How to Start a Podcast – A (Financial Advisor’s) guide to podcasting
You might not know this about me yet, but I’m a podcast host. Along with my friend and fellow Financial Advisor and FinTech CEO, Adam Holt, we have a podcast called Rethink – The Financial Advisor Podcast. If you’re an advisor, entrepreneur, or something in between and want to know how to start a podcast, then you are in the right place!
Our podcast aims to provide Financial Advisors and the profession at large with the latest information, innovations, insight, and interviews to help them stay relevant and ahead of the curve.
When we started our podcast in May of 2021, it’s fair to say that we weren’t exactly podcasting experts.
Instead, we’ve taken our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the financial advice industry and shared it with those who can truly benefit from it.
In my opinion, that’s what matters most when hosting a podcast as a Financial Advisor: adding value based on what you already know.
If you want to start, especially as a Financial Advisor, here are some top tips on how to start a podcast. I’m by no means a podcasting pro, but I sure have learned enough along the way to share some tips and best practices with you here.
Step #1: Decide on a niche and a topic for your podcast
The truth is that there are already a lot of podcasts out there including that Financial Advisors host. This means that your first task is determining how you will stand out from the rest.
You need to start out by deciding who your target audience is. Are you looking to speak to other Financial Advisors? Or are you looking to provide financial advice to a larger audience? Or is there something else you’d like to discuss that I haven’t mentioned yet?
There are over 2.4 million active podcasts out there right now, the only way you’re going to get seen (or heard, rather) is to choose an audience and a niche that you are particularly knowledgeable about. Now that number may scare you but in reality podcasting is still a bit of a blue ocean opportunity compared to blogging for example where there are over 600 million blogs on over 1.7 million websites.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an extreme expert in a particular topic to make a podcast out of it. This is where guest interviews come in. But you will need a foundation to build from.
Think about what you know a lot about and what you enjoy debating or talking about in regular conversations. This is what you want to mold your podcast around. Just like a financial advisor would define their ideal client persona and niche you would want to do the same for your podcast.
Step #2: Create a podcasting structure
You’ve heard the cliché before: Failure to plan is planning to fail. Without a specific and structured plan in place for your podcast, you’re going to find it difficult to get it off the ground.
Your content plan
Although you may not be able to plan 10 podcast episodes in the future, it’s a good idea to have some semblance of what you want to cover. Who you’d like to interview? What’s the overall message you want to convey?
And before you plan & record your first episode make sure you have the right infrastructure in place (a solid mic is key) and then test everything out to make sure it sounds good and you know how everything works.
Your first episode
Next, you’ll need to plan out your very first episode. Once this plan is in place and you’ve made all the necessary arrangements, you can start planning your second episode.
Usually, podcasts start out with an introduction to the show and give snapshots of the hosts and guests. We pre-recorded ours and just edited it into each episode. Then, the topic-specific content will start. This could be predetermined questions, a natural and free-flowing conversation, or a script.
At the end of your episode, you will want to wrap it up with some questions that encourage engagement from your listeners. Remind them to subscribe to your podcast and where they can reach you for further interactions.
Step #3: Practice makes perfect for your podcast
Ah yes, yet another cliché – I’m full of them today!
You might find the first time you go on air totally intimidating, and you might fumble and trip over your words – and that’s perfectly okay. The fact that it’s recorded means you can re-do the parts that you’re not happy with.
But my suggestion is before you start recording your very first episode, do a dry run.
Use your phone or a voice recorder to record yourself doing the intro, asking the planned questions, and so on.
This doesn’t need to be complicated. You can ask anyone to be your guest to practice your first few attempts.
You’d be surprised just how hard it can be to fill out a 20-minute recording, so practice until you feel comfortable enough to get it right. Whatever you do know that making it conversational will make it much easier to fill your episode, make you and any guests you have more comfortable, and more enjoyable & engaging to listen to.
Step #4: Taking care of compliance
If you’re a Financial Advisor, you will most likely require compliance approval to record and publish a podcast.
Run your plan by compliance and let them see your script and talking points to get sign-off for every episode. Then have them listen to the entire recorded podcast episode before publishing it and edit accordingly. You will figure out a cadence for this.
You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law just because you made a podcast.
Step #5: Branding and a website for your podcast
Like with any product or service, you’re going to need branding in order to market your podcast effectively.
Once you’ve decided on a name for your podcast, get a logo designed and establish a color palette & font family. You can reach out to a design agency to do this for you or if you’re really scrappy just use Canva or Fiverr.
You might also want to set up a website for your podcast where you can publish the episodes as well as any related content like blog posts or about sections for the hosts.
Step #6: The technical stuff on how to start a podcast
You’ll want the technical quality of your podcast to be stellar. You’re not going to attract an audience and keep them engaged if your sound quality is subpar.
If you’re going to be the only one talking, a computer and a microphone are all you’ll need to start with.
You might want to skip out on using the microphone in your AirPods to record your podcast. My best advice is to invest in a good microphone. It’s certainly worth the expense in the long run, trust me.
Right now, I love using the Samson Q2U Microphone.
Both MacBooks and Windows laptops come with their own recording apps, so you won’t have to fork out for fancy software. We started using Descript so also check them out. Your microphone is your essential purchase here. But, if you are willing to spend a little more, there is software available that is made specifically for podcasting.
Remember, you’ll need one microphone per person in the room or a multi-microphone setup, in order to get the best sound.
If you are interviewing guests remotely, though, there’s nothing wrong with recording a Zoom or Microsoft Teams recording. But it’s a good idea to ask your guests ahead of time to choose a quiet, distraction-free area for the video call. Also making sure they have a solid microphone on their end.
You’ll also need a platform to host & publish your episodes. Start with something robust and scalable but also affordable. We currently use Acast. They have a great platform, are very affordable, and even help us push our podcast to platforms like Apple & Google. We also are able to track downloads, listens, etc. Check out Acast here.
Wrapping up on how to start a podcast
I hope that you enjoy your journey toward becoming an established podcast host as much as I have. It’s such a fun and rewarding thing to do, not to mention it boosts your credibility as a Financial Advisor. But it is also a labor of love and will take time, don’t expect instant results. Be consistent, we do 2 podcasts a month, and just keep at it. Over time it is a great way to grow your thought leadership and eventually bring in new business.
You may want to tune into this episode in particular, where we discuss how an advice-led approach is the future for Financial Advisors who want to remain relevant.
Until next time friends,