Starting a Career Services Podcast Essentials: Lessons from Expert Gregory Heller

July 8, 2021

During last month’s heat wave, I attended MBA CSEA’s Virtual Global Conference. The week was full of informative, valuable, and inspiring sessions, one of which was Gregory Heller’s Career and Employer Relations Podcasts: Benefits and Costs. Heller works as Senior Associate Director of MBA Career Management at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and has a podcast titled Conversations on Careers and Professional Life with Gregory Heller.

Heller shared great advice, insights, and resources for podcasting, beginning with excellent reasons for starting a podcast.

Why have a podcast?

  • Extend the reach of your content
  • Time shift content for students
  • Share evergreen content
  • Elevate your reputation and brand
  • Share advice from outside experts
  • Share student and alumni stories

What does it take to make a podcast?

Patience. Time. Commitment.

Between pre-production, recording, and post-production, it can take at least 5 hours to complete one episode. Make sure you are willing and able to make the time commitment to produce a quality podcast or hire help to offset some of that time.

You can also batch record episodes to save time and be in the zone for recording. Just make sure your conversations will still be relevant when they are released.

Commit to at least 8 episodes before quitting. You may not get that many listeners to your first, second, or even your third episode. However, making the commitment and staying consistent will build a runway for listeners. They can always go back and check out your previous episodes after getting hooked!

Choose a model

  • Single Host vs. Multiple Hosts
  • Solo vs. Production Team
  • Working with Marketing Department vs. Self-Promotion

Along with the time commitment question covered above, you need to decide which model works best for you and your team. Will you have one host or multiple hosts? Are you/your team doing this alone or working with a producer/production team? Are you enlisting your institution’s marketing department for promotion or doing this yourself?

Pick a format

  • Scripted
  • Interview
  • Produced

Scripted podcasts are usually one person reading a script about a specific topic. These podcasts are better as short-form pieces that convey information in a concise way.

Interview podcasts can also have a script, but involve the host interviewing one or more guests. These are interactive and are much more stimulating to listen to.

Produced podcasts can have multiple interviews or broadcasts edited in, or even cover live events. These require quite a bit of time and expertise.

Tools

Hosting software

  • Libsyn
  • Buzzsprout
  • PodBean
  • AnchorFM

Recording hardware

  • Computer/iPhone
  • USB Mics
  • Recorder

Recording software

  • Audacity
  • Garageband
  • ProTools
  • Abelton

Recording services

  • Zencastr
  • Zoom
  • SquadCast
  • AnchorFM

Who to invite

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Recent graduates/alumni
  • Coaches/colleagues
  • Authors/outside experts

There are a wide range of guests to invite on your podcast. They are a great way to engage with students and alumni, grow your connections, and offer your listeners varied, interesting content.

Marketing and promotion

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Newsletter
  • Your network
  • Your guests’ networks

Now that your podcast is recorded, edited, and ready for listeners, promoting it is the next step. Whether you work with your institutions’ marketing department or rely on your own resources, you need to get it out there for people to be able to listen.

Measure success

Before you can measure success, you need to know your goal and audience.

  • Who did you make this podcast for? Current students? Incoming students? Alumni?
  • Why did you make this podcast? As a resource for students? To build your brand/reach? To connect with experts/alumni/colleagues?

If you made it as a resource for your students, you may not receive a very broad reach – and that’s ok. Because for every student who gains something from your podcast, you are achieving your goal.

You can also look at the numbers – although they are not always reliable. Number of downloads, views/listens, and reviews/ratings are tangible stats you can measure.

I hope these tips from Gregory Heller help you in your podcasting journey. If you start a podcast in your career center, we would love to know about it and add it to our list! Contact us on our website or give us a shout on LinkedIn or Twitter.