My name is Joey Hanf, and I'm a former college tennis player, tennis writer and coach. I'm the host of Open Stance Audio, a Monday-Friday podcast that discusses a variety of topics across the tennis industry.
I've long believed in the power and convenience of voice in the modern era; specifically podcasts. I had worked on another tennis podcast previously, and so when I decided in early January of this year to start this project, I was confident that producing a daily show was possible. My goal was to educate tennis players and fans through behind the scenes knowledge and expertise, while also interviewing a wide range of guests from pro players, to coaches and media personalities. Once I had the motivation to execute, planning and producing came easily.
With 5 shows a week, I knew that time was going to be the biggest barrier to success. By producing a short, 10 minute show each day, it allows me to record virtually at any time and allows me to stay current with breaking news and information. And I always have episodes pre-recorded so that I'm never running behind. Once you have gotten a hang of editing, that process becomes second nature. Overall, each day I spent roughly 30-45 minutes recording, editing, and publishing my podcast. Luckily for me, my employer supports this podcast. Even if they didn't, I would be able to fund this effort myself because it only costs about $50 a month total for hosting, equipment etc.
I use Open Stance Audio as a platform to promote our partners and add to larger sponsorship offers. The number of downloads per month is important, but I would argue that having a loyal audience in your niche subject is even more valuable to potential clients. Podcasting overall is a great way to network with other influencers and companies in your field; that first impression can go a long way in future partnerships and business development.
I use two microphones; if I'm in my "Studio", then I use the Blue Yeti USB.
But often times when I'm traveling or generally on the go, I use a simple lavalier mic that connects to my phone. The quality isn't that much different and it's very convenient.
Social media outreach has been a huge factor in securing podcast interviews. If you give another person the chance to talk about what they love; they'll usually take you up on that. Most of my interviews are via phone or zoom, although I am on site at many tennis events throughout the year and get a chance to interview players and guests there as well.
I try to not over-prepare for my episodes, having a few bullet points written out is better than scripting exactly what you want to say or ask a guest. Keeping a podcast conversation is crucial.
Over 50% of my listeners come from iTunes and Apple Podcasts, but the key is directing them there via social media. I use my personal twitter heavily in promoting the podcast as well as Facebook to a lesser extent. With twitter you can literally share every single episode and tag your guests effectively to reach their audience.
We also email our database of opt-in entrants on a bi-weekly basis with 1-2 of our best episodes from that time period.
Don't be afraid to go very niche with your podcast content. Everyone has something that they are very knowledgable in, and you shouldn't be afraid to make yours about just that. Start with what you know, and then you can branch out and build a wider audience. Honestly, the best advice I have for making your podcast better is to listen to a ton of other podcasts and make note of what they do well.