The rise in technology has created thousands of jobs that didn’t exist in the 20th century. Over 30 years ago, who would have thought you could quit your nine-to-five job and make a living talking about the things you love? For many, podcasting has transitioned into a full-time job.
If you’re taking the next step in your podcasting journey and transitioning from hobby to career, you’ll need a podcast business plan. While business plans aren’t the most exciting thing to write, they ensure that you have the best chance at success.
This post will outline how to write a business plan for a podcast so you can grow your podcast business.
Do you need a podcast business plan?
The simple answer is yes. Any podcaster who’s been in the podcasting space for a while will tell you that it’s best to develop a business plan for podcast success. Planning helps you know what you have to do and when.
If you want to take your show seriously and make money from it, then, like any other business venture, it’s best to have a plan in place. Even if you’re not planning to become the next Joe Rogan (a famous podcaster and comedian), having a plan allows you to enjoy the process and avoid making it unnecessarily laborious.
A business plan is like using a recipe when baking a cake – you know exactly what you need ahead of time.
Here’s an overview of how to write up a business plan for your podcast:
- Mission statement
- Know your audience
- Establish your team
- Work out your budget
- Create a content calendar
- Create a marketing plan
- Think about monetization
The main reasons to have a plan are to understand the purpose of your podcast and increase your chances of success. Read below for the breakdown of each of these steps.
1. Mission statement – Identify the why
Before you start designing merch and organizing giveaways, identify your mission statement or the “why” behind your podcast. Podcasting is no small undertaking, so identifying your reason for starting your podcast business will be the fire that pushes you forward when things get difficult.
Be honest with yourself so you can define what success really means to you. If you want to build a content strategy for an existing customer base, you may not be as interested in monetization as you are in developing a strong listenership.
If you want to become famous, however, you’ll have to follow the pros and figure out how to build your brand to that level.
2. Know your target audience
You can’t please everyone. This is especially true with podcasting due to the niche nature of the medium. A business plan for a podcast will help you determine who your ideal listener is and how you can reach them through your content.
In a consumer-driven industry, the best brands are user-centric. Figure out what your target audience needs and use your content to solve that need.
3. Establish your team and divvy up roles
Now that you know the mission and your audience, it’s time to assemble your team. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was it built by a single person. Identify your podcasting team and determine what each person will be responsible for.
If you are working alone, that’s perfectly fine! While it will be more work for one person, it’s definitely possible. If that’s the case, try outsourcing some of the work to take some weight off your shoulders. Play to your strengths and consider finding a partner or hiring a freelancer to help with your less skilled areas.
4. Work out your budget
Any business plan will require a budget, and a podcast business plan is no different. If you don’t already have a podcast budget, create one. Podcasting is not as expensive as filmmaking, but it will take some financial resources to get started and keep going.
Spreadsheets are a great tool that many entrepreneurs (podcasters and otherwise) use to keep track of their resources. Your spreadsheet can include some necessary expenses. These can include:
- Hosting network fees
- Marketing costs
- Paying personnel or freelancers
Podcasts are a lot of work, so remember to budget your time in addition to money. On a separate page, log the amount of time you can allot to things like recording, editing and publishing episodes. Be sure to factor in your marketing needs, like running your website and social media pages.
5. Create a content calendar
Develop a content calendar as part of your business plan for podcast success and peace of mind. A calendar will help you plan your content creation and posting schedule in advance so you can execute it one day at a time.
Continuing with the recipe analogy, a content calendar is like laying out all of your ingredients in front of you and pre-measuring them so you can simply add things as needed.
Here you can plan the release schedule, also determine if your content themes will coincide with holidays or remain universal.
6. Create a marketing plan
Your podcast business plan needs a marketing strategy. How will you market your podcast as a product or service and get the word out to your audience? Determine what methods you want to use and when you want to launch them. You can integrate this as part of your content creation plan.
Having a presence on the right platforms or channels will promote your show within your niche and establish your brand authority. Some common marketing strategies include creating a podcast website to centralize the information from your business or email marketing campaigns to directly connect your audience.
7. Think about monetization
Even if you’re just starting out, if you’re hoping to eventually develop your show into a career, consider monetization.
Every business plan should always note the expenses and potential income streams. Podcast monetization can help your show sustain itself and even generate a profit. Check that your hosting network has applicable monetization features, as not all do.
With Podbean, podcasters can choose from a variety of monetization features, including the ads marketplace and paid content or patron features.
If you want to turn your podcasting hobby into a business, it’s best to have a plan. Without one, the process will become stressful at best and unsuccessful at worst. A business plan is the best way you can grow your podcast.
The right network can make or break your business. That’s why hobbyists and professional podcasters alike choose Podbean. Podcasting takes work, but Podbean makes podcasting simple.
Start your free trial today.