It seems like just about everybody has a podcast nowadays. I have a podcast, my boss has a podcast, even the dog has a podcast! OK, not really, but what’s going on here? Or maybe a better question is, why don’t you have a podcast? Today it’s time we had a talk about podcasting, why you should try it, and how you could use it to make your brand that much more personal.
OK, time to define some things. What really is a “podcast”? If you’ve never picked up your phone and listened to one, I highly encourage it. Pick any topic, I can nearly guarantee you’ll find a podcast about it. It’s like modern radio talk show. Only, anyone can have one, you can talk about anything you want, and anyone can find you at any time because it’s all on-demand. So, how can something like that help your business?
To some, it may seem ridiculous. You might “just be” a realtor, or in insurance sales, or maybe you sell flowers four days a week, but what you do is interesting! And podcasting can help you reach more people than you think. 26% of all Americans listened to podcasts each month in 2018. That’s a lot of people, and the number is increasing by the year. To put that in perspective, 21% of Americans are Catholic.
Not bad. It’s a safe bet that your demographic exists in that pool of listeners, so it’s time to gear up and find them! The next question is important: How many thousands of dollars do you need to invest in podcasting? $1,000? $10,000? $1 million!?
Nope! For most people, a podcast can be produced with things you already have for a total of $0 (and your precious, precious time of course). Anything with a microphone can be used to produce a podcast, whether it’s your phone or your laptop. That’s of course not to say that putting some funding into your show won’t make it sound better — it most certainly will. But I recommend staying away from that until you’re sure that podcasting is for you.
So it’s decided! You’re going to start a podcast. Yet so many questions remain. What’s it about? What’s it called? What’s your goal with it?
This is where the “art” comes in. There’s no right or wrong answer about how to plan out your content. But in general, if your goal is to attract business, talk about your business. You do LIKE talking about your business, right? But don’t just about your business. Talk about the industry. Talk about your process. Talk about your hot takes on “the hustle” and what-not. Talk about things you would talk about with your friends in the same industry you are. Whatever you talk about, don’t advertise. People aren’t coming on to hear 40 minutes of why they should come to you. Save that for the end. People are coming to your podcast for something else, whether that’s for information or to be entertained on their way to work. You want to give them something of value. You want to build a more personal connection with them, and to do that, it needs to be like a conversation.
Keep. It. Conversational. I can’t emphasize that enough. I like to refer to podcasting as “conversation simulators.” People like to listen and think that they’re having an engaging talk with a close friend. You are not an audiobook. But if you’re on the show by yourself, this might be very challenging. Most conversations have more than one person, after all. You should get yourself a co-host, or you should start having on guests. A co-host is someone who will come on consistently with you for you to talk with, preferably someone in the same business you’re in. It might be an employee or a close friend. But a guest might be a quicker way to spark viewership.
Great guests are the holy grail of podcasting. Many bad things about a podcast can be forgiven if you have on an excellent and knowledgable guest who provides a lot of value to your conversation. And, they can very much help increase your show’s reach. Remember, if they have a good experience being on your show, they’re going to want to tell their friends that they were on an awesome podcast — yours! Or, if they have an audience of their own, they’ll probably post a call-to-action to go listen.