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7 Tips For Building Your Business With Podcasting

On The AirIf you’re working with online content marketing to grow your business and you haven’t got a podcast yet, get one! Especially if you’re a consultant or solo entrepreneur.

Seriously, I can’t think of a better way to really connect with customers and prospects and show your skills as a thought-leader, coach, or service provider than with a podcast.

One year down the line after starting my own podcast it’s become the biggest source of lead generation for my business.

Sure, all the other “traditional” online strategies work: I run a business blog, I’m active on Twitter, post videos from time to time and try and keep up with Google+ and Facebook. It’s the podcast, though, that people seem to connect with as they tell me it helps them really get to know me.

The Backstory

I realized the potential of audio after posting a short tryout podcast on my site over a year ago. Although the sound quality wasn’t great, and I wouldn’t listen to it now (!), within 24 hours I’d secured two major speaking gigs on the back of it.

I ask every customer how they found me and both clients explained that they’d been convinced about my suitability for the job by my podcast.

As a former university lecturer I was used to getting asked to speak at conferences and business events, but no one had ever contacted me about this through my site even though I regularly made it clear on the site I was available for speaking. So this was a first and a great example of that old adage: show, don’t tell!

After doing some research about what I really needed to produce a quality podcast, I launched a show which is currently up to episode 32.

Very quickly it enabled me to quadruple my speaking and coaching rates, get invited to speak speak abroad, and more importantly it’s helped build new relationships that are continuing to grow my business.

So Can Anyone Do This?

Sure. The entry level to podcasting isn’t huge. Essentially all you need is a computer, free editing software and a USB mic. My own approach is slightly more advanced (mixer, digital recorder, dynamic mic and Adobe Audition) but that’s purely because I’m an audio snob. My wife says I’m trying to be the BBC !

Editing audio takes a bit of know-how, but it’s nothing you can’t learn to do if you apply yourself. There are stacks of resources out there, particularly on YouTube, and if you’re really struggling or in a rush you can always hire a consultant.

My Top 7 Tips to Podcasting Success

Whilst there are never any guarantees, and many podcasters never get past episode seven, here’s what I think you could do to open up another successful source of lead generation for your business:

Tip #1: Define the niche for your show with your title

E.g.

  • The Improve Your Golf Swing Podcast
  • French in 5 Minutes a Day
  • Beat the Tax Man Podcast

These in turn could generate leads for a golf coach, language teacher or accountant selling a range of products and services such as: consulting, coaching, and digital training products, etc

Tip #2: Keep your show under 20 minutes

People don’t have much of an attention span. Short and snappy advice works best. According to the boffins, the average commute to work is 18 minutes in the US. Ideal time for listening to a podcast!

Tip #3: Write good show notes

Scripting your show word for word makes you sound unnatural. But too many umms and arhs can drive a listener crazy.

If you have clear show notes, say, in the form of bulleted points to cover you’ll stay on topic, won’t struggle for something to say, and won’t scare away your listener.

Tip #4: Record your show at -12 to – 6 DB, then raise it to -1 DB in your software prior to release

Trust me. This is what you need to do to stop your sound from spiking and distorting.

Tip #5: Interview experts in your field

Talking to others is easier than talking by yourself. And interviews are a great way of bringing news, information and a new perspective to your audience. It will also help more people find you as interviewees will spread the word about your show.

Tip #6: Invest in great art work

Your goal is to get people to subscribe to your podcast, primarily from iTunes. That way they keep up to date with every new show you release. Great art work gets you seen in iTunes. No doubt about it. And remember: it should be 600 x 600 pixels to look great on every device.

Tip #7: Promote your podcast as part of your integrated marketing strategy

I talk about my podcast on Twitter, make it visible on my blog, occasionally export a show to YouTube, and post links on Facebook. By hook or by crook people find out about the show and with that the audience grows and in turn my business grows.

So although the audience for podcasts might be smaller than the number of Twitter followers you have or visitors to your blog, a podcast can generate more qualified leads because regular listeners come to see you as the go-to expert in your field, which is never a bad thing.

So take my advice: go start a podcast or two!

Comments

  1. Very few businesses/people are willing to do something like a podcast…that is why they are so effective. Anyone who has the guys to put a series together separates himself from the crowd.

  2. The best way to get start is to lower your expectations for what makes a perfect podcast and just record one. Don’t worry about being perfect.

    • Amen Mike! Too many people try to get everything perfect before they’re willing to jump into podcasting. The key is to get out there and and start building a audience. You’ll never be perfect but once you start you’ll get better with each recording!

  3. I lvoe the tip that people have a short attention span. I see more and more people wanting to podcast “Live” and stream it. This means they have a schedule (say 8-9 pm), the problem is they don’t have 60 minutes of material. This equals ZZZzzzzzz.

    I’m always confused by people who have a blog, create content on a regular basis, and won’t start a podcast. Half the struggle is getting the content. The recording and posting is fairly easy.

  4. Great post Jon. I’m thinking about short audio blogging tips on my blog. I don’t know if the short clips would be considered podcasts or not but I think it would work well with my site.

  5. Hi Robert and Jon,
    I’m currently in the midst of reinventing my audio podcast with my first priority being getting show art! What software are you using for editing? I’m using Audacity but researching the available upgrades.

    • Hi,
      I use AdobeAudition on a Mac. It’s a bit pricy, but I do quite a bit of client work so I really needed a top solution.

      If you’re on a Mac I’d take a look at SoundStudio. It’s very easy to use and actually more intuitive than GarageBand.

      Audition is also available for the PC. Bit of a learning curve but if you can work your way around Audacity, you’ll handle it no probs.

      The biggest benefit with Audition is that it using a different encoder to the other applications out there. It’s better sound quality.

      Feel free to DM me on Twitter @jonbuscall to talk more about this.

  6. Hey Jon,

    As somebody who is a prolific podcaster there was no way I could see this post and not leave a comment. Podcasts are a fantastic engagement tool for creating a deeper connection with your audience because of the fact that they connect with you beyond your writing. As far as show length goes, I think it’s hard to have a dead set rule. Our show runs about 45 minutes and somehow we’re still keeping the attention of your listeners. Granted, we’ve also made a point to release fewer episodes. One think I know we can improve on is our show notes, so thanks for adding that in here. Thats on my to do list :)

    • I’m a big fan of your show Srinivas. It’s come on so much in the last year! Awesome stuff.

      I agree about show length actually. I tend to be on about 20 mins for solo shows but around the 30 m mark for interviews. Maybe sometimes it’s better to divide a longer show up into two ?

  7. Very interesting. I often debate podcasting because not everyone can do it well. Some podcasts puts you to sleep within the first 5 minutes and some just go on and on. Your article is a great start for anyone to get started. I may consider doing so too but the process seems like a hassle though. How do you suggest balancing between blogging, podcasting and vlogging?

    • To produce a good sounding podcast it takes a bit of energy to get the audio spot on. That can be a hassle. Plus, it’s much harder putting a show together on your own without a co-host.

      In terms of balance, I think an integrated marketing campaign must include a variety of posts. Blogging, podcasting and vlogging are, in a way, a great variety.

      I don’t personally vlog as much as I should (could) but it comes down to time and energy. It it’s working fine without a podcast, I wouldn’t worry but if you’re looking to generate a new audience, increase leads, etc, it might be worth giving it a go. But beware of podfading. It takes time to see results. I was lucky starting off.

  8. I’m looking at diversifying into the audio side of media so this post is quite timely. It’s also nice that you have kept it simple and not bombaraded me with shit I dont need! Thanks mate!

  9. And thank you Jayme! I loved our podcast chats. It’s such a great way of sharing experiences and knowledge with the community. As you know, I’m a firm believer in podcasting. And check Robert’s out too if you haven’t already. It’s awesome.

  10. Jon this is great article on how to enter into podcasting, thanks! I have been debating doing this for a while now. While I do not think “frequent” podcasts would ever be the type of thing that is “for me”. I think something like a monthly podcast could be something I would both enjoy doing and may find an audience. I just have to make sure I have enough worthwhile to say.

    Anyhow, some great tips here on getting this started. I appreciate it!

    -Steve

  11. Finally; your consummate how-to. Thanks for this…you know I’ve been so admiring of your mastery of this medium and because we have such a blast and I do love the je ne sais quoi of this. Perhaps that’s the push I need to take myself to monetize my offering…thinking. Thank you, Jon!

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