You’ve decided you want a podcast and you have a rough idea of what your podcast will be about. Now where on earth do you start with the planning?
Here’s my 5 key elements to planning your podcast.
Decide Who You Are Talking To
Back in my radio days every radio station had a “target listener”. Just one. More often than not they were a woman and the radio stations would often go so far as to give her a name, a family, a job and hobbies or interests.
Everything you heard on that radio station was aimed at that one person. The music, the presenter chat, the news and of course the adverts.
Podcasts are gloriously niche so finding your listener should be easy. If you want to get down to what hobbies they have then go ahead, but at the very least you want to know what type of person you are aiming at. A podcast about marketing rum is not really meant for somebody looking for the latest gossip from Love Island (and vice versa), or at least not in that moment. There’s nothing stopping a rum seller from enjoying Love Island, but they don’t want to hear about Love Island when they’re looking for new ways to market their rum.
Decide Your Frequency
You can’t get started on planning your podcast until you know how often you will be producing them and for how long you’ll be producing them.
Your planning for a 10 episode series released weekly will be different to a podcast that is ongoing. There’s not too much difference, but the differences are important.
Decide what areas you want to cover (and which ones you don’t)
This is not the point you are planning individual episodes, but instead deciding the areas, themes and topics you will cover.
I recommend brainstorming for 5 minutes. Come up with as many topics or themes as you can.
Next come up with sub themes for each of those topics.
You’ll see where there are overlaps and how some those topics belong together.
And that is the start of your podcast episodes.
If you are doing podcasts in series each broad theme is your season/series. The sub topics are your episodes.
If you’re not doing series or seasons and instead doing ongoing episodes, don’t be afraid to bunch up all your episodes into themes - rather than an inconsistent scattergun approach.
Believe me it makes planning and content much easier to come up with!
Decide if you are having guests
If you are going to have guests on your show it’s never too early to start asking them to come on.
It can be a nightmare getting diaries to work so I recommend using a scheduler such as Calendly or Acuity.
If you are going to have guests you need to decide if this is an every episode event or less frequently.
Rob and Kennedy from The Email Marketing Show alternate their podcasts having a guest one week and just them the other week. They told me they do that so their audience gets to know them and if a guest doesn’t appeal to a listener they are already invested in the show and the pair of them that they will still give it a go.
Janet Murray on her podcast - The Janet Murray Show - has guests as and when they will offer value to her audience or they are relevant to a topic she is talking about but doesn’t have the full knowledge.
Other podcasts are purely interview based such as Griefcast or The Adam Buxton Podcast.
Write Your Podcast Mission Statement
What’s a mission statement? I hear you cry. Well your mission statement is simply a couple of sentences describing exactly what your podcast is about and what it will do.
Having a strong and clear mission statement makes the rest of your podcast planning a piece of cake.
It allows you to dig right down into what you are doing with your podcast.
My mission statements follow a template
(podcast name) is a podcast about (what the podcast is about).
It (what it does) by (how it does it).
It’s aimed at (who it’s aimed at)
And that’s all it needs to be. Your mission statement will grow and develop over time in the same way your podcast will grow and develop. It’s not set in stone.
Keen to get your head around planning your podcast? You can hop on the waitlist for my new Podcast Planning Toolkit. It's everything I use to plan my podcasts for me and my clients.
You can find the waitlist here