5 ways entrepreneurs can still win the podcast game

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With millions of podcasts released on the air every year, it’s easy for entrepreneurs to believe that the market is already saturated and it’s not worth their time or money to create their own show. But the listener is also increasing, rising to 464.7 million listeners worldwide by 2023. Within that, it has US podcast listener base grown by 40% in the last three years, with 51% of consumers saying they started listening in the last two years. There is still time for you to take advantage of this growth.

Ryan Gallego believes creating a podcast as an entrepreneur will prove to be a worthwhile investment. As the founder of video marketing company Media Pouch and fully autonomous podcast studio Pouch6 Studios in Austin, Texas, he feels creating success in the podcast world is about to become more predictable for entrepreneurs. Gallego has been obsessed with recording techniques since his teens, and his studios have seen influential people such as Chris Williamson, Codie Sanchez, and Dr. Peter Attia, all of whom have expanded their personal brands to include podcasting. Gallego’s dream is that podcasting at the highest quality level will soon be available to everyone everywhere, without all the production costs.

For any entrepreneur thinking about doing podcast hosting, Gallego doesn’t just believe it’s worth a try. He believes that the rapid success of podcasts is completely predictable with the right plan, sufficient knowledge of podcast creation and optimal allocation of resources. I interviewed Gallego to find out his best tips for success.

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1. Bring out your personality

“The psychology behind successful podcasting is that people don’t listen to brands, they listen to people,” Gallego explains. Entrepreneurs need to connect with people, whether they’re reading social media updates or listening to a podcast episode on a topic they care about. “If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to share stories about yourself so people understand who you are and connect with you.” If you start a podcast, make sure it’s not about your brand. Don’t make a sales pitch out of it. Make it about you and the value you bring to an audience.

While it may feel self-indulgent if your podcast focuses on you, listeners are looking for entrepreneurial personality they can relate to. They are trying to find inspiration and idolization and you could be exactly what they are looking for. Find a format that brings out your personality, as you are passionate about delivering valuable information in this way. Whether it’s wild founding stories, hot take on your industry’s policies, or lessons learned from your journey by practicing what you preach; put your slant on any topic related to your field. Try to own a concept in the minds of the listeners. Even if your brand is incredibly well known, you build valuable trust as people get to know you personally. Be front and center instead of behind the scenes.

2. Don’t skimp on equipment

One obstacle that thwarts potential podcasters is the money and time it takes to build a proper studio. Creating a podcast set with the wow factor feels almost impossible without a background in audio engineering, production experience, or interior design skills. Fake it till you make it is absolutely true in the world of podcasting. The more professional a podcast’s setup, the more professional the hosts are perceived by listeners. With a few tricks you can do this at home. “You don’t even need a cinema camera, you can get away with your iPhone,” said Gallego, adding, “Go into your iPhone settings, set it to 4K, select 30 frames per second and put the Apple ProRes RAW on it for the good order. Then you are golden.”

But there’s more to it than just your camera. “Savvy entrepreneurs understand the importance and financial viability of outsourcing as many tasks as possible,” said Gallego. Hiring a studio is an easy way to outsource production tasks and equipment costs, in addition to various annoyances that can arise from trying to do everything yourself. Recording from home sounds like you’ll be fine until the doorbell rings, the acoustics aren’t great and there always seems to be something better to do. Gallego’s advice is to “Google podcast studios near you and find an option that fits your budget and timeline.” Leverage your large audience to get a good deal. If you’re not currently blessed with a huge audience of listeners, “your professional setup will make that happen much faster.”

3. Hang out with other content creators

Gallego believes that “podcast studios will become a sort of Soho home for entrepreneurs.” He’s biased, but he has a point. Entrepreneurs make deals and collaborate on projects with people they would never have met if they weren’t members of entrepreneurial networks. Meeting fellow entrepreneurs trying to start and grow their podcasts works the same way, but with more aligned goals. “Start your show in the same room as the podcasts and podcasters you think are 5 to 10 steps ahead of you. Network, learn and innovate with those who are already seeing success.

“If you’re making a podcast, you’re a content creator.” Identify with this title and find others who do too. Gallego wants you to wave the label to move forward. “Ask the studio manager who else is recording on your booking day, or find out who is using which studios in your area.” Then work the room. “Make an excuse to show up early, shake hands, and contribute ideas for collaboration. Look at going into the studio like you would look at walking on a trading floor.

4. Leverage AI to produce more

Don’t sit there struggling to come up with titles. Use the tools readily available now to outshine other shows and build familiarity with your audience. “Ask ChatGPT for the top 5-10 video topics trending for your specific audience, in catchy headline format.” With the right clues, you can go one step further. “AskChatGPT to write a 30 second introductory script on a specific topic for a specific audience so all you have to do is click record.” Make it easy to fall in love with podcasting and your high energy will carry over into your shows.

Don’t stop at titles and intros. Use AI tools to find impressive guests, send outreach emails and follow-ups, and recap episodes into show notes after recording. Create shareable images and bite-sized quotes, find follow-up topics for that same guest, and turn listener questions and comments into more content. Use AI as your very own podcast assistant and be amazed at what you can produce.

5. Consider outsourcing podcast production

AI can take care of the content and promotion, but production is best outsourced according to Gallego. A growing podcast needs a system that consistently produces multiple forms of content, and you need to “think of the whole business as creating content, not recording a podcast. Nevertheless, this comes from a valuable and high-quality delivery. At the very least, Gallego said, you should “find someone just starting out in the production space and ask them to record your content.”

If you’re doing this for the long game, there’s no point in editing your own episodes, which can be difficult and time consuming. To keep costs from spiraling out of control, set a budget and produce a defined series of episodes with the help of the professionals. Compare listener counts and feedback to the previous batch and consider what the upgrade added in terms of time savings, growth and perceived production value. Compare and contrast to plan your next steps. If you can, use that same person or company to turn your episode into multiple forms of content, and “get skinned into the game as you can”.

Podcasts are here to stay. Bring out your personality, don’t skimp on equipment, network with those a few steps ahead, leverage AI to outperform, and find trusted partners for professional production. Get noticed and stay ahead of the industry while making your podcast a worthwhile investment.