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The freelancer's guide to starting a podcast

In a perfect world, freelancers would be able to attract leads and sell their products or services like flies swarming to a cake.

But in reality, it’s simply not that easy.

In order to claim your chunk of attention out there, you have to go out of your way, particularly with your branding.

Now, there are many ways to build a solid brand. But today, we’re looking closely at podcasting.

Podcasting can be a great option if you like to talk and stand out from the rest of the freelancers who simply make blogs. If you play your cards right, having your own podcast can help you generate tons of leads and be successful as a freelancer.

So, let’s get started.

How Can a Podcast Get Me More Clients?

Podcasting is super popular — at least 100 million Americans listen to a podcast every single month. And that number is only growing. If you don’t have a podcast, you’re missing out on a huge ocean of opportunity.

Podcasting can be used in so many ways to generate leads as a freelancer, including:

  • A sweet landing page
  • Promoting products and services on your podcast
  • Generating leads from lead magnets
  • Building up an email list

But leads won’t come overnight; podcasting takes time.

It might take a month or even years, but through podcasting, you can build a strong connection with your audience. When you’re the advice-giver, your target audience will listen more and you’ll build trust with them.

Podcasting, in a nutshell, is an excellent long-term content marketing tool that can be integrated into your overall brand voice as a freelancer.

Really, starting a podcast can be one of the best ways to generate leads as a freelancer. Read on for a step-by-step guide on exactly how to start a podcast and generate leads from it.

Step #1: Find Your Niche

Before you even consider starting up a podcast, you’ve gotta sit down and do some thinking. What is your niche going to be?

When I say “niche,” I mean you should be as specific as possible. You can’t just start a podcast for ‘Digital nomads’ or ‘basketball players.’ Find a very specific niche that, when your target listener hears it, they say, “Wow, that sounds just like me!”

The more specific your niche, the more likely it is to get you clients. It’s as simple as that. Some examples of niches include:

  • Freelance writers looking to get more clients and increase their pay rates
  • Digital nomad freelancers who primarily reside in Asian countries
  • Office workers who are looking to get into the freelance game and don’t know where to start

And the list goes on. It’s important to find your niche first, because your niche determines what content you will create — similar to how businesses are determined by the business plan they have.

Without a niche, you’ll be hitting everything but your target.

Want to learn how to find your own niche? Do your market research and learn how to niche down your podcast.

Step #2: Get the Right Equipment and Host

Now that you’ve got a niche, let’s get to the equipment and host for your podcast. Because without the right tools… you’re gonna have a hard time.

Spongebob Fail GIF

If this is your first podcast, you don’t need any fancy equipment; you can use your smartphone to record. If you’re super serious, you can invest your hard-earned dough on top-dollar equipment. For most people, I recommend landing somewhere in between.

Podcasting equipment is largely about what you’re willing to spend, but generally includes:

  • A computer
  • Microphone
  • Audio interface
  • Headphones

You can throw in equipment like mixers, mic stands, and shock mounts for more variety.

Then, there’s the software. There are a host of options, such as iTunes and SoundCloud. I’d recommend doing your own research — check out this piece on the best podcast recording software to find out more.

All that’s left to do now is record your first episode.

Step #3: Create a Sweet Landing Page (or Website)

So you’ve got your first podcast up and running — now what? Normal podcasters can simply stop here and go on with their lives. But we’re not aiming for normal, are we?  Our goal is to generate leads — and that we shall do.

Put simply, a landing page is a single web page devoted to one of my favorite topics — marketing. On this page, you’ll market the heck outta your podcast to generate some leads.

A landing page gives you the chance to promote yourself, rather than being limited to a stock platform like iTunes. Here are some ideas for yours:

  • Add a free guide or ebook in your niche
  • Include a special affiliate offer to add some income
  • Host a contest — in exchange for a review, add the listener to a lottery for a gift card

Want the best landing page out there? It’s simple to build. Check out Blogging Wizard’s guide to the best tools to build your landing page.

Step #4: Leverage Social Media Marketing

You can have the best podcast in the world, but if nobody knows it exists, you’re missing out on a whole lotta potential. And there’s no doubt that social media is king for generating leads.

Podcast marketing is, according to Website Promoter, about “creating engaging and interesting content that people want to listen to, while also subtly promoting your brand in the process.”

And really, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy out there that will boost you to the top of the podcasting pyramid. One social marketing strategy that works can be a slow drip for another.

The solution? Test, Measure, and Realign:

  • Test different social media strategies,
  • Measure the performance, and
  • Realign different angles if necessary

When you have better social media marketing, you have the luxury of options, which means more exposure and money for you.

So, how do you use social marketing strategies? Here are some ways:

  • Automate your social media marketing to save time and effort.
  • Be a guest on other podcasts to increase social media exposure
  • Leverage your guest’s audience by asking guests to promote your episode on their social media

You can also use visme’s guide on tools to create sweet infographics to add that visual flair to your social media posts.

And if you’re having a hard time you can always consider hiring a brand manager to help market your podcast.

Step #5: Build an Email Marketing Strategy

Email lists are the best way to promote your podcast, after direct visits and organic searches. Put simply, a bigger list equals more contacts to sell your products and services.

According to Oberlo, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. That’s why email marketing is so effective.You’ve gotta build up an email list. The biggest podcasts have huge email lists and have many interested people buying their products and services due to emails alone.

How do you build up a big email list? You can do the following:

  • Include email opt-in directly on the webpage of a podcast episode
  • Include a verbal call-to-action at the end of a podcast
  • Include sweet content upgrades such as a  transcript of the podcast or cool infographic

Need a good, free tool for email marketing? Check out Email Vendor Selection’s list of the best free email marketing software.

Step #6: Send Follow-Up Emails

Alright, so you’ve got a decent email list now. What does that number mean to you? It could be 10 subscribers, a hundred, one thousand… or even more.

Time to take advantage of that hard work you put in to getting all those emails! But the big frustration is when podcast marketers have a hard time with emails not being opened.

That’s because their emails simply aren’t interesting enough. Emails that aren’t engaging will not convert into sales.

Conversely, if you have awesome on-point follow-up emails, you’ll connect better with your audience, boosting your leads and selling more products or services.

If you want to write emails that convert, personalization is key. Write a catchy, personalized headline and be as conversational as possible without coming off as fake.

Need more help making epic emails? Check out Uplead’s guide on how to write a follow-up email.

Also, social media and email are just two of the many channels you can use to market your podcast. For more information, I recommend LimeCall’s guide to lead gen.

Honestly, there’s no better time to start a podcast than now.

If you play your cards right, podcasting can greatly enhance your freelancing career. And in the world of endless blog websites out there, having your very own podcast will allow you to have your own unique voice in a sea of same-sameness.

So when you have your own unique voice drawing in leads like flies to cake, you’ll be happy you chose to start your very own podcast.

Mark Quadros Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer who helps brands create and distribute rad content. Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc.

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