Audio is all the rage. TRO has a whole network of podcasts, and Catherine Heeg just wrote an outstanding article on the newest trend in audio—live audio. There are a ton of travel podcasts out there and if you are not capitalizing on it within your own specialties, you are essentially leaving money (and clients) on the table. So how do you start?
First of all, understand this producing a podcast will take time. Let me repeat that for those in the back. Producing a podcast will take time. And results will also take time. It is a long game but can be rewarding.
You need some equipment to record. At the minimum, buy an external microphone and do not rely on the ones that are built into your laptop or your smartphone.
Ideally, you will need something to record on. It can be your computer or even your smartphone, but I recommend an independent recorder for a few reasons—portability perhaps, better quality, and more functionality. I use a Rodecaster Pro in my “studio” at home combined with a Rode Procaster microphone (yes I know, confusing). When I travel or meet someone out of my “studio” (… ok let’s be real, it’s a spare closet), I use a Zoom Podtrak P4. Both allow me to have various audio inputs including a telephone if I wanted to loop in a guest.
Here’s a link to an Amazon list of some of the equipment I have to give you an idea of costs.
The only other cost you will have after the equipment is hosting. I do not recommend hosting it on your own site because of the bandwidth it will require. Libsyn is the hosting platform that I use and the basic plan is $5/month for limited bandwidth—probably ideal for a short, monthly piece. But even the larger plans are not that expensive.
From Libsyn, the rest is easy. They will help you submit to Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and all of the other directories in order to be found. You upload your content, create a description and some graphics, and let it fly. They have very robust reporting available for you as well. The key thing to remember is to bring everything back to this source (or whatever you choose) so you can measure it.
This turned out a lot easier than I thought. Set up the recorder (if using one) plug in the mics and start talking. Smartphone? Press record and start talking. If you are recording directly to a computer, you will need a piece of software to record and edit it. Enter Audacity. Audacity is free and open-source so there are many consistently working on it. It will take a bit to get used to and it is a lot more fully featured than you need, but not too difficult. You will want to edit your podcast. There are verbal crutches, mistakes, crying babies, screaming firetrucks, and all sorts of interruptions that you will want to eliminate. You can also fine-tune your voice and sound.
I started with Audacity but am now using a paid program that is (IMHO) easier and more intuitive and geared to the spoken word rather than music. Hindenburg Journalist Pro ($399). However, there are other free and less inexpensive options out there. If you are a subscriber to the Adobe Cloud, you may already have access to Audition.
Upload the final project to Libsyn and fill in the blanks and you are good to go. The rest (to SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, etc.) is all automated.
As I said, finding the time is the tough part. Once you record the podcast, a general rule of thumb is that it will take two times the finished length to edit and publish. So, if you have 15 minutes, plan to spend 30 finalizing it for a total of 45.
Look at this as an extension of your marketing and expertise. It can be a revenue generator as well. With the right audience, there may be some co-op money available from your preferred suppliers or even a local complementary business. But before that happens, get established.
But What About Content
Off the top of my head, there are a ton of travel topics; here are a few.
- Trip report. Maybe grab an interview with the GM of the resort or the Cruise Director.
- Upcoming sales. Talk about what is hot, and where the deals are.
- Supplier talks. Bring in a BDM to discuss the latest products and cool amenities.
- Customer testimonials. Talk to a client who is happy with your service.
- Behind the scenes. Here’s what we do for you.
- Travel Tips. Packing. Preparing. Etc.
- General News. We are living in a changing world of travel. Update your clients.
Have you tried podcasting? Any tips? Thoughts? Leave a comment! If anyone wants to pick my brain, maybe hop on a Facetime or Zoom, send me an email at email@example.com