We're going to talk today about how to start a podcast and why doctors should!
You probably know there's a steep increase in the number of podcasts coming out these days. Even with this huge podcast explosion the numbers are tiny compared with the number of personal websites, blogs and YouTube channels.
So, if you’ve thought about starting a podcast, but you haven't because the process feels too mysterious or technical, I am going to hopefully get you over that today.
In This Episode of The Career Rx We’ll Discuss:
- Why starting a podcast was the best choice for my business growth.
- The benefits of starting a podcast as a physician and why you should!
- 5 step by step tips for starting a podcast.
- What you need to start a podcast – additional tips and resources.
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TRANSCRIPT AND SHOW NOTES (How To Start a Podcast in 15 Minutes – and why Doctors Should!)
If you understand all the benefits that are possible when you do have a podcast, and you want to learn more about how to start a podcast, I'm promising you it's actually very, very easy to do.
So I'm going to tell you how to start a podcast in about 15 minutes right now, and there's absolutely no reason to be intimidated.
How to Start a Podcast in 15 Minutes
This week's episode was inspired by a question that came from an attendee at my recent webinar called Pivot, which was inspired by COVID-19. The webinar focused on leadership, career advancement, side gigs and some transitions to non-clinical careers.
If you want to listen to the Pivot webinar recording you can access it here.
The question I received in the webinar was…
“When and why did you decide to start a podcast and do you manage all the tech yourself? Seems so daunting.”
So, I've got a short answer and a more complete answer for you today.
The short answer to when and why I started a podcast – I decided around Thanksgiving of 2019 and I launched my first episode the following month in early December.
I do manage all the tech, it's really not very daunting.
I am not one who does a lot of outsourcing. I do use some freelancers to help me with some of the things around my courses, the podcasts, the website, but for the most part, I manage all the tech and it's incredibly easy.
Why Did I Start a Podcast?
Because people asked me to! So that's the short answer, but I know you want more details and you want to know the meat of this podcast, which is how to launch your own podcast. So that's what's coming up.
Before I get into that, I want to give a shout out to a listener who left me a review on Apple which I appreciate so much! Her username is NYShip and she wrote…
“Fantastic content! Dr. Stiegler has a proven track record helping physicians further their careers. I've taken her online and in-person courses and could not be happier. For that reason I eagerly await each upcoming podcast episode. She has a unique gift of being able to easily communicate her knowledge in a pleasant-to-digest fashion. Highly recommended!”
Thank you a million! I appreciate that so much. Just getting that kind of feedback is so rewarding and it's absolutely why I do what I do. As a pretty new podcast, I don't have many reviews out there yet, so I am giving a shout out to this listener. I appreciate it!
For everyone who's listening I'm asking you to please leave me a review so I can continue to improve my show and so I'll be able to give you a special thanks on a future episode.
If you can leave me a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or whatever podcast player you're listening on today that would be very much appreciated.
How and Why To Start a Podcast
Okay, back to the longer answer of how and why to start a podcast.
As many of you know I've been very active online for over 10 years now. In the beginning, I used to focus on my written blog, and around 2015 or 2016 I started doing a lot more live video in my Facebook groups and on my Facebook page.
If you are a female physician, you can join my private Facebook group, which is the Women Physicians’ Professional Mastermind. It is limited only to women and physicians.
I also invite you to follow my Facebook page, which is @DrMStiegler. I hope to see you there!
In any case, I was doing a lot more live videos in my facebook group.
Why did I Switch to Video from the Written Blog Content?
I realized I could deliver more content in a much more engaging way and frankly, with less effort.
Many of you can relate. If you know a subject well and you're comfortable in the format, you can start talking with a topic idea and a rough outline. So, it was much more efficient and fun for me to do a live video, which I posted to my blog pages with a short description.
So I transitioned away from written blog posts and into these video posts.
However, there were a lot of things lacking in terms of search engine optimization for those videos, and the ability for people to find the videos unless they were already following me.
That was especially true when I did the videos in a private group.
If I didn’t have the videos transcribed, have subtitles, or if I didn't write a longer blurb in my actual blog Google wouldn’t know what the content in the video was and therefore wasn't going to help people find it.
I then had an aha moment. I realized from getting input from my audience, that many people were just listening to my videos as if they were a podcast.
There was really nothing to see except for my face looking at the camera, but otherwise it was basically a podcast, with a rare exception of me doing a demo of a software product that I liked.
This is When I Decided To Start a Podcast!
So then it hit me – a podcast is even better than video.
If my audience wants to mostly listen on the go, and they don't need to see me and I can get the same valuable information conveyed in a podcast episode.
I could do that without the extra logistics of needing to be on camera, which requires a decent background, lighting and overall appearance, which is not always the case for my house or myself!
I could just transition to do an actual podcast, and post the audio and the transcription on my website in place of blog posts.
So this is an evolution of my blog, and even more efficient.
As you see on my website I also include a transcript in the form of a blog post.
It’s polished up from the original transcript – with links, proper formatting and structure.
This ‘transcript blog post’ works well as a place for the show notes to live and it works for search engine optimization. The transcript really captures the totality of the podcast.
Also, if people don't want to listen for some reason, and they want to just scroll they are able to right on the website.
So that's why I switched to the podcast format.
Why Should You Start a Podcast as a Physician?
Even if you don't have a blog, or you haven't focused on a heavy online presence the question for you is, why should you start a podcast?
Starting a podcast is ideal:
- If you are a physician
- When building your influence and digital presence
- To establish thought leadership
- If you’re looking to reach a larger audience
- When growing your practice or side gig
- For increasing brand awareness about yourself professionally
The barrier to entry is so low despite what you may have heard. There are far fewer podcasts as compared to blogs and YouTube channels. There is a better window of opportunity to get on the radar with listeners, compared to readers who may have a harder time finding your blog.
You can also publish your podcast to major directories like Apple, Google, Spotify and other ones so you can be found even more easily.
For blogs, there really doesn't exist that same kind of channel, where people are scrolling through looking for blogs in categories, the way they might be scrolling through Apple Podcasts, Google podcasts, or Spotify looking for podcasts in the categories of interest.
This all means you can grow your audience much more quickly.
How Do You Start a Podcast?
The next question is how to start a podcast.
I'll tell you exactly how I do it and how I manage my tech.
I do want to give a disclaimer that you can do it in a much more sophisticated way. You can get way more fancy than this and perhaps someday you'll want to.
Maybe someday I'll want to, but I'm a big believer in the philosophy of it's better to get started than it is to be perfect.
Also, if you're using a podcast as a tool to grow your business or practice, it's always better to validate your methods by getting actual paying customers, clients or patients before you invest in an upgrade.
There's no reason to sink a bunch of money or a bunch of time and effort into something until you've demonstrated that it is going to be a useful tool for you.
Once you get started, you may want to eventually scale and refine and when you do that, please consider joining me in The Branding Prescription.
This is an online course that will help you define what to focus on, what to say, how to say it, how to connect with your ideal customer. The Branding Prescription is perfect if you’re entrepreneurial oriented or if you’re happy as an employee, but maybe looking for a different fit. For now though if you're thinking of launching a podcast I say go for it!
This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure. Full disclosure here.
My 5 Step by Step Tips to Starting a Podcast
1. Set up an Account with a Platform called Buzzsprout.
I personally use and highly recommend Buzzsprout and if you click through my affiliate link you'll get a $20 Amazon Gift Card if you choose a paid plan.
Buzzsprout is the podcast host. This means all of the audio recordings live on this platform.
The podcast episodes can be published out to all the directories I just mentioned (Apple, Google Spotify, etc). It’s really great as you only need to upload once to Buzzsprout and it publishes to all those places with a single click.
If you have to edit or update an episode later, that also gets pushed out automatically to all the players. So, there's just a one time process to get listed in Apple, Spotify, Google podcast directories.
Buzzsprout walks you through this really simply. There are other podcast services out there, but this is what I use and recommend.
2. Decide on a Show Title
You need a show title for your podcast. The name doesn’t need to be fancy – it could even be your name.
This could have easily been The Marjorie Stiegler show or The Dr. Stiegler show or The Podcast with Dr. Stiegler. I already have a training series with The Social Rx, The Speaking Rx, The Branding Rx, so it made sense to stay with my brand and call it The Career Rx.
Of course you can pick any name and change it later if needed. It does not need to be permanent, and it does not need to be fancy.
3. Write a Podcast Description
Then the next thing you need is to write a description of your podcast.
You don't need a fancy description either, although this helps.
Eventually, you're going to want to have specific language in your description that's going to truly resonate with your customers. This is once you know who your ideal listener is and the topics they're interested in.
You also want to be able to be found by search engines, so you may want to adjust your description later, but for the moment, it does not need to be fancy.
4. Create Cover Art for Your Podcast
The next thing that you need is some cover art.
This is as easy as making an Instagram post. You could do this with a template in Canva. Or, you could hire a graphic designer to design your logo, but you do not need that to start.
Now, all you need is just an image. It does need to meet some specifications in terms of pixels, but just need an image.
Check out this podcast template in Canva to see an example of what you can edit to make your own.
At this point, you have to do a few more things like select relevant categories for your podcast and indicate whether you have explicit content or not. These are tiny details that require really zero prep and that you can change at any time.
5. Record an Audio File
Now it’s time to record an audio file.
An external microphone will almost always get you better sound quality than your laptop’s internal mic. You can use a professional microphone, pricing ranges quite a bit.
I personally have a Jabra (multipurpose, good for conference calls and webinars), a Yeti (most specific to podcasting), and a Samson (which is super portable).
You can also get someone to make you a professional intro and outro. You could use music and even get a voiceover narration of someone to introduce you and your show.
However, you do not need this to launch your podcast.
It’s a good idea to spend some time thinking about your goals with the podcast and your intended audience so you can choose topics and create an episode outline.
You can even create a full script or book guests, but again, you don't need to do that to launch your podcast.
All you need is a way to record audio.
This is my current format. It doesn’t mean I won’t have guests in the future or be fully scripted in the future. For now though, I pick a concept, have a rough outline, do my best to not stumble all over the place and record my audio.
Equipment for Your Podcast Audio Recording
You can record on your laptop with GarageBand or Audacity.
I personally like GarageBand but you can even use your phone to record. You could use the voice memo function on your phone.
Tip: If recording on your phone make sure you don't have a lot of background noise. Nobody wants to listen to a podcast that sounds like a bad phone call where you have a bad connection, or where there's a lot of wind like you're calling someone with the convertible top down! People don't want to hear bad audio.
Saying that, it doesn't necessarily need to be professional-level audio either.
You don't need fancy acoustic panels, a studio, a super expensive mic, an expensive mixer or sound tech. You can, but you don't have to and you certainly don't have to in order to launch. So I want to really make sure that that's clear.
Once you record an episode of your podcast, you just upload it into Buzzsprout. Give it a title, a short description, and publish.
Additional Tips for Starting a Podcast
So that's it! The above is what you need to start a podcast.
Now, if you want you can use Buzzsprout’s transcription service to generate a transcript of your episode, which again, won't be perfect, but it's a start. You can use the transcript as a blog post and a place to include your show notes.
I hesitate to even call the transcript a sixth step as this is auto-generated. The polishing (editing, formatting) of the transcript for you to use as a blog post might be a sixth step, but again, this is optional. You don't need this for launch.
What About Editing?
Some of you are listening and you're saying, wait, what about editing?
Some people who spend a lot of time editing or they outsource their editing. I know someone who has a great podcast and he spends roughly 12 hours on prepping, editing and post-production of his podcast for every one hour of content that he puts out.
This varies widely. A lot of people spend time editing, however, I really don't do much editing at all. Sometimes I do none.
You hear me occasionally stumble over words, and I don't script. So, I may go off on a little tangent here or there, but in general, if you're still listening to this, you probably think the level of quality is okay.
You may or may not feel comfortable with this minimalist edits approach but I'm just saying you don't have to be perfect to get it done.
If you can just speak to an episode, perhaps even just in a single take, it won't be perfect, but if it's good enough, that might be okay.
Also, if minimal or no editing reflects your personality, it's not hard to listen to and it’s conversational, that may even be nicer for your audience than something that's super polished.
Having said that, I do use GarageBand. To record it's extremely easy to use and it's very easy to edit if you want, but again, you don't need that to launch.
Another Podcast Editing Platform:
There's another platform that I recommend called Alitu.com.
- It's a modular drag and drop editing platform for podcasts.
- You can record directly into it through your computer mic or whatever mic you have.
- Then you can upload your intro and stitch it to your main file and then stitch it to your outro.
- You can edit out errors within Alitu also
- Publish from Alitu directly to Buzzsprout. Then the rest is the exact same as what I just said. It will go syndicated to the major player directories at the date and time you have scheduled.
If You Have Website:
You can embed the episode on your website in just a couple of clicks.
Buzzsprout generates an embed code for you, which is super simple to add to a blog post or page.
If You Don’t Already Have a Website:
Buzzsprout actually gives each show its own website and you can customize the appearance.
If you have your own website, you can essentially deactivate the Buzzsprout website by hiding it from search engines (though direct links to that page will still work).
This is so people will find your podcast in the major player directories and on your primary website which you want people to come to, presumably because you have other content there.
Promote Your Episodes:
Obviously, once you have some episodes live, you'll want to share them across social media.
Buzzsprout and Alitu have great ways of generating snippets of audio files and small video files. These are perfect to use for Instagram or Facebook stories.
You can also link back to your website if you have your own podcasts embedded there or to Buzzsprout webpage for your show.
Tips for Starting a Podcast: Conclusion
So that's it, you need about 15 minutes to do these five things.
You need the following:
- Podcast host like Buzzsprout
- A show name
- A description of your show
- Cover art that does not have to be fancy
- Basic recording device
Of course you can do the transcription, social media sharing and all kinds of stuff with your website.
Keep in mind though, in order to get your podcast up and existing, it doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be professional and doesn't have to be the best. You can always evolve from there, but to just get out there and get started you just need those five things.
I hope this information helps you to feel both confident and motivated that you can launch a podcast.
Now you know exactly why I launched my podcast and why I recommend you do as well.
In fact, if you're going to be launching anything, a podcast is probably the best thing as opposed to a YouTube channel, a blog and certainly not something that's shiny new like Tik Tok.
You will get much more bang for your buck with a podcast.
When you do launch, be sure to share it on social media so people can start listening to your show, and be sure to tag me so I can come check it out because I absolutely will!
So go forth, make a podcast and let me know how it goes!
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx!
Please be sure to subscribe and leave me a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or whatever podcast player you're using to listen today. Also, be sure to send me your questions so I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode.
Bye for now,