Podcasts have been around for a while now - since 2004 (if my Googling skills are any good) - so you might be wondering "is it worth starting a podcast?"... surely everything has been said by now! Surely the market is far too saturated! Surely everyone's podcast is better than mine will ever be!
Well, the short answer is yes and the reasons below are why...
1. Podcasts are convenient
One of the main reasons podcasts are so popular is because of their multi-task-ability-ness. People listen while working. People listen while driving. People listen while running. People can listen while doing pretty much anything else. Except maybe editing a podcast. That would just make things confusing.
It's an easy form of content for an audience to digest. Listening to a podcast can fit in on a drive to the office. Reading a blog on the same topic has to take the place of something else, or eat into precious spare time.
2. Repurpose content into a podcast
You might think you have nothing to say. KERRRRR-WRONG! Everyone has something to say, especially if you run a business.
If you already have a blog with a bunch of content, turn those posts into podcasts! Then put the podcasts in the blog posts so that people have the option. The easier option!
If you don't have a blog, you still have something to say. What about how your business started? What services do you offer? What's a typical day in the life of your company? Who are the people behind the scenes?
3. A personal connection
Hearing a voice from the company will build a connection with the listener. It will create an emotional response. Text and pictures can supply someone with as much information as possible, but it's very flat and dry. The reader has to work for it.
Hearing someone speak about things they have a vast knowledge of and display a passion for will have a much greater impression on someone than if they simply read a quote from them. The listener will get to know you, like you and trust you.
When I present at events about voiceover, I close with the line: give your brand identity, give it a voice.
A podcast can help make the business feel more human and give it personality. If I hear a podcast where a business owner comes across as really friendly and fun, it immediately puts their business in a good light.
Talking about personal experiences can really help cement you as a 'real person' behind the corporate image in the eye of the listener. Should that be "ear of the listener"? Answers on a postcard.
4. Voice of authority
If you put out podcasts consistently, providing content of worth in your given area of expertise, you'll start to be seen as an authority in your field. People will keep coming back because they can see (hear) you really know your stuff.
Where do customers go when they want advice? They go to an expert. Someone they see as having the answers to their problems. Make that someone you! You're already an expert in your line of work, so talk about it!
5. Promote products and services
You don't have to directly sell in the podcast. That could possibly put people off. But if you have people listening, then it makes sense to talk about what you offer.
For example, instead of: Oh and did you know we do a great line in divorce settlements.
You could talk about a particular job:
Oh yea I had this client who was getting divorced and needed help with the arrangements.
You get the point, it's about how you frame it. Or in other words...
...tell, don't sell!
There would be no harm in closing the podcast with a call to action to visit a website or attend an event - it's a given these days that digital media ends with a request for the audience to do something.
If you own a gardening business, people will find you by searching online or in directories for gardening businesses. If you have a podcast based around that, you'll automatically attract the right audience - people who search for gardening podcasts will find you.
So, a by-product of having a podcast, becoming an authority in your field and building an audience is REAL CASH MONEY!
When you've positioned yourself as an expert, people will come to you to solve their problems or to buy products. Having a podcast is just another avenue for potential customers to find you.
You might already have a website, a blog, Facebook ads, flyers, posters, radio commercials and all the rest, but not everyone consumes media the same way.
In 2020, 15.6 million people in the UK listened to podcasts. If you don't have one yet, you're missing out! There's a listener for everything.
7. Affordable and easy
You can get a pretty decent USB microphone for under £50. The beauty of podcasts is they don't have to be these amazingly high budget productions. You can even record a podcast on your phone.
If you're worried about editing software, there's a heap of free audio suites out there and once you get the hang of it, it's all pretty simple stuff.
Making a podcast doesn't need to take hours. You can record really short podcasts - two minute tips, or something like that. Or you could record for 20 minutes, and split it into 10 episodes, then sit back for a couple of months!
Just because there are hour long podcasts, doesn't mean you have to make an epic. Remember, we're in a world where instant access is what everybody wants. Short, sharp, snappy podcasts are absolutely perfect for that.
Can anyone create a podcast? Absolutely! Like I said up there ^^, you already have something to say, whether it's personal or business. So stop worrying and just do it! You don't need fancy gear or a studio, most people start a podcast at home. In fact, that will probably make it easier - you'll be in your comfort zone and more relaxed.
If you've been asking yourself "should I start a podcast?" you've probably listened to podcasts. Which means you'll have heard how much fun people have on them. That could be you, having a great time all while building an audience that includes potential customers.
If you're wondering why I'm banging on about all this stuff but then can see no evidence of my podcast, well, it's not been released yet. I recorded 9 episodes last year, then got busy and stopped.
One day. ONE DAY!!
I mentioned earlier that it's ok to have a call to action at the end of media. Well, here's mine...
...listen to my podcast voiceover reel.