I have been podcasting since 2012. It is a cornerstone component to establishing myself as a thought leader in the space of entrepreneurship and surviving the entrepreneurial journey.

As I work with other business leaders to shore up their approach to marketing and customer outreach, I suggest podcasting as one of the best and most effective ways to consistently create content that educates and converts.

Some keys to making this successful for you:

1 - Pick a Focus

Just like starting your business, picking a topic of focus helps get your podcast off the ground. The focus drives the type of questions you ask, the guests you invite and the ways you promote your podcast to potential audiences.

My focus on the entrepreneurial journey has been the reason I receive many invitations to moderate panels, attend events and even bring my show onsite to events and conferences that have the same focus.

One of the unexpected benefits of podcasting - - the content I create keeps me current on trends in my space, and I learn new lessons I can apply to my business from others' experiences.

2 - Consistent Schedule

Establishing thought leadership requires delivering consistent content over a long period of time. You should plan to release your podcast on a consistent basis - every week on the same day and time. Your listeners begin to expect your content on this consistent basis, and it is an indication of how you run the other parts of your life and your business.

3 - Promotion

Creating content is 20% about creation and 80% about sharing and promoting it.

The simple act of "live tweeting" my show increased my social media reach by over 150%. After you create the podcast, don't just share it once. If you have created evergreen content, bring back shows and re-promote them at later dates.

Make sure your guest knows how to share the show that features them. Send a follow-up email that instructs them on where to find the podcast and include some example content for sharing across their platforms.

If you send out a newsletter, be sure to promote your podcast by summarizing what you have learned. Some of your audience will prefer to read the content instead of listening.

4 - Follow-up

If you put content out via a podcast, provide an easy way for your listeners to ask you questions and provide feedback.

When you answer these questions, you have the opportunity of achieving new audiences when they see your responses in social media feeds. Questions asked are great ideas for follow-up shows, to drive your blog posts and are a source for creating content to promote a specific episode or guest.

5 - Consider Your Guest

Podcasting creates a long-term relationship with your guest. It's a great way to learn about your guest's business and interests and is a better reason for reaching out later than to try to sell them one of your products or services.

I have made many significant relationships over the course of my career with owners and influencers by the simple act of inviting them to my show to talk to them about their story.

Guest selection should influence the promotion of your podcast. Guests that are actively involved in promoting their current content will do the same for their appearance with you.

6 - Outsource as Much as You Can

Podcasting is not your full-time job. Put systems in place to make scheduling of guests easy and collection of the content you need self-directed (e.g. name, title, company, background).

I use an online calendaring system that allows my guests to select their timeslot for recording and triggers my marketing automation system to collect their background information and potential topics for the show. It reminds them of their appearance and provides the directions they need to make sure the recording day goes smoothly.

Many newbie podcasters get caught up in post-producing their show. It is worth the money to hire an expert to take care of these tasks. It frees up your time, and an expert makes your podcast sound polished and professional.

The little elements like music, audio quality and leveling separates your podcast from the rest.

7 - Use a Script

Develop a script to drive your interview questions and conversation.

I break my show up into three segments - a focus on the past, present and future of my guest and their business. This structure clues my guest into what I will be covering in each part of the show and provides a story arch to every interview.

Using a set of standard questions in a predictable order lets me use the whole show as content and I can break it down into individual segments to maximize the time invested in its creation.

Bonus Tip: Use Video

If you really want to stand out, incorporate video into your podcast. Videostream the recording of your podcast and turn the salient points from the show into shorter, bite-sized pieces that are shareable and easily digested by your audience.

As you consider your marketing strategies, consider podcasting as a cornerstone component for creating compelling content.

Published on: Feb 16, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.