There comes a moment when you need to decide if your podcast will be a business venture, or a hobby.
Many people start a podcast as a hobby and then later turn it into a business, while others treat their podcast as a business right from the start.
Regardless of which way you choose to go, when you decide to turn your podcast into a business, you’ll need to create a podcast business plan.
What Belongs in a Podcast Business Plan?
When you first hear the phrase podcast business plan, it’s easy to get intimidated.
The good news you can create a podcast business plan by answering, defining or creating the following:
- Determine your reason for podcasting
- Get clear on your ideal listener
- Consider monetization strategies
- Develop an editorial calendar
- Create a marketing plan
You can open Word, a Google Doc or grab a pen and paper and fill up a single page with all of these elements.
By sticking with just these basic elements, you can get laser focused on what you need to do to make your business plan a reality.
1. Determine your reason for podcasting
Every good business plan needs a mission statement. This is your reason for creating your show.
Consider why you want to spread your message. Are you solving a problem? Spreading knowledge? What value are you offering the world?
This is also a good time to be honest with yourself about your goals of money and notoriety.
For example, are you hoping to get famous as a podcaster? If so, that’s okay – but you need to have this goal defined so you can backwards engineer how to get there.
2. Get clear on your ideal listener
You don’t want to try and create a podcast that is for everyone because it simply doesn’t exist. Instead, think about the one perfect person that needs to be listening to your show.
The reason this is so important for your podcast business plan is because it makes it easier to market and develop products for your audience to purchase. You need to know who they are, what they want, and what products and services they will get value from.
3. Consider monetization strategies
Start thinking about how you will monetize your podcasting efforts. Begin by looking at all the ways to make money podcasting.
Again, don’t overcomplicate this in the beginning. The idea of the podcaster business plan is to focus on the basics.
There is no rule that says you can’t be profitable from the beginning, but you will need to plan out how you will achieve this goal.
Think about which monetization strategies will be the most appropriate for you at first. If you need cashflow fast, you will need to plan for that too. For example, selling affiliate products before developing your own may yield returns quickly to fuel your ongoing business efforts.
Selling services is also a much faster way to monetize than building a listenership first. A healthy sized fanbase is usually necessary for things like bigger sponsorships and large amounts of donations via platforms like Patreon.
4. Develop an editorial calendar
To make quick work of the tasks ahead of you, an editorial calendar will act as the map on your journey. It ensures you always have something to record, edit, and release on a consistent basis.
Think about things like:
- How often you will release episodes
- Whether you will have seasons with scheduled hiatuses or release episodes consistently
- If your goal is to be evergreen or timely
- If you choose timely – you will need to consider the holidays and quarterly themes going on at the time of release. You will also need to keep track of current events
5. Create a marketing plan
Finally, you should think about how you will market your podcasting business.
The goal of this element of the podcast business plan is to create a rough and basic idea of how you will get the word out about the show to get started.
- Do I need to launch my website before the podcast is released, or should I launch the site before I monetize (if you are already podcasting)?
- How will I drive people to my show?
- Blog posts optimized with keywords?
- Podcast directories?
- Social media?
- Email list?
- Guest podcasting?
- Where are my listeners hanging out already?
Time to Draft Your Podcast Business Plan
Creating a business plan for your podcast is fun and you’re going to do great! Remember, this is just the beginning with the sole purpose of getting you focused on your first steps towards becoming profitable.
Once you make your first dollar, or even your first $1,000, you can always update your plan as your grow and set new goals. By starting with your plan, you’ll be moving towards your goal of turning your show into a legitimate business.