Tips for Launching a Successful Podcast with Launch Specialist Jodey Smith

by Darrell Darnell | Pro Podcaster Stories

“I love guiding people through the podcast launch process.” -Jodey Smith Click To Tweet

Today’s Episode:

Jodey Smith is the podcast launch specialist for Pro Podcast Solutions. This podcast is devoted to two things. Telling the stories of other podcasters and helping people who are new to podcasting or in the prelaunch phase. Jodey is a podcaster and a launch specialist, so he is the perfect guest for this end of the year show. We are taking the holidays off and will be back at the beginning of January. 

Jodey is a former corporate cubicle employee. He started listening to podcasts at his desk, back in 2007, and he started his very own podcast in 2013. At one time, he even got paid to podcast about a TV show. Isn’t that every kid’s dream? He started answering podcaster’s questions in a Facebook group which eventually led to him being paid for podcast consulting advice. Since that time, he’s launched over a hundred podcasts. 

As our launch specialist at Pro Podcast Solutions, Jody is responsible for helping our customers get their podcast launched. He asks them about their goals and expectations. Then takes them through a four to six week launch cycle where he answers questions and guides them through weekly calls. He works through technical issues like sound and equipment setup. He helps them find their ideal listener. He also handles technical issues like getting feeds setup and website implementation. 

Today, Jodey shares the common challenges and missteps that new podcasters are up against. He talks about the importance of sound quality and shares the best microphones for great sound at any price level. He talks about what actually moves the needle when it comes to ranking in Apple Podcasts. We discuss the benefits of podcasting, and Jodey shares some podcasts that are doing it right. We explore unique creativity, artwork, titles, and everything to get a podcast off the ground.

“Success for a podcaster can look many different ways from one extreme to the other and everything in between, so that's a question I love to start out with.” -Jodey Smith Click To Tweet

Show Notes:

  • [05:21] Jodey loves guiding people through the podcast launch process. The first thing that happens is a call where Jodey finds out what success looks like to the podcaster. He wants to get an idea of their expectations and their goals.
  • [05:59] Success looks different to different people. One person may want one hundred new listeners and another one might just want a couple of new clients. While someone else may want 10,000 subscribers and paying sponsors. 
  • [07:59] There are certain questions and flashes of ideas that you won’t even consider until you get into the process of podcasting.
  • [08:29] Ideally we set up a podcast launch over a four to six week period. Each week Jodey gets on a Skype or Zoom call with the client and talks through any questions they may have and focuses on getting things in order. 
  • [09:06] The focus can be on things like getting comfortable with the equipment or finding the right target audience. Jodey also sets up the feed and integrates the podcast with the website. They even do practice episodes. By the end of the launch everything is up and ready to go.
  • [10:32] Apple podcasts is still the top directory. Spotify has grown to around 9% to 11%. 
  • [11:44] You want to be on Apple podcasts and Spotify, and you want your feed to be indexed by Google podcasts. You also want to make a link for Android devices and Stitcher.
  • [12:05] Most small directories poll from Apple or iTunes, so if you submitted to that directory you’ll be in the others.
  • [12:52] Google is treating podcast feeds the way they treat websites. You want to make sure that your podcast feed is set up correctly, so Google will call it.
  • [13:27] You can also put some header code in your website. It usually takes four to six weeks for Google to index a podcast feed.
  • [15:08] When you have a launch date, the best thing to do is submit your feeds well ahead of time. You can use a placeholder show.
  • [17:25] New & Noteworthy has been around for awhile. Jodey advises clients not to worry about it on this point. 
  • [19:52] You should get the best microphone that you can afford. This makes the difference between a good and great sounding podcast.
  • [21:04] There are currently 800,000 podcast in iTunes. If you dive a little deeper and compare it to the number of blogs that exist, podcasting isn’t saturated. Plus, only 41% of those are active.
  • [22:33] People should think about podcasting as a long-term endeavor and focus on great content and consistency.
  • [23:36] One common issue that podcasters have is the audio quality of their guests. It’s always a wild card. You can try to help mitigate these issues by sending your guest some instructions to follow.
  • [29:56] Jodey recommends dynamic microphones. It’ll make podcasts sound better. Condenser microphones pick up more ambient noise, so they need to be used in more of a sound booth atmosphere.
  • [31:35] If you’ve already purchased a Yeti microphone, you can get the best sound out of it by having the microphone close to your mouth. You will need a foam windscreen or pop filter to have the microphone about 6 inches from your mouth. Then turn the gain way down.
  • [33:59] Jodey loves meeting so many creative people. We even have a couple of creative clients who decided to sell a premium holiday episode for $3.99, they had 177 purchases the first week. By trying something new, they made an extra $600 in a week. 
  • [35:44] They just used PayPal and a downloadable mp3. 
  • [37:33] Give your audience something and build your list. Don’t ask for ratings and reviews. Amy Porterfield is a master of this. You can build deeper relationships by communicating through email. 
  • [39:50] Subscribers are the biggest factor in iTunes ranking.
  • [41:12] Titles are important. You can have a creative or bottom line title. This is something that tells your ideal listener that this podcast is for me. A good example is Dental Implant Practices by Dr. Phillip Gordon. 
  • [42:45] The danger of being creative is you may not attract your ideal listener. If you don’t have a following, you might want to go with the bottom line title.
  • [44:03] You want your artwork to let your ideal listener know if the podcast is for them. You don’t have to have a microphone in your artwork or include podcast in your title.
  • [49:07] Serve the audience you have. You don’t have to have a huge audience, just serve the people your podcast is meant to serve.
  • [52:32] Darrell’s takeaways: It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. What if your 300 listeners were in your living room showing up to hear what you have to say? That puts a different perspective on subscriber numbers. Serve your audience no matter how big or small. Make sure you use a good microphone. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just good.

“People hitting a subscribe button in iTunes/Apple Podcasts that's the biggest weight in iTunes for ranking in each category and subcategory of the top 200.” -Jodey Smith Click To Tweet

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