The Blog of Heritage Brands

How to Name Your Podcast

You have decided to start a podcast; you have a concept and a plan; you may already have some guests lined up, or the theme music picked out. But you still need a podcast name. 

Choosing what to name your podcast can be a daunting process. It may feel like choosing what to wear to a job interview; with 450,000 active podcasts online, you want to make the right first impression. Nonetheless, you’re excited about your podcast, so you have probably been brainstorming podcast name ideas in your head and with your colleagues for weeks. But as you walk the fine line between novelty and clarity, you may be unsure how to strike a balance. While you want something that will stand out, you do not want to confuse listeners.

The Function of a Podcast Name

The primary purpose of your podcast name is to simultaneously set expectations, spark interest, and encourage “buzz” about your podcast. The name of your podcast will become a considerable extension of your brand (personal or corporate), so you want to ensure that it is consistent and communicates what you want your audience to know. 

But it is not just about the exact words you choose. How the words sound, the thoughts the words trigger, the audience context, and many other factors will play a part in communicating your podcast’s feel and “personality.” Above all — the podcast brand will reflect who you are as a host. If you have a blunt, straightforward podcast name paired with simple, muted cover art, listeners will be subconsciously surprised if you are goofy and laid-back. And you can always strike a balance of both. That is why your podcast name is more than a name. It communicates something about your reputation. 

Even if someone never listens to a single episode of your podcast, they should be able to subconsciously form an idea of who you are and your expertise by how you present yourself through your podcast name. 

Tip 1: Envision Your Audience 

It’s essential to think critically about the question: “Who do you want to listen to your podcast, and who do you think will find it valuable?” 

While you want to be open to all listeners, having a defined positioning is crucial to choose your podcast name. You want your name to resonate with your audience. 

Begin the process by making a running document to brainstorm name ideas and make lists. Begin by evaluating your target audience by generating a list of general terms and ideas that define who they are and what they are interested in. For example, if your podcast audience is “young, ambitious writers getting a start in their journalism career,” your list may look like: 

  • Creative
  • Academic
  • Curious
  • Cultural 
  • Investigative
  • Truth-seeking
  • Wordsmith

You can also include ideas and topics you find your audience engaging with frequently. For the previous example, these may look like: 

  • Modern literature 
  • Poetry & artistic expression
  • Questioning tradition
  • Hustle culture
  • Big media

Making these lists is a good starting point for getting into your audience’s headspace by thinking about what they are thinking about. 

Tip 2: Research Related Podcasts

With your audience in mind, use Google, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify to search for similar or adjacent podcasts. Hopefully, there are very few podcasts comparable to yours. But even if their approach is different, you will likely find some podcasts that compete with yours. During this step of the process, you will find taken names and see where your podcast can contribute through a unique positioning. List the names and note which you find interesting and which you think might miss the mark with your target audience. 

Tip 3: Concept & Term List

If you’re looking for a podcast name, you should have a solid foundation of who your audience is and the subject matter of your podcast. Once you have this information in mind, start rapidly listing any interesting and related terms or phrases in no particular order. Any personal anecdotes or potential podcast names you have thought of should go here. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to this step of the process. Aim for 50-100 lines of text, even if a line is only one word. (If you have a friend or colleague willing to help with this process, you will likely see better, more creative results.) 

The purpose of this exercise is to get your wheels turning and to begin connecting dots and ideas that you may otherwise overlook. 

For example, if a CEO wanted to start a podcast about their experience growing in organizational leadership, they may begin like this: 

  • Masters In Leadership
  • Mastering Leadership
  • Lead Well Podcast
  • Lead In
  • To Lead
  • Leading In
  • Stepping Up
  • Start Somewhere
  • Sign Posts
  • Dig In
  • Leaders Dig In
  • Just Lead: Origin Stories from Masters in Leadership
  • Real Leaders
  • The Standard
  • The Review: Lessons from Masters in Leadership

With your audience and podcast vision in mind, you will begin to see this list moving toward a podcast name. If you get stuck at any point during this process, utilize Wikipedia to generate new terms and ideas. If your podcast is about journalism, you can search “journalism” — as you skim, note interesting related words like “slander,” “freedom,” and “report” that you can then use as fuel to continue listing name ideas. Furthermore, you can use the hyperlinks within the page to dig deeper and brainstorm further. 

This may take some time. But, as you continue the process, you will begin to connect ideas that should help you form a few podcast names that will serve as your final contenders. 

Final Steps

Once you have arrived at 3-6 prospective podcast names, run through these few final steps: 

1: Deep search the namesUse Google and Apple Podcasts to ensure none are already taken by another podcast or a related brand. This step is crucial for your SEO, so do a deep search before committing to any of the names. 

2: Say the names aloud to others  — As you listen to yourself and others say each name, evaluate the repeatability and ease of pronunciation. Ask others what they think of the name and what the words bring to mind. This will also help you ensure there are no distracting homophones or alliteration. 

3: Return to your audienceRecall the words you used to describe your audience and put yourself in their shoes. Which name would resonate most deeply with them, their interests, and their style? Which one could you see catching their attention?

4: Purchase the DomainWhen you finally land on a name, purchase the domain name as soon as possible. This will allow you to continue branding and growing your podcast over time. 

It may only seem like a few words, but your podcast will be an extension of who you are. That is why choosing your podcast name is crucial to be as authentic, honest, and thoughtful as possible. 

The process may seem daunting at first but don’t forget that it can be a meaningful, creative way for you (and your team) to reflect on your expertise and passion by realigning with your audience and brand mission. In the end — just like with all communications and brand strategy — it all boils down to what matters to you and the people you serve.

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