Today, I’m going to share my new obsession: creating a private podcast in under 30 minutes!
Private Podcasts are a great way to expand your email list by tapping into people’s curiosity and FOMO. When you mention the word “private,” it grabs attention, making people want to know more.
So, let’s dive in! I’ll walk you through every step of setting up your private podcast, suggest some podcast topics, and show you how you to effectively promote it to your Instagram audience in exchange for their email addresses.
Podcast Set Up
Here’s a simple roadmap to get you going:
- Start by going to Hello Audio and signing up for a free trial.
- In the top-right corner, click on “Create New Feed.”
- Choose “Create Private” under the private feed section.
- Give your episode a title (no need to stress over it; you can change it later).
- Opt for “Instant” as the type of feed.
- Fill in your name as the author and your website info. If you don’t have a website, don’t worry! You can use a Linktree or Stanstore link, or quickly create a landing page in Leadpages.
Next Up: Add a feed image for your episode. I managed to create an image in Canva in just under 2 minutes:
- Open Canva and click “Create Design” in the upper-right corner.
- Choose “Custom Size” and set it to “3000×3000” – the recommended image size for the feed photo.
- Look on the left for the “Search Templates” bar.
- Type in “podcast cover” to discover design options.
- Once you find one you like, make it your own and customize it.
- After you’re done editing, save the image.
- Return to Hello Audio and upload your image as the feed image.
- Don’t forget to hit “Save Feed.”
Episode Length and Topics
I decided early on that I didn’t want this to eat up too much of my time, so I made every episode a “shortie episode” – around 3-5 minutes long. This is important, because some agents hear the word “podcast” and think they have to talk for hours. Start short and sweet; you can always go longer later on if you want. I’ve noticed that lengthy podcasts can be a turn-off; sometimes, I just want a quick 10-minute episode while I’m on my way to a showing or grabbing coffee. Also, I promised myself I’d record each episode a maximum of 3 times, no more. And if I stumbled over my words, who cares! It adds a touch of authenticity.
Now, you might be wondering, “What the hell should I talk about?” No worries! I’ve got some tips for you. Head over to Google and type in “Weird neighborhoods in [Your Town].” For instance, since I’m in Washington, DC, one of the top results that caught my eye was an article from Thrillist called The Funkiest Places in Washington, DC.
This article is a goldmine of fascinating topics, like:
- A tourist hotspot known as the Mansion on O St, with 100 rooms and 70 secret doors, including an amnesia room.
- Those famous steps from “The Exorcist” (I’d rather do literally anything else than watch a scary movie, but those steps are quite the attraction)
- A quirky pond with Barbies that change outfits based on the seasons, right in the front yard of a row house in Logan Circle (you really have to see it to believe it.)
The idea here is to engage your audience with captivating topics that grab their attention right away. Don’t get stuck just talking about interest rates for 3-5 minutes. By exploring cool places in your hometown, you’re cementing the idea that you’re the go-to expert in your neighborhood.
Upload and Promote Your Private Podcast
Now that you’ve recorded your episode, what’s next?
- Upload your recording into Hello Audio
- Click on it at the bottom of your screen and hit “publish.”
- Go back to that episode and click “copy sharable link.”
Now, Hello Audio has its own opt-in form and an option to integrate with Zapier, but it’s $90 a month. I chose to create my own opt-in form using Leadpages. This is where things might get a bit technical, but stay with me; we’re almost there!
- Head to Leadpages.
- Click “Create New Landing Page.”
- There are plenty of options, but I went with this one:
- Click “Start Building.”
- Give your page a name.
- Click “Continue.”
- Start editing the text.
I’ve found that simple landing pages work best. You want to convey your message clearly and effectively, without too much fluff. I even use periods at the end of my buttons and all caps; it may sound silly, but it gives a more direct command: “LISTEN HERE.” vs. “Listen Here!” The period implies they need to click that button and listen.
Once you’re done editing, hit “publish!” Then, head over to Zapier.
- Click “New Zap.”
- Click on “Trigger.”
- Search for Leadpages.
- Click on “Event” and choose “new form Submission” from the dropdown.
- Click “Continue.”
- Under Trigger, select your Leadpages form from the dropdown menu (it should auto-populate).
- Click “Continue,” then “Test.”
- Search for your email service provider (I use Flodesk).
- Choose “Event: Create/update subscriber.”
- Click “Continue” and select “Email” from the dropdown (it should display as “email@example.com”).
- Select the Email Segment where you want them to go.
- Click “Publish Zap!”
It should look like this when you’re all done!
This setup grabs the contact info from your landing page and adds it to your email list. Next:
- Go into Flodesk.
- Click on “Workflows.”
- Create a “New Workflow.”
- Pick a template you like.
- Customize it.
- Add a brief description of your episode.
- Grab that shareable link from Hello Audio and add it to your email. (Many of the templates already have a button in them; just click the button and add your shareable audio link.)
- Click on “Trigger.”
- Select the segment you picked in Zapier.
- Publish it.
It should look like this when you’re done:
Now, anyone who opts into your Leadpages form is automatically sent your podcast episode and added to your email list! If this tech stuff isn’t your jam, remember that you can post a simple story on your Instagram and say, “Reply to this story with your email if you want my latest podcast episode on the weirdest neighborhoods in DC.” Then you can manually send out your episode.
Now, it’s time to promote your episode! I’ve found that simple Instagram Stories work best:
- Use a black background.
- Write a brief description of what the episode is about.
- Include a link to your Leadpages form.
- Add a white arrow pointing to the link.
This straightforward approach is super effective!
Creating a private podcast in under 30 minutes is an exciting and effective way to grow your email list while keeping your audience engaged. Don’t overcomplicate it—follow these steps, find intriguing topics, and promote your episodes with straightforward Instagram Stories.
Remember, it’s all about connecting with your audience and showcasing your expertise in a fun and accessible way. So, go ahead and dive into the world of private podcasting; your audience is waiting to hit that “Listen Here” button. Happy podcasting!