The Podcaster Lab: Learn How to Start a Podcast & Grow Your Podcasting Community
►Tell us about you and your podcast
My name's Yann ilunga, I'm a 4x podcast host and podcasting consultant. Dubbed 'Podcasting Advocate' by Forbes, I'm the creator of what Forbes called 'Podcast Community to Join' – the Podcast Growth Mastermind – and the Podcast Success Summit.
In my latest show, The Podcaster Lab (www.thepodcasterlab.com), I discuss and teach podcasting with a pretty unique podcast format and through a series of podcasting experiments. The podcast itself caters to two groups of people: those interested in starting a podcast and podcast hosts who would like to grow and monetize their show.
►Why & how did you start this podcast?
I started podcasting 4 years ago with my music business show The Jazz Spotlight (its new season will be launching toward the end of April).
My #1 reason for starting a podcast was to network and have interesting conversations (the networking aspect was very true also for my 2nd podcast, the 360 Entrepreneur). With the Podcaster Lab, the goal is to continue to build authority while keep growing my community.
In terms of launching my first show, it actually only took me a couple of weeks. I believe in 'learning by doing', so I spent a few days learning the technical side of podcasting, scheduled the first interviews and off I was – my podcasting journey started!
►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?
The 360 Entrepreneur Podcast ended last year (after 230 episodes) and so did the Marketers Podcast (a brief collaboration with a community of Italian marketers). The Podcaster Lab airs Monday through Friday, while The Jazz Spotlight allows me to be flexible as it's a season-based podcast.
Producing a 20-minute episode of The Podcaster Lab can take up to 2 hours, as it features music, sound effects and audio contributions by different experts. Other than editing, a good time goes into the planning of an episode (sometimes research can take around 30min) and marketing (I'd say around 45min per episode).
I fund things myself, as podcasting is something I do related to my business (podcast consulting, courses and membership site). Initially, I used some savings I had.
►What do you gain from podcasting?
When I launched the 360 Entrepreneur Podcast, I did affiliate collaborations with a couple of companies that gave me permission to refer to them as sponsors on the show while using my affiliate link. In that case, downloads didn't really matter to them (I think after the first couple of weeks, the show was getting around 200 downloads an episode).
I don't have sponsors for The Podcaster Lab, but the show itself has served as an asset to get new consulting clients and get new students for my online courses and membership site.
One thing I've been considering for a few days now is adding ways to monetize the podcast through community-support. It's a relatively new show and, in its first 30 days, an episode gets around 250 downloads an episode (something that wouldn't be appealing for the "traditional podcast advertising" model).
►How does your podcasting process look like?
For my setup, I use the Samson Q2U (amzn.to/2E4ekPU), the Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer (amzn.to/2uumrWH), the Behringer UCA222 audio interface (amzn.to/2J4gt1W), a Neewer pop filter (amzn.to/2IcUSmy), and an arm stand (amzn.to/2I9egkk).
I record solo episodes with both Hindenburg Journalist and Audacity (it's always good to have a backup), while for interviews I've used eCamm Call Recorder and Zencastr (backup, backup, backup!).
I've found guests in a variety of ways: through their newsletter, Twitter & LinkedIn, through the Amazon New Releases book section, Facebook groups, etc. When preparing for an interview, I simply write down a short bio for the guest, a couple of pointers and something that may be worth mentioning (an upcoming book, speaking event, etc.), as well as possible past episodes the interview may be related to.
For solo episodes, I create a series of bullet points that include examples & case-studies, relevant resources and things I'm going to discuss. I do all the preparation in Trello (and keep that in front of me when recording).
►How do you market your show?
I market my podcast on social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), as well as in relevant – aka podcasting-related – online communities and FB groups, and email. One thing I'll be doing more of is repurposing my podcast content into other forms of content (such as written articles for LinkedIn Publishing and Medium.com).
What's interesting about my audience is that the most popular platform, Apple Podcasts/iTunes, makes up for "only" about 22% of downloads, followed by Overcast 13%. There's also quite a good chunk of people listening straight from my website with Chrome, Safari and Mozilla making up for about 21% of downloads.
While I don't believe that podcasters should obsess over their podcast stats, it's good to look at them to try to understand more about one's audience. Take what I've just shared with you, for example, it's quite telling. It makes it clear that, even though Apple Podcasts is the #1 podcasting platform, it's not the most common way my audience uses to listen to my show.
►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?
This may sound cliché, but it really is a marathon and not a sprint. Often, we tend to hear about other people's success stories and tend to compare ourselves and our shows to them and theirs. We may not know what's happening behind the scenes and we might not even realize that we're comparing our chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 21.
In addition to that, I'd say: make sure to carve out some time to promote your podcast. It's not enough to record and edit, you need to work on having more people listen to your content.
►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?
Updated: 8 months ago