Planning the launch of a podcast might sound easy, but there are many “hidden tasks” important to ensure the success and the quality of this digital content project. People think planning the launch of a Podcast is as easy as choosing the Podcast theme, the platforms in each you’ll host and share your episodes and a decent recording device. Nonetheless, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Below I’ll be sharing with you the planning steps I took in creating and planning Olhando pra Dentro, my recently-launched podcast about self-awareness and intuition for the creation of authentic projects. Obviously, podcasts are different and will demand specific steps, but I hope you can adapt this to your reality and that this is helpful for you.
Step 1: Start with the concept
Everything starts with a strong concept. The concept will guide the naming, the Podcast description on its different platforms and even the visual identity of your project. It’s very helpful to articulate what is the force driving you to create the project, the expected positive impact you’d like it to have in people’s lives and the key topics you’d like to cover throughout your episodes. You don’t have to foreseen everything from the beginning, but it’s important to have a content roadmap to guide you through the journey, so you feel you have a direction and avoid feeling lost, having to rethink everything from scratch.
In the case of Olhando pra Dentro, the project started with brainstorm meetings and a Q&A prepared by the creative director of the project (and a friend) who helped me articulate the ‘why’, the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ of the project. The result of this phase was a short Keynote presentation explaining the project’s purpose, that was then shared with the project interviewees to give them a sense of what it was about and get their “ok, count me in!”.
Step 2: Find the people that can help you
In ‘Olhando pra Dentro’, since it’s also a creative project to me, I really wanted to work with people I admire and that would help me with the skills I don’t have. So choosing, contacting and on-boarding these people to have them collaborating with “Olhando pra Dentro” was one of the first steps. I invited the french illustrator Blandine Pannequin, the lisbon-based graphic designer Katherine Lahude, the sound engineer/producer Igor de Camillo and the creative director Lucia Hsu. As a way to onboard them I shared the Keynote presentation, a short creative briefing and the layouts/music I’d need to roll-out the first season of the Podcast.
Step 3: Create a Communication Plan
It’s important to have a communication plan before launching the Podcast, because the plan is the roadmap that will inform what you have to do and have to communicate your episodes. You want frequency if you want engagement to grow consistently. In my case the following pieces were part of the plan: (1) A launch layout with the Podcast cover picture to use on social media and on the podcast platform (2)An Instagram carousel for each episode, with a cover image of the invitee, a short audio piece of the episode, a quote and the shared references during the discussion; (3) and a IGTV video with a video template. The templates and layout you’ll need will vary depending on the channels you’ll use to distribute and communicate your project.
Step 4: Preparation — Good pre-production saves you time
The following phase was about creating specific questions for each interviewee, sometimes jumping on the phone to talk to them about what we could cover in our episode and scheduling all interviews at once (it took me 15 days to complete all interviews), so that the producer could have them all ready to post-produce and edit before launch. I also created a written introduction for each episode to put on the Spotify page and the Instagram post presenting the episode and the invited person. If you’re not interviewing people on your podcast, maybe this phase is about deep-diving on the topics you’ve selected, looking for references and defining how you’d like to structure the trailer and the episodes in terms of narrative. I didn’t create an introduction for each episode, but this is something on my radar for the next season. 🙃
Step 5: Create the content, leave time for post-production and LAUNCH
After doing the interviews, sending the recording files for post-production and receiving them all ready to go, it was time to… LAUNCH the Podcast. Once the Spotify page was ready with the Podcast description, cover file, trailer, it was time to upload the first episode (I used Anchor as the host). I created an Instagram Timeline post, presenting the Podcast in a very personal way (since, it’s a very personal project), I shared the first episode on the Instagram stories, on the WhatsApp groups I participated, shared it with friends asking them to share if they like it. On the following day, I also shared a highlight of the episode and reposted the episode shares I’ve had on Instagram.
Staying active online of the launch day of each episode is important since it’s nice to quickly reply to people’s comments and feedback. That’s one of the best parts of doing a Podcast project, the possibility to meet some incredible people who share the same interests than you and being able to positively somehow impact their lives.
And last… Step 6: Learn and iterate
The current phase I’m in is the part of collecting the learnings and mapping what can be better in the next season. The end of a cycle is the beginning of another.
If you find this article useful or have any other tips and recos, feel free to write me or leave some comments below.