10 Steps to Start a Podcast and Grow Your Fashion Business

Fashion is visual. Podcasts are audio. Sounds like the two are not a good match, right?

Actually, no. Podcasts can be a great way to spread awareness of your fashion business and grow it as a result. Even better, you can start a podcast as a way to build a community around your fashion brand. You just have to know where (and how) to start.

You know podcasts as the favorite pastime of commuters, sports fanatics, and news enthusiasts. The truth is, though, that they can be much more. A list of the best 2019 fashion podcasts gets you anything from interviews with Keira Knightly to a discussion of fashion in the newest Avengers movie. And let’s be honest: if Chanel can host its own podcast, so can you.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s not as simple as speaking some words into your phone and hoping for the best. Podcasting is a complex marketing strategy that can pay off with serious advantages for your business, but it is still complex. Break it down, though, and it becomes achievable even for one-(wo)man fashion businesses. These are your 10 steps to start a podcast and grow your fashion business.

1) Get Some Inspiration Before You Start a Podcast

Especially if you’re not that familiar with podcasts yet, start listening. Find some fashion podcasts, and dive in. The list of the best 2019 podcasts linked above is a great start, but don’t be afraid to branch out. The key here is just familiarizing yourself with the medium, knowing what others are doing before you dive in yourself. Pay special attention to podcasts that are about more than just industry news, and instead are trying to build those connections with their listeners.

2) Find Your Niche

Based on that research in the first step, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to do. The last thing on your mind should be copying a great idea you heard elsewhere. Instead, try to find your niche, a unique topic or unique angle on a common topic that you keep coming back to. Ideally, that niche relates directly to the work you’re doing in the fashion industry.

3) Choose Your Name

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to get through these first few steps. Finding the right niche is complicated. And even once you’re done with that, choosing a name needs some time.

You really have two options here: find a descriptive name that tells the audience exactly what your podcast is about, or a clever name that your audience will quickly catch on to. If you can do both, you’ve hit the jackpot. In most cases, though, one of the two will be enough.

4) Build the Structure

From the brainstorming, you go into the technical details. This is where you really start to think things through as you start to explore what is possible within your niche. Think about:

  • The format of the podcast. Will it just be you, will someone co-host with you, or will you interview guests in the fashion industry?
  • The length of each episode. You can find podcasts out there with episode lengths of 2 hours or more. Others are just 15 minutes long. What seems to be your ideal length?
  • The frequency. Once a day? Probably not. Once a week? Maybe. Only based on specific fashion events? It’s up to you, but you’ll want to set a regular schedule to set expectations.

As you consider these variables, always bring it back to your audience. What gets them most engaged, most feeling like they’re part of the podcast rather than just listening to it? That’s what makes this medium so special: a genuine feeling of community between listeners and hosts.

5) Find Your Voice

Podcasts succeed and fail based on their host’s ability to relate with their audience. This is a conversational medium, and every listener has to feel like they’re just having a chat with you. Within that, of course, you have a ton of options.

Fun, edgy, informatic, historic, or a little bit of all of the above? It’s up to you, but you should define it early to stay consistent.

6) Get the Right Equipment

Don’t worry: you don’t need fancy equipment or even a professional studio to start a podcast. At the same time, you should definitely make sure that you have at least some good equipment on hand to enhance the quality.

You can find a good microphone that blocks out background noise for $75 to $200. Make sure you have a microphone for each guest, though. To edit the sound, basic apps like GarageBand and Audacity are more than enough.

7) Choose a Platform

Yes, your podcasts will be available on iTunes and similar platforms. But the audio files actually have to be hosted on an internal server.

This podcasting tutorial provides a great overview of where to look for one, and what you have to keep in mind. It also includes helpful information on how to list the podcast on the right platforms once it’s uploaded.

8) Don’t Forget About the Thumbnail

Once your podcast does make it into the right apps, your thumbnail becomes one of its most important elements. It’s what everyone sees when they search for fashion podcasts on their phone or computer. Design one (or use a service like Fiverr) that reflects your title and stands out among the thousands of tiles for competing podcasts.

9) Stay Persistent

Podcasting is not easy. Your first episodes may not be great. In fact, you might not even want to publish them. It takes months, and sometimes years, to climb your way up the charts and get serious amounts of listeners. Once you do, though, the podcast tends to take off.

That’s where the benefits of podcasting, in the fashion industry and elsewhere, really come into play. You begin to build a loyal listener base that naturally wants to become your customers as well. You build thought leadership alongside the peers and fashion experts you have on as guests. And of course, you build your content library over time as a natural promotional tool for your fashion business.

10) Promote, Promote, Promote

Especially at the beginning, you won’t easily be found on most podcasting platforms. Instead, you have to do your own legwork to push out new episodes. Leverage your digital channels, from social media to email marketing, to introduce your audience to the podcast. You might even want to try some digital ads to build initial momentum.

And of course, you should ask your audience to review your podcast. Apple and Google’s ratings systems for podcasts are the major rankings factor in climbing up the charts and gaining new listeners.

Podcasting is not easy. It’s hard, and requires both equipment and knowledge of the medium. The benefits once you get it right, though, are immense. Especially in the fashion industry, this just might be your ticket to rapid business growth and a devoted following that eagerly waits for every new episode to download. Follow the above steps, and see where podcasting takes you. Have you already tried to start a podcast? Let us know how it’s gone!

Contributor
Contributor

StartUp FASHION is an online community where independent designers and emerging brands are coming together, helping one another, forming friendships, collaborating, letting off steam, sharing victories, and belonging to a network of people who get it; who are doing it too. We’re a place to access and discover the tools and information you need to build your fashion business. We help you define your path and give you the guidance, encouragement, and resources to follow that path.

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