I’ve often stated that nothing has done for my business what podcasting has.
And I’m going to say it again.
Podcasting is hands down the BEST thing I’ve done for my business.
I decided to launch my podcast a couple of years ago, and I had no expectations, strategy, or plans. I simply knew that it was something I wanted to do. I wanted to connect with my audience at a different level and bring a little more ‘fun’ into my business. Note that podcasting has exceeded my expectations (which I know weren’t many when I started). The crazy thing was that even though I knew I wanted to do the podcast, I wasn’t quite sure what the content would be. It needed to be relevant to this site (the podcast is called “The WordPress Chick” podcast), but I didn’t want it simply to be about how to use WordPress.
WordPress is simply a tool (albeit an awesome tool).
I also knew that I wanted to take my business in a different direction… and podcasting would be a part of that. Until I launched the podcast, my business had grown and shifted pretty consistently, but more often than not, I was still stuck in the ‘time for money trap.
I wanted leverage in business, and I wanted to choose EVERYTHING I did (meaning not take work just for the money because I needed it, which is part of the process when you’re first getting started. I was beyond the ‘starting point’). I had been creating content on my site for a while, both written posts and video tutorials. I wondered how I would translate some of the stuff I did on video into a podcast. The only real plan I had was that I was going to alternate between solo shows (just me recording) and doing interviews. I didn’t want to do an interview-only show because I had (have) plenty to say. I also wanted to use the interviews to highlight great people, regardless of whether or not they might be considered “influencers.” (There are soooooo many people worldwide that you can connect with and do business with. Don’t get caught up in talking only to people you think you SHOULD be talking to. It’s YOUR show. You get to talk to whomever you want).
Once I got my mic and figured out which recording software I would use (my first mic was a Blue Yeti… I’ve since upgraded to the Heil PR40, and I use Adobe Audition), I just went for it. I had an introduction produced by Music Radio Creative, planned the first few episodes, and started lining up guests. For the first ten episodes or so, I was doing all the editing. Then I announced on air that I needed to hire someone to do it for me and found a great editor immediately. My shows are 45 min. to an hour long… so double that with editing, and it was way too time-consuming. Keep that in mind when you’re launching your podcast. Hiring someone to do the editing (and or the stuff that isn’t your forte), will make you much more likely to stick with it and start reaping the rewards.
The rest is, as they say, history.
Here are the 11 Ways Podcasting Will Explode Your Business
1. Consistent Content
Even though I’ve had times with the podcast where I’ve missed a week (or two) for one reason or another, I always come back to it. One of the driving factors in succeeding with a podcast is consistency. Since publishing a podcast (with WordPress) requires that you also publish a post, you’re in fact, creating two types of content for one episode. The audio and the written version of the post. Ideally, the written post will contain relevant keywords and be optimized with high-quality images for sharing (which all content should have high-quality images… makes me crazy when I go to share content and there isn’t a ‘share-worthy’ image). The benefit of this is also the more often you create content, the better you get at it. You’re also giving the search engines exactly what they want… fresh, quality content.
2. Pushed Content for Subscribers
No one really subscribes to RSS feeds anymore for content, so if you want your email subscribers to read your latest post, you need to email them to notify them that you have fresh new content. Not with podcasting. Once someone subscribes to your podcast, they’ll automatically receive your latest podcast episode via whatever tool they use to listen (keep in mind when I say subscribe, I’m referring to iTunes, Stitcher, or another type of app that automatically pulls your podcast feed). This is why consistency is so important. Your subscribers will look for your episodes every week, waiting for your new content (assuming, of course, that you’re providing value and connecting with them).
3. Great Traffic Source
Within 4 months of publishing my first episode, iTunes quickly became (and remains) one of my top 3 traffic sources. Not too shabby, right? And this was for a site that had been online for about 5 years, had content, and some decent traction. Once I started podcasting, that ALL changed. Not only is iTunes a great traffic source, but it’s also quality traffic. People who listen to you weekly are highly qualified ‘leads,’ so to speak. Your regular listeners also become your ‘street team’ in that they will gladly share your words of wisdom, humor, heartfelt messages, or greatest tips (to name a few). Keep in mind you’ll also be getting traffic from the other applications you submit your podcast to (Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google, etc.).
4. Multiple Pieces of Content (re-purpose)
Right off the bat, you will have two pieces of content: The audio (duh, right?) and the written post. With the written post, you can keep it short or create your own ‘epic’ content that is optimized and has a few calls to action. Depending on the topic of the podcast (is it an interview? solo show? or casual chat between hosts?), you can add a few additional pieces of content such as slide decks, videos, or infographics (similar to what I’ve done with the infographic for this post). You can also provide transcripts as a download or embed them in a post. Once you’ve published the episode, you can use a tool like Clammr to create shareable sound-bites from the audio itself (that will play in the feed for Facebook & Twitter), which give people a glimpse into the podcast episode and content.
5. Targeted Opt-in Offer & Sequence for Listeners
You can create a lead magnet / opt-in offer that you only give away to your podcast listeners. Either drive them to a specific URL at the end of your podcast or do a text opt-in (most people listen to podcasts on a mobile device, so giving them a text opt-in makes it super easy to take immediate action). The benefit of doing this is that the people that listen to your podcast are your IDEAL audience. Remember that they continually choose to spend time with you by listening to your show.
6. WARM Leads
This ties in directly with the targeted offer above, but the beauty is that you will get leads from your podcast regardless of whether or not you have a targeted offer for them. Podcast listeners will share your episodes fairly regularly, and when they reach out to you, they already feel like they know you (think of that old marketing adage: People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust). It’s probably safe to say that anyone who has become a podcast subscriber and regular listener is someone you could hang out with in person (like face-to-face).
7. TRUST: People Fee Like They Know You
… when you’re genuine. When you’re willing to “show up,” be yourself and honestly share regardless of how you think people might perceive you. In my experience, the harder the share, the deeper the connection. When you make yourself relatable instead of coming across like a polished brand who has done everything right from day one, you’re more approachable and let people know it’s possible.
I almost listed this point as being ‘intimate content’, but that felt a little… well, let’s just leave that alone.
We’ve all heard the terms “authentic” and “transparency” repeatedly used in marketing and storytelling. The difference with doing this in a podcast is that your listeners can hear the inflection in your voice, the emotions, the frustrations… all of it. The more ‘real’ you can be when coming from this place, the better the connection with your audience.
9. Amazing Relationships
I am FLOORED by the relationships from the podcast (and the amazing things I have learned in the process). When you approach podcast interviews as a way to use your platform to share someone else’s message (because it provides value to your audience), everyone wins. Some of my podcast guests have become dear friends and collaborative partners. You never know where the relationship will take you, but I can guarantee when the intention is honest, you’ll be better off for making the connection.
10. Your Own Platform
I mentioned above that you could create great relationships through podcasting. Part of this is because of the platform you’ve built with your podcast. Even when your podcast is new (or your business is new), you still provide a platform to share someone else’s message. Not only is this an opportunity for your guest (if you’re doing interviews), but it also creates a level of trust with your audience. Why? Because it shows that you want to provide value to your audience, regardless of whether or not you are directly providing the value. Think of ‘old school marketers’ who never share anyone else’s content. “Enough about me. What do you think about me?” You know what I’m talking about, right?
Here’s the thing with that style of old-school marketing. It doesn’t work anymore. When you market from a place of fear (i.e., afraid to share something someone else is doing), you’re never going to attract the right audience.
11. GREAT Social Proof
When people start sharing your podcast via social media, you’ll be surprised at what they share. People don’t just retweet, like, or share your content. They talk to you. They thank you. Once again, they feel like they KNOW you. I once got a tweet that said, “I think @kimdoyal would be fun to have a pint with!” in relation to my podcast. That’s not something someone would necessarily feel just through reading a post.
At the end of the day, podcasting is content. It’s not a trend or a fad, it’s here to stay (some may think podcasting faded out a few years ago, but it’s simply become more mainstream). With new technology coming out every day (and being added to the dashboards of new cars), the sooner you launch your podcast, the better.