So you want to start a podcast? I know many fatherhood and family leaders who are thinking about doing a podcast. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve already been podcasting for a while, this post will help you make sure you aren’t forgetting the important things.
The Dad Tired podcast started in 2016. We’ve been stumbling our way through this world for the last several years. Our podcast that is the primary way we reach guys. We’ve put a lot of thought and time into how to make the best experience possible for the guys downloading, listening, and being encouraged by it. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when starting a podcast.
Before we get to the three things to keep in mind, there are a couple of areas where I want to set you straight.
First, it’s not too late, just start. We jumped in 2016 I know some of you guys might be thinking, “Did we miss the train? Is it too late to jump into this? Are we going to get buried kind of in the crowd?” The truth is there are tens of thousands of podcasts and I’ve heard upward of hundreds a day being launched and yet I still feel like it’s the ground floor. Most people still aren’t listening to podcasts. Meaning, there’s still tons of room for the platform to grow and there’s just lots of ways that you can jump in.
People are still looking for good content. Podcasts are still growing, I think, because we are a multitask culture. Guys want to be able to mow the lawn and accomplish something else. People want to be able to do the dishes, clean the house, or commute and be able to do something else. So, if you feel discouraged—like you didn’t get in quick enough—I would say that it’s not the case. Just get started.
Second, your voice matters. I know a lot of people feel discouraged. They may say, “Well, there’s already a men’s thing out there…or a dad podcast out there…” I would say to this, “Your voice matters. God has made you unique and your ministry unique to speak to a unique person.” So, if you’re starting to podcast, thinking about starting one, or you want to figure out how to make it better, you’re ready to know the three things to remember when starting a podcast.
3 Things to Remember When You’re Starting a Podcast
1. Create an avatar.
“Avatar” is a word I used when I started. I was in a small group of guys, and we were meeting once a week on Thursday mornings for breakfast. We’d meet just talk about what it looks like to be the men God created us to be. In that group, there was one guy who was a brand-new Christian. He worked hard and loved his family. But he didn’t know how to lead them. He was just trying to figure things out. He’d say something like, “I’m committed. But I just feel ignorant when it comes to leading the family well.”
Now, he didn’t know this (I’ve told him this since then) but I took a picture of him that I found on Facebook and I printed it. I put it up on my computer and when I was recording podcasts and staring at the recording software on my screen, I would look at him and talk directly to him.
So, ask yourself, who am I talking to you? If you try to talk to everybody, your message will get watered down. It will get lost. But if you talk to one guy—even in the way that you’re using particular words during your podcast, it can make all of the difference. For example, I’ll say things like, “Hey man, I know you’re mowing the lawn right now—as you listen to this…” or, “…maybe you’re driving to work…” What I’m doing is, I’m making a personal connection, so a listener doesn’t feel like I’m talking to a giant audience. This is the difference between like a podcast where you’re in somebody’s ears versus standing on a stage giving a message at church, conference, or whatever. Be as personal as possible.
For fatherhood and family leaders wanting to do a podcast, my biggest encouragement for you is to pick one guy who you’re talking to—find that out by asking yourself a few questions like:
- What’s his name?
- Where does he live?
- How much does he work?
- How old or young is he?
- Does he have kids in the house or out of the house?
- Does he have babies or does he have grandkids?
- Is he planning for retirement or did he just start his career?
Who specifically are you talking to? The more you can get that down the better. I would put a name to the guy you’re trying to reach, an age, a marital status…as many details as you can…and then speak directly to that guy. There’s a saying in business, “Niches make riches.” Obviously, we’re in ministry so we’re not trying to you know get rich, but the point is, when you narrow down to one specific thing, you’re going to find that your ministry will get much more effective.
2. Decide on a time to publish your podcast.
You should strive for at least a weekly podcast. I’ve known guys who post a podcast five days a week. The idea is that when guys are on the commute they can listen. Most daily podcasts are shorter. You might have a five-minute Monday to Friday podcast. For example, we drop an episode every Monday. Statistically, I’ve heard the most downloaded day for podcasts is on Monday. I don’t know if it matters but I drop an episode every Monday morning. The big idea is to keep a rhythm to your posting.
3. Give listeners something to do.
What’s the call to action at the end of your episode? The goal is to get listeners to do one thing after they listen to your podcast. Maybe they can connect by email or join your Facebook community. Give them an action to take. Ideally, this is an online community, small group, or even just converting them to your email list. You want to try and capture them and connect with them further. You want to know their name and how they’re interacting with you. You can learn, for example, within a Facebook group, by how guys interact with your content. As you gather feedback and questions, you can know what content you might talk about in the future.
Note: We started a series called PopTalks to help answer questions from our fatherhood and family leaders. This is PopTalk 1 of 3 we’ve had so far. We plan to post these special talks in October, November, and December.