I have a friend who claims 80% of his business comes from his podcast. He works in a consulting capacity and helps businesses land contracts. He hosts a weekly podcast that has grown his business and following astronomically. If you talk to him he will tell you podcasting is the place to be.
And for him it is.
His reputation as a thought leader, industry insider, and all around “go-to guy” is key to his brand. But is podcasting right for you? Does it make sense for your business?
Podcasting requires a time commitment. To create a successful podcast you need to make content available on a regular schedule. The most heavily followed podcasts come out on a predictable timeframe and listeners expect that content.
So before we get into the details of examining whether podcasting is right for your business, ask yourself if you're willing to commit to it. To build an audience you need to be.
There are several benefits to podcasting. As in the case of my friend, it is the perfect platform to set yourself up as a well-connected thought leader within your industry. It also allows people to get to know you as you share stories about your own experiences. Finally, there's something inviting about hearing the human voice. It makes us feel like we know someone even if we haven't met them. Hearing their voice creates a more intimate connection than simply reading their words on a web page.
But is podcasting right for your business? Let's examine a few things before deciding:
Edison Research, 51% of Americans have listened to a podcast at least once with 32% of them having listened within the past month (up from 26% last year). While those aren't overwhelming numbers, if your ideal audience is listening, you may have just discovered a way to make them a lot more loyal.
But let's get in to understanding whether podcasting can become a regular part of your marketing by asking these questions:
Does your podcasting plan fall along the lines of something that's already being done? If so, you may want to reconsider or find a new angle or niche. Instead of doing a generic marketing advice podcast you may decide you have a lot to say about different ways to help businesses market themselves for free. You could provide excellent information every week on all the ways that businesses can leverage free resources.
Get creative with your niche. The more specific a solution you can provide, the more likely you will have dedicated fans quickly.
If you interview people for your podcast you can ask them to help get the word out about their episode or the podcast in general. You can also contact influencers and ask them to listen and give you their feedback.
If you can't commit to the timing and work behind podcasting, but you love the idea of providing information in that format, you may want to look into creating flash briefings for the Amazon Alexa. These are micro tips that users can play through Alexa or the Alexa app. They're perfect for quick hit ideas that may fit your business better than a longer podcast.
Whether you take my friend’s advice and start podcasting or you decide it’s not something that's a good fit for your business currently, podcasting is a growing trend. Even if it's not ideal for you now, keep it in mind for the future. All that’s standing between you and an 80% increase in business may be figuring out your podcasting niche.