Podcasts: Content on the Go

logopodcastDo you listen to the radio? Believe it or not, it's still a popular medium – according to the Radio Advertising Bureau, 94% of adults aged 25 and older (men and women) listen to radio weekly.

Radio isn't just music. You can listen to NPR or other talk radio stations to catch up on news, enjoy interviews and discussions, or hear stories about a topic you're interested in.

Podcasts take this concept of portable entertainment and add the element of choice to it. You can download or stream whatever you want to listen to and enjoy it wherever, whenever. You're not at the mercy of what's being aired.

You could listen to an interview while on the treadmill, a comedy show while mowing the lawn, or a discussion while driving.

By offering podcasts in your business, you're giving your target audience the opportunity to listen to you at any time. Spreading your message in an entertaining and enjoyable way.

Since podcasts are so simple to put together, it seems silly not to offer them. You'd be missing out on a huge opportunity to generate more customers.

That's why this week I'm talking all about podcasts and how they can transform your business.

You'll discover just how many people you could reach by offering a podcast…

How to create it simply without breaking the bank…

And ideas for themes that will resonate with your audience…

The Power of Audio

large_audioThe podcast has come a long way since it's inception.

With the advent of computers and mp3 players, companies started to release downloadable audios you could put on your devices to enjoy. However, once Apple released the iPod in 2005, the term “podcast” became mainstream.

Through iTunes, you could stream podcasts for free (or through a subscription) and enjoy a new episode whenever it was released. It was revolutionary.

Now, you have apps dedicated to podcasts on smartphones, so users are “one click away” from consuming them whenever they please.

Despite this, even though some people believe podcasts to be outdated, especially with the advent of online video and tablets, the numbers prove otherwise.

Last year, Apple announced that there have been 1 billion podcast downloads since 2005. And, according to Edison Research, the percentage of Americans 12 and older who have listened to a podcast is 26%, compared to 10% in 2006.

Beyond that, 29% of people have used portable devices for in-car media consumption, instead of the radio.

The best news of all? It's still a relatively low-competition zone. While there are a lot of podcasts out there, only savvy marketers have made real headway. Giving you a huge opportunity to jump in and make a splash.

First, you're engaging a captive audience – they're in the middle of a commute or an exercise routine, so they're going to listen all the way through.

You also build your authority and brand. If your content is good, you'll bring your audience back again and again, improving your relationship. They'll also be more likely to share your content with others.

Finally, ideal clients can find you more easily. Your audience consumes content in many different ways, so you want to provide as many options as possible. If your competition has a podcast and you don't, they could very well be chosen over you.

So, how can you get started if you don't know anything about podcasts?

A Beginner's Guide to Podcasting

Beginners-guide-for-bullion-coinsAll you need to create a good podcast is the right equipment (which I bet you already have!) and a plan.

Honestly, doing a podcast is even simpler than video; all you need is your computer or a portable device. Anything with a microphone in it. Your phone should have a voice recorder already available.

Beyond that, you need software for recording. If you're using a computer, I recommend Audacity. It's free, works well, and has all of the features you need.

If you have all of that, you're ready to create your first podcast! However, you need to give serious thought to what you're going to talk about.

Creating a strategy for podcasting is just like creating any content strategy – you have to decide who you want to reach and what your goal is. Are you targeting your ideal clients? Or are you reaching out to a whole new audience?

How frequently do you want to create and release your podcasts? How long will they be? What types of material will you cover?

One of the biggest questions I get is about how long content should be. You're worried about it being too long or too short.

Statistically speaking, consumers listen to podcasts for about 22 minutes. That's a significant chunk of time (and, coincidentally, the length of a sitcom without commercials).

Knowing that, you can structure your piece to fit that mold. However, in my honest opinion, your podcast should be as long as it needs to be to get the point across.

Anyway, when you've come up with a plan, the next step is exactly the same as with video – create an outline or a script. In this case, I recommend an outline since it allows you to be a little looser. Scripts can sound canned.

Once you've recorded your podcast, and saved it as an mp3, you can upload it to your Wordpress or standard site and you're all set! If you're worried about space or bandwidth restrictions, you can also invest in podcast hosting services like Libsyn. They come highly recommended.

Either way, treat your podcast just like your blog – give it a dedicated space on your website and make sure you convey the value in signing up for it. Whenever you release a new episode, let your audience know!

Themes For Your Podcast

Coming up with a theme or format for your podcast can be the hardest part. After all, there are many options.

First, you should decide if you want to host your piece alone, or co-host with another Expertpreneur®. Perhaps you have a strong JV relationship and want to work together. This could be highly beneficial to both of your businesses.

By doing that, you have the support of another marketer, but still reap the benefits of a powerful, actionable, and informative podcast for your audience.

As a technical note: if you work with a co-host or interviewee, chances are you won't be in the same place. The good news is, there are free or low-priced conference call services you can set up to record your conversations. Then the recording can serve as your podcast! I use this free service for my podcasts.

Next, whether going solo or not, you have to decide what you want to focus on. Do you like talking about current events? Perhaps you prefer chatting with other people?

Here are a few options to consider:

  • News: If your field involves many new trends and research, a great format for you would be to cover top news items and share your opinions on them. Particularly if you work in health, wellness, etc… just showing your audience you are on top of trends is enough to establish your expertise.You could structure this with the top 10 headlines of the week or month, or perhaps go in depth on one major topic. You have lots of flexibility here!
  • Interviews: It's hard to beat this format – you bring in Experts related to your field and ask them questions. Your audience gets the benefit of hearing a new perspective, and you benefit from being the person to provide that information.It can take extra work finding guests for each podcast, but it also means less of the burden is on you to talk the entire time. Plus, as an added incentive for your guest, you can offer a free gift from them – a product they sell or a content piece they offer.Just make sure it's truly valuable to your audience!
  • Reviews: If you are an expert in food, entertainment, arts, or even in the fitness world, you could make a podcast around reviewing other things. Consumers enjoy hearing opinions about products they might buy – why not be the person to give them?Again, this is a way to showcase your knowledge through your (hopefully constructive) criticism of other things.
  • Storytelling: Inspired by “This American Life”, you could do a podcast that revolves around storytelling. Perhaps you could bring on people whose lives have been changed by work done in your field.This weaves beautifully with interviewing other marketers, as well. Get people to share relatable stories and your audience will eat them up.
  • Advice: Are you fan of professional “advice-givers” like Ask Abby or Dan Savage? Why not become one yourself?You could ask clients and listeners to write in with questions and you can answer them “on air.” A fantastic way to show off your expertise while helping others in the process.

I realize there's a lot to consider, but by focusing on any one of these themes, you will create a great podcast your audience will love.

As an example, I've created a podcast of my own called “Expertpreneur® Radio,” a weekly show that focuses on helping Expertpreneurs® build Easy, Simple, and Lucrative businesses. For my theme, I spotlight Expertpreneurs® from around the world, so you can discover new strategies based on their expertise.

This is primarily an interview theme, however I go solo if I have a particular topic I want to cover. This allows flexibility, and ensures that you get a high-quality piece every single week.

Give it a Shot

It may sound overwhelming, but a podcast could be just the boost your business needs to get to the next level.

The fact is, you don't have to create an audience of millions to make a difference. Since you have a special niche for your business, reaching out to even 10,000 people (which I'm sure seems like a lot!) can have a significant impact on your business and the world.

If you want to create an intimate, powerful relationship with your customers, and hope to transform your business into a huge success, consider incorporating podcasting into your strategy. You won't regret it.

About Sheryl Wolowyk

Sheryl Wolowyk is a best selling author, award winning speaker and business coach. She focuses on service professionals and “ExpertPreneurs®." As an income acceleration coach, she helps service entrepreneurs attract more ideal clients, get paid top dollar, increase their visibility and reach. Sheryl teaches her clients how to create lucrative businesses and influential brands by positioning their expertise, and communicating their value in an authentic and genuine way that doesn’t sound ‘salesy’ or feel uncomfortable. Her clients are able to quickly build connection, garner trust, and attract a steady stream of ideal clients without having to work all the time, or sacrifice their true priorities in life.

She has built 4 million dollar businesses, is Executive Producer and host of the “Expertpreneurs®” Radio Show, hosts Expertpreneur® TV, and has been seen on ABC,CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliate stations. Sheryl has provided her insight and advice in Forbes Magazine and as a National columnist for America’s Premier Experts. Sheryl is also editor and publisher of ExpertPreneur® Magazine, a free digital magazine available on the Apple newsstand and Google playstore in 150 countries. She’s also a founder of the XPRIZE Education Initiatives where she works with billionaire Elon Musk and Personal Development coach Tony Robbins to change how the world educates. www.expertelevation.com

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