How to Start a Podcast

If you were starting a podcast a decade ago, you might not need to be worried about being unique. However, the podcast industry has become a crowded market, requiring an extra edge for you to succeed.

How do I start a podcast that is unique and marketable? We get asked this question a lot. Podcasters are getting to realize that their listeners are constantly asking whether your podcast is worth their time. There are too many guides on how to start a podcast; no one is talking about how to start a podcast that stands out.

In 2020Lead Ballon was Adweek’s “Marketing Podcast of The Year.” While accepting the award, Lead Ballon’s host Dusty Weis gave a piece of simple advice; if you are going to start a podcast, be original, or don’t start. What he’s saying is simple, don’t be another boring podcast, else you’ll fail and podfade.

If you are going to start a podcast, you need to be ready to start the most successful one ever. Think about it, there are currently 2,878,193 podcasts and 137,395,605 podcast episodes. There’s a trend in the sea of existing podcasts and even the new ones; everyone is doing the same thing. It’s not enough to know how to start a podcast; the focus should be on how to start a podcast defined by its innovation and uniqueness.

It’s about being able to start a podcast that remains relevant, recognized, and different, especially if you are starting from nowhere. As a podcaster, it’s important that you clearly define your unique selling proposition. In the words of Dusty Weis, you will not get anywhere if you start a podcast on an idea already being implemented by thousands or millions of podcasters.

This piece is directed at existing and new podcasters; we’ll explore how to start a podcast that is the most preferred and sought by the growing numbers of podcast listeners. 

What Does Being Unique Really Means? 

Did you know that Google was not the first search engine yet is the most popular, biggest, and most profitable one. Right from when Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google, they set out to make it special by creating the world’s fastest fast engine.

There were search engines before Google emerged in 1995, but it has since dominated the internet, relegating the older and newer ones. Today, the uniqueness of Google has turned it into a money-making venture and billion-dollar business. From the onset, Google was all out to differentiate itself from the crowd.

You may not understand the uniqueness of Google as a search engine, let’s cite another example, and it’s a car. Except you are a car enthusiast or collector, there’s a slim chance that you’ve seen, driven, or owned a Toyota 2000 GT. Built between 1967 and 1970, only 351 of the Toyota 2000 GT exist.

The limited number produced isn’t the uniqueness, but as Autoexpress described the Toyota 2000 GT, it’s otherworldly. The car is a combination of rarity, functionality, and uniqueness. One of the unique selling propositions of the car is the styling and manufacturing. The car was manufactured by both Toyota and Yamaha.

See James Bond 1967’s You Only Live Twice; that’s where you will catch a glimpse of the Toyota 2000 GT in action. Currently, there’s none of this unique car for sale.

These are two examples of being unique in their different industry. To be unique as a podcaster, you must step out of the box by not being like every other podcast show.

4 Ways to Start a Podcast with a Unique Selling Point

While we’ve given you examples from other industries, it’s important to give practical ideas on being a unique podcast;

1. Choose a Specific Niche

You are either talking to someone or no one. If you are talking to everyone, your voice will likely be lost in the crowd. 

One of the growth hack podcasters have failed to realize is niching down. You can’t just start a podcast and think virtually every average joe will listen. No, that’s not how it works. You need to identify your audience and let them know your podcast show is targeted solely at them.

Look at how Rob Meyerson niched down with the “How Brands Are Built Podcast.” When he’s talking, he focuses solely on people interested in building a brand. There’s nothing like a jack of all trade podcast. You are not going to make any waves with that.

Yes, other podcasts may focus on branding, but everyone knows Rob Meyerson is a brand strategist. Yet, he brings other branding professionals to his podcasters, where they talk about building brands and nothing else.

To get this right, you may have to choose a topic from a niche you can talk about forever.

2. Learn The Art of Choosing The Right Guests

The value your guests can provide is an important metric that will determine the height of your podcast show. 

The most popular podcast in the world today is The Joe Rogan Experience, and if there’s anything Joe is known for, it’s his ability to attract the perfect guests.

Imagine being able to bring on Bob Lazar, a physicist who worked on Area 51 to reverse engineer alien technologies. There’s a lot of conspiracy theory about Area 51 and what goes on there, or even the existence of aliens.

In another episode, Joe interviewed Elon Musk, the richest man in the world. When Elon appeared on the show, it almost broke the internet to the extent of having an effect on Wall Street.

You may not have the reach and influence of Joe Rogan, but you must go all out to bring the right guests to your podcast show. It’s not just Joe Rogan; many other podcast shows have risen to prominence due to the caliber of their guests.

Expanding your network is the key to getting this right as a newbie podcaster. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone to be a guest on your show; you’ll be surprised they will say Yes to you.

3. Make Your Audience a Part of The Conversation

There’s always a struggle for podcasters on bringing their listeners into the conversation. However, since many podcast shows struggle to bring their listeners into the conversation, that could be your strength.

Engaging your listeners is beyond just getting them interested in your podcast; but much more. It’s been said that engaging with your listeners is one of the under-utilized aspects of podcasting.

By making them a part of the conversation, you’d get an insight into their pain points and interests. You’ll also understand what they enjoy most about your podcast and more.

Open up means for your audience to reach you. Don’t be limited to just social media.

4. Start a Video Podcast

Take a look at some of the best-performing podcast shows right now. They all have something in common; they are video podcasts. Imagine if video is removed from The Joe Rogan Experience, the H3 Podcast, or The Tim Ferris Show? 

The future of podcasting is in video and visuals. Explore the possibilities of starting a video podcast as soon as you can before it becomes crowded. People love videos; they love looking at human faces.

With a video podcast, you are opening up your podcast to a wider audience of people who will appreciate your content. Many podcasts struggle to attract a larger audience because they lack visual elements.

You are doing all the hard work already, by migrating to a video podcast, you are joining a league of elite podcasters.

Standing out from the crowd is enough if you are still looking for a reason why you should start a video podcast.

Final Thoughts On How to Start a Podcast That Stands Out

Being unique isn’t about reinventing the wheel but giving your podcast audience a reason to be glued and interested. You need to prove to your podcast listeners that you started a podcast that will add value to them and improve their lives.

All it takes is to be able to implement a couple of these ideas on your podcast show. Don’t be just another podcast show, but one that is worth every minute spent by your listeners.

Standing out might mean going the extra mile, but it will worth it in the end.