11 Things You Need to Know to Create a Successful Podcast

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If you’re interested in starting a podcast you need to know these 11 things to create a successful podcast. I wish I had known more of these when I first started!

My Biggest Mistake at the Beginning

The biggest mistake I made when first starting was not understanding that my audience wanted to listen to my podcast guests instead of me. 

I would find myself talking entirely too much and explaining things to the audience rather than saying, “You mentioned X, Y, Z. Could you please explain that to my audience real quickly in case they are unfamiliar with that acronym, etc?” You want to make your guest look like the rockstar, not you. 

Determine the main takeaways for your audience.

You should have an idea of the journey you want to take your listeners down and the transformation they will achieve by listening to your show and following the advice you give.

For example, the main takeaway I want my audience to get is, “You can do it too.” My guests are service members or veterans who have built wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. 

The goal of my show is to help light the way to success for younger service members. With knowledge, discipline, and hard work, you can achieve financial freedom and be able to exit the military without worrying about where your next paycheck will come from. 

Figure out what makes your podcast bingeable and unique.

You need to figure out what makes you and your show uniquely relatable and then double-down on that to ensure your audience gets a lot out of it. The more you embrace your own strengths and personality, the more people will listen. The more unique and unifying your voice is behind your personal cause, the better.

The thing that makes my podcast binge-listenable is that every guest gives actionable advice to follow. 

The Military Millionaire Podcast showcases service members and veterans who have been able to build a business using the skills they acquired in the military and are achieving financial freedom. We also release “bonus episodes” that feature celebrity entrepreneurs and real estate investors, or very successful investors, even if they didn’t serve in the military.

My podcast is unique because our audience is all low- and middle-class employees. Service members do not get paid a ton, but they make up for that with planning, tenacity, and resourcefulness. If you can invest in real estate or build a business as an active duty service member (as I have), anybody can do it!

What makes me special as a host is that I am an active-duty Marine. I have recorded content as early as 0300 before work and as late as 2200 before bed. 

People resonate with this because they know I’m not sitting in a cushy office and didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. I represent the everyday W2 employee who is working a job during the day and a hustle in the evenings.

My “Blueprint” to create a Successful Podcast

Your podcast needs to add value to everybody who listens. It needs to be informational, educational, or entertaining. If you can combine these components, even better.

The blueprint I would give is very simple:

  • Use your networking ability to get incredible guests on your show. 
  • Make your guests out to be rockstars on your podcast and ask thoughtful questions to bring extremely great insight to your guests. 
  • Make the podcast very easy for your guest to share with their audience. You can ensure they want to share it by providing quotes, audiograms, tweetable quotes, etc., that make them look and sound incredible. 
  • The bigger the sphere of influence your guests have and the more they share, the more of their audience will begin to listen to your show.
  • Focus on adding value to your listeners. If they get something out of your show, they are more likely to share it. This, like everything else, is a people business. Word of mouth is extremely powerful!

Five Things That Will Make Your Podcast Successful How to Create a Successful Podcast

  1. You need to be authentic. Be you, and don’t try to be anybody else. It is okay if you aren’t a subject matter expert as long as you are transparent about it and position yourself as the person who started a podcast to learn from the experts. If you are the expert, be authentic and share the good (and bad) things that you’ve experienced.
  2. Talk less, listen more. The goal is to make your guests look like rockstars, not yourself. If you focus on making yourself look good, your show will not take off.
  3. Find your niche. Don’t start “The Business Podcast” unless you are THE business expert. Instead, dive down into a smaller niche, like “The Bar Manager’s Podcast.” If you are just starting out, you need to focus on a smaller niche to gain traction. You can always broaden your scope later on.
  4. Network with other podcasters and experts in your field. Do podcast interview swaps and go on other podcasts, as well. This will get you more exposure and help bring more listeners to all of the podcast hosts in your space. A rising tide raises all ships, so you will benefit from this too. 
  5. Listen to your audience. Poll your audience and ask what they would like to see more of or how you can improve. Listen to what your audience likes and dislikes. Bring people from your audience onto your show and build a community around it. For example, I call the people in my show Military Millionaires, and I start each show with, “What’s up, Military Millionaires!” 

The Best Way to Book Great Guests 

Network with rockstars in your industry and then ask them, “Who do you know that would make a great guest on my podcast?” When you have experts recommending other experts, you get excellent guests. *Pro-tip – ask them to send an introduction email to the person they recommended. This adds credibility and boosts your chances of them agreeing to be on the show. 

I have made several valuable connections through these introductory emails, and some of my biggest podcast guests have come from this. 

The Best Way to Increase Listeners

Focus on adding value to your audience, make it shareable, and interact with your fans to create “superfans” as Pat Flynn calls them in his book. My most popular podcast to date is one that resonated with my fans and answered one of their problems, “What if I don’t have the money to start investing in real estate?” This episode has been shared a lot!

The Best Way to Produce Your Show Professionally 

Audio is the most important piece of the puzzle. Record separate audio tracks for each guest so you can adjust the volume and background noise in each track. 

Ensure your guest has fast internet and have them shut down all other applications, windows, and browsers on their computer. This DEFINITELY includes turning off streaming services where they are recording. 

Decent lighting and an organized backdrop are critical if you are recording the video, too. 

Finally, hire somebody to clean up your audio and edit your shows to ensure they are clean, removing unnecessary pauses and pet words such as “um,” “ah,” or “so.”

Personally, I did all of this the hard way for the first year. Then I hired somebody to help me produce my show. Now we have partnered up to create Veteran Media Services, which handles everything from launching a new podcast to hosting and editing your show’s audio, video, audiograms, show notes, etc. I wish I had done this from the very beginning!

The Best Way to Encourage Engagement 

Share your podcast episodes everywhere your audience might be. Also, be active in forums, Facebook groups, and other areas where your target audience hangs out. Focus on adding value and building relationships. 

Over time, these people will befriend you, check out your podcast, and share it with others because you focused on the people more than just the production. 

The Best Way to Monetize Your Show 

I have referral programs (and sponsors) that have paid well. I like the idea of monetizing by referring people to friends I do business with because it creates a win-win-win situation for everyone involved. 

These are great because you have no downside, and the upsides for you and the sponsor are huge. I prefer these relationships to a set dollar amount for placing an advertisement on my show. 

You can also upload podcasts to YouTube and make a decent amount through their ad revenue if your show gains enough traction.

Create a movement While You Create a Successful Podcast!

Having an audience is great. Having a cause is better. If you want to create a successful podcast you need to represent a cause that your audience can get behind?

The movement I am working on is the #MilitaryMillionaire movement. My community is aimed at helping service members learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. 

By helping service members learn how to build wealth, we are helping them prepare for a smooth transition out of the military and build a purpose for themselves outside of the military. The byproduct of giving service members a sense of purpose outside of the military and a strong financial background is that it will dramatically cut down on the veteran suicide rate. Veterans struggle with losing their identity and finding a purpose after their service ends. If we can help them avoid this, we will save lives.

Hope this article helps you create a successful podcast if you would like help launching and/or editing your podcast check out Veteran Media Services!

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My podcast launch and editing services

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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to helping service members, veterans, and their families learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance!

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