It started with a few tweets here and there asking me to start a podcast (“I don’t have time to read all your blog posts!”), a couple of guest appearances on hangouts and other marketing podcasts, and next thing I know, for Inbound Marketing Week this year, I launched The Superheroes of Marketing podcast.
Of course, there's more to it than that.
And the challenges of starting a podcast were well, challenging. I’m not good with hardware. Wires and plugs all look the same to me. As an introvert, the performance part of the project is exhausting. Like everyone else, I’m busy. Really busy. Podcasting is extremely time consuming (more so than I expected).
But, here I am, planning, scheduling, recording and editing a weekly podcast with my co-host, Kelly Kranz. Am I crazy? Maybe. But here's why it works.
Why People Are Eating Up Podcasts
Last spring, I found I couldn’t read all the blog posts I needed to in order to keep up with all the great content and updates I needed to stay up on. So I started listening to podcasts weekday mornings as I got ready for the day. For me, it was a matter of making the most of my time -- and I’m hooked.
It’s not just me. Commuters, runners, busy moms and dads – all want content, but they don’t always have time to sit down with a book or a video. You can clean the house, walk the dog, drive to work and learn something amazing instead of listening to the typical lousy morning radio show. Muli-tasking, baby.
Why Podcasting Is Worth the Effort
1. Brand Loyalty and Advocates
In January, the Social Media Examiner episode, Podcasting for Business: Why Marketers Are Betting on Podcasts really helped move things along. In it, Jay Baer says “There is something about bringing somebody inside your head through your ear holes that ties you to that person in a way that reading a blog post or reading a book or anything else just doesn’t.”
Marketers know that most buyers will be about 80% in to the buying cycle before they pick up the phone to work with you. How far along do you think it could move a buyer if they’re letting you in to their “ear holes” on a regular basis?
2. Build Awareness in a Less Crowded Space
The blogging world is saturated. People only have so much time to read. Getting YOUR content to the eyeballs of your target audience is getting harder and harder.
Podcasting is still in early days, and the barrier to entry is higher than just slapping up a website and writing 500 words a week, which means the field is still pretty wide open. Take advantage of it now.
3. You’ll Start a Conversation
Even with just a few episodes under our belts we’ve had some wonderful comments, reviews and social media shares and conversations. Having a website with your podcast episode show notes can be your home base for social shares and comments.
It’s unbelievably rewarding to hear strangers say they got a benefit from your show and your guests. And you never know when that will lead to a new business relationship.
4. Network and be the “I know a guy” Guy (or girl)
We are only seven episodes into our podcast. Already though, we have deepened connections with our online connections. While our show seeks to highlight the super powers of our guests and listeners, we hope we come across as knowledgeable in our field as well.
Beyond the vague “networking” benefits, we’ve already had someone ask if we “know a guy” who can do website design. Not only do we know someone, we ARE someone.
5. The Auto Industry
What’s that now? Many new cars are coming out with smart dashboards that make podcast consumption even easier. The audience will just continue to grow and the technology becomes more and more integrated in our lives.
6. Blog Seeds!
When you are producing and editing your podcast, you should be writing your show notes which become blog posts! No longer do you need to worry about what to write about. Instead you’re repurposing what you’ve already done. I like to write mine during my final listen-through after editing.
How to Get Started with Podcasting
Of course, the first step to beginning any new marketing effort is determining what your goals are. You’ll also need a way to differentiate yourself from the plethora of new podcasts coming out every week. Can you find an under-served niche or an angle that hasn’t been done (or that you think you can do better?)?
Once you’ve decided what you want to do and the format you want to take, it’s time to get technical. Commit to quality in sound. Listeners will not put up with tinny, amateur sound. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to have a great sound. Check out this article by Discover Pods on the best podcast mics.
There are some incredibly helpful resources out there. You can hire a consultant, ask a friend who is already podcasting (that’s what I did – thanks, Ralph and Carol Lynn!), or take advantage of the quality podcasts for podcasters and free webinars available.
Lose the Hangups
Maybe you hate the sound of your own voice and can’t stand the thought of having to hear it over and over as you edit it. Maybe you are, like me, a long-time addict of amazing shows like NPR’s RadioLab, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me or This American Life (Serial, anyone?) and you want to sound just like them.
Get. Over. It. You WILL get used to the sound of your own voice (even if you never love it). And you are NOT going to be RadioLab. You are going to be you, and you are going to improve over time.
So, what do you say? Will 2015 be the year YOU become a podcaster? We’d love it if you’d check out our show and let us know how we can improve.