[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Angela Mastrogiacomo.]
There’s just something about a good podcast, isn’t there? I can hardly remember a time when they weren’t part of my daily routine—quite honestly, they make life better and they’ve become such an incredible staple that it’s hard to imagine we went so long without them!
Anything you want to listen to, it’s right there for the taking. Music podcasts, true crime podcasts, business podcasts, podcasts on certain books, movies, hobbies—all right there for your consumption. (Ed. note: Don’t forget about TuneCore’s #MusicMadeMe Podcast!)
But, have you ever thought about starting your own? It crossed my mind for years before I ever acted on it. I’d think about it casually, what it might be like to sit down in front of a microphone, sharing my every thought, connecting with a whole new audience over something we both felt passionate about. It’s kind of a thrill, and now that I’ve finally launched my own I can say that I honestly don’t know why I waited so long.
It’s fun, and it connects me to a totally new audience that I never would have had otherwise and as a bonus, it’s also boosted business. So, it got me thinking—why don’t more musicians have podcasts?
We have a handful of music industry podcasts, and I love those. But we don’t have a lot of pods run by musicians—especially on the indie level. And yet, we all know how powerful a connector they can be. I know it can be a game changer—and I want you to have in on that.
If you’re thinking about starting your own podcast, here are a few ways to get started:
Decide if it will be directly connected to your music
Your podcast actually doesn’t need to have anything to do with your band, your music, or your songwriting. Because the truth is, when people listen to and like your podcast, they’re going to do research into who you are and what you’re all about, and that’s how they’re going to come across your band. So while you can certainly create a podcast that has direct connection to your band, you don’t have to.
However, if you’d like to keep it related to your music, here are a few ideas:
- Tie it into a cause you’ve been vocal about. For instance, if you talk a lot about mental health and supporting different organizations, you could create a podcast talking about mental health, interviewing guests and industry on their own struggles and how they’ve overcome it. Bonus: Having a podcast where you interview guests is a great way to build you connections to people you might otherwise never be able to get in front of, and a great way to get in front of a new audience, since they’ll likely share it with theirs.
- A song by song analysis breaking down everything from the technical aspect to the lyrical inspiration. Think, Song Exploder but scaled down. Now, this is really one for the superfans so if you’re still growing your niche, it might be best to hold off on this one or provide it exclusively for Patreon supporters
- Make it music specific but not specific to your music. For instance, my friend Molly just launched a podcast called Generation Good Charlotte. Now, she’s not in a band but she is a writer and photographer in the music industry. She started this podcast solely because she loves the band and wanted to dive deep into their songs, but as a result is it going to help get her name out there even more,and introduce her to new people and opportunities? You better believe it! You could do something similar highlighting your favorite band or genre or time in music. Maybe one of the bands that influenced you, that you sorta kinda sound similar to? It’s a great way to tap into that audience if you ask me.
Focus on a topic you’re passionate about
This only works if you actually love what you’re talking about. Podcasting can be a lot of work (but in the best way) so make sure you choose something you enjoy. If it’s not focused around your band or music, that’s OK.
The podcast I recently launched is all about entrepreneurship—it has nothing at all to do with the music industry and still I find my circle, who are primarily in the music industry, listening and enjoying. If you’re into something else, go for it! Like I mentioned before, people will seek you out and find you if they love what you’re doing.
Not only that, focusing on something not specific to your music will give your fans a glimpse into your personality, and it’ll help attract even more of the right fans.
It can be easy to get hung up on all the nitty gritty of getting started, but if this is something you’re interested in, I want you to promise me you’ll start taking action within the next 48 hours.
Don’t worry about all the tiny details, just get started and get it out there—the only way to really know what you want to do and how it’ll do is to get out there and start doing it. I’ve compiled a few must-haves to get you started:
- For a host, I recommend Anchor. It’s free, it’s intuitive, and it’s an easy way to get started
- For mics, an AudioTechnica AT2020 is a great one under $100. But honestly, plenty of podcasters have started with earbuds. It’s truly more about the content than anything else.
- Unless you have an acoustically treated studio, record in your closet. It’s weird but it works.
- Batch record your episodes, and have four to ten ready when you launch. That way, you don’t feel like you’re always falling behind
- Release once a week, same day every week. Be consistent.
I suggest outlining each episode—for me that takes about 30 minutes per episode, but it makes recording so much easier than trying to think of things to say on the spot..
I don’t think you need a specific website or social media for the podcast, especially in the early days. Just share it via your own socials, mailing list, and website. Speak to your existing audience, and ask your fans if they like it to share with their friends.
Starting a podcast can be so much fun—and it can give you so many new connection points with your audience as well. If you decide to launch your own, let us know—we’d love to check it out.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, Spotify and more as well as the THRIVE mentorship community—an online community that provides indie artists with affordable year-round mentoring from music industry experts, and much more. Join her for her free masterclass ‘How to Build Your Audience Without Spending a Dime.’