Entrepreneurs should invest in relationships, better audio equipment and patience.
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
One of your most important investments as a podcaster is building meaningful relationships with your listeners and the people in your industry. Building relationships with your audience based on trust, integrity and honesty is one of the essential investments a podcaster can make.
The best way to build meaningful and authentic relationships with your audience and your niche is to make these connections more about the other person than about yourself. I discovered a long time ago that getting noticed is much easier when you have an army of supporters telling others that you and your show are worth their time.
But how is that developed? It starts with genuinely noticing others. It can be as simple as creating a list of five people in your audience or niche that you will reach out to regularly. You can comment and potentially share some of their social media posts. You show interest in what they are doing. At a minimum, these individuals will notice and appreciate your interest.
Rapport over a while will yield reciprocity. For example, when it is your time to promote a product or service for your business, you will have at least five people who are now willing to share this with their network because you have already invested in them. They know you. They like you. They trust you.
Imagine if you compounded this effort from five people a week to ten or twenty. Eventually, you have a group of people you have created rapport with and are willing to reciprocate.
Related: Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs
Committing resources to a professional audio setup
As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to be smart about investments. We know how easy it is in the podcasting world to work on a shoestring budget and get by with mediocre quality results. If you’re looking for sustainable growth and longevity within this industry, however, then investing in some professional-level equipment may make sense for you. Here are my favorite three points of investment:
- Digital Recorder (for remote recordings) – A digital recorder will allow you the freedom to record interviews or discussions from anywhere without worrying about running out of battery life as long as there is power nearby, like at home or office. You’ll also have more storage space than relying on only one device, such as your mobile phone, which could run out of battery or room.
- Mixer – If your budget permits, then a mixer is an essential piece of equipment to have. It will significantly increase the audio quality of your show. I like the Rodecaster Pro. It has incredible features and is very intuitive to use, even for the non-technical entrepreneurs who outsource the post-production of their podcast.
- A good quality microphone – This is critical. There are many different types. If you want to podcast in-person with multiple people and have a live audience, then an omnidirectional mic is best for that situation. On the other hand, if recording remote interviews or speaking solo from home while using your computer as the audio input device, I suggest getting a condenser microphone. Shure, Sennheiser and Heil are just a few examples of reputable brands that are trustworthy and reliable.
- Quality headphones – These are vital because they provide professional-quality sound for mixing vocals and instruments during post-production.
- Post Edit Production – It might not be necessary right out of the gate, but invest some money into this area early so that when/if your show gains popularity, you do not have the burden or time constraint of trying to edit audio. You can easily outsource this to a professional.
Your podcast hosting service is another essential resource often overlooked. The temptation can be to skimp on this, but making the right choice can protect you and your show. Buzzsprout, Spreaker and Captivate are a few of the many options I recommend.
Related: The 7-Step Process to Launching Your Podcast for Free
Great things take time
Taking time for yourself is the most crucial suggestion in this category. Burnout can happen when busy entrepreneurs balance family responsibilities, work responsibilities and creating a top podcast. Therefore, you must schedule strategic breaks to allow you to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.
One effective strategy is to consider taking the “Netflix” seasonal approach with your podcast. You can only schedule and record ten episodes per season. However, it will allow you to take a break, get feedback and adequately prepare for the next season.
Do not make the mistake of overlooking podcast education. It is prudent to have an understanding of what is working for the top podcasters in their category. Take time and resources to attend industry-related conferences and events such as Podcast Movement. You also want to pay attention to the trends in the industry, so you are aware of your options. I recommend staying connected to the industry through the top newsletters such as Podnews and PodMov Daily.
Sweat equity must be a priority. Yes, take breaks and guard your time, but also put in the necessary work. The top business podcasters are not in that position by accident. Likewise, a great podcast with an engaged audience does not happen by accident.
Entrepreneurs have many options for what they can invest in to help their podcast be successful. We’ve provided some of the most popular investments, but we want you to know that it takes a lot more than just money and equipment to make your show a success. You need patience, time, resources and passion if you want people to keep coming back for more.
Related: Podcast Advertising: Is Programmatic the Next Big Thing?