How to build a profitable podcast.
Several elements are needed make a podcast great.
Audio quality, guests, content quality to name a few...
However, one could argue that the content you dish out is the number one factor here, and the person that is responsible for the quality of the content is most often: the podcast host.
A podcast host brings all the elements of the show together. The host determines the show's direction, the type of guest and how engaged the audience is...
A podcast host is a person that is responsible for the audio content. That is all...
If it's a solo episode, they are doing everything, if it's an interview then they are responsible for ensuring that the guests performs. In the rest of this article we will focus on the latter, which is the most common form of podcast hosting.
Becoming an awesome podcast host requires skill, practice and some key characteristics. For your podcast to thrive, the work of a host includes creating content that interest the audience, having deep knowledge on the subject, and carefully choosing which guest comes on the show. Each episode is different, unique, and requires the creative skills of the host to make it successful.
If you prefer to listen rather than read, I recorded all of these insights onto a private podcast feed that you can access here.
1. Have a plan
Planning your show is essential. You have to prepare everything for the show, from the intro to the outro. You don't want to go on the show and look lost in the middle: Research your guest and the discussion topic. Having deep knowledge of the subject is essential; it keeps your audience engaged and helps you successfully impact your audience's knowledge.
Being an expert on the subject helps you focus during the show and makes the conversation go through a clear path. It is vital to keep the audience focused and not lose them throughout the episode...
2. Don't be robotic
No matter how well you have your content planned, endeavour not to sound like you're reading a script. A big reason your audience listens to you is that they see you as an authority in your niche. You must deliver the information to understand quickly and feel like you are conversing with them.
You have to present the information like you are conversing with a friend. Stay in the character of whom you are and be comfortable. In many cases, even though podcasters have a detailed outline, they don't use it because they want to be creative with what they do.
Your listeners don't want a lecture from you; they want to feel like they have a gist with you. You also need to avoid repeatedly giving responses such as "wow", ''right", "yeah" as this can sound robotic.
3. Don't overload information
You want to educate and inform your audience on your show, but you also don't want to feel their head with too much information at once. People often get bored when they have to take in too much information. You need to put the content into segments and interestingly pass the information. Tell stories around the content, use personal experiences or any situation that the audience can relate to.
It is easier for your listeners to remember stories than several facts. There are different types of people among your listeners, and they take in information differently. You have to find the right balance, as that makes you a good communicator.
4. Understand the audience
An important factor in becoming a great host is being in tune with your audience and knowing what is on their mind during the show duration. You have to constantly put yourself in their shoes and imagine that you are them. By projecting their thoughts, you will give them content that resonates with them and ask your guests what your audience wants.
The questions, segments and stories must tickle their fancy and make them want more.
5. Keep your audience engaged
One of the best tips for a podcast host is to speak to your audience like they are in the room with you. Don't tell them about what they "will hear" or how "great the interview was". Instead, let them discover it along with you, in "their" moment. This helps your listeners to feel like they are right there with you, listening to the interview for the very first time as it is happening. Although this is not true, it creates a much more life-like atmosphere and draws your listeners into your podcast's crucial and sometimes intimate conversations. Most importantly, think of your listener as a third person listening to your conversation, not a crowd of people listening to your conversation. This creates a one-on-one feel, inviting them into the conversation with you to go on the journey together!
A trick that works for podcast hosts every time is speaking with their audience as if they are in the same room. Take them on a journey with you and let them discover rather than tell them the content beforehand. Doing this gives your listeners a feeling like they are with you, and the interview is happening in real-time. This pulls your listeners in, and the conversation feels more intimate to them.
As the host, always view your listeners as one other individual in your conversations with your guest, rather than a group of people. This way, you can spark a face-to-face feeling, and it will help you create a better connection with them.
6. Plan and prepare for every interview
Prior to the interview with your guest, please do thorough research on your guest and get familiar with their craft. Review other video and audio interviews with them, read books they wrote, and increase your knowledge on the topic you want to discuss. Always gather extensive information about your guests, and this should include their bio and image for post-interview purposes and promotions.
7. Always bring the best guests
In several cases, the guest on your show determines how well it goes. Research more on guests before bringing them to the show. Ask them if they are familiar with the podcast format, and teach them how to get and use the right tools. You could even run a mock show with them to get them accustomed to the process.
Whichever guest you bring on your show must resonate with your audience. The guest must offer valuable content and bring beneficial information for your listeners.
8. Welcome guests into "your home"
Whenever you bring a guest to the show, it is essential to prepare them for the interview, the same you are also getting set. An effective way to prepare guests for your show is by sending them sample questions so that they can think of possible responses and not be caught off-guard.
Another effective way is to choose a topic that interests the guest, which they are experts on and will offer your listeners new knowledge. Before you begin the interview, help your guest loosen up by conversing with them. Discussing harmless and personal topics with your guest will make them better relaxed.
9. Request feedback
If you are a poor host, which most people are at the start... it's hard to get feedback. In most cases, listeners will just stop downloading your episodes, and your numbers will drop. The best way to get better is to request feedback from your listeners.
You can do this via social media by asking the listeners for feedback on how you sound. You can also read out the request at the end of an episode and ask listeners to email you directly.
More feedback = more improvement.
10. Always show authenticity
Last but not least, never lose your authenticity. Being authentic is an essential trait of wanting to connect with your audience. Listeners love to listen to the natural person behind the voice, not a character developed for the sake of the show.
If you are authentic, you are unique because nobody can be you. The way you pass your message and share your story can only be done by you. No fake voice, no fake accent, and you will be on your way to winning more hearts.
There are times when you will not be the host of a show, but you might need to hire someone to do the job; someone who knows how to make a great podcast. There are unique attributes you must look out for when hiring a podcast host.
If you also have training on how to make a good host, these attributes are the most significant ones that you must build and look out for.
Having a spirit of partnership is a significant factor to look for in a good host. This is because a podcast host will collaborate with both the brand and the many guests on the show, among others.
A good host must believe in the purpose of the show and not only do it for the money. If a host is not into the show, authenticity will be absent, and the listeners will notice.
A good host must be great at storytelling. A podcast is audio-based; therefore, the words of these hosts create a picture in the mind of the listeners. A good host must understand how to structure a story, focus phrases when you input drama to ensure that listeners are captivated.
Interviewing someone is a skill, and many people hone this skill for years before getting so good at it. If your show is interview-based, then the host must be good at conducting interviews. Although interviewing skills can be learned, it is not an easy process.
An interviewer is a proxy or surrogate for the audience: awesome podcast hosts understand this.
An awesome podcast host must also have awesome listening skills, as they need to follow the guest's progression and ask questions based on responses. They must also know how to stay creative with questions that will spark the intellect of the guest.
In summary... to be an awesome podcast host, you need to:
👉 Be real
👉 Understand your guests and your audience
👉 Constantly improve
If you udnerstand and improve on each of these things with each episode, you will become an awesome host very, very fast 📈