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Podcast Formats

Lesson 6 from: Launch, Market and Monetize a Podcast

Sam Laliberte

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Lesson Info

6. Podcast Formats

Next Lesson: Podcast Genres

Lesson Info

Podcast Formats

in this section, we're going to talk about how to format your podcast. There's typically four main most popular ways to format your podcast. We're going to go through them, but I don't think that you have to just pick one and stick to it forever. In fact, in my two years of podcasting I've switched it around a little bit. I started with interview style. So I really launched my 1st 12 episodes, probably interviewing people and having conversations. I've done some solo episodes where it was really just me covering a specific topic and have even kind of done a round table style, which we'll talk to that a little bit in a minute. So know that you have options and you don't have to stick to it. The most common podcast format is of course interview style. This is really how podcasting became mainstream and people got really excited about the idea to kind of be a fly on the wall, a really intimate conversations between a small group of people and really go deep into stories and topics that in...

terested them. So, interview style is very common. It's a great way to provide a lot of value for your listeners. It's a reason for them to keep coming back episode after episode, new guests, new topic, new content as well as hopefully your guests are sharing the episode themselves. So every single guest you have, you can tap into new audiences for your podcast. These are some of the reasons why they're so popular. It's also great for the host. It's great for networking if you want to have an excuse to reach out to people, the number of podcasts virginity is I've taken. It's quite high. It's still so new. Never have I been asked. Well how many downloads do you have to make it worth my time. People are really excited about the medium and they're happy to get involved. And for a lot of people, it's their first time being on a podcast. So it's a great way to reach out to those people. If you're a company who does B two B sales, maybe you want to interview other C E. O. S and you know, have a foot in the door or perhaps you're just a fan of some inspiring leaders in your space and you've been following their content and you'd love to have a conversation with them. So interview style is a really great way for you to build your network and to meet some really awesome people in an intimate way. The second most popular is the solo episode. This is what I was mentioning. I've done a few times I can talk from firsthand experience. It's definitely the easiest form of podcasting. You don't have to schedule with anybody. It's just find the time for you to sit down with your mic and record your episode. I typically will script it. So I'll have an idea of the things I want to say, a general idea of how long it's going to take and I need to bring a lot of energy into that conversation because it's just me, solo podcasts are really popular with comedians, personal development coaches, meditation podcasts are typically solo episodes. I will say if you're going to do a solo episode, you want to make sure you are a really strong host. You know, you want to have a lot of bring energy, perhaps have a great voice. I'm not saying you need to have an accent or anything, but you definitely want to, you're relying on yourself in this case. So when deciding what's for you really be honest about what type of energy and dynamic you bring to it and maybe solo podcast for you. But maybe you're just really great at asking questions and facilitating amazing conversations. The third most popular format is when you have a multi host podcast. So this would be, you know a couple of friends who are like, we should totally start a podcast and let's get together and let's review the latest episode of the bachelor, very common pop culture takes and views on um current events are really popular with co hosts who kind of just get together and they talk about it. Or sometimes they will together interview people. It's really great to have a co host because let's say something in your life changes and you're not able to keep up with momentum, momentum. You can actually lean on your co host to still do the coordination, still do the marketing for you and even sometimes maybe record the episode without you. I will say something that's personally just a pet peeve and preference. And I've talked to a lot of people about this, but if you're going to have a co host, I think it's really important that you have different sounds and I'm not saying it has to be boy girl accent, no accent, but you want to be able to tell who's talking. I've listened to podcasts before where it is a co host and it's kind of annoying when you don't really know who's communicating. The fourth option would really be a round table style podcast. So this is when there's either like a microphone in the middle or multiple people hooked up to mix and you're really creating a fly on the wall experience for your listeners, just a group of people together. There's not really scripting, there's not many formal questions being asked there typically all getting together and discussing a particular topic. A lot of current events, a lot of new style and a lot less preparations required. However, the more people you have in any type of episode, the more complicated is going to get in terms of scheduling and timing. I think that's the most challenging thing that holds people back is aligning on a time where everyone can record. So a round table is definitely great in the fact that it can be a lot more loose. The episodes are typically a lot longer, a lot less edited, a lot less produced, but you do have to coordinate with a lot more people and it will affect what type of equipment that you're using, especially if you want to do like a remote episode. Um, but even in person you're going to either need multiple mix or a really good omni directional mic, which we're going to come back to that later. A question I get asked a lot is how long should my podcast b there's no magic bullet to anything. I think really with anything in life, you know, you can have some benchmarks and you can have some best practices. But what's great about podcasting and what I love about it is it's kind of the wild west still, you know, there's no real rules, you can decide what's best for your audience and so how to figure out what's best for your audience is you can try to create like a podcast avatar in sales. We think about the ideal customer or perhaps your ideal listener and really profile that person who is that person that you're targeting, who's the ideal person that should be listening to your podcast. What's the behavior and how are they going to be listening to your podcast? I think about for me when I was launching the freedom lifestyle podcast, I really wanted to target that person who was in their job and hated it and really wanted to do their own thing. And so I imagined every morning they would get on the streetcar or some kind of public transit and they'd be so upset going to work, they put in their headphones or their airpods and they'd listened to my episode and by the time they got to work they'd be so inspired and so excited and they would promise themselves tonight I'm going to move the needle on that passion project or that idea I have for becoming self employed or working remotely or being free. My show is all about the freedom lifestyle. So that was my avatar and I really wanted to take advantage of their weekly commute. And so I tried to make my episodes around that 30 minute max smart so that someone could listen to it on their way to work or on their way home from work for you. That could be completely different in terms of how often you release your episodes again, you want to think about what you can commit to. If you're someone who's doing this full time, perhaps you can do it once a week or even a couple of times a week. But if you're someone who's really doing this on the side don't over exert yourself. Maybe you do bi weekly, that's how I started and what's great about that is the only goal is to create consistency. You want your listeners to know when they can expect their new episode, my friend kaylee, she has the self care, sunday podcast every sunday only on sunday her podcast come out. It's very easy for that to be part of my routine and for me to know when to expect to listen to her new podcast episode. The other factor to consider about how long your podcast should be would really be the realization that the longer the episode, the bigger the file size. So when you're first starting out, maybe you're going to have some free hosting services where the first couple hours of file time is free and then after that you have to start paying. So the longer the episode, the bigger the file, the more expensive it's going to be to host your episodes until you're on that unlimited, which will be sooner than you think. And then the next thing to think about is that some people have Settings on their phone where if a file sizes too large, they won't automatically download it. So these are really the only things you should be thinking about technically when deciding how long it should be, but you very much want to decide what's right for your audience. If you think about a meditation podcast for example, you know, those could be 10 minutes or if you're really doing like pep talk weekly, maybe every monday morning, you do a five minute pep talk. So think about what's relevant for your audience, Think about who that ideal person is and then make decisions that way from how long your episode should be, as well as how often you should release it.

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Armando Cartaya

Big Up's to Sam Laliberte, awesome course. I have been podcasting since 2020 and I took the course to improve my podcast structure along with my marketing skills and for sure it paid off. I learned so much in this course that I have been applying it to my podcast and how I promote the show. I highly recommend this class to anyone who is podcasting or thinking about it. Thank You Sam putting on the right track. Great tip on Instagram, thanks.

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