388: How To Start And Grow A Podcast In 2024

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388: How To Start And Grow A Podcast In 2024

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If you’re looking for a sign to finally start that podcast you’ve been dreaming about, this is it. In this week’s episode, I’m sharing tips I’ve tested to grow my podcast to millions of downloads. I’ve been able to gain sponsorship, grow an audience of over 160K across social platforms, and even appear on a magazine cover.

 In this episode I share about:

  • Building an audience and how to keep them coming back
  • Overcoming the challenges of being on video
  • How to use social media for promotion and engaging with your audience 

Highlights Include:

1:38 Branding Your Podcast

6:43 Building Your Audience 

8:54 Keeping Overhead Low

15:29 How To Stay Consistent

23:33 Podcast Moguls Course

Check out episode 388 of Side Hustle Pro podcast out now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube

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Guest Social Media Info

Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:02

You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business. And I'm your host Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started.

Hey, friends. Hey, welcome. Welcome back to the show. It's Nicaila here, back with another solo episode of side hustle Pro, science pro podcast. All right. So for those of you who are new around here, come on in Welcome, welcome. If you're listening or watching on YouTube, let me give you guys a little bit of background. So my name is Nicaila. I launched this podcast side hustle pro in June 2016. Now almost eight years later, I have over 10 million downloads and counting. Shout out to all of you OG listeners, and we are growing and going from there. So about six months after launching the show, I was featured on Apple podcasts. I was skyrocketing those downloads month after month, and I pitched my very first brand and landed my first $4,000 podcast contract for sponsorship. And from there, I kept on going and by December 2017, I was quitting my full time job to podcast full time and I have been going ever since. So how did I do it? How can you do it? Well, let's talk about it. How can you start and grow your podcasts in 2024? what's working, what's not what to avoid? And just what to do right away? So you start on the good foot? All right, let's get into these tips. Tip number one is be strategic with your podcast name and logo. Okay, this is your first impression, this is the first thing that people are going to see that is going to help them to decide whether they should listen to your show or not. Whether your show is for them or not. So that means you got to start out with a bang. All right. So I wrote this down a couple of weeks ago. And it's the best way to put it. Because this is just the best way to put it to me. So listen up. All right, when it comes to podcast naming, how many times do you go to a restaurant and say, give me this mystery item? Almost never right? You select what you want from the menu based on the idea that you already have in your head. That instinct that happens when you read that item. And you immediately start salivating you're like, Yes, that sounds good. I know what that tastes like, that sounds good, that's gonna be amazing together, or you know, you're in the mood for something. And that's how you pick it. It's the same way, when you're looking for the show you want to listen to you gotta be in the mood for the topic, you have to know exactly what the topic is that's gonna make you want to listen, you're not just gonna say, Oh, let me just listen to a random show today. No, you are picking it, because it is addressing something that you want to hear that day, whether that's you want to be entertained, whether that's you want to get informed about a certain topic or subject matter whether that's you want to start studying to get better in a certain area of life. But whatever it is, you are selecting off the menu and that is how you have to prepare yourself to be chosen in the podcast world. Okay. Number two, keep in mind that people who are successful, who named their show after themselves are either one celebrities, or two, those who already have an audience. So if you don't have an audience, okay, which most people when they're starting their show, like I didn't have an audience like, okay, so wait, let me take that back. I had a blog audience. But I did not name my show after myself. Okay, I named my show after the topic that people would be interested in, because your name just doesn't mean anything to anybody, unless you're a celebrity, or you already have an audience. So if you have either no, then don't name your show after yourself. And this includes names like conversations with Nicaila tea and conversations with Sondra, no, it doesn't mean anything tea and conversations. We have no idea what your show is about. And you will leave people with questions instead of answers. So what kind of conversations who is so and so what's going to happen on this show, and that's the last thing you want to do when you start your podcast. So I had to read those notes. Because I want to be very, very clear about this because this is the number one way I can say this until I'm blue in the face. People still do this, but I'm gonna keep telling you in hopes that one day you believe me, and you actually stop making it hard to stand out with your podcast by not following these tips. Okay, so help them understand how your show fits what they need. So, again, be strategic. Your Podcast name is your brand, choose it wisely. Make sure it stands out and captures the essence of your show. And remember, you want it to be memorable and easy to find when people search for content in your niche. So that's the second thing with naming. When people search for what your show is about, you want to be coming up. So you definitely want to include and incorporate a keyword related to your niche in your title. And speaking of standing out, invest in a well designed podcast logo or cover art. And this doesn't mean go out and spend 1000s of dollars. But just for this logo that's gonna be around for forever for a long time until you decide to change it, get a graphic design artist or someone to design it or use a really, really good template that you can customize from a place like a Canva, or another graphic design marketplace. So that it looks really compelling. And what I mean by compelling is open up the podcast app store today, you know, just scroll through and see what kind of artwork jumps out at you. It's not something with cursive and really small font that's hard to read, right? It's clear, bold font, easy to read, easy to understand, not too cluttered with all this different text like conversations with your name, a podcast, a podcast, microphone emoji, none of that, okay, so use those examples, copy a few create a little document and send those the ones that stand out to you as examples. Over to the person that you choose to work with. You can go with someone on Fiverr if i v e r r, as you know, a place to start or maybe even at C and C from there, or again, try it yourself in Canva. But just make sure you're starting there because that is the very first introduction you and your audience have. Okay, now, tip number two. Tip number two is know your listener. Knowing your listener is crucial. A lot of people start out with this misconception that I like to talk about this thing. Other people don't want to hear me talk about this thing. So all I need to do is just write down my opinions each week and people will listen. That's not how it works. Okay, if you want to build an audience, you need to be audience first, you need to be thinking listener first, your show is about them, not you. Your show is about them, not you. You gotta meet your show. It's about them, not you. So what that means is you need to get to know who your listener will be. What are their pain points? What do they like? What do they dislike? Who else do they listen to? What do they like about those other shows? And in regards to your topic, what's out there? And what's not out there right now? What will you add to the conversation? You don't have to be an expert, okay. I was not an expert in starting a business. But I wanted to learn and I wanted to be that person who would ask the questions that other people had, and that I had, and that would help other people who are side hustlers. Future Business owners want to be entrepreneurs help us to get there. So what I did was I became that middle ground that helped to get those questions answered. So for you remember, you don't have to be an expert. But you definitely have to start by thinking about who is my audience? What do they want to hear? What do they need to hear? And that is how you grow the fastest? Because if you're growing, and you're just every day, every week, just figuring out Oh, what do I want to talk about this week? And you're wondering why your show is not growing. And you're wondering why you have spikes where a huge amount of people listen, one week, and then next week, it totally tapers off. It's because you're probably doing random episodes about different topics every single week. And you haven't sat down and thought through one, your topic and to your listener. So make sure you spend some time mapping that out. And then tip number three, let's get into what is really, really getting everybody in a tizzy and 2024 So there's a little bit of confusion these days about podcasting and what is required of podcasting. There is a whole lot of confusion. I'm seeing people saying that they're going out of business because they can't afford to podcast anymore. Why?

Why podcasting? The thing that only requires a microphone and a laptop. You can't be serious, because let me tell you what, what you're seeing is everyone has shot straight to video, including me right now, right? You're seeing me on video. But guess what? Guess what? I'm in my closet. Okay, I'm in a class zits. And I'm gonna be in this closet until the wheels fall off. Why? Because it's low overhead. Okay, low overhead. I'm not paying for studio time. I'm not paying to fly guests. I'm not paying to do any of that stuff. I'm not paying all these engineers to be on site that day to do all this other stuff. And I'm not opposed to it. But it only makes sense when the podcast can pay for it. So first you launched the podcast, then you grow the revenue, then you reinvest by paying for For higher quality things, such as maybe a higher quality mic, higher quality video, and so forth and so forth. Podcasting is an audio first platform, y'all. So your rankings and everything comes from the audio apps, podcast app, such as Apple, podcasts, Spotify, and all these things that don't have video, don't have video. So stop tripping over video. If you want to do video, though, you can do like I'm doing and use a virtual video platform. Okay, virtual video platform. So head over the side hustle pro.co/riverside. So you can check out the platform, I use Riverside FM, that is an affiliate code, okay, so nobody tripped over that. But all that means is that I'm referring you, I'm referring you to Riverside, because I have used it now for over two years and love it. Love it. Because all it means is I'm able to send my guests a link, they join, they don't have to sign up nothing they join. We're in studio together, we record our beautiful interviews, I create video snippets that go all across social media, just like all the other people who record video in person. And I didn't have to pay for any studio time. All I paid was for my virtual video subscription. That is it. So what I also like about virtual video is it offers flexibility and accessibility. I know for me, there are few people who have invited me to be in their in person video podcast, and I'm just not flying anywhere for your unless it's Oprah. Unless it's like President Obama, Mrs. Obama, you know, like, I'm just not flying out to do your podcast interview right now. Because where I am in my life right now, I just have too many obligations that I cannot leave, just to fly to sit in your podcast chair, I am so sorry. Okay. Now, if we were both in New York, and you know, maybe I couldn't figure it out, but even then it's still really hard for me. So when you do that, you just have to remember that even if you have an in person podcast that you want to do studio time for, just remember that it's way harder to align schedules. So there are guests that I'm able to get when they're in different countries because they squeezed me into their schedule. Now imagine if we were trying to do that in person, that would be so hard. And then God forbid, again, as a mom of two now, God forbid, someone has to cancel after you did all of that, to schedule each other in person. So again, I want to be clear with y'all. I'm not anti in person recordings. Okay, I'm realistic. I'm realistic with Shaw, it is very much I think it's aspirational. And I think that we all would love to have our own TV show, of course. But we also have to remember that the way you make money in business, is you keep your costs low, and your revenues high. So if you want to make money in podcasting, keep your costs low and your revenue high. When you're starting out as podcaster, you have zero revenue. So you want to keep your costs a little bit above zero. Okay, now, studio time is way more above zero. So you can start out by investing in it. Last week, we did talk about using money from your full time hustle to invest in side hustle. Yes, we did. So I don't want you to say oh, Nicaila But you're contradicting yourself. No, I'm not. I didn't say put yourself in the hole. Invest in in your side hustle. You don't want to make up 1000s and 1000s before you can be profitable, right? No, you don't want to do that. And some of you are also saying well, Nicaila that's a business expense. That could be stated as well. However, I am the type of person that likes for things to pay for themselves in business. So I like to make the money and then pay for the thing. So that's one of the ways that I've been successful in podcasting. So I'm gonna get off that for now. If you have any questions about that, let me know in the comments over on YouTube or Instagram. But just remember that if you want to do video without in person, go over to sales pro.co/riverside and try out Riverside FM because I really enjoy it. Anytime you see a video interview on this podcast, or even this video recording right now. It's through Riverside. If you're a small business owner, this is for you. Running a business is just plain hard, endless to do lists employees to take care of Edie you're ever present bottom line. So first of all, kudos to you for staying on top of it. And now I want to tell you about gusto. Gusto builds an easier and more affordable way to manage payroll benefits and more. They help over 300,000 businesses by taking the pain out of tasks like automated payroll tax filing, direct deposit, health insurance administration, 401k onboarding tools, you name it gussto makes it easy and Have, they really care about the small business owners they work with their support team is attentive and helpful. And since money can be tight, sometimes you'll even get three months free, just go to gusto.com/shp and start setting up your business today, you'll see what I mean when I say easy. Again, that's three months of free payroll@gusto.com slash SHP.

Tip number four, consistency is key. Tip Four is all about consistency. So here's what I want you to do. As you're getting ready to start your podcast. Okay, I want you to pull out a calendar, I want you to write out, let's say you've decided to release on Wednesdays or Tuesdays, I want you to open up Google Sheets, or I use air table and make a spreadsheet with all of the Tuesdays for the entire year on that spreadsheet. Okay, the next thing I want you to do is to for every single date, every single Tuesday, every single Wednesday, Thursday, whatever release date you choose. Next to that, I want you to have a column that says when you're going to record that episode, and to the left of that, I want you to put a potential topic for that episode. And yes, I mean, for the entire year, obviously, that's gonna take you, you know, a couple of hours to do, and this can shift. But the exercise here is to force you to think through what it will take the amount of content you will have to produce, to do a regular podcast, do not go into a podcast only thinking about the first episode, think about the entire year of episodes and actually write it down, actually map it out. So that's one thing that helped me to be successful, because from the very beginning, I had that spreadsheet in front of me. And I was like, Okay, I know that I have these four episodes that are coming out in June, when am I going to record them? Because I only record after work? Who's going to be the guest? What's my solo topic going to be? How can I get ahead, I can batch record these three on this date, and so forth and so forth. You want to get ahead as much as you can when you're doing a podcast. Because sometimes when you feel like oh man, I don't have an episode for this week, I'm tired, then you skip that week. And that's how you start falling off. And when you have huge gaps, then you're likely to stop podcasting altogether. So if you don't want to do that, get ahead of it by planning out your release schedule, planning out your topics, planning out your recording date, sit down, mapping it all out titles of every episode for the rest of the year. And this not only helps you to stay organized, but it also ensures you have a clear direction for your content. Okay.

Now, tip number five. So tip number five is to promote engage daily. So once you've launched your podcast, I want you to choose a primary social media platform where you will post content related to your podcast daily. Now this platform is again going to depend on who your audience is, it's going to depend on who your listener is. If your person is on LinkedIn, then you want to be posting heavy on LinkedIn. If your person is on Tik Tok, you want to be posting heavy on Tik Tok, and so forth. And likewise, why Instagram, if that person is on Instagram, then you want to be posting heavy on Instagram. And I know all of us are seeing all the again, all the clips that go around Instagram these days. And by the way, there are some awesome apps that allow you to make really great what I call audio grams. So use the audio from your episode, layer it over an image of you know, either a quote from the episode or image of you know, a guest or you photo, anything, and then have the audio included over that. So even if you don't have any video to go with it, there are still ways to share and reels format, interactive format on these platforms. I don't want you to think that oh, I don't have anything engaging or interactive to share. Because you do you do. And there's so many great apps and things that you can use for that. So but for today, let's talk about the promotion and engaging strategy. So choose a primary platform, social media platform where you post content related to your podcast daily. And what you can do is to not just post about your podcast, like I don't mean to literally just say hey, new episode. Hey, new episode, new episode. No, nobody cares. Every single day that there's a new episode what they care about, is the conversation lead with the conversation. Are you talking about, you know, this pain point that they want to hear about? Oh my God, let me know. So the other day I talked about how I have not been showing up on my page. And instead of just saying new episode of side hustle pro life oh dates about me juggling motherhood and business. Instead, I shared a clip from the episode. And again, if you don't have video, you can just share the audio from the episode where I spoke about not showing up on my page. And the caption led with that it said, Hey, are you not showing up on your page or whatever, whatever. And like so many people in the comments, were like, Oh, I can relate to this. And the post did really well. And what does it do? It leads it drives people to go check out the full episode. So lead with the conversation, go back after you have recorded your episode. And listen back and pull out the most interesting parts of the conversation, you'll know it, you'll know it right away, when you listen back, pull those out, and lead with that kind of content when you're promoting the show. But don't just promote your show every single day. That's not what I mean by creating daily content. What I mean also is create valuable, helpful and engaging content daily. engaging content can sometimes be things that are just funny. So sometimes I say how sopro we just laugh, I just share things that make me Kiki. That's it like workplace humor, you know, because I think a side hustlers we still have to deal with the grind and the things that grind our gears and the micro aggressions in corporate America. And we can all laugh about that and, you know, just console each other together, right? So I will share some of that I'll share things that inspire me, there's been times that I've just shared some things that to the untrained eye would look like, it doesn't make sense for side hustle Pro. But yes, it does. Because your listener is a complete human being, they don't just want to hear about your podcast all the time, but they want to hear about it sometimes. So mixing regular life, within reason. And then also share things from your podcasts. Okay. And if you have trouble with that, let me know. And I could break it down even further in a future episode. But I think that, you know, it's self explanatory. Or you can head over to Saharsa pro page to get a sense of what I mean. And this is not saying that my posting strategy is perfect by any means. It certainly is effective and impactful for my audience. So it can inspire you a bit as well. And I also recommend checking out other pages for inspiration. Now, this doesn't mean you're going to copy. So I think sometimes auditing other people on social media gets a bad rap because people say Oh, no one's original and all this other stuff. But once again, there's that famous quote that's like nothing is original or something like that. But then also, iron sharpens iron. So as you're seeing someone, and how they are able to engage with their audience and how they're able to come up with compelling content in between talking about what they do and who they are, and their podcasts or their blog, you're able to be inspired to like, oh, I can create something similar about XYZ. Oh, I never thought about talking about this. I never thought anybody would care to know about this, I do this too. I'll share a video of me doing that. So those are the kinds of things that kind of jog your memory, or jog your inspiration when you do some of that. So spend some time browsing social media for content inspo. And when you have that lens, it also helps you to focus when you're on social instead of just blindly scrolling. Why not be scrolling for business? Why not be scrolling to make yourself a better business marketer social media marketer, right? So if you don't know I have a program called podcast moguls, where I teach you how to scale and grow your own podcast from idea to profitable podcast. You can learn more at side hustle pro.co/podcast moguls so one of my podcasts mogul students, Sinead Tria of the blowing mama podcast. She started really taking Instagram very seriously in 2023. Before that, she had done amazing growing it using the podcast moguls OMG strategy, right, which is all about obsessively auditing, making friends and then going over the data to inform your content strategy and growing it even further. Right. She had scaled it to like 50,000 or something. But then she just started posting every day about content, not only about her show, but just her life, her life. So as you can probably guess her show is about blowing blondes as a mama. And she just started sharing her everyday life like she would literally be walking, she put some music over that and then she put some text over that. And her page grew exponentially because it was her sharing authentically, organically and just sharing her life while also dropping nuggets of wisdom. And she's talking directly to the person who is interested in this content. She's talking directly to what I call inside a podcast lose her perfect listener and it resonated so well that her cow if I look today I'm sure it's almost triple that number by now. But that is an example of what happens when you post every single day. And by the way, you can schedule posts, so you don't have to. So she's at 100k. Now. So that's what happens when you post daily. Now, I myself have fallen off of posting daily, several times within the last three years. But I'm getting back on it this year. And I want you to come along with me as I do this, because I'm going to show you what can happen when you commit to posting on your page daily, every single day, for a month, and then keep going from there. So let me know if you want to join in on that challenge with me and then we can do it together. All right. And there you have it, folks, my tips on how to start and grow a podcast in 2024. Let's go over those one more time real quick together. So tip number one, be strategic with your podcasts name and logo. Tip number two know your listener. And tip number three, virtual versus in person for video, go with virtual Tip number four, consistency is key. Tip number five, promote and engage daily. And there you have it. Remember, it's all about strategy, knowing your audience, maintaining high audio quality, going virtual, staying consistent and promoting your content daily. The podcast landscape is ever evolving. So stay adaptable and keep learning. And if you have any additional questions like how to start how to get yourself hosted how to actually launch and get your podcasts out there and all the nitty gritty. That's what podcast moguls is for so head over to side hustle pro.co/podcast moguls if you want to get additional coaching from me there and with that, I will talk to you guys next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

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