Podcasts barely existed four years ago in Nigeria, now there are a bunch of them. Right now we are witnessing a renaissance of sorts as young Nigerians are freely expressing themselves on the Internet. Unlike a decade ago, they are expressing themselves by recording their perspective about life and encoding it in mp3 or mp4 files, instead of typing on a keyboard. Welcome to the podcast era.
So how can entrepreneurs turn having and running a podcast into a side hustle while being dedicated to a 9-5 job?
Step 1: Find your idea
Like any side hustle, starting a podcast begins with an idea. Starting your podcast, you may decide that rather than talk about yourself, you want to focus on a topic that interests you. Whatever your idea is, a game show, an interview series, an investigative report, sports commentary, try to figure out something that will get you excited and will continue to motivate you and keep you interested week after week. But it’s also important to be clear on your goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to make money? Build up a skill set? Or just have fun? The sooner you figure out your end game (even if it changes over time), the easier it’ll be to tailor your podcast accordingly.
Step 2: Make a plan
Successful podcasters didn’t just wake up one day and decide to record an episode. Podcasts require research, planning, and sometimes money to produce, so get organized before jumping in.
We suggest taking the following steps:
- Check out the competition: How are other people structuring their podcasts? What’s the subject and format? How will yours be different?
- Outline your Podcasts: What will you be talking about? Will there be guests? How often will you release episodes? How long will each episode be?
- Identify the tools and resources you’ll need: What are you using to record? How are you going to distribute it? Edit it? Do you need a website?
- Create a budget: Are you going to hire an audio engineer? A graphic designer? Buy a mic? How much do you want to invest in this?
- Set a launch date: When do you want to release your first episode? What do you need to do now to hit that deadline?
- Create a marketing plan: How do you plan to promote it? How are you going to spread the word to friends and family? Will you be looking for sponsors, and if so, how will you pitch it?
Step 3: Prepare for the long term
The reality of launching a podcast is that you want to be doing it for a while. So, it’s key when planning to think long-term. Before you tell anyone your first episode is out have five or six more ready.
Step 4: Figure out you’ll balance your work, podcast and your life
Of course, time management is crucial with any job you take on outside your full-time role, even if it’s more of a hobby. You have to set aside time for it, meaning you may have to swap out that Netflix binge or workout every once in a while.
Step 5: Grow your audience
Chances are you want people to listen to your podcast, or else why even bother, right? All podcast hosts emphasize the power of marketing. Sure, it sounds intimidating (especially if you’re not a marketer), but it also comes in many forms, creating a website, emailing out a newsletter, posting on social media, working with partners, attending networking events, doing speaking engagements, to name a few. You have such an intimate relationship with your listeners. You have their attention hopefully for a full hour and hopefully undisturbed, and so you can get really personal with them but you can also leverage that and use it as a business opportunity. There are so many different avenues.
But, to be successful in launching a podcast (or any side hustle for that matter), the biggest thing is to just start.