Ep 119: The Podcast & Business Show

Podcasting is on the rise and today I am going to give you 5 reasons why your business should consider launching a podcast in 2018.

Who is this episode for?:
Today’s show will benefit anyone who has a business, but will be especially helpful for brick and mortar and more traditional small businesses who are looking for ways to increase local business and sales and to ramp up their online presence.

5 reasons for businesses to start a podcast in 2018:

Advertising & Sales
Authority Building
Client Relations & Community Building
Content Marketing
Revenue Stream


5 reasons for businesses to start a podcast in 2018:

Advertising & Sales
Authority Building
Client Relations & Community Building
Content Marketing
Revenue Stream

Preface:

There are many benefits and upsides to podcasting, but podcasting is hard work. It sounds fun and easy in all of the articles, but it can be very difficult to produce an ongoing podcast. It is more just pressing record on your iPhone and pressing upload. It takes more than buying a $50 USB microphone and a $15 hosting account.

Once you start a podcast, it will be on your brain 24/7 of what the next show should be about. If you run a business, you have to be very realistic about time management.

Podcasting takes preparation, planning, learning of tech skills, social media management and engagement.

You already know running a business is hard work, but worth it. Podcasting is the same way.

Innovation is more important than ever for small and local businesses, and podcasting one really powerful option to connect with your clients, stand out among your competition and become an industry leader and expert.

Secret to Podcasting:

People start listening to a podcast because they are interested in the topic or someone tells them to check it out. They subscribe and keep coming back because of the host and because the podcast is useful (educating/informative), entertaining (fun) and/or it improves their life (makes them healthy, happy, saves them time, money…). Podcasting is an intimate medium. People feel like they know the host of their favorite podcasters. They are friends even though they have never met. They trust the podcaster because they show up week after week and give them good information.

Note: The podcaster must show up consistently to whatever schedule they commit to at the start. Listeners will schedule their morning routines or workouts or commutes around the podcast. If the podcaster breaks the chain of consistency by either skipping an episode or not delivering good content, the trust has been violated. It’s just like in the restaurant business: “you are only as good as your last meal” When you stop being consistent, you will lose the respect and trust of your audience no matter how great you were before.

A podcast for local businesses can build trust with clients and the community if it is consistent (schedule) and over-deliver on content (value).


5 Reasons To Start a Business Podcast in 2018

This is for any business, but I think local businesses would really benefit from a podcast to reach their clients and grow their business. This is for you if you are realtor, mortgage broker, financial consultant, restaurant or cafe, pet store owner, grocery market, plumber, electrician, landscaper, painter, designer, housecleaner…etc. etc.

1. Advertising & Sales.

Relevant form or advertising, marketing and promotion through storytelling, education and/or entertainment . It’s no longer about blasting zip codes with marketing materials hoping you win the numbers game. It’s about being where your customers are which in most cases is on their mobile device. One of the major reasons audio content and podcasting is on the rise is because people spend the most time on their mobile devices and podcasts and audiobooks are the best on mobile devices because people can multi-task but still consume great content.

Case Study: Realtors

Many realtors spend a lot of money every month on oversized flyers. They are often poorly designed with an outdated headshot, too many photos and busy typography. Honestly, the only reason I ever look at flyers in my mailbox is to check out and study the designs (some are well done). I know realtors who pay for website ads they do not understand and brings them almost no business, they buy ads in magazines, newspapers, and various outlets that bring little business, but it is how everyone in their office and industry does it. The mentality is all about numbers. Just put stuff in as many mailboxes as possible in the ‘good’ neighborhoods or zip codes and law of averages will play out and you will get a call.

Be Different & Start a Podcast. The topic can be anything you want so long as you make it for your ideal clients or listeners and for the community. Give them a reason to listen (entertaining, educating or it saves them time or money). Be the local expert in real estate while building a network of people who trust you. What do you talk about when you drive around checking out properties? What does every new buyer ask you? What are the inside secrets to buying or selling a house?

Sample Realtor Podcast Ideas: 

  1. Daily News Update: You are a realtor or mortgage broker and you have a daily podcast for 5–10 minutes where you give the weather report, local events for the week, activities for kids and parents, your favorite new lunch spot or green juice recipe, your new exercise and diet routine that is really working for a busy professional.
  2. Real Estate Podcast: Talk about the drop in mortgage rates or stock market or bitcoin news.How to sell your house. Tips for buying your first home. Best schools in your town. Interview other mortgage brokers, bankers, local business owners, superintendents of schools. Represent your town and community in a positive way and educate people about your area of expertise and your area. Answer the questions everybody has to save them time and over-deliver on information and value and you will stand apart from everybody.

Result of Podcast: Your name is at the top of the list whenever someone asks, do you know of a good realtor or mortgage person in town?

2. Authority Building.

This is kind of a know brainer. Podcast about a topic you know a lot about and you will be viewed as an industry expert and it will likely open up other opportunities for you and your business such as speaking gigs and collaborations, etc.

Case Study: Coffee Shops
How do you stand out from the competition?

You are a local coffee shop in town competing with 3 Starbucks, 2 Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee options on every block. Coffee is coffee, right? Probably not to you. You probably are very passionate about the history and culture of roasting and coffee and know what makes good coffee good. Your average customer probably does not. Share your story of coffee.

Sample Coffee Shop Podcast Idea:
What if you had a weekly podcast all about coffee. Tell the story of how you got into coffee and what inspired you to start your own coffee shop. What machines do you use and what is the art of making a great cup of coffee or cappuccino? How do you make those cool drawings on the milk? What are the different types of beans? Share your stories about coffee and the culture around it.Etc, etc. Do a live broadcast in the coffee shop and interview guests and spotlight VIP customers or promote the writers and entrepreneurs who come in everyday to work. The good vibes of coffee shops matters. Share the details and behind the scenes of running a coffee shop.

Result of Podcast: Your coffee shop is where locals go and bring out of town guests because this shop is passionate and knowledgeable about their product. With this weekly podcast, you are instantly becoming the expert in coffee in your community and building trust. I know that if I go to this coffee shop I am going to get a good cup of coffee and I feel a little more knowledgeable about a thing I like.

3. Client Relations & Community Building

Turn your clients into raging fans. Podcasts are an intimate medium and an effective way to put your clients and potential clients on a pedestal or to just give them information they need or want. Podcasting is like a direct one-to-one conversation with your clients and if you have something like a Facebook Group built around your podcast, you could build up quite a community and your business will be center stage.

Sample Client-Driven Podcast:
What if your podcast had a weekly giveaway or maybe a client of the month segment or you used the podcast to answer frequently asked client questions. Write down every question you get on the phones or in emails or on social media and share them on the podcast along and this would really show that your business listened and cared about their clients. In return your clients feel special and more attached to your business and that is how a tribe or community is built. Podcasting can do this for any business and building an audience and community is perhaps the superpower of podcasts and in a noisy world, personal connection has never been more important in business.

Result of Podcast: Loyal clients who spread the word about your business.

4. Content Marketing.

You hear content is king all the time right, well there is a lot of truth to that. You may be the best photographer or restaurant in town, but when I ask Siri for a recommendation is your name going to come up on top? Content makes you relevant. Google rewards business and brands who create useful and relevant content and are going to put those who have active and engaging audiences on the top of search. People spend most of their time on their mobile devices and when they need to find a service they ask Siri or maybe check on maps or do a quick search in mobile safari and look at the top results listed by Google Maps.

They also spend a lot of time on Facebook & Instagram & Twitter, etc. If you create relevant content your business will be seen and be fresh in mind the next time someone is looking for what you offer. Content is how you get the attention of your clients and potential clients.

Content Marketing is about building relationships, earning trust and providing useful information or value. Podcasts do all of those things really well and it is content that can be repurposed in many different ways.

Podcast Workflow for Content Marketing:
Starting a podcast for your business creates audio content that is distributed in iTunes and all of the major directories that are discoverable. Then you take the audio content and convert to text for your blog posts, Medium articles and Facebook posts. Then you post your podcast link and show notes on LinkedIn for industry notoriety and of course post a teaser on Instagram with proper hashtags so you show up in search results.

One podcast episode adds a lot of relevancy and your content is marketing for you. Content Marketing is hard work, but you need to pay attention to how people are searching and discovering businesses and be there.

Result of Podcast: Google SEO Love(search engine optimization) & discovery.

5. Income (Revenue Generator)

It is never a good idea to start a podcast expecting to make money from it, but you can make money with sponsors, affiliate partnerships and direct sales form products and services you offer. Introducing a podcast to your business strategy has a very real potential to increase sales and revenue across the board.

There are many ways a podcast can generate revenue for your business and not all are direct, but a podcast has a lot of potential for increasing sales and revenue for your business. I should note that starting a podcast for the sole purpose of making money is probably not a good strategy as it will take time to build an audience and you need to first establish trust. People will not listen if your podcast is simply a sales platform, but they will buy from you if you over-deliver on value and entertainment and genuinely care about them.

Some of the obvious ways to generate revenue from a business podcast are:

Sponsorships. If you start a podcast for your business that has a decent size audience, your vendors will want to advertise with you and get in front of your listeners and pay you to mention them in a 30-second ad.

Affiliates. Partnering with other creators or Amazon Associate program could bring in revenue for businesses that recommend products or tools in their podcast. Let’s say you own a dog walking business or even pet store and you share your favorite dog brushes and shampoos and food and toys. You could encourage people to come in your store to purchase and get a discount on grooming and also leave a link to Amazon which you would get commission on. Your listeners and clients are happy with all of the helpful tips and you generate some extra revenue. You know how I love the win-wins.

It does not have to be Amazon either. Many businesses have an affiliate or referral program, so if you recommend 3rd party products, be sure to inquire so you can get a commission at no additional cost to your clients or listeners.

Direct Sales. Your business podcast is your platform to do what you want. You can sell and promote your products on your podcast if it works. Share your promotions or product that is on special and revenue will increase. It’s all about serving your clients or listeners. If you think they will benefit from a product or service, share it on the podcast and give them a call to action of how they can take advantage of whatever it is.


Conclusion: 

Podcasting is hard work and not for every type of business, but is a great medium for those businesses who are ready to step up their online presence and looking to innovate and market outside the box.

Technology is changing quickly. Local businesses and retail shops are getting increasingly difficult to maintain and grow. Podcasting is one form of content that builds client trust and establishes your business as the authority in the industry. Podcasting can also directly or indirectly generate revenue and become an addition source of income.

Times they are a-changing. It is time for your business to look in the mirror and stop making excuses about technology and social media and how confusing or overwhelming everything is. If you do not ‘get’ Instagram or Instagram Stories and Facebook and Medium.com and podcasting then you need to because your business needs to be relevant in order to survive. You need to be where your clients are and if you want to stand out and turn them into loyal fans and customers, you need to give them a reason.

Get in their ears and tell them how much you care about them and you will grow your business and tribe one listener at a time.

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Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)