5 things to know about building your podcast identity
Boost your street cred by thinking like a brand.
Casey Neistat. Gary Vee. The Kardashians. Once ordinary people who have taken their branding skills and reinvented themselves into some of the most recognizable influencers in the world. Chances are you’re a one-person show, or running with a lightweight crew which means you don’t have a bazillion dollars to spend on promoting your podcast like these guys promote themselves. By simply thinking like a brand, it’s still possible to create a polished image. There is no magical formula for overnight success or a spot at the top of Apple Podcast charts (rumor has it you can buy your way to the top, but you didn’t hear that from us). Dedicating some time to focus on your podcast identity will boost your street cred, i.e. help you stand out in a crowded space, attract guests and sponsors, and pave the way for audience growth. Here are 5 things to know about building your podcast identity.
1.Your mission, should you choose to accept it
Branding is more than your cover art and show description, it’s your promise to your listeners. Getting any business off the ground is hard work, but starting with a strong mission statement will give you a sense of direction and conviction to get after those goals. Your mission should take into account what you will accomplish, your values, and how you want others to talk about you. The result should be a single purposeful statement that captures the essence of your podcast and the value it will bring. You should be drinking your kool-aid and so should everyone else on your team.
2. UX: it’s not just for designers
It’s all about the experience for your listeners, so make it a good one. How will fans interact with your show (mailbag, call-ins, shoutouts) or will you be engaging with them regularly offline (like on your social pages)? If you have sponsors, consider this: do your ads promote products that fit their needs and are they seamlessly integrated into your show as to not interrupt the flow? Imagine what their journey looks like after discovering your podcast and the steps needed to turn them into subscribers, and ultimately evangelists. Here’s where your audience intel come in handy. Your listeners are unique so what works for other podcasters, may not work for you.
3. Bring in your personal style
You’re creators after all, so we know you have a unique style signature. That old hat you’ve rocked since high school or your insane collection of kicks — if it makes you stand out, find ways to incorporate that into your visual branding. That means experimenting with colors, fonts, and imagery that will be used in addition to your logo/cover art. I know, this is audio we’re talking about, but people are still visual creatures! A mood-setting color palette and an eye-catching (yet easy to read) font can make potential listeners feel all the feels and make them want to learn more.
4. Im(press) them
Nothing says “I got my $#!& together” like a press kit. A document containing the latest and greatest information that can be easily shared with anyone who wants to learn more about a brand, such as journalists or potential business partners. But this isn’t just a tool for major companies — even a simple press kit will say “I’m a professional and I take my podcast seriously.” So what will you include? Think of everything someone will need to know in order to share your story. To start, introduce yourself and your team, summarize your show, who your audience is, and include details on when, where, and how your show can be heard. Then add the sizzle: accolades your podcast has received, testimonials from past guests, and an audio trailer so the recipient can get a feel for your sound.
5. Always be selling
Whether you like it or not, you’re now in the business of selling. Even if you don’t have your own physical product to sling, you’ll need to be able to sell your podcast identity. Here, first impressions are everything. People will decide in seconds if they care about what you’re selling or not. If you have all of the above buttoned up, you’re off to a good start. How everything looks will pique their interest, how you say it will provide value, and the experience you provide will keep them hooked. You’re doing great things, and there’s no shame in promoting it!