If you’re an agent, podcasts can be a great way to build genuine connections with your network and expand them organically — especially now that people are craving original content more than ever. Here’s how to start one.

September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. That means we’re talking to the chief marketing officers at major brokerages about how the pandemic is changing their jobs and what it means for agents. We’re publishing a suite of tactical Inman Handbooks for marketing on digital portals. And we’re looking at what pages of the traditional marketing playbook still work. Join us all month long.

A podcast can be a great platform to generate brand awareness and client engagement. Not only does it help showcase your latest work and passions in a new avenue, it also invites your network to follow along any time and from any place — which results in greater exposure and more genuine connections.

If you’re a real estate professional, having a podcast presents yet another channel to seamlessly deliver innovative and original content to your network. With the recent launch of the new podcast Positively Chaotic with James Harris, we know firsthand that launching an original unscripted podcast is a lot of fun. That said, it does require a well-thought-out strategy and long-term time commitment.

The goal of the podcast is to share more about living a “positively chaotic” life, as well as tell the stories of those in the public eye. The title seems so very fitting in today’s world, and we hope that it will serve as a great way to highlight pivotal memories, moments and points in people’s lives and provide much-needed inspiration for listeners. With this in mind, here are three tips to consider when launching a podcast.

1. Find your niche

Despite the intimidating number of podcasts available today, you can still make your mark as a host if you offer something no one else is currently doing. For example, in Positively Chaotic, special guests are invited to talk about the moments that changed their lives, the lessons they learned and all the chaos in between.

Through your podcast, you should give people a reason to listen to you instead of other podcasts in your industry. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of making your voice and delivery more appealing to your target audience

Additionally, your podcast must have an objective. Through Positively Chaotic, our goal is to provide a platform to elevate unique voices and tell stories from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds through interesting interviews. 

No matter what your subject matter is, it’s important to remember that people can tell when you are being genuine, so let your personality shine through. Think about what you’d like to share with the world — and let that guide your own journey to finding your voice and niche.

2. Preplan your content

Content is key to the podcasting world. Based on your objective, it’s important to host interesting guests and be a valuable resource to your listeners in every episode. When planning your podcast, you need to think about how frequently it will run and how long your episodes will be.

It’s also important to think about the show’s format. Consider segmenting your show to follow a set format, including an introduction, feature segment and guest interview, and closing remarks. I also recommend planning out four to six weeks of content before launching to have a great lineup for your listeners to tune into each week.

As your podcast evolves, try out a few different formats in the first couple of shows, and refine them based on feedback from your listeners. Make sure to prepare your script. I recommend writing down what you’re going to say, even if it’s just a guide. Being spontaneous will make your show unique, but using a prewritten guide will keep you on point. 

3. Have a successful launch

Once you’ve found your niche and preplanned your content, it’s time to think about your podcast guests. For maximum success when launching to the public, it is always desirable to have a high-profile guest within your industry.

For example, Positively Chaotic’s first episode featured pop superstar Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, who discussed her positively chaotic path to success and how she learned to overcome self-doubt.

When you’re brainstorming for ideas, make sure to tap into your network and invite individuals who are most passionate and knowledgeable about your given topic. Make sure to explore cross-promotional opportunities with your on-air guests to grow your audience and tap into their social networks.

In addition to authorities in your industry, other podcasters can be a great resource for new podcasters, so we recommend making an effort to develop professional relationships with them. Not only can you pick up some pointers from established podcasters, you might even be able to do some cross-promotion with them for mutual benefit. With time, your podcast will grow your business and expand your network through original, authentic content. 

According to Edison Research, more than “one-third of Americans age 12 and over (about 104 million) are consuming podcasts regularly,” and that number has been growing significantly over the last few years. So, as the podcast scene continues to balloon, this is an ideal time to start one of your own, whether it’s for your brand, business or even as a passion project.

Podcasts are a fantastic way to build a genuine connection with your network and expand it in an organic way, especially as we continue to crave unique, original content more than ever before. 

David Parnes is a director at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on InstagramJames Harris is a director at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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