Creating a podcast? Avoid these pitfalls

Podcasting should be in your marketing mix but requires preparation, patience and avoiding pitfalls
Michael Olatunji
A podcast

Do you listen to podcasts and have you considered having a business podcast? In the United Kingdom alone, over 21 million people regularly tune in to podcasts. Given that the topics span everything from celebrity gossip to niche discussions within specific industry sectors it means that podcasting is an important option to include in the marketing mix. However, when starting a podcast it is easy to fall into traps that can undermine the effort that is put into creating them.

Given that there are an estimated three to five million podcasts globally, understanding how to make the right moves is crucial to capturing and retaining an audience relevant to your business.

Let look at some pitfalls that have the potential to derail your podcasting and how to tackle them.

Your audience

A successful podcast begins with meticulous preparation, starting with understanding your audience. Before diving into content creation, selecting hosts, or handling technical aspects, it's crucial to get information on your audience's demographics, interests, and the niche they fall into. Knowing what other podcasts they subscribe to and why they are drawn to this medium is also useful. It is a good idea to conduct pilot episodes to gather feedback from a dedicated test audience (perhaps some long-term customers). This will help you to fine-tune your approach before launching full episodes.

Building an audience takes time, and many successful podcasts boast over a thousand episodes. The common pitfall is inconsistency; some podcasts run just a handful of episodes before abandoning ship because they are disappointed by what they see as slow audience growth. Consistency is key – from release schedules to format and quality. It is important to maintain a consistent look and feel so that your audience is reassured that your podcast is worthy of their listening time.

How will your podcast be found and found consistently?

Even in business novice podcasters can have unrealistic expectation about how quickly they’ll gain an audience. Your podcast plan could include launching your initial episodes together as this can signal commitment to algorithms on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. Incorporating search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies will be essential. It is also helpful to use short adverts and cross-promotion to increase visibility.

Regardless of preparation, unforeseen circumstances can disrupt your podcasting routine. Whether having to deal with guests cancelling to recording studios being unavailable, you will eventually need to put out fires. Having backup plans is essential. Prerecorded episodes or backup hosts can fill gaps, ensuring that unexpected challenges don't lead to missed podcast episodes.

Avoiding subpar content and production quality

Quality in podcasting has two components: content quality and production quality. Engaging, useful, and entertaining content is, of course, paramount. Low production values may be overlooked by your audience for a while provided that the content is highly relevant, but it won’t work long-term.

Cost-cutting is tempting for newcomers, however, investing in the cheapest podcasting equipment can compromise quality. If you are producing your podcast inhouse prioritise quality microphones, video equipment, and branded backdrops to leave a lasting, positive impression on your audience.

Opting for high production quality, including visuals for video podcasts, will enhance engagement and ensure your podcast stands out in a crowded field and has longevity.

Attempting to handle all podcast production aspects independently can lead to oversights and subpar content. The multifaceted nature of podcasting, including planning, technical skills, marketing, and more, requires a diverse skill set. Learning everything yourself is time-consuming, and the risk of overlooking critical elements is high. Consider hiring experienced professionals or a specialist studio for consistent, high-quality content.

Podcast management

You may well want to have guests on your podcast. This can be a good idea as interesting guests will contribute to audience growth. However, but without proper preparation and control, they can become a hindrance. Overlapping conversations and unclear points can arise if hosts don't set expectations and conduct pre-show meetings. Agree on questions in advance, establish a communication signal for smoother discussions, and maintain control over the conversation's pace and flow.

You may want to start with an audio-only podcast as you learn the ropes. But you should then think about expanding to incorporate video alongside audio content. This not only enhances engagement but also provides additional material for platforms like YouTube. Consider varying content lengths, creating shorter segments or clips for social media, and planning for dynamic visuals during recording to maximise reach.

The world of podcasting continues to boom so as a business you should seriously consider putting some of your marketing budget into this medium. It will take time to get a feel for the process, and to build your audience but it will be worth the time you put into it, if you work on it consistently.


Michael Olatunji is co-founder of Outset Studio, a full-service podcast and video production studio in London. Outset specialises in pod- and vlog- casts, live streams and live shopping. The team works collaboratively with the client to make high-quality content that attracts an audience and increases engagement. Recording can be done at their studios in London or on location. Whether a client simply wants studio space or would prefer someone to manage the full production, Outset’s experienced teams have it covered.

Written by
Michael Olatunji
Outset Studio
January 26, 2024
Written by
January 26, 2024