The planning phase of your podcast is the time for you to brainstorm and make all the decisions related to your podcast. Although it is a bit time-consuming, it is extremely important to put the time and effort into planning your podcast so that you have proper direction going forward. And, ultimately, thorough planning will save you time and effort in the long-run. To ensure you are covering all the aspects of planning your podcast, keep on reading!
Your podcast topic should be the very first thing that you decide. Your topic should be something that you are passionate about. You may choose a topic that you are an expert on, or that you are interested in, but want to learn more about through the process of podcasting. As time goes on, you may decide to expand on your topic every so often, but you should always begin with a very specific topic so that you have distinct direction going forward. To read more about selecting a podcast topic, see our article here.
Mission & Vision
Deciding on you mission and vision should be another one of your first priorities. Alongside your topic, your mission and vision guide every other decision that you have to make. You need to decide what your goal and purpose are with your podcast, what value you want to bring to listeners, where you want your podcast to be in a few years, and so forth. Just like having a specific topic, having a specific mission and vision will be extremely helpful with your planning phase.
Using your podcast topic, you should then determine your target audience, the audience that you believe is or will be interested in your topic. You may have a general idea of who your target audience is, especially if you are very involved with your topic, but you should supplement any ideas you have with research. Check out our How to Figure Out Your Podcast's Audience Demographics article for information on determining your target audience.
Your title should be an engaging, carefully selected combination of words that are clearly based on your topic, mission and vision, and target audience. You may come up with a title that is related to the format or frequency and length of your show, but your title should always point to what your podcast is about and the overall purpose of it. You should also strive to make your title appealing to your target audience. This can be achieved by expressing your topic and mission and vision in your title, but it is helpful to remain mindful of the kind of language that appeals to your target audience as well.
There are a variety of formats that your podcast can follow. You might decide to do interviews, have co-hosts, lecture, tell stories, or have a variety of segments. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to selecting a format, so it is up to you to decide what is interesting and what makes the most sense for you, your topic, and your audience.
Frequency & Length
The frequency and length of your podcast is another thing that you should decide in your planning phase. Frequency and length are generally connected, so you should consider their relationship when deciding how long your episodes will be and how often you will upload. For more information on podcast frequency and length, see our article here.
While brainstorming your topic, title, target audience, etc., this might be a good time to also jot some episode ideas down. Obviously, you will have to continue to brainstorm episode ideas going forward and will have to specifically prepare your episodes before recording. However, your original planning phase is a great opportunity for you to start a list of episode ideas since you are already thinking about your podcast and nailing it down.
Creating artwork might be a task that you take on, or you might outsource the task, but regardless, you need to brainstorm what you want your artwork to look like. Similar to your title, your artwork should be based on your topic, mission and vision, and target audience. Additionally, you need to think about what kind of eye-catching images, text, visuals, etc. you could incorporate into your artwork. For a variety of information on artwork, see our articles entitled: How to Create the Perfect Podcast Cover, Designing Podcast Cover Art, and Creating the Ideal Podcast Cover.
Branding is an ongoing process, but your planning phase should include some determinations of your brand. This will help you create a consistent brand as you move through all of your decisions. A great starting point is to create a podcast brand style guide where you determine what your podcast will look and even sound like. For more information on branding, see our Branding Your Podcast article.
The planning phase of your podcast can certainly be overwhelming. You have to make tons of decisions and determine things about your podcast that may seem premature. However, your planning phase will ultimately be ongoing throughout the life of your podcast. At any time, you can and should evaluate your decisions and maybe consider new options to grow and improve your podcast. Your planning phase should assist you with creating a consistent podcast brand, but that doesn't mean that you need to always feel totally tied down to your decisions. So, take the time to brainstorm and really make worthwhile decisions about your podcast, but remember that you will always have room for growth and improvement. Happy podcasting!
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