As natural communicators, PR pros might see starting a podcast as a solid approach to strengthening their personal brand.
To get familiar with the format, it’s best to listen to various podcasts from around the Web.
As a marketer, you probably have a low tolerance level for shoddy production and for rambling or unengaging conversation. The key to catching a listener’s ear rests on the quality of your content and your ability to generate conversation.
Consider these tips if you seek to become the next great podcaster:
1. Have purpose and passion.
Be clear about your goals, and find a focus and format for your show. To make the project sustainable, choose a topic that you’re passionate about—this shouldn’t be a chore. Your enthusiasm will get your listeners excited, too.
2. Make it memorable.
Choose a clever and catchy name, and be consistent about branding on your website, podcast hosting sites and social media channels. You want listeners to remember your podcast and to be able to find you quickly using various platforms.
3. Take control.
Host your podcast on your own domain and copyright it. You should have complete control over the rights and the hosting of your own content.
4. Practice, practice, practice.
In addition to working on your interview and writing skills, it’s helpful to practice the entire show before hitting the record button. Doing this will lessen your anxiety and increase your confidence and eloquence when the mic is on. Always leave time to re-record.
If you’re using a Skype call for your podcast, make sure to test the connection prior to recording.
5. Use the best equipment you can afford.
There’s nothing worse in podcasting than distorted sound—it makes listeners cringe. To ensure clean audio, use high-quality mics and filters. This will increase your professionalism and lessen the editing time.
6. Be polished, but sound natural.
Learn basic audio editing techniques so you can finalize the recordings on your own. To extend your branding, create “chapters” within each episode and add musical interludes that fit your show’s tone. Listen to your own podcast after it airs to spot production elements that you can improve upon.
Edit out mistakes or long pauses. To streamline this process, write down the timestamp of bits that might need editing as you record. Though it’s best to shoot for a polished sound, don’t obsess over perfection—some of the most charismatic moments in a podcast are spontaneous. Your approach and personality will hook listeners; the subject matter is only part of the equation.
7. Take notes.
To give listeners a feel for each episode, write content summaries on your website. Highlight guest info and use keywords to drive traffic from search engines. Writing gives you another opportunity to showcase your voice and perspective.
Be thorough when compiling show notes—this benefits you and the listener.
8. Develop consistency.
Consistency is the key to loyal listenership. If you set a posting schedule, stick to it as closely as possible. You can always record and edit several episodes at once; this ensures you’ll have something to air if you are busy the day an episode is supposed to go live.
If you take a break from your regular schedule, let listeners know beforehand so there’s no confusion as to where your podcast went.
9. Make friends with your guests.
Invite your listeners to connect with you by setting up a voicemail, email list and comments section on your website. Listeners may have perspectives you haven’t considered discussing, and their feedback can lead to thoughtful discussion.
To attract new listeners, you should interview experts and recognizable names in your field. This will increase your credibility and give listeners a break from your routine. Early on, mine existing contacts for interesting subjects—with a few interviews under your belt, it will be easier to snag high-profile interviewees.
Join a podcast network to benefit from the experience and insights of others. Think of similar podcasts as potential collaboration instead of competition.
To increase your recognition, be a guest on other shows and extend invitations to yours. This will liven up your show’s energy and help you to reach new listeners.
10. Find sponsors.
As your following grows, start making money through sponsorships. Seek sponsors from your industry so your audience can relate.
RELATED: Generate leads and spread brand awareness through Ragan and PR Daily sponsorship.
These 10 fundamentals will help new podcasters create polished, engaging and successful shows.
Deirdre Breakenridge is an author, an entrepreneur, host of the Women Worldwide podcast and the CEO of Pure Performance Communications . A version of this article originally appeared on Pure Performance.