Sarah Jane Dunaway is the ultimate girlboss. She is an award-winning graphic designer, brand, and social media strategist, leader of Green Rain Design, lifestyle blogger, podcaster, wife, and mother.
AHEAD, SARAH SHARES WHY SHE TURNED TO THE WORLD OF PODCASTING AND FOUR STEPS FOR GETTING STARTED...
Clean & Proper originally started out as a resource for all things organizing, cleaning, etiquette and Southern Cooking. I eventually experimented with topics on eco-friendly living, green cleaning products and gluten-free and vegan recipes. My personal interests have always been vast and thus, so became the topics I wanted to share on Clean & Proper.
Through a bit of soul searching and brand strategy research, I discovered that it was my posts on etiquette that were truly the driving force behind my blog. And personally, a favorite to brainstorm and write.
Just like with traditional advertising, it’s important to share your message using a variety of vehicles. I have never had much interest in video—or rather seeing myself on video—but I knew I wanted to take the message of Clean & Proper to another level. My blog is both informational and personal, and in an effort to connect more personally with audiences I wanted something where the conversation could flow more freely. And let’s face it, writing on etiquette—though enjoyable—can quickly feel like a lecture and less like a conversation. Thus I turned to the world of podcasting.
It’s important for your brand to grow. No company or brand, big or small, can afford to wait and do nothing. We must all constantly be learning, researching and discovering ways to further drive traffic and ways to keep connecting with our audiences. It’s one of the reasons social media is so important for brands—it’s about having a conversation with your target audience.
Podcasting gives your brand a voice—literally! It’s a way to add some personality and flair to your brand, and it’s the perfect way to talk about those more in-depth topics without turning your topic into a lecture. Equally important, it’s another way to connect with your audience and a way to offer an extra option for how they subscribe and stay updated on the latest with your brand.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
1. LISTEN TO SOME PODCASTS
Do some research first. Subscribe to podcasts—both those offering a format you might like to use (i.e. interview-based, single-hosted, co-hosted), as well as those covering a similar topic. A couple of my favorites that I both subscribe to and used as inspiration for The Clean & Proper Podcast: The Lively Show, The Life Coach School Podcast, Stuff You Should Know, and Radiolab.
2. WHAT IS YOUR USP?
What is your unique selling position? What sets you apart from the competition? How will a podcast add to your USP? Listen, you want a podcast to add to your brand, not detract. What can your podcast offer that makes your brand better for your audience? What can you offer your audience in a podcast that no one else can offer? Hint: At least one of those answers is “You!”
3. THINK ABOUT THE COMMITMENT
How often are you willing to podcast and how long would you like to talk? Interview-based podcasts can easily take 1-hour. When I first launched The Clean & Proper Podcast, my episodes were almost an hour. That’s way too long for me and for a single-hosted podcast! This isn’t always the case, but it was for my specific podcast channel. Now they average around 15 minutes and for me that is perfect!
4. READ THE STEP-BY-STEP PODCASTING TUTORIAL BY PAT FLYNN
Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income podcast has put together the best tutorial on starting your podcast. Trust me, all fellow podcasters will also tell you to read this tutorial. It answers all your questions on setup, hosting, equipment and those behind-the-scenes details.
Remember, consistency is key. You can do it! You’re going to make mistakes along the way, especially if you’re new to this type of platform and messaging. The average podcaster gives up around episode 8. Take the plunge when you’re fully ready to commit and just keep going. The hardest part is getting started, but remember, have some fun with it too!
Thank you so much for sharing your expertise, Sarah Jane!