Hannibal Smith said it best when his A-Team’s plan, well, came together. What a great show but an even better piece of advice! And that’s my piece of advice for starting a new podcast in this blog post.
Full disclosure, I was a planner at birth. No, seriously. At 7 years old I’d actually write out what I was going to do the next day. That list usually consisted of Earth shattering reminders like, pick up GI Joe figures, call Gram, see if Pammy is home, etc, etc. As I got older planning seemed to just make sense. Now, there are people that don’t buy into the whole planning theory and those people will usually crap on your plans. We ignore those folks because us planners have the intuition and foresight to see into the future.
The day I got fired in radio I got in my car, came home and immediately wrote a business plan for this podcast. It started with a 3 month plan packed with all kinds of goals. Then, when I got done with that, the 6 month plan was written and so on and so on. You get the picture.
The 3 month plan was as follows. 1) Get a good audience base out of the gates. 2) Sign as many sponsors as possible. 3) Prepare for the next phase by getting on different platforms. 4) Most importantly, don’t sweat it. Relax. Have fun. You’re the boss now.
I’m happy to say that all of those goals have been achieved because there was a plan in place. Each one of these goals took time, effort, teamwork and patience. Patience by the way, not my strong suite.
1) Get a good audience base out of the gates.
This, we had an edge because we already had a following. Yeah, there were a good number of people that were angry we were no longer at the station but mostly it was people just wanting to support the new venture. When the content started coming out people realized that it’s good stuff and now a new way to be entertained and essentially became part of their everyday routine. The challenge after 3 months is continuing to find a new audience in that big universe that is the internet. We started to reach outside of our diehards organically. That’s a big positive moving forward.
2) Sign as many sponsors as possible.
When we launched we had about 12 sponsors signed in the first week. The only analytics we had to go off was from the free Wednesday show. Most of these sponsors signed up because they believe in the talent and where the podcast can go. That was a really good feeling knowing this. I remember calling one of our sponsors and just as I started with the big pitch he cuts me off. He says, “Jason. I’ve known you for years. I listened to the radio because of you. I’ve seen you do things in and outside of the radio business and they all had 100% effort and success. I don’t need to know the rest of the details. Just tell me how much to make the check out for and where to send it.” I was so flattered I wanted to shed some tears. So, I replied with, “Checks? Who sends checks anymore? Got Venmo or Zelle?” This sponsor is one of biggest to date and is getting a good ROI from the podcast.
I wanted the sponsors to know, especially the smaller companies, we’re in this together. We’re infants on this playground just waiting for our turn to be asked to play kickball with the big boys. So, let’s grow together in this digital space. A planned approach here is working. Honestly, relationships and a plan moving forward seems to be a good recipe.
3) Prepare for the next phase by getting on different platforms.
This was very important in the initial planning process for numerous reasons. We of course want exposure everywhere! We use Spotify’s Anchor to house the podcast. It’s great by the way. I wanted to make sure by the end of the first 3 months we had visibility on YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram and Facebook. Since we are a subscription podcast we don’t release the full length video on YouTube. That just wouldn’t make any sense. But, we do release what we call “snaps.” Short pieces of video content and then ask people to subscribe to listen to the whole thing. Also, this gives us the ability for more exposure for our clients without the clutter of the commercials on the podcast. We offer sponsorship opportunities for YouTube, Tik Tok and the small video clips (Headliners) we release on all platforms.
4) Most importantly, don’t sweat it. Relax. Have fun. You’re the boss now.
You don’t realize how much stress and pressure goes into hosting a morning show until you’re no longer getting up at 3:30am and playing babysitter. Because I am a planner my days consisted of getting up at 3:30am, doing the show from 6-10, little post work, coming home and taking a quick nap, doing some type of exercise but making sure I’m back at my house by 4:30p to plan the show for the next day. I’m not complaining because that is how I tick. I’ve been like that for all of my shows. But, I always wondered if I were to get into the podcast world how’d my schedule be? Would I be more relaxed? Less stressed? Able to do more things with my family? The answer across the board is yes. Now, sometimes I start to get a bit jittery but that’s just because I want perfection and success and I want it yesterday. So, I tell myself, don’t sweat it. Relax. Have fun. Goosefraba!
In closing, and this is just my opinion, but planning is an essential part to success. I just covered the business aspect of my planning and didn’t even get into the show content planning. That is a whole other ball of wax. Maybe a future blog post, who knows.
If you want an “A-team” then I’d highly suggest some planning before you start. Set goals for yourself and your team. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Designate roles for everyone on the team on and off the air. This by the way is a lost artform in the radio business. I think it’s because somewhere in the past 20 years the sensitivity storm sprinkled baby wah wah tears on everyone. Plan for your future and celebrate the small victories. Just as I’m wishing you luck, wish us luck back because if you’re reading this then there’s a good chance you’re in the same badass black van just trying to win the war!
Host /Creator / The Bailey Show Podcast