The concept

We then made a list of six podcasts in the field that inspired us – like The 20 Minute VC, This Week in Startups, and Equity by TechCrunch – and listened to them for weeks without a break. We rated them all based on their structure, content, host / guest chemistry, editing, style, etc. Based on our ‘analysis’, we’ve recorded the best parts of our favorite podcasts.

Next we looked at the “target listener”. We wanted the podcast to speak to early-stage founders. We thought about what they want to know, their listening habits, and the time they might have to devote to a podcast episode. We used this to come up with ideas for themes for episodes before reaching out to relevant guests for each episode.

When contacting potential guests, we wanted to make 15 minute briefing calls and block 1 hour from recording. Setting up a structure for the episode and submitting sample questions in advance can help your guests prepare to maximize the quality content during the recording.

recording

You will need recording software to record the episodes. Zencastr gave us the ability to invite guests using their email address, create multiple audio files instead of an MP3 file (which makes editing easier), and create live backups for Dropbox. However, Zencastr is only available for audio. So if you prefer face-to-face virtual shots, Zoom and SquadCast are great alternatives.

Machining

Editing audio files can be daunting, but the most important aspects are: a) cutting unnecessary content and unwanted sounds (‘ums’ and ‘uhs’) and b) adjusting the volume so hosts and guests sound in sync. Once you’ve mastered it, the equalizer, normalizer, fade in / out, voice over, tempo, and compressor functions can be fun to play with. As a benchmark, this process can take 2 to 4 hours for a 30-minute episode.

Alternatively, you can outsource editing to a podcast technician on a site like Fiverr. This is getting increasingly cheaper as more people perfect technical skills in editing podcasts but are expected to pay around £ 40-50 per episode for quality editing.

financial assets

When Unicorns Fly – Cover Art (created by Alex Blondek)

music

However, often an afterthought until it’s too late: music copyright. You can only use music where you have the license, whether you only use it for a few minutes or your podcast is not monetized.

There are two ways to get around this:

  1. Create the jingle from scratch – that way you own the copyright or,
  2. Buy the license of the track you want to use.

We chose the professional production label West One and paid a one-time fee to license one of their tracks. There are plenty of free or cheap alternatives online, but remember to check the copyright before using!

Legal

Consider Copyright Laws all about music, cover art, songs and lyrics. Usually, you need permission from the creator to use someone else’s work. Guests imply their consent by being on the podcast in the first place. To be extra careful, you can ask them to sign an approval form in advance, which will give you the right to use the content in any scenario.

Hosting

Sounders (as well as others) have excellent analytics that allow you to keep track of the number of listeners. Audience demographics by country, time of day distribution, applications, devices; and much more. This helps to understand what content your listeners are most engaged in, what time of day they post, etc. To date, our most listened to episode is Henry Whorwood (Research Director at Beauhurst): What happened to fundraising in the UK in 2020 .

marketing

Over 60% of podcasts are consumed on Apple. Hence, it is important that you have a great rating and ratings on Apple. We encouraged this by mostly referring users to Apple and encouraging them to leave reviews.

Apple ratings

We also created our own website to improve search engine optimization after potential users googled startup podcasts. This started with website builder Squarespace until we felt it didn’t have the features we needed and turned to seasoned website builder Chris.



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