I don’t know about you, but it seems as though every day someone announcing that they started a podcast. From big brands to small business and even those trying to build a personal brand. Podcasting seems to be becoming a more and more attractive means to deliver your message. Which leads many to ask, “Should I start a podcast?”.
Podcasting began to catch fire around 2004 and has only increased in production and consumption since then. According to Edison Research  there are more than half a million podcasts and more than half of Americans have listened to podcasts.
I am a huge fan of Gary Vee, who is a digital marketing guru and advocate for content marketing. He is constantly hypothesizing that content that is consumed passively (like audio) is more appealing to the general public. Why? Well, because we are busy.
As a culture, there are many things pressing for our time. Stopping to read a blog or watch a video is becoming a commodity. However, we can more readily tune in to a podcast on the go or while we are multitasking.
Considering that this is how many of your potential clients are consuming content it is probable that as a leader and small business owner the thought has crossed your mind, “Should I start a podcast?”
Should I Start a Podcast?
See how much help I was there? Before we can address whether or not you should start a podcast, let’s first talk about what podcasting is and isn’t.
Without getting too technical (I am not the most techie lady) a podcast is simply an audio show that listeners can download a single or multiple episodes of.
Itunes, Spotify, Anchor, Google Play, Stitcher, are just a FEW of the major podcasting platforms which can stream your show for little (or sometimes) no cost. After your show is “aired” there are opportunities to repurpose content across your social channels. This provides valuable content even to non-podcast listeners.
What I have loved most about podcasting is its ability to connect with people from literally all over the world. It is also an incredible way to bring a more relational element to your brand. You are actually SPEAKING to your audience. It is a cool way for them to “get to know” the person behind the product or the brand.
You Should Not Start a Podcast.
I just spent several paragraphs raving about podcasts and now I am going to tell you not to start one? Well, no.
I like to end on a high note, and tell you all the benefits of YOU starting your show. However, it would be a disservice to you if I did not share the not-so-pretty side to podcasting. My goal here is to paint a broader picture and help manage expectations.
Okay, ready for the cold hard truth?
- You will not get immediate results.
- It is a lot of work.
Sounds like fun right?
The reality is that ALL content marketing doesn’t yield immediate results and is a lot of work. So this should not come as a surprise to you to hear podcasting is the same way. However, I am still surprised at how many people start shows and get discouraged when the download number is not as high. Like with anything else, content marketing or not, results take time.
Of course, there are new tactics you can learn, and ways that you can improve your show, but more often than not it comes back to good old fashion grit. Another difficult aspect of podcasting is getting feedback from your audience. Unlike blogging or social media posts, it is harder to interact with listeners because they are consuming your podcast a variety of different ways through different apps, most of which do not give the option to comment on individual episodes.
The investment of podcasting
One more thing worth mentioning is the potential investment of podcasting. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on equipment, make SURE this is something you are committed to for at least a year before you quit.
Besides the investment in a good microphone and potentially recording and editing software (you can edit your shows for free using audacityteam.org) you may decide to hire an editor, someone to design your show’s artwork and outsource promo material for your show.
You can, of course, do it yourself. I recommend doing it yourself at first just to learn the basics even if your long term plan is to hire out. Reason being, in the event that your assistant quits suddenly or is unable to produce your show, you are not left hanging and can still deliver your show on time.
Not to be discouraging, but realistically these are things you need to consider before taking the leap!
You Should Start a Podcast
Okay, here is the fun part, the reasons why you should start a show.
As mentioned before this is an INCREDIBLE way to connect with your current audience and be discovered by new audiences. Again, it is a long-term marketing strategy but has the potential to add SO much to your brand and reach.
If you decide to host solo episodes it can position you as an expert in your field. You can also share about your services (not too much because no one likes feeling sold to!) and even grow your email list by mentioning any free opt-ins that you have.
Interviews are also very popular among hosts for a couple of reasons. One, it is another resource to provide incredible value to your listeners. Second, it gives you an excuse to talk to really cool people in your industry and ask them any question you want. Let’s just be real here, that is pretty cool.
Lastly, it is A LOT of fun. I know I went on about how much work it is, but if you enjoy listening to podcasts you will likely really like hosting one. It feels really good to put together something that you are passionate about and have people actually listening to YOUR show.
No, really? Is podcasting right for me?
All in all, I am an advocate for podcasting. To say it has changed my life is an understatement. It has connected me with amazing people from all over the world and helped me build a platform where I can share my message which I am passionate about.
There have been times, especially at the beginning when I felt discouraged and wanted to quit, but I think anything you do that is worthwhile will have those moments where you question yourself and wonder if it is worth the effort for you.
Not everyone is going to enjoy podcasting or would necessarily benefit from it. I think all in all it is a personal decision and ultimately needs to be something you would enjoy. If the idea of starting a podcast sounds daunting and you already struggle with being overwhelmed, and time restraints, it may not be the best idea right now.
However, if the thought excites you and you are willing to keep a big-picture perspective and have reasonable expectations with starting one, I encourage you to try. You never know what might come from your show.
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