... and the lessons you can learn from my experience.
On February 11 2021, My Fashion Stories Box Podcast’s first episodes were airing. It was the start of a beautiful adventure and I never regretted taking this leap.
I started to listen to podcasts when the pandemic started with the lockdowns. I really enjoyed this format and all the things I could learn while doing more manual activities and then walking when going out was permitted. It was a way for me to create headspace.
However, I thought that it would be too difficult for me to launch my own podcast, without even starting my researches! I had an idea but I thought it wouldn’t be interesting for people or I won’t look professional enough.
Anyway, I did do launch My Fashion Stories Box Podcast and here are the steps I followed to launch it in 2 months.
How I launched my podcast in 8 easy steps
Step 1: I fought with my imposter syndrome
The biggest challenge you can have when you start any new venture is this little voice in your head telling you that you are not going to succeed. For me, this voice was particularly strong when I started listening to other podcasts dedicated to fashion history. It was telling me I would never be or look as professional as these fashion historians, that everybody will laugh at me, that my voice wasn’t nice… I let you fill in everything this little voice can tell you.
It’s when I finally actively working on my podcast that the voice shut up… for a while.
My advice for you to help fighting the imposter syndrome: start actually working on your podcast. Being active will show the little voice in your head that you are serious, no matter what it tells you about your drawbacks compared to the others.
Step 2: I benchmarked the fashion history podcasts market
Once I became serious about having my own podcast and determined the topic I wanted to talk about, fashion history, I went to Apple Podcasts and I started looking for other podcasts on the same topic. I entered keywords linked with my topic. I started following some podcasts and listened to their contents.
My advice to you once you are willing to launch a podcast is 1) to determine the general topic of your podcast (coaching, tips, stories, Antiquity, true crime,...) and 2) to look at what’s already on the market on podcast directories (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify,...). Start following some of them and listening to their contents.
Step 3: I took notes of what I liked in the podcasts I was listening to
Not just the podcasts linked with the general topic I wanted to have for my own podcast, but also the ones I was listening for pleasure. It helped me to determine the tone of voice I wanted to have (not too serious), the way I wanted to present my content and so on.
The podcast which acted as a big source of inspiration and decision maker was Let’s Talk about Myths Baby by Liv Albert. It was so much fun to listen about her unconventional way to talk about Greek mythology and I was batch listening to the episodes, looking forward for the next one. I decided to have the same approach in my telling fashion history, a topic usually people take very seriously.
I am not a fashion historian or academician and what’s interesting for me are the small, sometimes funny always unexpected small stories inside the BIG Fashion History.
So, thank you Liv Albert for having been an inspiration to launch my own podcast, if you happen to read this post!
I also started to follow the podcasts or podcasters on Instagram to see what kind of additional contents they were sharing to go along with their podcasts’ episodes. This is how I developed the concept of Visual Diaries for each episode for Instagram and Facebook, a more complete blogpost for My Blog on my website and, then, an audiogram with a teaser to give people the will to listen to the full episode. I also added a dedicated page on my website with all the podcast’s episodes.
My advice to you is to really listen to other podcasts, to follow them on social media, to see what kind of content/actions they do to promote their episodes. Take note of what you like, what feels closer to your personality and adapt them to your own podcast.
Step 4: I worked on My Fashion Stories Box Podcast concept
After all my research and benchmark, it was time for me to sit down, look at my notes and brainstorm on my own podcast.
I had a dedicated notebook in which I noted every idea I had regarding the podcast.
The general concept was fashion history, a topic I enjoyed teaching at the fashion school and for which students had interests. They always told me that they liked my teaching way, that it wasn’t boring, it was as if they attended a show, as if they were listening to stories as I was always adding something personal in my classes.
Based on these feedbacks, I decided to focus on the vulgarisation of fashion history, on the small, insignificant stories. That’s how I had the concept: a podcast about stories in fashion history.
My objectives were:
to tell stories about fashion, the fashion world, fashion history
to put together anecdotes, funny stories about the way people used to dress in the past
to talk about the different traditions and costumes through history and all over the world
to review books
to interview designers
to analyse fashion weeks’ catwalk shows looking for historical and cultural inspirations
to analyse historical films and series
Then, I worked on the name of the podcast. I had in mind something linked with the small stories inside the BIG History. In France, we have a series, La Petite Histoire de France (The Small History of France) which tells the History of France through the eyes of anonymous people (the niece of Napoleon, the cousin of Jeanne d’Arc,...). It’s very funny, very light and I really liked it. Based on that, I came with names such as “La Petite Histoire de la Mode”, “Les Petites Histoires de la Mode” which sounded great in French but not that much in English. And, as my podcast was to be in English to cater to an international audience, I decided to have a name in English.
So I decided to play with the words “stories”, “fashion” and “box” as I saw my podcast as a box you would open to pick up a story and as my company name also had “box” in it. I added “My”, as a way for people to appropriate the podcast when they would talk about it and it gave “My Fashion Stories Box Podcast”!
My advice to you would be to spend some time on your podcast’s concept: what is it that you want to do, to achieve with it? Look also at what makes you unique compared to the others. You may have a different approach on the same topic, a way to speak about complex notions people will easily understand and so on. Work on your podcast’s objectives and then summarize them in one line. And finally, work on a name which will reflect your podcast’s concepts, objectives and personality.
Step 5: I researched on what was needed to launch a podcast
I read posts, articles, subscribed to newsletters, downloaded guides to understand what was required to launch and run a podcast. And, in fact, it wasn’t as difficult and scary as I first thought it would be.
In short, to launch your podcast you need:
a microphone (I use Samson Go Mic)
A hosting platform (after some benchmark I ended up choosing Buzzsprout)
A soundtrack (I benchmarked some music websites and ended up asking my downstairs neighbours in Istanbul who were a music production studio if I could use one of their musics. The one I use is Patara by Cagan Tunali from NoiseIst Records)
A general understanding on how to structure your podcast: an intro, a body, an outro (conclusion)
What you need to have ready for the launching day: a trailer and the 3 first episodes already published on podcasts directories (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify,...)
The only investment I made, apart from my time and energy, was for the microphone and the music. The first 3 months on Buzzsprout were free and I started to pay once I was sure I would go on with podcasting in order to have all my episodes stored on the hosting platform.
My advice to you is not to be too much engrossed in your research. The more you read, the more you might ending up understanding that podcasting is complicated, not for you and you might abandon your idea at that stage. So, yes, read, get prepared but don’t read too much. It might be counterproductive.
Step 6: I learned the skills and practiced (still practicing)
I already more or less knew how to edit, having tried it several years ago, but my skills were quite rusty.
So, as soon as I received my microphone, I did a series of tests, trials and, of course, errors to record and edit.
My advice to you is it’s ok to spend time learning skills and it’s completely ok if the quality of sound or editing is not that good at the beginning. Practice makes perfect. When I listen to my first episodes, I can hear many defects (background sounds from cars, people walking the streets, my cats, my fridge…). Don’t try to be perfect from the beginning. Give yourself room for improvement so that you can also see the way you made from the beginning to now.
Step 7: I created a launching schedule
It’s all well and good to have your podcast concept ready, you mastering the skills and your first episodes ready to air. But it’s even better when people know about your podcast before the launch.
One week before the official launch, I started to give some hints on my social media profiles, I had a “Coming soon” post and a pop up on my website in which people could subscribe.
Then, I started a countdown on my feeds and stories 3 days before the D-Day.
On the D-Day, I released a video presenting the podcast while the trailer and the first 3 episodes were already on podcasts directories.
I also published a post on my blog introducing the podcast and the visual diaries for the first episodes.
Having all of this helped to raise awareness about my podcast in my community. My followers started to listen and to share the podcast on their own stories with their own communities.
I didn’t create a dedicated Instagram account for My Fashion Stories Box Podcast at that stage. I didn’t feel ready for that. However, it can be a great way to summarise all your podcast’s episodes announcements in one place. And don’t forget to pass along the information on your podcast and new episodes on your private social media accounts.
My advice to you is not to be shy about communicating on your podcast, especially during the pre launching and launching phases, which are crucial to raise awareness. It can feel intimidating and you might think that people won’t care or will judge you. You would be surprised to see how welcoming your community will be. I received many support messages and had many shares during the first weeks of My Fashion Stories Box Podcast.
Step 8: I fought with my imposter syndrome, again
Of course, the little voice in my head didn’t vanish for a long time and came back just before I hitted the “Publish” button for my first episode.
“Who do you think you are?!”, “Do you really think people will be interested in your stories?”, “You’ll see, nobody will like it, nobody will listen to it. You are just wasting your time!”
And, for half a second I almost cancelled everything. But, the issue was that I couldn’t cancel my podcast. Too many people knew about it and were expecting it. It was, and still is, my baby and I spoke about it to everybody: my friends, my students, my neighbours, my cats (lol), my community. Going back was not possible anymore.
My advice to you is, in order to avoid this annoying little voice, to talk as much as possible about your podcast’s project. That way, you will feel accountable towards your community and going backwards won’t be conceivable.
I hope this article helped you to see that launching a podcast wasn’t an Herculean task and was within everybody’s reach, providing you know what to do.
And, if you are not sure yet about how to add podcasting in your marketing and communication strategy, why not booking a discovery call with me to discuss your challenges and expectations?
See you soon and happy podcasting!