Growing Your Audience and Authority Through Podcasting
Are you a podcast fan? I am a podcast addict. I find podcasts such a fantastic way to consume information or entertainment in a convenient way at a time that suits me. That’s usually during the afternoon dog walk or any car journey.
Have you thought about starting your own podcast as part of your content marketing strategy?
There are some clear benefits to creating a podcast for a small business owner.
- Podcasts a great way to reach a new people and grow your audience – podcast listeners won’t necessarily be consuming your information via a blog or newsletter. You’ll get new listeners and therefore potential new customers.
- Podcasts are a fantastic content marketing opportunity – sharing valuable information with your audience and becoming a go-to expert.
- A podcast creates a relationship with your audience – they get to know you through your voice and shared content (and hopefully start to like and trust you, which we know is an important factor in a buying decision).
- Podcasts are a useful tool for creating new relationships – via guest interviews and cross promotion for example.
- A podcast is pretty easy to start – no real specialist skills required and very basic kit is totally ok to start with.
- Podcasts are a gentle way to be visible without having to consider video or public speaking. They aren’t live so you can re-record anything you aren’t happy with.
- Podcasts are a great way to ‘own a niche’. More on that below…
- Podcasts do not need to be perfectly polished. Natural and authentic is the goal. Phew!
Why not Podcast?
Well, it’s not all plain sailing. There are some cons to consider before you dive in.
- A podcast also needs marketing – like most things, it’s not a ‘build it and they will come’ scenario.
- Podcasts are a bit time consuming to record, edit and market.
- A podcast is not going to be an instant success – it will take time to build an audience and get into your groove.
- Podcasting is low-cost but it’s not no-cost.
- Podcasting is becoming a pretty crowded market already – you need to niche down to stand out.
- Podcasting can be a bit addictive!
Starting a Podcast
I started a podcast series recently and it turned out to be a really simple process. Here’s a few tips I have picked up along the way – I am very much still learning and improving!
Picking your Passion
My podcast is a travel podcast aimed at U.S. Military based in Germany, helping them to discover great places to visit and sharing local secrets. It’s not directly linked to my business of sales & marketing (though I have several clients within this niche). I don’t yet monetise it with sponsors because I want to establish it first, but I plan to.
I didn’t want to create a podcast based on sales and marketing. I feel like this market is really well covered by lots (and I do mean lots!) of other podcasters, so it would be hard to stand out. Plus I love to travel and have a lot of experience of being a ‘tourist in Germany’ for the last 15 years, so I feel like I have a lot of value to offer to this very niche audience.
I think that choosing a subject matter that is niche and you are passionate about is pretty important. After all, you want to stand out and sound interesting and interested during every episode! A friend of mine has a really niche podcast – she podcasts all about achieving the gold standard of ‘Outstanding’ in the care industry, and it’s absolutely brilliant! No one else covers this massive market and she really talks about some really important elements of running and managing care homes and has some fantastic guest interviews. I listen to it a lot actually, not because I am interested particularly in the care industry but because I think it’s such a genius example of being really niche and owning it.
My friend Jen has a weekly podcast all about living more sustainably and all the little changes we can make at home to reduce our impact on the planet. She has some fantastic interviews with really inspiring people but also solo episodes where she gives out great tips. I really like this combo!
You actually need hardly anything to start:
- A Computer
- An internet connection
This would totally get you going! I really decided to start my podcast on a ‘minimum viable product’ basis. I just wanted to get it up and running and improve and tweak afterwards – otherwise I feared I would lose my nerve. Plus I didn’t want to invest a lot of time and money into it if it turned out to be something I didn’t actually enjoy creating.
However, I did spend money on a Blue Yeti mic (about $130) because all the articles I read said I should. But my co-host uses his iphone headphones and mic, and frankly the sound quality is totally fine. If anything, mine sound takes longer to edit because the mic is so damn sensitive.
Our podcast is me and a co-host situated 60 miles apart. So we use a free zoom account to record the episodes. We record video and click a little button to record the sound as separate files – this makes editing easier as each person’s voice is on a separate file. We aren’t using the video but it’s nice to see the person you are talking to.
I record some additional parts on my own using Garage Band on my mac. Free and simples.
I did pay for some initial artwork to be created to get going because I wanted some fresh ideas. But it’s not really necessary! I use canva to create artwork for the general podcast and each episode so I can promote it on social media. I have a paid canva account but a free one will do the job nicely.
I have a paid podbean account ($120 annually) to host the postcast, which also publishes it to itunes automatically. I can also embed episodes into any website and share on channels like YouTube.
I purchased some music for the podcast from Envato marketplace and paid for a intro and outro recording, but you could totally do this yourself. I wasn’t confident enough when I started.
I’ve just bought a URL so that I can direct listeners to a website which displays the podbean site for my podcastand means I can have a unique email address. I am 8 episodes in and only just did this. You really don’t need to have everything set up to get started!
Editing a Podcast
Lots of people do this themselves (in Garage Band) but I have decided to pay someone to edit each episode for me and I think it’s worth it. I didn’t want to have to learn editing and I know if I did edit my own podcast I would waste hours of time trying to perfect it, which sort of defies the point. My editor rocks and is super quick.
It’s also super helpful that she is also a performance coach so gives me little pointers to improve for next time after every episode. I feel each episode becomes easier to record and improves in quality thanks to these tips. Worth every penny.
Um, there’s not much to it actually. There are additional details, which you will pick up along the way. Just remember starting is the hardest bit, you will improve as you go.
Create a Series
One final tip I have is to create your podcast as a series – so that you can build in a break and not feel the pressure of having to produce new episodes all the time – it should be fun! Whilst it is helpful to publish episodes regularly (ie once a week) that can be quite a responsibility. So creating a series of.. say 10 episodes at a time, you can factor in a break and perhaps use the break to re-record some more episodes in a batch. I do love batching!
I’d love to know if you are planning or have a podcast? Please do share it with me so I can add it to my list of subscriptions!