Do you love listening to podcasts and dream of starting one of your own?
Podcasting has grown massively, particularly since lockdown, and there are currently over four million* podcasts available to listen to.
That’s a massive jump from just 500,000 in 2018, according to research by Podcast Insights.
Another study by Statista found 16 million people in the UK were podcast listeners*.
Having a podcast is an ideal way to give people an insight into who you are, and share your ethos, values and expert knowledge.
And starting one honestly isn’t that difficult.
This week on the podcast we have Ant McGinley, the King of Podcasting, explaining all you need to know if you’re thinking of launching one yourself.
Ant mentored me to launch this podcast, and introduced me to the podcasting world at his awesome event Pods Up North and I am so so excited to have him on the show.
You can listen in on the player link below or carry on reading as a blog post.
- Figures correct at time of writing (August 2021)
About Ant McGinley
Ant studied psychology at Uni and worked on Student Radio back in the 1990s where broadcasting was hugely complicated.
It was before social media, lots of complicated licensing and kit were needed, and plenty of other aspiring radio and media folk were clamouring for airtime too.
Ant graduated and moved to Radio 1 and worked on stations across the country before DJ-ing on cruise ships then started working on podcasts.
His first podcast was in 2005, then in the early 2010s he set up a podcast training and production business and has supported hundreds of people in starting podcasts.
So why start a podcast in the first place?
Having a podcast is so easy, there are no barriers to entry and Ant says that if you’re thinking about doing one, it’s far simpler than you think.
Ant said: “There’s never been more opportunities, more tools and more qualified people out there to educate you and guide you on your way.
“There’s never been more inspiration. And it’s a wonderful environment, not just in terms of being able to express yourself, but as a community.”
It’s also a great way to get in front of people, to sit and talk to them for half an hour, which we all hope for as business owners.
Your podcast is a way of getting your thoughts, personality and expertise across.
Podcasts are also great for pet business owners – particularly those with dogs as so many people listen to them while walking their dogs.
How people retain the information they hear on podcasts
A study by Edison Research in the USA found the recollection, recall and retention of information from podcasts was up to 85 per cent.
And it’s the podcast host who they’re remembering. Ant explains: “People feel like they know you, you’ve become a regular part of their week or month.
“They have you scheduled. They’ve got that little bit of time with you. They come to you firstly. because you’re talking about something they want to learn about and in time that leads to sales.”
The good news is – you’re already a publisher
Ant says that one of the things he hears a lot is that people won’t know what to say on podcasts.
But for the last 15 years, we’ve all been ‘publishers’ unwittingly on Facebook and other social media platforms.
And content you’ve already created can be used for episodes or as inspiration for new ones.
When I started this podcast, I repurposed some content I’d already created as blog posts for my first batch of episodes thanks to advice from Ant and Janet Murray whose podcasting course I followed.
(Below is me being awarded my podcasting prize at 2020 Sorted from Ant)
Coming up with your podcast content ideas
Think of the questions you’re asked over and over again and turn those into podcasts.
Because you already know it’s what your audience wants to hear about.
Ant explains: “Think of both the title of the podcast and each episode as a question, or the answer to a question.
“So for example, ‘How to stop your dog barking at the postman,’ or ‘How do I stop my dog nipping?’
“The kind of things that you can look up on Google. Those are the kinds of things that people are going to search for and they’re going to start finding your podcast.
You can get started with very little
As long as you have something you can record on, you can start a podcast.
Or you can have someone write, record and edit your podcast if you have the budget.
Apps like Reporter by Rode let you record audio on your phone.
Audacity is a free audio software you can use on your laptop.
And Anchor FM offers everything you need to record, edit and publish a podcast in one place.
“You can use your phone, iPad, your earbuds: anything that captures sound and send it across the internet, you can use it for making a podcast as well,” says Ant.
Publishing your podcast
There are loads of podcast hosting platforms like Buzzspout, Captivate, Anchor, Podbean and many more.
You upload your mp3 file and they distribute your audio to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and soon to be Facebook podcasts.
They also provide analytics and download figures, showing how many tuned in, where and how they listened (desktop, mobile, tablet) and lots more.
How to use your podcast to speak to experts you dream of working with
Being able to approach people to talk on your podcast gives you access to people who ordinarily might charge you thousands of pounds for their time.
Ant says: “With an interview, you get 20 minutes, half an hour, an hour of that person’s time, where you can ask them any question you want.
“Now, if you were paying for that privately, it could cost you £2000 for that time.
“But you’re getting the benefit of that one on one audience with a person who has been such a big inspiration or influence, or somebody whose opinion you really value.”
Having a podcast helps you become a trusted source that people come back to time after time
While anyone can claim to be an expert on the internet, having a podcast where people can listen to you talk about your thing cements your authority.
Ant explains: “If you have your own podcast you become a curator in the same way you might see in an art gallery or a festival.
“You’re selecting what’s going on, and your listeners put their trust in you to bring them things of value.
“So when they come back and listen to you, they know it’s not going to be the same every time. They come to you because they trust you as the guide.”
Want help from Ant with your podcast?
Ant is setting up a community for podcasters where they can ask questions and get support without feeling bamboozled by tech or like a newbie.
It’s called PodcastHQ and Ant and his colleague Amy offer everything from advice on kit and software to mentoring.
Find out more at https://podcasterhq.net/
Follow Ant on social media @antmcginley and his event, Pods Up North @podsupnorth.