Pre-Launch Checklist For Your Podcast

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(By Robin Kinnie) There are many ways to prepare for the launch of your podcast. After recording numerous episodes, it’s now your time to shine and share it with the world! But, what should you actually do to ensure a successful launch?

Here’s what I recommend any new podcaster do BEFORE hitting the publish button.

✓ Record 3-5 episodes
I talked about this in a previous post but, it makes a difference. Listeners may need to hear more than one episode before hitting the coveted ‘subscribe’ button. Give them numerous episodes and luckily get them hooked!

✓ Come up with a signature hashtag
Creating a signature hashtag can help distinguish your podcast and should be aligned with your overall brand. This is true especially if you plan to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy. Something short that people can tag to share their thoughts about your podcast is ideal.

✓ Create a template for episode graphics (coordinate with cover art design)
If budget allows, work with a graphic designer to create a post template. These templates can be used to announce guests, solicit feedback or share an interesting quote from a recent episode. Having a template cuts down on time to alter the graphic. If hiring a designer is not in your budget, consider programs like Canva to create it yourself.

✓ Know your audience (and where they interact)
Knowing your audience is very important. They will not only be your core listening audience but also your ambassadors. They will (hopefully) share your content, buy your merchandise and attend your events. But, you must first know WHO they are. Create a profile for your ideal listener (age range, gender, hobbies, education level, etc.) and use that information to research WHERE they congregate. This will give you a head start on marketing your podcast. Instead of throwing out a net in the ocean, you will be throwing a dart at a bulls’ eye.

✓ Secure domain name for your podcast
Although this is not a requirement per se, I still recommend it. A website for your podcast can be the home for guest bios, extended show notes and behind-the-scenes pictures. Yes, you can utilize your podcast hosting site and social media for this. However, having your own branded website makes it easier for people to get all the information they need in one place. BONUS: It helps with search engine optimization

✓ Reserve an email address just for the podcast
This goes along with creating an identity for your podcast. You can start off with a simple email address that includes the name of your podcast. Ideally, the email address should be connected with your domain extension.

✓ Create a media kit for your podcast
A media kit for your podcast can include key demographics, your bio and past guests. It should give potential sponsors, advertisers and guests a snapshot of what your podcast is all about. Putting all of this information on one page makes it easier to share (this should be downloadable from your website).

✓ Choose a day of the week for new episodes
You want your podcast to become part of your listeners’ schedule. When you share your podcast on a specific day (or time of day for daily podcasts), you give the listener something to look forward to. Consistency is key to forming a habit. The goal is to make listening to your podcast a habit.

✓ Create your community
A podcast with a strong following almost always has a community. When you know your audience, you can either be intentional about creating a community or join an existing one. But, avoid using community platforms to shamelessly plug your next episode. Instead, contribute to the conversation. By being active, you will start to cultivate relationships which can lead to an expansion of your listening audience.

✓ Secure social media accounts for podcast (if not using your personal one)
I’ve heard both sides of whether you and your podcast should have separate social media accounts. On one hand, your friends and family may not want to see the constant promo for your podcast. However, on the other hand, people connect with other people; not podcasts. This means that, if you do decide to have a social media account for your podcast; make sure you incorporate yourself into the posts. This makes it easier for your community to be engaged.

How many episodes did you launch your podcast with? Tweet me @ RobinKinnie on Twitter or email robin@motorcitywoman.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Robin Kinnie is an experienced podcast producer, entrepreneur and #womanowned advocate. As the President of Motor City Woman and Audio Engineers of Detroit, her goal is to amplify the voices of women. Robin also serves as the head of Soundgirls.org, Detroit Chapter. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @RobinKinnie.