I’m beyond tired of listening to the radio. The redundancy of commercials gets maddening. Not to mention the stupid jingles that get lodged in between my ears, despite my best efforts to ignore them.
Before you say “who listens to the radio anymore” let me explain. I kept an old truck well beyond the point that I should’ve let go (goodbyes are so hard), and I didn’t want to invest in any new stereo equipment for a “beater”. But the ole girl became my primary for several months due to life not necessarily following my well thought out script. So, radio it was.
I bought a new car. With all of the fun accessories that my tired old truck didn’t have, including satellite radio. But what was even nicer was the handy little phone jack (it’s true, the little things really DO matter) that allowed me to listen to playlists from my phone. This included podcasts. Suddenly, a wealth of knowledge that was reserved for earbuds in the DMV or while exercising, became a mainstay in the place I was at most often, inside my vehicle.
Certainly this isn’t something new to many of you. But living in a small town meant not traveling great distances often, and also virtually no traffic. So I didn’t spend much down time sitting on the freeway, staring blankly at all of the new designs of brake lights the latest cars have these days.
Podcasts Changed Everything
I listened to an occasional podcast when I had the chance. But mostly it was for entertainment. Which is still the case, but to a much lesser degree. I discovered that I was missing out on a wealth of knowledge while driving one mile per hour. This was a great chance to put my time to good use, and actually learn more about things that mattered in my niche and professional life.
Now, I was able to hear exactly what I wanted to, when I wanted to. Podcasts about Internet marketing ideas and current SEO topics and strategies that aren’t stale or counter-productive, as well as entrepreneurial business plans that are fresh, and successful. Also, there’s even podcasts on how to podcast, which will help you avoid those beginner pitfalls that have a tendency to snowball over time.
Why YOU Should Have Your Own Podcast
Imagine an auditorium full of people. And you’re the guest speaker. For some, public speaking isn’t a problem, but for most, it’s terrifying! Now imagine that same auditorium growing exponentially in size every time you’re the speaker. That’s the beauty of podcasting. You get a progressively bigger audience, without the fear of standing in front of a crowd.
You get to tell a story, which increases your presence and trust among your listeners. People prefer to do business with people they feel they know. Having listened to your voice, it gives them a sense of familiarity and comfort. Plus, since you should be offering honest opinions and insight, your listeners will know you far better than if they simply visited a website and read a services page or blog article.
Let’s not forget that when people are listening to your voice, it reveals tone, humor, and other inflections that would otherwise be lost within the context of written material. The feeling of direct contact and conversation cannot be understated when people actually hear your emotions, and even your frustrations, while you discuss your ideas.
Create Valuable Content Through Interviews
What better way to provide more valuable content to your listeners than by having guests on your show? Whether that’s occasional or frequent, this improves show quality, while also improving your own expertise. You can ask your own questions, as well as audience questions. Also, having guests often leads to being their guest, which increases your exposure and defines your expertise. This, in turn, might lead to other speaking opportunities, and more money. Everyone learns. Everyone wins.
Get Found via an Untapped Search Engine
There’s not very many podcasts out there yet. Even better, there aren’t a lot of niche specific podcasts. Since sites like iTunes and SoundCloud have their own search algorithms, this means you can rank at or near the top for many different searches. If you’ve ever fought for rankings on Google, you know how valuable this can be.
Speak to Target Audiences
Since this is an entirely different platform on which you can be found by people who are searching for your product, most of your listeners will have found you by exclusively searching for what you have to offer. Those of you that often refer to the “sales funnel”, can realize the benefit of attracting listeners that are within all of the earlier stages of the funnel. Just imagine the possibilities!
Convenience and Ease of Use
As mentioned before, whether you’re driving in your car, riding the bus, at work, cooking, cleaning, or even working out, you can listen to podcasts. But more importantly, so can your potential clients. We all do many of the same things, and the only thing required to listen to a podcast is an internet connection.
Discover a New Traffic Generating Machine
A podcast can and likely will be one of your top traffic sources. Here’s a rags to riches success story to illustrate my point. Not to mention, your loyal listeners will be your best promoters to gain a larger following. And you have multiple platforms on which to submit your podcasts.
A Few How To’s
The first consideration I would suggest thinking about if you are you leery of starting your own show….find someone else’s show where you can be a guest. This allows you to still get your name and business out there for public consumption, without worrying about any of the production aspects. Plus, you’ll have the advantage of another host’s pre-existing audience with which to share some of your ideas. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a gracious host some questions if they’re willing to offer some answers.
Listen to other shows in your niche, or shows about how to do your own show. By discovering what is being done now, you’ll get an idea of how you might stack up, and ways to improve on existing content.
Should you decide to proceed with your own show, posting through WordPress requires an article in addition to the show. This essentially doubles your content. A good tip is to optimize your write-up with naturally occurring keywords and quality images. Another suggestion would be to include a small soundbite within your content as a preview or promo.
You gain recurring exposure from pushed content that updates your subscribers (through iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, etc) when you release new content. This creates anticipation from your subscribers for your next show, which builds loyalty, and should also motivate you to keep content building through your weekly shows and accompanying article.
Create targeted or lead magnet offers that perhaps go to a specific URL designed solely for your listeners. When you consider that the audience that is listening to you is your exact target audience, what you have to offer them can be invaluable to them both as clients, and to your business as added conversions.
The personal experiences that people gain from hearing you talk extends beyond just business. Many, if not all of your listeners would have a beer with you if given the chance. Just like the “shop local” or “Buy American” mantras that have been popularized in recent times, the same applies to you as a person and as a business
You will get better by doing podcasts. Such as anything in life, practice makes perfect. This can also ultimately translate into interviewing better. Plus, public speaking fears can be eased, all done behind a microphone.
It’s still relatively young. As in, podcasting hasn’t completely taken off yet, and ground floor opportunities still exist. This may not be the case in a few years, but for now, you still can be considered as “one of the first”, depending on your niche. And you have the luxury of styling your show in any way you see fit, with little risk of copying someone else. The time to act is NOW!