Create a podcast to promote yourself as a designer

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With so many things competing for our attention, it’s worth looking at different ways of promoting yourself. One of the ways to get your design noticed about 10 years ago was to start a blog. There were far fewer design blogs back then. So to be a designer who also blogged about their process and the industry got attention. It was one of the ways I got clients. Design blogging is now quite saturated, however far fewer designer’s have podcasts.

According to Ofcom.org.uk podcast listening is booming in the UK –

“Podcasts are booming in the UK, with nearly 6 million adults now tuning in each week”

“The number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in five years – from 3.2m (7% of adults aged 15+) in 2013 to 5.9m (11%) in 2018.”Should you have an audio or video design podcast?

So if you’re a designer looking to promote yourself online, consider creating a podcast. You could create a video based podcast if you want to visually show off your design skills. However, the advantage of audio is that people can listen to them anywhere, such as while commuting or at the gym.

How to help your target audience with your design podcast

When you are thinking about what topics you might cover on your podcast, think what would be helpful for your target audience. Imagine you wanted to appeal to small businesses, you could create a list of show topics on marketing their business. For example, you could offer tips for how they could create simple graphics themselves, tips for improving their photos and tips on how to brief a graphic designer. Think about a list of questions that your target market might have that you can answer too. You can make a show based on the answers to their questions. 

Demonstrate your design knowledge and let people get to know you

They say that for people to buy your product or service they need to know, like and trust you. A podcast lets you do all those things. You can demonstrate that you have an in-depth knowledge of design, plus alongside that, you can show your personality. It’s much easier to get a feel for whether you like someone when you can actually either hear their voice or see them.

Interview people you admire and make connections

You don’t just have to do your podcast on your own though. You could team up with a co-host, maybe someone in a related industry like a marketer. Alternatively, you could interview guest on your show that would also be of interest to your target audience. For example, you might interview a social media expert who can provide tips for small businesses or a copywriter with advice on writing marketing copy. Not only are you providing value to your audience, but you are also building connections with people who might potentially be able to put design work your way. Plus it’s likely that your guests will share the interview with their audience which also expands your podcast’s reach.

You become perceived as a design expert

As your design podcast show grows and you build an audience, you will start to be perceived as an expert in your field. This means more people will remember your name/your company name. So if they need a designer, it’s far more likely that they will reach out to you.

So how do you start a podcast?Draft out a design podcast episode

Once you have a list of potential ideas for your podcast, or a list of guests, start drafting out an episode. Write down in bullet points the things you want to cover. Then go back and expand on each of the bullet points until you are ready to record.

How to record your podcast

I would suggest getting yourself a decent USB microphone and some headphones. You could also use a headset when you are just starting out, but the sound can be a little tinny. There are lots of different ways to record your podcast depending on your needs. If you are recording solo and you have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, then you have access to Adobe Audition. Adobe Audition lets you both record and edit sound and there are plenty of free tutorials on Youtube to help you learn the basics. You could also use Garage Band which comes with Mac computers. For free software check out the popular open source program Audacity. You could also record a solo episode on an iPad or phone with a compatible microphone and app.

If you are recording with a co-host or guest that is not in the same location you could use Skype. Skype now has its own inbuilt call recorder. However, both people are recorded on one track (one recording – which is not ideal for editing). Instead, if you are on a Mac you can purchase Ecamm Call Recorder or Pamela for Skype for PC. These will let you record so you end up with two recorded tracks, one for each person. A free online alternative option for recording up to 3 people per call is Zencastr. Zencastr lets you create a link which you can then share with your guest. Then simply click record and you’re good to go.

Adobe Audition, Audacity and Garageband can all be used to edit your podcast once you’ve recorded it.

Intro music for your podcast

You may also want to source intro music for your podcast. There are plenty of paid royalty free sound libraries you can use, such as Pond5 and Audio Network. For free music try Free Music Archive.Podcast Hosting

There are several major players in podcast hosting such as Libsyn, Blubrry, Podbean. Podbean is my favourite as it’s really simple to use and inexpensive for unlimited audio podcasts. It’s very easy to upload your podcast and schedule it. Podbean has a WordPress plugin that you can use to display your podcast on your website or blog too.

Create graphics for your podcast

Create a square graphic that represents your brand and podcast. This will be required to submit your podcast to directories like Apple Podcast, Google Play and Stitcher. Podbean also has its own directory. Through Podbean you also have the option to automatically submit your podcast to Youtube. If you create a square image for each episode Podbean will automatically convert your audio to video using that image.

Sharing your podcast

Start by sharing your podcast to podcast directories. Then for each episode, you can create images with quotes or video snippets to share on social media. To create a simple video clip, find a section of the audio up to 1 minute long, create an image to go with the clip and then combine them using an app like Headliner to combine them. Of course don’t forget to share your podcast with your existing contacts too, and ask friends and family to help spread the word.

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