It’s hard to believe that some of the most popular podcasts out there started as just a fun and exciting hobby. But it’s true! And as it turns out, podcasting can be a super lucrative business.
What does every business need? A well-formulated business plan! A business plan is basically required for anyone who is ready to treat podcasting as their full-time gig. It can show you where your channel stands today and help you outline where it is heading. AND, it can help you keep track of goals, targets, milestones, business strategies, and so much more.
A good-quality business plan will make your podcasting journey more meaningful, less stressful, and ultimately, increase your odds of success. So, let’s go over how to write a business plan for your podcast. We’ve also included a podcast business plan template that will help you organize all your information & get you started on the right track!
How To Write A Business Plan For A Podcast
Determine your WHY.
The first step to writing a business plan for your podcast is to create your mission statement. Why are you starting a podcast? What are you most passionate about? Which niche will your podcast fall into? And what are your long-term goals? Before writing your script or recording your first episode, make sure podcasting is something you could actually see yourself doing as a business owner.
Explore your chosen niche.
Second, take some time to explore your chosen niche. Your niche is whatever “category” your podcast will fall into. Examples include, but are not limited to, food, beauty & makeup, news and current events, reality TV, and parenting. Here at Dear Media, we host a variety of shows that fall within a variety of different niches. If you need a little niche inspo, check out our shows page.
Exploring your chosen niche is important for a couple of reasons. First, to ensure that you’ll be able to create enough content in your niche and that it’s what you’re really passionate about. You don’t want to be five episodes in when you realize there’s nothing left to talk about and all your passion is gone. It’s also a good idea to research other podcasts in your niche and explore their content. This will help you determine what works (and what doesn’t work) in your niche.
Identify your ideal listener.
When you sit down to record your podcast, who are you talking to? In other words, who is your target audience? A key step in the creation of your business plan is to create a profile (or profiles) of your ideal listener. Once you’ve developed a clear picture of who you’re targeting, you can better gear your content towards this audience.
Ask yourself these questions as you construct your listener profile(s): Are they male or female? How old are they? What are their interests? Their likes and dislikes? Which social media platform do they utilize the most? What topics are they most interested in? Then, use these answers to construct comprehensive profiles of your main audiences.
Create an overview of your podcast.
Next, create an overview or executive summary of your podcast. Include the type of podcast (solo, co-host, or interview), your mission statement, your niche, your ideal listener, and a brief description of what your podcast will have to offer. The executive summary is basically a summary of your plan. It’s something you can use to keep yourself on track and remind you of your long-term goals. It’s also something you can use when pitching your podcast to a sponsor or ad network, or when hiring potential employees.
Create a budget that works for you.
Did you know that you could start a podcast with minimal investment? Well you totally can! But first, you’ll need to create a budget that works for you. This goes for your monetary investment and your time investment. Not only will you need to budget for investments in technology and personnel, but also the time you might spend away from home and/or your job. Especially if you’re starting a podcast as a side hustle.
For tips on how to start a business with low investment, click here!
Invest in the right equipment.
Choosing and investing in the right podcasting equipment is probably the most daunting task on this list. And it’s no wonder why, considering the equipment you choose will be based on both your budget and your needs. No matter how much capital you have set aside for equipment, there are some key pieces of equipment you’ll need right out the gate. Here’s a comprehensive list of everything you need to start a podcast.
Need help researching and finding the equipment that’s right for you? Check out these articles:
- How to Setup a Podcast Studio
- 10 Best Podcast Recording Software
- 8 Best Audio Mixers for Podcasts
- 10 Best Cameras for Podcasting
Develop your editorial calendar.
In this competitive podcasting industry, consistency is key. This is why developing an editorial calendar is so important when it comes to the success of your podcast. Most successful podcasts release 1-2 podcasts, each and every week. That’s a lot of content to research, create, record, edit, and release on a regular basis! So, in order to help you stay on track and keep the content flowing, you’ll need to create a comprehensive weekly calendar of events, and STICK TO IT!
Your editorial calendar should include your podcast topics, as well as the due dates for all your deliverables. Deliverables might include recording dates, editing dates, publishing dates, and so on. Your calendar should also include who is responsible for each deliverable, especially if you have more than one person on your podcasting team. We recommend using a tool like Trello, Asana, or Google Calendar to organize your schedule.
Create your marketing plan.
Now it’s time to decide how you’ll promote your show. How will you draw those listeners in and grow your podcast? There are tons of ways to promote your podcast, from building email lists and booking relevant guests, to supercharging your SEO strategy and asking for reviews. For a list of 20 ways to promote your podcast, click here!
When it comes to podcasts, however, the most popular and effective marketing strategy is via social media. Depending on your chosen niche, the majority of your followers will most likely be found on Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, or Twitter. Establishing your brand on social media will not only help you reach tons more potential listeners, but it will also increase your audience engagement and credibility within your niche.
Consider monetization strategies.
How will your podcast make money? This is the million-dollar question on almost every podcaster’s mind. Turns out, there are tons of ways you can make some serious cash via podcasting. Think merch, premium content, ads & sponsors, affiliate links, and so on. Need some more money making inspo? Check out our list of 12 ways to make money podcasting.
Hire some help (if needed).
Does the whole podcast producing process seem super overwhelming? Would you rather just do all the talking and let someone else handle the behind-the-scenes stuff? That’s totally normal! If this sounds like you, don’t be afraid to hire some help. Instead of struggling to do everything yourself, consider hiring a marketing manager, a podcast producer, an audio engineer, or writer/editor. After all, teamwork makes the dream work, right?
Create a plan for your podcast today!
Creating your podcast is one thing. Turning it into a successful business is another. But, starting a podcast doesn’t have to be hard, especially with Dear Media in your corner. We’ve got you covered on everything from how to launch and monetize your show to podcast marketing and script writing. Your dreams of creating a podcast business are right around the corner, so let’s get to it!
For more on all things podcasting, head on over to the Dear Media Blog. And, as always, feel free to drop all your questions and comments below!
Podcast Business Plan Template
Who are your competitors? What do they do well (and not so well)? What can you offer that they can’t?
Who is your ideal listener? Create a listener profile including your listeners ideal gender, age, occupation, likes, dislikes, hobbies, interests, social media preference, etc.
Give a brief description of your podcast and what it will have to offer. You can include your niche, topic ideas, guest/interview ideas, and a list of goals.
Create a comprehensive monetary budget. Note any start-up fees, equipment costs, hosting costs, studio costs, and marketing costs. You may also want to create a time budget, where you decide how much time you have available to devote to podcasting, in addition to other time-consuming activities.
Make a list of necessary equipment and their costs. Here, you can also include equipment research and price comparisons.
Create your editorial calendar. When will you release episodes? How often? Decide which tool you will use for organization and start adding your topics and due dates.
How will you promote your podcast? List your marketing strategies. Examples include email lists, social media, word of mouth, being a guest on another podcast, inviting a relevant guest to your podcast, and so on.
How will you monetize your podcast? List your monetization strategies. Examples include ads and sponsors, selling merch or premium content, affiliate links, etc.
How will you manage your team? Define individual roles, responsibilities, and deliverables.