this new knowledge with others. Sounds like a win/win, right?!

Here are a few things you can do to help you “choose your thing”: 

  • What things and/or topics interest you?
  • Do you have personal experiences you can stare about a specific topic? 
  • Do you want to have guests on your show? 
  • Are there any gaps in the market (topics that are underserved) that you could fill?

Step 3: Choose your tools

Unless you have a huge following already, a podcast is likely not going to make you money right away. 

So, when I was deciding what tools I wanted to use, I wanted to keep things as budget friendly as possible. 

I chose Zoom as my recording tool and Anchor as my hosting platform (both free options). 

*Important to note – I do not personally edit my episodes. However, if I were to do it and wanted a free option, I would have used iMovie on my MAC computer or Davinci Resolve (many podcaster friends I know used Descript, but it is a paid service depending on how many minutes you upload per month). 

If I were to start over and do things differently, I would not have gone the free route (again, a story for another day) and would have instead used Riverside FM as my recording platform and Buzzsprout as my hosting platform. 

Questions to ask yourself when choosing your tools:

  • Do you have some extra cash you can invest into your business or do you need to keep things budget friendly? 
  • Are you wanting to capture audio only or would you also like visuals? 
  • Are analytics important to you? 

Step 4: Prospecting and Inviting 

An interview style show would be incomplete without guests, right? 

So, I bet you can guess what I needed to do next…I had to get my first guests!

As I’m sure you can relate, when you’re at the very beginning of something new it can be a bit intimidating. I knew that I needed a quick win, a confidence boost and something that would keep me going and not cause me to stop before I even began. 

What did I do? 

I created a prospect list, but this prospect list was full of all of the female business owners I personally knew. 

And then…I invited them onto the show! But, I was careful with the wording. I made sure to emphasize the mission of the podcast and what would be in it for them. 

I reached out to those that I was closest to first in order to get a few episodes (and confidence!) under my belt and it took off from there!

Things to think about when inviting a guest onto your show: 

  • Make sure to research the potential guest in order to send a personalized invitation. 
  • The guest needs to understand what is in it for them by being on your show.
  • Be clear and to the point with your messaging (but stay polite and professional!).
  • Offer flexible scheduling to accommodate their schedule. 
  • Approach the invitation as the beginning of a long-term relationship, not just a one-time interaction.

Step 5: Tell everyone! 

The way I see it, there are two main reasons to tell everyone about what you’re doing. 

First, it holds you accountable. I know that if I tell someone I’m going to do something, I’m more likely to see it through. 

Second, it gives you support and visibility – both things you need when you’re starting something like this. 

While the people you tell may not be the right guests or target listeners for your show, they know people and those people need people. Things grow more quickly than you realize through word of mouth, so don’t be afraid to share what you’re doing. 

Curious how I told my family and friends what I was up to? Checkout the exact email I sent to them here!

Here’s a quick recap:  

  1. Identify your strengths 
  2. What’s your “thing”
  3. Choose your tools 
  4. Prospecting and inviting
  5. Tell everyone

And then, of course, just hit record! 

So, there you have it. The exact 5 steps I took to start a podcast. 

Have fun, Self StartHER!

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