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Maximizing Your Podcast’s Potential: The Benefits of Systematization
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Are you tired of feeling burnt out, struggling with podfade, and embarrassing yourself by forgetting to include the audio player on your podcast blog posts? Having a system in place is crucial for staying organized, motivated, and on top of all the various tasks involved in podcasting. In this blog post, Angela Kelly Smith explains how implementing systems and a standard operating procedure (SOP) for your podcast can help you stay on track while increasing your creativity!
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I have a strange passion for developing systems. I say strange because I hated the idea of systems for the longest time. “Why do I need some kind of structure or standard operating procedure (SOP) for my podcasts? I know what I am doing. “That’s what I always thought to myself. Wow, was I wrong about that! Now I am convinced that every podcaster needs to systematize their show. I’ll explain why and show you how to do it.
Why Do You Need a System For Your Podcast?
Over the years, I kept forgetting to include the audio player in my episode blog post on my website. You would think that I would have learned better after the first time or certainly the second time. But no, I hated systems so much that I had to make this oversight a third time to realize I needed a standard operating procedure. I could no longer keep all the steps in my head and rely on my memory to get everything done.
Second, I already had a system for grocery shopping. Before I made a grocery list, I used to run back and forth to the store in random order. So I organized my list based on how I would walk through the store. That way, I never forgot anything and never had to go back to find my items.
The last thing that convinced me I needed a system for my podcast was taking a shower. I bet you did not expect to hear this, but think about it for a moment. We all have a lot of creative ideas in the shower.
And here’s why. We always have our shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc., in a set place. We do not have to think about where they are or in what order we use them.
Now if someone moves something around or you are in a hotel room, that structure is broken. You have to think about what you are doing, or you might miss something. It takes you longer in the shower, and you do not come up with as many creative ideas. If you need a system for grocery shopping or showering, you probably need one for your podcast as well.
The 3 Main Benefits Of Having A System For Your Podcast
If you have a system, you won’t forget any steps. Think of all the steps there are in creating a podcast episode. Research, create an outline, invite a podcast guest, get a bio and photo of the guest, record, edit, upload, create cover art, add the audio player to the episode blog post, and so much more.
When you have a system frees your brain to think more creatively. This is the shower effect or the uniform effect. Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein wore the same thing every day. That meant they did not have to waste any brain power deciding what to wear.
If you are trying to remember what steps to take in creating your podcast, you are wasting brainpower that would be better spent on creativity in content creation, show promotion, or your business overall. When our brains are fixated on the details of our podcast, we lose sight of the big picture of our podcast. An SOP for your podcast can help prevent burnout and podfade.
People start podcasting and quickly realize it’s much harder than they expected. They do not have a plan or a system. They get overwhelmed and give up. Having a system for your podcast is an important way to avoid burnout and pod fade.
The Two Main SOPS You Need For Your Podcast
The two systems you need to create for your podcast are:
- A general standard operating procedure for creating each episode
- A system for onboarding guests (if you are running an interview-style show)
I will now walk you through the three steps to create any system for your podcast. This applies to both systems I mentioned above.
Brainstorm the steps you will take for the standard operating procedure you create. You can actually go through the process of creating an episode. You do not want every tiny detail to end up in your final standard operating procedure. So narrow it down to the most important points.
My standard operating procedure for creating episodes includes creating the outline, recording, designing the cover art, editing, creating the blog post, adding the audio player, and writing the post for social media. Those items incorporate smaller tasks like research, creating video clips to share, and setting up SEO.
Decide where you want to create your standard operating procedures (SOP). You have a lot of options here. The most important thing is to choose something you can duplicate because you’ll want to check things off your list as you do them. So using paper is not ideal. You do not want to rewrite your list from scratch every time you create a new episode or onboard a new guest.
I started with the Apple Notes app but outgrew that almost immediately. You can also use Word, Pages, or other word-processing programs. You can use a spreadsheet or project management system like Zoho, ClickUp, Asana, or PodcastSOP (which is what I’m currently using and recommend)
Set everything up. Once you have decided on where to host your SOP, it’s time to duplicate it for each episode or guest. This way, you’ll have every step in your standard operating procedure right in front of you because you want to check off each step you go through.
When you use PodcastSOP, you do not need to duplicate anything. You create a template where you put each step in your standard operating procedure and save it. Then when you create a new episode, you select the template, and your standard operating procedure appears in front of you. So PodcastSOP is the simplest to use.
If you are unsure which system to use for your SOP, try a few before making a final decision. I use HoneyBook for my guest onboarding and embed a sign-up form directly into a page on my website.
So I send my guests a link to it. They fill out the form, send me their photo, provide their bio, and answer questions on my website. The system then automatically sends them the scheduling link. Alternatively, you can use Google Forms or a project management system. There are many options for onboarding podcast guests.
You have learned how to create a standard operating procedure for your podcast. Now it’s a matter of applying your standard operating procedure and sticking to it. That should be simple and straightforward. When creating an episode or onboarding a guest, just open your SOP and follow it. All your steps are right there, outside your head and in your system. If you hated systems before, you might just fall in love with systems from now on.
About Angela Kelly Smith
Angela Kelly Smith is the host of The Podcast Launchpad, a co-host of the Geek Girl Soup Podcast, and the founder of the Women Podcasters Academy. She is the author of the Amazon bestseller The Podcast Launch Playbook. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, Kelly helps entrepreneurs build their online presence and authority through podcasting.
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