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Why you should create a podcast for your business

 

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Starting a podcast for your business

For a long time the only way to show a potential customer your brand’s personality was through the copy on your website.  As a copywriter, it might be a little silly of me to poo poo an industry that pays my bills, but the truth is, while filling words with sparkling personality is possible, it’s not an exact science.

This is because people read things differently depending on who they are, what their background is, what mood they’re in when they stumble across your site, whether they’ve had a good or bad experience with a similar company; the list of variables is endless.

As someone who writes for a living both for businesses and online publications, I’ve seen first hand how different people’s interpretations of words on a page can be.  I’ve just come out of two weeks of being trolled for writing this piece about high school students.  Naturally, the people doing the trolling were teenagers (you can see their creative responses in my follow-up article) whereas the response from adults was mostly positive. The difference, of course, is perspective.

Naturally, the web copy for your business won’t be designed to polarise or insight debate like an opinion piece is but there are always going to be people who will misread the tone of what you write, even if it’s just words on your about page. That’s unfortunately why most businesses sound exactly the same online because generic is safe…and boring.

When you think about why it’s hard to get a true representation of your personality into words, it makes sense because personality is one of those things we ‘feel’ when we’re in the presence of someone.  That doesn’t mean web copy is redundant because people still need a place to go to find out what you’re about and there’s a huge difference between good and bad copywriting. But there’s no better way to give customers a ‘real’ sense of the personality of you, your brand or your company than through a podcast (unless you want to commit to regular videos but a podcast is waaaaay easier to produce and much easier for your audience to consume).

Nothing can replace the power of meeting someone face to face and while you can’t have coffee with everyone who buys what you’re selling, starting a conversation with them via podcast can have amazing benefits for your business.

It turns paying customers into raving fans

How a podcast can help your businessIf you want to encourage repeat purchase, customer loyalty and word of mouth, you have to be committed to nurturing a relationship with your customers even after they’ve parted with their credit card details.

There’s nothing worse than feeling like a company would come to your house and rub your feet to get you to sign up but then the minute you’ve pressed ‘buy’ treats you like an ex who won’t get over it.

Obviously, if you want to make money you have to scale your business and giving every customer a weekly back massage isn’t going to be possible, so a podcast can provide a way to provide extra value that deepens the relationship after the point of purchase.

The main thing to consider is…

‘What will add value for our customers?’

I’ve worked with so many clients, both individuals and businesses, who come to me with a content plan for their podcast that reads like a press release.  The truth is no one is ever going to listen to your show if it feels like the content is designed to tell everyone about your products rather than provide them with real advice and assistance.

If you’re an existing business who already has an FAQ section and knows your customer’s pain points, the good news is you could probably lay down the butchers paper and knock out a year’s worth of episodes in one meeting.

Coming up with an idea for your podcastIf you’re just starting out, the process will be more time-consuming but every content decision has to come from an understanding of your ideal customer and what they would find useful and interesting.

Obviously, podcasting for the sake of podcasting is never worth it but if your product or service provides a natural opportunity to create additional content that could help your customers, it can be a great way to give them something they weren’t expecting, nurture the relationship and turn them into raving fans.

It helps build trust with potential customers

Everyone knows word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising there is and up until now the only way to get that was if existing customers mentioned you to their network.

Traditionally, if a customer hadn’t purchased your product there was no way of knowing what you’d be like to work with.  But with a podcast, if you’re providing useful content an audience can get a sense of the benefit you provide before they invest.

Obviously, if you link your episode content back to your product or service, that’s great but it needs to be done in a way that doesn’t seem like it’s all about the sell.

How to get your customers to trust youMost people don’t want to part with their hard-earned if they can help it but they’ll throw money at something if it’ll help them solve a problem and if it feels like it was designed just for them.

So if you think podcasting might be right for your business, here’s some things to consider…

Maintain consistency

I’ve followed a number of podcasts over the years that have grown into pretty phenomenal businesses and unfortunately with some of them, the “I’m here for you” approach that seemed so authentic at the beginning has slowly been replaced by “I’ve drunk my own Kool-Aid.”

It’s important to remember as time goes by and the podcast episodes pile up that new listeners will rarely make it all the way to episode one.  Usually, when they subscribe, they’ll start at the newest episode and work their way back.

While that’s great because you’ll (hopefully) be better in episode 340 than you were in episode two, if you lose the passion for your listeners you had when you needed them more than they needed you, that disconnect will make it harder for later listeners to build a strong relationship with you.

As humans, this can be difficult because no matter how much some people promise success won’t change them, it often does.  If you’re an existing company that already does very well, this will be less of an issue because your podcast will be more about building loyalty than awareness but it’s important to have the right checks and balances in place to make sure you maintain the authenticity that had people jumping on board in the first place.

Naturally, a lot of this will come down to who you choose to have at the helm, so it’s important to…

Choose a host that embodies the right personality for your brand

Who should host your podcast?Let me start this section with a newsflash to those in the upper echelons  – this is usually NOT the CEO, no matter how badly he or she wants their own podcast.

I’ve had a number of conversations with companies where the CEO or Marketing Manager has taken it upon themselves to raise their hand for the role of podcast host and understandably, no one below them wants to deliver the harsh yet brutal truth they’re not as entertaining as they think they are.

This has led to some difficult conversations where I’ve had to suggest someone else might be better for the job because the person you put behind the mic will make or break your podcast’s success.

A show hosted by the CEO of a company might be impressive to other people in the world of business but the person who’s buying your product (i.e. the audience) usually doesn’t give a rats about the hosts corporate resume.

Sometimes, the CEO or a manager will be the perfect person to front a podcast because they’re engaging, entertaining and the ideal voice for the brand.  Other times it might be worth putting a call out to the people within the organisation to see who has the right expertise, experience and personality.

Often, this is someone who might not be high up in the organisation.  Obviously, they need to know the content and the company inside out but they also need to be able to connect with customers.  In a big organisation people higher up the chain tend to use language that people at the point of purchase don’t resonate with, so someone closer to the consumer can often be a better fit.

It’s also important to note if you start a podcast you have to deliver an episode each week and the higher up in the organisation the host is, the more competing commitments they’ll have to deal with.  If someone lower down can take this on as a pet project they’ll often be more willing and able to give it the time and attention it deserves.

If you’re a one man band or a personal brand, working out who the host is will be an easy decision BUT make sure you have people around you who give you honest feedback about the content you’re providing and the way you’re delivering it.

Content is king

As over-used as those three little words are they’re absolutely true and vital in a podcast. There’s so much competition out there when it comes to online content so it’s essential you give customers a reason to listen.

The only way to do that is to design content specifically for them, so think about what will help them grow their business and themselves.  Whatever benefit your product or service provides, think about how you can use that as a starting point to understand the people who purchase and create a show that will help them reach goals that are associated with the service you provide.

And last but not please, PLEASE make it interesting because no good can come from a podcast that makes an audience say this…

Want some help starting your business podcast?  Check out my online podcast course, PodSchool or contact me about my one-on-one coaching.

1 Comment
  1. Bradley says:

    Yet another great article – a condensed ‘How to’ when the time comes (very soon) to launch my own podcasts! Thanks once again! Bradley

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