Why Your Business Should Start a Podcast
The first your small business should consider starting a podcast: Millions (and counting) of your potential customers listen to podcasts.Those customers could be learning about you, your expertise, or your business.
The second reason: You can start a podcast for A LOT cheaper than you think and with A LOT faster than you expect.
Many business owners believe that you need a fancy, high-end studio. While having fancy equipment can be a big boost for your podcast, it is not essential. You can literally start your potential award-winning (and lead-generating) podcast from your home office, outdoors, your iPhone, or even the car!
With a podcast, you can focus on a targeted audience developing loyal customers and a predictable sales pipeline. You can share information about your business, sell products or services (or both), and build your online presence in one podcast episode. That’s a little marketing power.
First, listen to good podcasts
Before you get started with your own podcast, you need a taste of what a good podcast sounds like. While you’re listening to these podcasts, listen from the perspective of an audience member and a producer. What do you like about these podcasts? What don’t you like? How will your life be different? (Quick note: Be sure to listen to podcasts inside and outside your target niche.)
Need some podcast suggestions? Here are a couple that you might consider:
- Jocko Willink: Podcast featuring a former Navy SEAL which focuses on military, discipline, and leadership
- Tim Ferriss: Podcast featuring entrepreneur, author, human “guinea pig”, investor, which focuses on productivity and creativity
- EOFire: Podcast that focuses on sharing business tips, tricks, and strategies through interviews with other entrepreneurs
- Girl Boss Radio: Podcast focused on unique challenges and opportunities of female entrepreneurs who are changing the world
- Profit, Power, Pursuit. Podcast: focused on helping women overcome mental blocks to unlocking their entrepreneurial and creative skills
Second, commit to your future podcast
Creating a podcast may look easy, but it takes A LOT of work behind the scenes to pull it off. Podcasters (or the people they hire) have to do a variety of tasks including editing, uploading your files to a podcasting host, marketing, maintaining your website. This does not include locating and scheduling guests, creating the content for your podcast, and other duties.
On average, you can expect to spend, about 6 (or more) hours) per week on your activities related to your podcast.
This may sound like a lot of time, but many business owners and individuals are able to balance their business and t. The key to starting your podcast whlle
Third, get the right tools for starting a podcast
The first two steps help you get the right mindset for starting a podcast. Your next step is getting down to work. At a minimum, you need the following equipment to get started.
- Something to record audio: This can be an iPhone, Skype recording software, Google Hangouts, or a microphone so your audience can hear your voice clearly (For good podcast microphones under $100, you might consider this list from MicReviews.com.)
- Something to edit all of the bad or unusual sounds out of your podcast to make sure that your audience hears the best version of your podcast (Two free options include Audacity and GarageBand. For others, see the list from Music Radio Creative)
- Some place to store your podcast (a podcast hosting site) (Note: You can store your podcast’s files (MP3) on your own website, but…you probably don’t want to host it on your own site, because the files could be very large. For more information on this topic, check out this user-friendly introduction to podcast hosting from The Podcast Hero. )
- Headphones so you can hear yourself while you are recording the podcast and tune out irrelevant noise while you do your pocast (For some under-$100 headphone recommendations, check out this list from The Sound Guys.
Of course, you can get more fancy than the above list If you’re interested, you can check out Audacity’s list of basic equipment needed for a podcast.
Then, market your podcast to the world
Once you’ve got a few podcasts that you are ready to share with the world, it’s time to let the world! That means, good old-fashioned marketing. At a minimum, you need the following to start your own marketing headquarters, including:
- Podcast website
- Social media
- (Optional, but highly recommended) Email list
The above should be enough to notice of your podcast episode out to the masses. Follow the best practices for marketing your podcast and its content on a website, through social media, and email marketing. Be sure to focus on creating valuable and relevant “soundbite” and long-form content, networking, and leveraging every avenue that you can to achieve your goal.
If you need a really good introduction to marketing your podcast, Buffer has an incredible.tutorial on promoting a podcast from a beginner’s point of view.
One popular and easy way to product and distribute your podcast from one platform is ZenCast.
Lastly, put your production schedule on autopilot
Once you have figured out how to create, produce, and market a podcast, it’s time to refine the process. To create a consistently good podcast for your audience, you need to coordinate all of your podcasting elements (including scheduling guests, recording podcasts, scheduling guests, editing the podcast, uploading it to your podcast hosting site, and marketing).
Some pointers on how to do that include:
- How to Create a Podcast Production Schedule with Google Calendar and Trello
- How to Produce a Podcast
- Tools and Systems for Planning and Automating Your Podcast Schedule
Use the above links to get the “nuts and bolts” of what actually goes into creating and publishing a podcast.
How Starting a Podcast Can Lead to Small Biz Success
Podcasting is a powerful marketing opportunity that lets you talk directly to your intended audience, but it also takes a lot of work (especially in the initial stages). To reap the rewards of podcasting, you need to prepare and learn. Start preparing with the suggestions from this podcast. Learn from others and adapt what you learn to fit your mission and style.
You could end up with a podcast that is more successful than you ever envisioned. That’s what happened to Tim Ferriss, Gretchen Rubin,and others ended up where they are now. It’s also where your podcast can end up as well.