Wondering how to start a podcast? I want to let you in on a secret…we don’t just produce the Business Anchors podcast for fun (although we love doing it), it’s helped us generate hundreds of thousands of pounds of new business for our Marketing Agency.
In this podcast episode, we open the bonnet & share our podcasting secrets, what we’ve learnt along the way & actionable steps you can take to start a podcast that generates a worthwhile return on investment for your company!
00:00 - 01:03 Intro
01:04 – 04:48 Why podcasting is a game-changing platform
04:59 - 08:27 Why we started Businesss Anchors & our download stats
08:28 – 09:37 Why download numbers aren't as important as you think
09:38 - 19:07 How to start a podcast your audience will love (4 steps)
19:08 - 25:44 Lessons we learnt from podcasting
25:45 - 25:57 Outro
Hi, Pat the podcast editor here. What does it take to start and run a successful podcast? Well, today Dan and Lloyd discuss how they built their podcast and share tips for getting started and growing over time.
The value that Dan and I would get for our business. And for us, as people from like one episode of the podcast may be equal to the value we would get from shitloads of other tech, like 30 Tik Tok videos, think like the time consumed.
We'll also explore some of the ways a podcast might be a better option for growing an audience or a business than other platforms.
There is kind of four steps that I think can get you, to record something and be on a good path to having a good podcast in the future.
Right. Let's get stuck in this is episode 82 of the business anchors podcast.
Why is podcasting a game-changing media platform that anchors shouldn't ignore?
The main thing I think about podcasting is it's one of if not the only media platform you can consume effectively whilst doing other stuff like audio in general. And I think from an early stage, we both were quite big audiobook listeners.
I don't do that so much anymore. I'm more of a podcast guy. But we both used to do that whilst doing crappy chores and like cleaning. And that from that point, I saw the value in Wow, we could produce content that people can listen to when they're doing boring stuff like driving, and that's one of the main ones.
The second one, I think we found, it's a longer form, type of content that you can build deeper relationships with your audience or listeners, in this case, you know, rather than getting a three-second video of you on Facebook, this is a half an hour to a 45-minute piece of content, where you the listeners are listening to us communicate what we want to communicate to you.
And finally, I think podcasting can be super, a super-efficient way of producing content. Yes, we've got a bigger setup here. But we could just have like an audio recorder, two mics, and just do that which could be done very efficiently. So there are my three reasons why I think it's so powerful.
Yeah, I think that your second point about the kind of deeper relationships from podcasting, rather than posting a three-second video is a massive one. I think it's not unique to podcasting, but I guess it's unique to long-form content. So you could create a 30 minute YouTube video, or you know, video on various platforms.
But podcasting is something, audio, and video, you can do long-form, and it's such a difference, I think, TikTok's obviously blowing up and has been for the last couple of years. And I think there's real value there. But it's I think, you know, the value that perhaps we Dan and I would get for our business. And for us, one episode of the podcast may be equal to the value we would get from shitloads of other tech e.g., 30 TikTok videos.
Like the time consumed the minutes of our content consumed with the podcast.
And anything you're putting out to the world you're communicating stuff, and educating them about you, what you believe and the knowledge you have and what you do.
And that's why, you know, someone would have to follow you on TikTok for six months to consume enough to go, oh, okay, there's kind of themes here. Oh, these guys are honest people, and they want to know their doing, they would know what they're doing. And there they have a good knowledge base on marketing and social media.
Whereas you can get that from, you know, you business anchors, obviously think we're brilliant, but we've probably communicated all of those things to you in one episode previously. So we've kind of got you in and got you to listen somehow, thank you very much, emulated all that with one piece of content, which that deeper relationship offers you more opportunities basically.
And as the podcast has been so valuable to our business, in this episode, I want us to break down a bit of the backstory as to why we started the podcast, but then also share some like how to stuff I think you've got a few more how-to today people are listening like I actually might consider starting a podcast the actual practical steps.
Yeah, I think towards the end, I'll go through, basically, there's kind of four steps that I think can get you to record something and be on a good path to having a good podcast in the future. So quick backstory. as to how this all came about, in February 2020, we started the podcast as a bit of an experiment. Really?
Do you know when we first record the podcast? We didn't know COVID existed? Because it was. Yeah, yeah. a month, recorded in January. Yeah.
Anyway, we recorded it. And I think for us, we always try to focus at least 20% of our marketing efforts on something new. Rather than just knowing like, for us, LinkedIn works well. We're always trying different things. And for that year, that test and experiment was the podcast.
And I don't know about you, Lloyd. But I saw a bit of a gap in the market because there were lots of marketing podcasts out there may like all the ones in the marketing charts, were very practical. How to grow a YouTube following how to build a strategy for, you know, Twitter step one, do this.
Step two, do this. Step three, this is all very useful. So we're not taking the piss. But yeah, that's which is good.
But I listened to a lot of them. And I didn't find them very interesting to listen to, in the sense of like, the kind of thing I'd want to listen to at the weekends.
It's more effort, because you're like, oh, I should learn about this. I'm going to make myself listen.
Yeah. Whereas we try and make, we thought it could be an opportunity for us to provide value through our own experiences of growing a business of running marketing campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world, all of that insight.
And all the things we're learning and the mistakes we're making, share that with you listeners, whilst also taking the piss out of it because we're brothers and we like to poke fun at each other.
We're such a laugh, aren't we? Yeah, we have such laughter on business anchors.
Oh, so that was the start of the podcast. And I've actually got some data to share with you some insights. Don't tell anyone this stuff because we don't everyone know. So month one of the podcasts, how many downloads? Do you think we had Lloyd in February 2020? Oh, trying to think back in that it wouldn't have been many in month one. What like 250.
So we had 757. Right, I think was really quite good. Yeah. And there's a point I'm sharing these numbers, which Oh, yeah. Okay. So I thought we had 257 downloads. Now that across the next few months, that number fluctuated, went up and down. And in October 2020.
It went down to 481 downloads. And I remember the time Lloyd was, you know, cracking the whip and saying to me, Dan, this bloody podcast isn't working. We're putting lots of resources into it. Why are we not doing getting, you know, hundreds of 1000s of listeners? But in February 2021, which is a year later, the numbers continue to fluctuate up and down. And we were still learning.
February 2021, a year ago, we got a call from a marketing manager from a brand who said, who said I want to speak to you about doing a marketing campaign ended up pitching this quite significant campaign.
And when I got on, in the pitch, the managing director was there and he instantly said has Lloyd managed to find all these Bitcoin yet, because he was an avid podcast host. And we did an episode on that. So we ended up winning that contract. And that was the first real return on investment we got from the podcast.
And since then, we've continued to get new business referencing this podcast. So I guess the reason I wanted to share the numbers as you don't have to have hundreds of 1000s of downloads and listeners to have a successful podcast. Yeah, we've obviously increased our downloads significantly. Now. I think we've had over 25,000 downloads now.
But yeah, don't be put off if your own because if you think 10 people listening to you for half an hour is better than 100 people seeing a three-second video view as we learned. And now we've continued to upgrade this production because we know it's adding value to our business.
I think that's really interesting about the numbers, like if you think we're all fighting for people's attention, and the reality is just one of those downloads one of those listeners we potentially getting for our podcast, like half an hour of their attention. So like you're saying even though on LinkedIn, we might be reaching hundreds of 1000s of people each week, and the podcast could be under 1000.
Those podcast listeners where we're reaching people on a much deeper level, and those kinds of relationships are much stronger and could be worth a lot more.
So on a more practical front, I've got some things that I want to share in terms of what we've learned from the podcast, but to get into more of the practical, how to start. If someone's listening and thinking I trust what the Knolton brothers are saying, I want to start a podcast or try and test it, what kind of practical steps can they take?
Well, Dan. Let's go into every other marketing podcast. I do actually have four steps.
We just shat on the marketing podcasters that do this.
So I think the big mistake people make when they start podcasts is that almost everyone goes, don't really know what we're going to talk about. I mean, we're just going to, we're going to record on just see, I think it will be fun.
We'll see what we talk about. I think most podcasts start like that, and you know no offence to people we were, although we thought we were structured and organised, there was part of that without first episodes. But I think step one, try and be clear on why you're doing this and who you want to listen to.
Because that will skip the whole process of the first 20 episodes of you going, just having a chat. You might enjoy that. So that may be good for the enjoyment and stuff. But if you know if you're starting a podcast, because you want to grow your business, or you're starting a podcast, because you've got a YouTube channel, and you want to drive more people to that YouTube channel, you need to look at why you're doing it and who you want to listen.
So are you saying the business anchors podcast is very structured and strategically designed to ultimately get us business for our agency, rather than just off the cuff entertainment?
Yes, exactly. I know, it's interesting, because you listen to it and think this is so entertaining, their main goal must be entertainment. But it's not. But that's a really good point, yes. So I think as a starting point, I think that's working out why am I doing this? Who do I want to listen to, and that will help you skip a load of crap that you'd have to get over.
The second part, once you've worked that out, is actually taking action and recording something. So me saying oh, you need to know, be clear on why you're doing this. And you want to listen, I'm not saying everything has to be perfect for you to start because that often stops people from starting.
Can I add one tip in? Yeah, I think something that is super useful at these early stages in your process as well is actually listening to podcasts. Because I think we got a lot of insight into what we thought worked well and didn't by actually listening to podcasts to help shape what you're going to hear.
Great. So take action record podcast, knowing that it won't be the best podcast ever. And it will improve over time. And then you need to repeat that. But and I'll go into by the way, in a minute, I'll tell you a tool you can use to upload because the technical stuff where you're like, well now I've got a microphone, but then what do I do?
It's not actually as difficult now, that makes it nice, upload it to one place, and it puts it all on Apple or Spotify.
But yeah, so you're recording a podcast? Great. Then the third, that there's kind of four sections to this third part step three, to think about with every episode that I think, from what we've learned will really help. So first thing, Why will my people click this, and by my people, I mean, you've decided that you want this type of person to listen. So each episode is going to have a title before people hear anything. It's going to have a kind of topic of discussion or several and a title. So thinking why will people click on this title?
Like how to start a podcast, your audience will love? something just like that example?
And then secondly, why will people keep listening, so don't have a clickbait title and then not offering the value or the entertainment or the inspiration or whatever it is that you're giving isn't good enough? Because you'll never get any listeners that return.
They'll just go oh it's a clickbait title and I've got to get off. So thinking about right what we're actually going to be discussing or what am I talking about that it's going to keep people listening and keep people engaged?
Third point what can we discuss that would help promote this and reach new people? So we talk about clips that we're going to break up from the business anchors podcast of you know, some of the best ones we've had are me discussing about how I lost 12 million pounds in Bitcoin. We knew that putting that on social media saying lawyers lost 12 million pounds per minute coin.
We knew that putting that as a clip and writing that on social media on various platforms is going to get people to listen. So kind of thinking right? We're talking about cryptocurrency or we're talking about money. What can be the thing that's going to grab people's attention? Get them in. The fourth point. 4D?
Oh no sorry, it's 3D.
That's why it feels so real. Dad joke. What can we discuss that will encourage my listeners to take the action we want them to? So remember at the start, I said to be clear why you're doing this and who you want to listen to. So we talk about topics that not all the time, but sometimes we talk about topics that allow us to demonstrate the skills we have within our business or our knowledge that may help others that we can really benefit from the business.
And although it's great, like our previous podcasts were about, if you haven't listened to about healthy habits, and I think that was a great episode positive, that's when we didn't actually communicate much about how amazing campaigns around the world. Yeah, yep. Where is this one? Dan's just mentioned all these marketing campaigns. But so it doesn't have to be you don't want it to be just a sales thing of my business is great, because no one will give a shit.
But being able, to smoothly fit in those conversations. Yeah, like we've broken, we've done episodes where we break down why how campaigns we've done, have been successful to give that value element rather than just become a customer of ours. Yeah.
Or if your goal is to build your YouTube channel, or if your goal is to sell your book, your book, for example, there'll be topics in that book. And you'll kind of you can reference that in some of your conversations. And after six months of someone listening and you referencing that book 12 times for a couple of minutes, it builds that and helps you achieve that goal. And that's a lot of people miss that kind of link to what they're actually trying to achieve.
I think one of the biggest mistakes people make, not just podcast, but content in general is just going too far on the entertainment fun side. I'm doing fun videos, I'm going to do TikTok trends doing dances, really tempting, the most fun thing is to do that get more views to get more engagement, but it doesn't ever shoehorn into how you can actually help them in their business.
That's the real skill. And part of how we help our clients within our marketing agency is we are known as a creative marketing agency. And we do creative, weird and wacky stuff. But the real skill and our value is how within that creative content, do we communicate those things that are really important for your business and make them take action? That's the key.
This is so meta because you've just done what we've said we need to do you need to do in a podcast.
Yes. Oh, that's like Inception. And finally, I just want to say I said, if you're thinking right, I'm going to start podcasts. How can we make it easy? You can Google, how to find the microphone you need and stuff like that.
But we use Buzzsprout. But basically, most people think how do I get it on Spotify and Apple podcasts and stuff. So with Buzzsprout, there will be other services, but we upload it there, we started on the free version, which allows you to upload two hours of content per month. So you don't even have to pay anything to do this.
And with a few clicks, you upload it and within sort of 24 hours, your episode will be on Spotify, Apple podcasts, all those other places. So it's simple and free to do that, which people don't realise we now pay. Because of the amount we post for weekly podcasts, I think we pay $18 a month, which allows us to post six hours of content.
So the cost isn't high. The time and effort aren't high, it's you know, it will the first time you're doing it, you'll have to work out how to do it. But there's not as much of a barrier to entry as you would think from the outside.
And chartable was another really good tool that we use, which helps you see it's like more in-depth analytics for your episodes helps you understand how they're performing compared to other episodes you've done.
And also they've got these really cool things that I've spoken about before called Smart Links, where you can create one link that easily takes people to their favourite podcasting platform. They click it either Apple, Spotify, Google podcast.
So just to be clear, for instance, I listen on Spotify, and I'm on an Android phone. If I click that link, that's where it'll take me. Yeah, if Dan's got an Apple phone, it will take him to Apple Podcast.
You can set rules basically for different devices where it will take them to. So that was useful. I think it's a good practical step there. Yeah, I've got a couple of things that I've kind of, I think we've learned from doing podcasting for how many is it 2 years now? Feb. 2020. It must be.
Yeah, shit. It's two years. Bloody Hell.
We're on episode 80 Lloyd.
What we're gonna do for 100. We should start thinking about that.
Do you know what we should do? We should do a live in-person Business Anchors podcast. So in terms of things that we've learned, one of the main things I think is if you're starting a podcast, focus more on how good the podcast is, rather than the download numbers it gets a mistake we made early on... yes, download numbers are important and to continue, you want to grow the podcast more people listened to it.
But if you are just heavily focused on that you can end up just making episodes that you think or know will get downloads rather than are actually going to help your overall objective for us driving business for our agency. We could get more downloads, just talking about trending stuff, he just burped again didn't you?
Yeah. I'm so sorry. I don't know why I'm sorry. I'm going to get such a bad reputation.
Somebody commented last time you did this saying I don't know why there's such a stigma around this. It's just a bodily function.
Oh, thank you.
Don't focus on the download numbers, focus on making a good episode of people to listen to. Another thing we've learned, I think we've learned from this is done is better than perfect. For example, over the last two years, we've improved the podcast set and how this looks and sounds.
And I think sometimes we've waited for it to be perfect before doing something and it's taken months, and then we never do it. Whereas even with this newest set, we're doing it in stages. So, it started a few weeks ago. And it wasn't perfect.
And now we've got some really cool new stuff. Tay's worked really hard on making this set really good. You've got pictures on the wall, we've got other props here. And we're going to keep we aka Tay from the team is going to continue to make this better and better, because done is better than perfect. I was going to say shout out to Tay and with the support of pat on sound, really been improving the business anchors podcast
As Dan said, it's been such a positive thing for us to go, Oh, we're going to improve this over time. And Taylor's been taking like steps each episode improving the set improving the sound. And gosh, oh, my body is not functioning well today. Sorry.
And yeah, we wouldn't have even gone live with this set and improved sound at all, because it's still not completely perfect. Yeah. Whereas we're now producing better stuff every single week. I think that's important not to just not do anything because it's not perfect.
Definitely. I think the final thing, I think, which will hopefully be valuable in promoting the podcast is just as if not more important than producing it. Because you can have a brilliant podcast, but if you don't promote it to a number of channels, then no one's gonna listen to it.
Have you heard the phrase build it and they will come? Yeah, not true.
Don't just expect if I'm producing something brilliant. Well, the listeners will find me. They won't.
I mean, if you think about this podcast, we do a lot of different things to promote this. So we clip it up, and put it across all social platforms, clear, optimised versions on TikTok and Instagram reels, we share it to our weekly email newsletter, we do a competition to get people to listen to this, you can win a bottle of wine on the Friday club, which is our weekly email newsletter.
We talk about it in person with people who we meet, we strategically have clips going out each week in the form of Knowlton nuggets, so that we have more downloads so that we get in the charts more. There are just all these things we do.
Don't let that put you off. Remember what we said. It doesn't have to be perfect to start.
This is us now two years on.
Yeah, two years on, we've worked out all these things. But at first, we were only clipping it up and putting it on socials. So yeah. Don't let it put you off. We're saying all this stuff to promote it. We only need to do that because we're trying to scale this and scale the positive effects two years down the line.
But yeah, like Dan said, that promotion once you're in the swing of things, and you're like, I know what I'm doing with this podcast, you can literally start using the microphone on your Apple headphones and using a tool like anchor as a starting point.
Yeah, I won't mention names. But I know in the marketing, podcast charts for the UK, I know of two that are or at least were just recorded on a phone that was in the top 10. So don't think that you can't do really well with that level of production.
An interesting point. I did a talk recently, and there was a lady there forgotten her name. Dammit, Janice, Janice. But she said a really interesting tip, which was to do enough to make sure the audio isn't annoying as a base level, because if it's like oh like it sounds annoying, people just won't listen. So it doesn't have to be you know, really good like this, but just not like oh, yeah.
Yeah. And that that will mean that it's not having a negative effect. People won't be put off and might be like, I'm not listening to that. And that's the base you need to get started.
Cool. Well, hopefully, this episode has been useful. I'm also just as a final point in the Friday club, which I mentioned in our weekly email newsletter. I'm going to be updating our journey of how our podcast downloads to 100,000. Which our goal this year go, and what we're learning the mistakes are making and things that are working and aren't working. So if you want to know that then sign up for the Friday club. Just search the Friday club.
Let us know if you've got any questions that you want to be answered. If you're considering starting a podcast and that sort of thing. Ask us because we want to help.
We've got a podcast studio that can record podcasts as well if you want to record your podcast or you can do it for yourself.
He's being a salesman now. Yeah, we have a studio and that's a service we can provide.
Okay, so look forward to seeing you in your ears next week.
And book a studio session to record your podcast. See you in your ears next week. Bye now.
Hopefully this has taught you everything you need to know about how to start a podcast, if you have any more questions or want to know how Knowlton can support you to produce your own podcast Start A Conversation.