Not too long ago, I was interviewed for a podcast that will be posted on a site about doing what you love for a living. It was a great experience and, while I hope it helps some listeners take a leap of faith and do what they love to, it got me thinking about podcasts in general and what advantages and disadvantages they offer small businesses who are considering doing them in an effort to grow.
After a little bit of research, this is what I discovered…
There can be many different benefits of having a podcast for your small business. Not only would it give you one more way to engage with your target market, but this particular media also has greater appeal to people who prefer to get their information by hearing versus reading. These are called auditory learners and they are different than individuals who would rather learn with their eyes (visual learners) or by actively doing something (kinesthetic learners).
Podcasts are also a great way to express the personality of your business. Because your listeners get to hear how you speak, the words you use, and the mannerisms you project, and they get a better idea of who you are. This is very important, as people like to do business with people they know. In this case, podcasts can help you become more of a “trusted friend” instead of just a four-walled, lifeless company.
One additional benefit of having a podcast is that your target market can download it and listen to it at a time that is more convenient for them. This may be while they are driving, exercising, on a train or plane, or anywhere else where they are looking to pass the time. The advantage this offers is that you enter people’s lives on their terms, which makes you a more welcome guest.
There are some well-known people that currently use this form of media to reach larger amounts of people in their target markets. For instance, money guru Dave Ramsey has his daily The Dave Ramsey Show podcasts designed to help his listeners make better money choices. And Joel Osteen Ministries Podcasts are put out weekly to help him connect with his followers and advance their faith. But podcasts aren’t without their disadvantages too.
For starters, podcasts take a lot of time. First you have to decide what they are going to be about, then you have to plan them, record them, and edit them which, depending on how long your podcasts are, could literally take hours for just one broadcast session. They could take even longer if you’re interviewing someone else, as you have to find your prospective interviewees, prep them, and go over their information beforehand too.
Additionally, not everyone likes listening to podcasts (think of your visual and kinesthetic learners or older markets who might not necessarily even know what a podcast is). So, if you make this your primary marketing tool, you could potentially miss out on a larger portion of the people you are trying to reach. You also have the added expense of recording and editing equipment and software, or paying someone to take care of this for you, potentially turning this into a costly marketing avenue.
Despite these potential drawbacks, some entrepreneurs are certainly making podcasts work for them and their businesses. These include some of the most popular podcasts right now, such as The Adam Corolla Show, The Ross Report, and The Dr. Drew Show, among several others.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business Podcast
In the end, if you educate yourself about all of the positives and negatives of starting your own business podcast and decide that you want to give it a try, here are some questions you will want to answer first:
- What are you going to name your podcast? Will it be your business name, or do you want to come up with something else?
- Who will be in the podcasts? You or someone else in your company?
- What is the goal of your podcast? Is it to help your listeners solve a problem, to entertain them, to share your expertise, or some combination of these?
- How will you portray this goal in a brief summary or description of your podcast?
- What image or picture will you use for your podcasts?
- What topics do you want to discuss?
- How often will you release a new podcast? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
- What type of recording and editing equipment or software do you need to obtain? (Think microphone, recording devices, editing software, and such.)
- Where do you plan to record your podcasts? Do you have a quiet place available to you or would you have to find one?
Some of these answers you can figure out on your own (such as the name and purpose of your podcast), but others may require that you get some help. If that’s the case, there are many different podcast-based services available, so find one that you trust to help you create the best podcasts you can for your small business.
What do you think? Are you ready to start your own business podcasts? If so, feel free to share below!
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