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Why you should create a podcast for your business

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Start a podcast written on a to do list

Want to build a relationship with your customers?

Creating a podcast for your business is an amazing way to communicate the personality of your brand and build trust with potential customers.

For a long time, the only way to do that was via the copy on your website.  And while it’s possible to pack words on (electronic) paper with tone it’s much easier to get that tone across with your voice.

How to use tone to connect with your podcast audience

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Not every business should have a podcast

The starting point for any podcast, whether it’s personal or professional, should always be “Who is my ideal listener and what kind of content are they looking for?”

I’ve worked with lots of clients, both individuals and businesses, who come up with a content plan for their podcast that reads like a press release.  Unfortunately, no matter how great you think your business is, no one is ever going to listen to a show if it feels like a marketing exercise rather than a source of great content.

This means you need to think of ideas that are related to your product or service without literally ramming what you’re selling down people’s throats.

Some businesses are wedded to the idea that they need to stamp their brand all over the content to make it worth the time and effort.  But often a lighter touch will get your business more attention and love because people don’t want to be sold to.

Think about what themes match up with your products or services or whether there’s content that relates to the ethos of your company, rather than just shouting about what you do.

Why you should design an ideal listener for your podcast

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A podcast is a great way to build authority and trust

If a customer hasn’t purchased your product or spent any time with you there’s usually no way of knowing what you’ll be like to work with.  With a podcast, you’ve got an opportunity to show people who you are so they feel comfortable investing in you.

It’s also a great way to prove you’re an expert in your field which in turn builds your authority and trust with potential customers.

How to connect with your podcast audience

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Business podcast examples

This isn’t an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea of a few different ways you can create content around your business…

Offer free advice or tips that tie back to your business

PodSchool

PodSchool Podcast logoPodSchool is my online podcasting course and the PodSchool Podcast is a free resource for people who want help starting their own show.

While the podcast is obviously closely linked to my business the only time I mention it is at the end of each episode where I tell people how they can get more help from me if they need it.

The show is a way for me to share my expertise with anyone who’s interested in podcasting but isn’t ready to invest in a full course, or who wants to try before they buy. It’s also a nice way for me to help more than one person at a time because I can get my tips into a lot of ears at once.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s a way for me to build trust with people who don’t know much about me.  If you’re asking for people’s money for something it’s essential they feel comfortable parting with their cash because they know they’re in safe hands.

Create content that relates to your business’ core values 

The Venture by Virgin Atlantic

The Venture podcast logoThis podcast was made by Gimlet Creative who are one of the standout creators of branded content globally.  It features interviews with entrepreneurs who disrupted their industries and tried to reinvent what was possible in their field.

That content isn’t directly associated with Virgin Atlantic but it is perfectly aligned with Virgin as a brand.

The idea came from the insight that a large portion of their customers are business travellers who would be interested in this type of content.  I’d argue it has broader appeal than that but it’s a great example of telling stories people want to hear in a way that directly relates to what your brand stands for.

Create content that relates to your product or service

Before The Bump by Mamamia

Before The Bump Podcast Logo

This is a show we created at Mamamia in partnership with Elevit.  The podcast in itself was aimed towards women who want to have a baby but have no idea what they’re in for or how to prepare.

When I went through the process of egg freezing I was amazed at how little I knew about my own body.  I was also blown away by how many questions women had about the process when they found out I’d been through it so I knew it was an area that would have a lot of interest.

It was also a natural fit because Elevit make pregnancy vitamins so the content was directly associated with the product without being about the product.

The show went o to be named one of Apple Podcasts Top 10 podcasts of the year so far and for a branded show that’s a big deal.

Create content that stands alone but is still on brand

The Message by GE

The Message podcast logoThis was a branded podcast that received millions of downloads, hit the top of the iTunes charts and earned GE millions of dollars in free PR.

Why did it work?  Because they identified a niche that wasn’t massive in podcasting yet (fiction), paid a playwright to craft the script so they had a killer narrative and created a really well-produced piece of storytelling that didn’t feel like it was tied to a brand at all.

The themes were around science and technology which is a space GE wanted to be known for playing in but that was as deep as the link between the content and the company went.

The podcast was a huge success for them in terms of reach, brand recognition and reputation.  So it’s a great example of how a podcast doesn’t have to have your business woven all the way through it for you to reap the benefits.

(And remember that those benefits don’t always have to be financial).

What are the different types of podcast?

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How do you come up with content?

Right, so you’ve decided on your idea, now you need to pack out your episodes with content.

If you’ve got an existing email list of customers you’ve already got a huge untapped resource.  Email them and ask what they’re struggling with, what their pain points are or what they need help with.  Anything that could spark inspiration.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have the luxury of an email list, sit down with a pen and paper and jot down all the things people who come to your business might want to know.

Once you’ve identified those areas, start googling the topics to see what comes up.  You’ll probably find a bunch of references from other people and businesses in your niche that can inspire your own content.

Looking at how other people are doing things will help spark ideas but it’ll also help you work out what you do and don’t like.

Just please don’t copy other people’s hard work…nobody likes a plagiariser.

How to find content for your podcast

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How do you make sure it’s not a flop?

While there’s no silver bullet for podcasting success there are a few things you can do to improve your chances or building a following and standing the test of time…

Maintain consistency

The majority of podcasts aren’t actively producing new episodes.  A very small percentage of these are seasonal shows that were only supposed to exist for a short run but the vast majority have gone quiet because they’ve succumbed to podfade.

The average number of episodes where most podcasters fade out is seven.  This is apparently just enough for people to realise “Holy crap, this is WAY more work than I realised!”

If you want to build a meaningful connection with your audience and build up a loyal fanbase, consistency is key.

That means you have to understand the realities of what’s involved BEFORE you get started.

Sometimes the easiest way to do this is by practising before you release episodes, so you can see how long it takes and work out whether you really have the time to do it.

How to avoid podfade

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Choose the right host

Let me start this section with a newsflash to those in the upper echelons of business  – 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 but brutal truth they’re not as entertaining as they think they are.

The decision of who should host always needs to be based on who’s the best person to deliver the content.  Not just because they know the most about it but because they’re the most engaging and entertaining.

If you’re a one-man band or a personal brand, the host decision will be easy but make sure you’ve got people around you prepared to give you honest feedback so you don’t drink your own Koolaid.

How to keep an audience engaged when podcasting solo

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Don’t settle for anything less than good content

There’s so much competition out there.  So, if you really want your podcast to cut through and get noticed you need to give people a reason to listen.

The only way to do that is to design the content specifically for them.

Whatever benefit your product or service provides, think about how you can use that as a starting point. Then try and create a show that will help your potential customers reach their goals (hopefully with the help of your business).

How to come up with a great podcast idea

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Don’t be boring

This goes without saying but nobody will listen to a show that puts them to sleep.

Remember that you’ll always find your company more interesting than anyone else will so think about the content from the point of view of your audience and you’ll be fine.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!