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How To Launch An Improv Podcast: The Hatch

by | Podcast

This week on Ultimate Podcast Marketing I’m sharing the step by step process that my comedy troupe Big Chick Energy Sketch took to launch our new improv podcast: The Hatch!

This episode is definitely for you if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, whatever the podcast will be, doesn’t need to be an improv podcast specifically – and you want to know what the behind the scenes looks like. From concept to launch, here’s how we did it.

The Concept

First, we started with a concept. After my friend and co-troupe member Alicia Carrick and I decided we wanted to wrap up our podcast Ya Gotta Laugh: An Improv Podcast back in January, Alicia pitched the brilliant idea of having a social fun night with “The Chicks” where we’d hang out, have a sip of vino and then improvise together.

Alicia is our official “Director of Fun” so when she tells us to have fun, we do it. Otherwise I personally would forget.

Experimenting & Practice

We tried out a few different formats and segments. This process took a little bit of time for a few reasons. One, we’re a group of 5, and bringing everyone’s ideas together always takes more time. We’re pretty hellbent on feeling good in this troupe so that piece was essential to ensure we all felt heard and awesome about what we’d be putting out there. Second, there’s always going to be a bit of a testing phase, no matter what kind of podcast you’re planning to launch.

Whether it’s an improv podcast, audio drama, documentary, or a show that you use to promote your business, there’s a little bit of a learning curve to get comfortable with everything.

Finalizing the Format

We recorded a few trial run episodes and eventually landed on a format that made sense to all of us, where we each take turns hosting. The host intros the show, then asks a question like “what was your favourite childhood toy?” Then we each share a little bit, or tell a story, and then the host will throw to a scene by saying “and with that, we take you to a location”.

From there it’s improv time! We make up a whole story with lots of different scenes based on the stories we’ve told. We come in as different characters, we get trapped in wild situations, and we come out the other end exactly as we started! Just as weird as we were before! It’s a blast!

Then we wrap up the show with a little debrief, talking about some of the highlights and our favourite parts, and of course, we ALWAYS include a call to action – typically it’s “rate/review/subscribe and check us out on YouTube” etc.

Don’t skip your call to action, pal! It’s important!

Repurposing for Video

For our tech setup we use StreamYard, and we each have our own condenser mics. We opted to use StreamYard both for the fact that it was way less laggy than other apps we’ve used, and because SquadCast only lets 4 people record at a time.

Because I’m always looking for new ways to repurpose everything, I thought “Hey, why not make this a video show as well?” That way we could have the exact same content on multiple platforms in one go! And because the podcast is so tightly structured with the same format and segments each time, and because we spent time rehearsing the flow of the show, it was incredibly easy to double up on the content.

Prepping for Launch

Finally we had to package up the entire podcast with the different launch elements you need to launch your podcast. Intro, outro, trailer, theme music (you get a sneak peek in this episode!) and of course marketing assets. Show notes, email, social posts, IGTV videos (captioned) and transcripts. Everyone took a different piece and our troupe operates like a smooth… operator. 😀

So the last thing we had to do was get our launch campaign together. I thought it would be fun to try to go live because we have StreamYard at our disposal, and it could be a good way to generate more interest!

In addition to the livestream we put together our launch campaign which included several emails, social graphics/posts and a heck of a lot of sharing on all of our social platforms.

Official Launch!

We decided to launch with episode 1 on Good Friday, which is a holiday. In hindsight this wasn’t the best move, we didn’t have nearly as many listeners on the first episode as I was expecting, but hey, live and learn! Don’t launch a podcast on the Friday of a long weekend! People aren’t paying attention!

After ALLLL of this was said and done, we still have another 6 episodes that are batched and scheduled and ready to be published every Friday, and more to come! The great thing about this podcast is how easy it is to execute. We put a lot of work into the structure and format and process up front, and because of that we have a relatively seamless workflow where we’re each taking charge of our own pieces to publish a great podcast every single week!

Here’s episode 1 of The Hatch!

If you’d like to learn how to start a podcast with me, check out Podcast Rocket! It’s my 5 week program to take you from podcast idea to launched with 4 episodes ready to go! Doors open on April 7 and close up again on April 11 so get in while the gettin’s good!


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Podcast Rocket with Emily Milling

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