If you haven’t caught on by now, I encourage every brand or organization to start a podcast. Some research, like this article, are predicting that podcast listenership is going to reach over 85 million in the US alone by the year 2023.
But the word “podcast” is so…geeky, scary even.
The instant I bring this up with business owners, their faces wash over like they just got hit with the flu right in front of me. It’s the perceived time and complexity that hit them first, followed by fear that no one will listen to what they have to say.
My tagline goes like this:
I think everyone has a great story to tell and the question isn’t who your audience is but what you’ll do with an audience once you have one.Me!
Read the full guide to starting your small business podcast.
What makes a podcast a podcast?
First, throw the word “podcast” right out of the window.
The most important lesson here is that we’re constantly broadcasting to our audience. This can come in the form of a traditional podcast, a video series or consistently producing instagram stories. The goal we want to stretch for is consistently creating content that reaches our target audience.
If you’ve been in business for any stretch of time, you know that “build it and they will come” is a long lost folk tale. In today’s world, the act of going into business does not mean you’ll get customers. Launching a website will not bring you more sales. Creating a series of blog posts — will not instantly bring you more traffic to your website.
We need to encourage engagement, educate our customers, and keep them hooked into our brand. It’s a connection of all areas of content that make this possible. Broadcasting is towing the line of the entire company.
Keep telling your story
Think about ANY media you consume that has sponsored ads in the mix. You’ll hear these ads over and over and over and over — because that’s how it works. Once a consumer is exposed to a storyline or hook enough times, the connection is made. You increase your chances at becoming top of mind with the audience while creating opportunity for engagement.
When you’re broadcasting, you want to weave your story into every piece of content that goes out. Consistently towing the line of who you are, why you’re doing this, and how you can help others. Consistently reinforcing your position in business so that when a customer thinks “I need to start a podcast!” they look to me. If someone is out there thinking, I need to get in shape they think of Lara Harrington.
Stories can be told in an hour long audio podcast or a 30 second Instagram story. The beauty is you have creative freedom over the content that works for your business. There is no blueprint, each business is different and each audience is different.
Reinforce the call to action (the sale)
I know some people are sales adverse. We hate being pushy and we don’t want to force someone to buy from us. I get it.
Here’s the the thing about consistently creating content: You don’t have to be pushy, you just have to keep asking.
Light touches, here and there, reminding people how they can do business with you. Small nudges to reach out for a free consultation or a call to action at the end of each episode to buy your new apparel.
Whatever the product or service, podcasting (broadcasting) can serve as the perfect platform to encourage more sales in a tasteful way. It’s a great confidence booster — which is half the battle in sales — because if you’re creating truly educational and engaging content for your audience, there’s work involved. Once you start to account for all of that work, you quickly realize you want to be compensated for that investment.
That’s when asking for a sale becomes a lot easier through the natural form of a show, a video clip, or a blog post.
My argument to start a real podcast
All of that said, I’ve let you off the hook up until this point.
You can have the creative freedom to broadcast through any means you want, so long as you follow these 3 steps:
- You are consistent
- You reinforce your brand
- You include a call to action
But a real podcast — a real show — is the ultimate hook! Podcasting can cultivate the most engaged listeners that your brand can have. They are listening in the car, in the gym, or while cleaning the house. When a new show pops up in their podcast player, they can’t hit play fast enough.
Maybe, just maybe, they even go to sleep listening to you.
While bite sized video clips or IG stories are entertaining — they quickly disappear into the ether. A podcast is evergreen while providing the building blocks to additional content creation opportunities. It’s portable content not only in the sense of listening on a phone or a laptop, but that audio clip can be re-purposed into many mediums. Re-purposed podcasts can be cut to an IG story, the story line for a blog post, or a pre-sales warm-up to your business for prospective clients.
Think of podcast episodes as the free product you offer to turn listeners into future customers. At the very least, into brand advocates that help amplify your message.
At the end of the day, I encourage you to start creating content for your business. If you need guidance and you live in the South Coast MA area — join our free creator’s group South Coast Content Creators.