If you intend to treat your podcast like a business, it’s important to create a podcast business plan. This document is a key resource; a roadmap that will set your show up for success, even if you don’t plan to turn your show into a media empire.
Many podcasters dive in without bothering with this step, but we strongly recommend taking a few minutes to put your plan on paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect (it’s not like you’re sending it off to potential investors), but it should exist as a document somewhere you can consult.
In this article, we explain why a business plan is important. Then we show you how to write your own podcast business plan.
Why You Need a Podcast Business Plan
Before we get into the practical steps of designing your own podcast business plan, let’s talk about why you should write one. Many podcasts launch successfully without one, so you may be wondering why it’s necessary at all.
It helps you understand what you’re doing
A podcast business plan is an opportunity to put all of your ideas and tasks down on paper. It helps you understand what you need to do before you dive in. Ultimately, this improves your efficiency and the likelihood that you will follow through.
It increase your odds of success
Just like you wouldn’t embark on a road trip without a map, a plan for your podcasting adventure increases the chance of being successful. Most importantly, a plan helps you identify what success looks like so you can keep your eye on it.
It helps you treat your show like a business
In order to run a successful business, you have to carefully consider your numbers. What is your earning potential? How much will you spend? How will you monetize your show? Answering these questions will help you think critically about your show’s success as a business.,
If you ever need to raise funding for your show (perhaps to launch a marketing initiative or elevate your production value), any lender, financier, or investor will absolutely want to see a podcast business plan. They will use this document to evaluate your show’s potential for success.
It helps you bring on new team members
If at any point you intend to recruit more people for your show, a podcast business plan will reassure them that you take the show seriously. It will also help them understand your long-term plan so they can make a good decision to join you.
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How to Write a Podcast Business Plan
Writing a podcast business plan isn’t much different than creating a traditional business plan. You don’t have to write a 50-page book or slideshow. In fact, getting too deep will probably slow you down, so just jot down a few sentences or bullet points for each of the following sections. You can always elaborate and revise your plan in the future (and you should).
Let’s go through the fundamental sections of a podcast business plan. Your plan definitely needs these components, but you may need others depending on the needs of your show. (For instance, if there’s a charity component to your model, you’ll want to include a section that explains how that works.)
The first section of your podcast business plan is pretty simple: a quick overview of your show and how you will present it. List the hosts, producers, and anyone else who is involved. If you have a mission statement or value statement, add that as well.
Furthermore, this is a great place to include some goals for your show as well. What do you hope to achieve? How many listeners do you intend to capture and by when? Are there any special guests you hope to bring on?
Like we said earlier, you don’t have to go into much detail. Just outline the main points.
Your specific niche
It’s a good idea to include some notes about the space in which you will be podcasting. For example, if you plan to create a podcast about football, what other shows are popular in the football niche? How will your show be similar and how would you differentiate yourself?
Learn more about choosing a niche: How to Find the Perfect Podcast Niche (8 Considerations)
While it’s possible to create a podcast without spending a penny, we recommend spending a bit on professional tools, like headphones and a podcasting microphone. Make a basic list of any podcasting equipment, tools, or services you need and how much they will cost. This section is also a good exercise to help you keep your expenses in line.
Amplify Podcast Network has a simple podcast budget template to help you get started.
“Podcast studio” might be too generous a phrase, but you’ll want to talk a bit about the space you’ll use to record your episodes. This is important because your recording space can make or break your show, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience editing. Jot some notes about the type of space you’ll use and what you need to buy to make it effective.
Learn more about building a recording space: Podcast Studio Setup: How to Create a Great Podcast Recording Room
Use this section of your podcast business plan to describe your specific workflow. How often will you publish episodes? What format will you use? Will you create seasons or publish continuously? Will your content be evergreen or timely?
It is also a good opportunity to consider how the people on your team (if any) will contribute to the workflow. For instance, who is responsible for publishing the episode once it’s complete? Who will distribute your marketing assets, such as social media posts and emails?
DLearn more about creating a podcast workflow: How to Create Your Own Podcast Workflow
Your podcast isn’t for everyone, so it’s important to define the specific audience. Understanding who will listen to your show will help you go after them later. Spend some time performing a bit of market research. What do you listeners want in podcast content? What would make them rave about your show? What kinds of problems do they have?
Spend a few minutes putting together a profile for your ideal listener. Here’s an example. You don’t have to make yours this fancy, but you should include similar information.
It’s okay if you don’t have a lot of information for this section. You may not know much about your target audience yet. You should expect to come back to this section in the future and update it as you learn more about your listeners.
In a business plan for any other kind of business, this section would be called “management.” It outlines who is involved in the show, their responsibilities, and their salaries and/or equity in the operation. Depending on the size of your show, this might include a half dozen people, such as producer, host(s), audio engineer, marketers, etc.
If you’re a one man operation at the moment, you can skip this section of your podcast business plan.
Learn more about building a team: How to Build a Podcast Team
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In this section of your podcast business, outline your promotion strategy for growing your show. How will you acquire listeners? How will you keep them engaged? How will you encourage them to tell their friends about your show?
Make sure strategy addresses the following topics:
- Submitting your show to podcast directories
- Convincing listeners to leave ratings and reviews
- Building a podcast website
- Growing traffic to your website
- Investing in paid advertising
- Building a social community
- Getting active on social media
- Joining a podcast network (in the future)
Most importantly, make sure to list the actionable steps you will take every day, week, and month to promote your show.
Learn more about podcast marketing: How To Promote A Podcast: The Ultimate Podcast Promotion and Podcast Marketing Guide
You may be far away from monetizing your show, but it’s important to have some idea as to how you’ll monetize it in the future. This will help you make some good decisions early. For instance, if you plan to sell merchandise at some point, you might opt for a podcast website that includes a shopping cart.
Learn more about podcast monetization: How Do Podcasts Make Money? Try These 20 Strategies To Monetize Your Show
A Podcast Business Plan is a Living Document
You have a lot of things to do in order to set up your podcast, so creating a podcast business plan might seem like a tedious, unnecessary task. It’s not fun. It feels like work. However, you should consider your business plan as a launching off point for your show. Use the plan to guide all of your other decisions.
Like we’ve said several times, you don’t have to overcomplicate this plan. Keep things simple. Use basic language. The document is mostly for you. Few people will ever read it.
But most importantly, revisit the document every few months – or at least once a year – and give it some updates based on your show’s progress. Let your podcast business plan be a living document that evolves with your show, always a bit ahead so you have something guiding your growth.
Did you create a podcast business plan for your show? What was your experience?