First things first. I’m in no way an authority on podcasting. I’ve participated in a dozen or so podcasts over the past few years. Now I’m in the hot-seat. As host rather than the guest.
In fact, I’m a co-host. Myself and the fellow marketer and author of The Content Revolution, Mark Masters, produce The Marketing Homebrew podcast each and every week. We’ve just completed week 19. My whole approach to digital marketing has been DIY. I’ve taken the same approach with podcasting. I hope I can offer you the incentive to consider podcasting for your own business.
What lessons have we learned during our first 4 months of podcasting?
1. You need direction, you don’t necessarily need a plan
Like everything. You start from zero. We took the decision to keep our format as simple as possible. 2 people. 1 conversation on a marketing topic we feel warrants discussion. 30 minutes of our listener’s time. That’s our plan. We’ve deviated slightly as we’re now introducing guests to the podcast. However. The plan remains. Keep it simple.
Direction is key. Not ours, but our listeners. What insight and experience can we provide that helps them on their journey marketing their own business?
2. The impact of collaboration
I couldn’t do the podcast alone. Me talking to the mic? I just don’t believe I could retain interest for 30 minutes. At the same time, I didn’t want to burden my week with podcast production headaches. Again, I wanted to keep this simple.
My podcast partner and I are both marketers as well as business owners. Our own approaches have been defined through umpteen years of learning and experience. The podcast is a platform to share our insight with our audience. Beyond the blog.
Don’t just look around your office for a co-host. Maybe partner with one of your clients? Maybe choose somebody with a different perspective than your own? Somebody who can offer insight on the problems your own audience face?
3. No time is no excuse
Seriously. You can make the time. We schedule an hour a week for production. One hour for pre-show discussion. We pop ideas back and forth during the week by email. Apart from that? It’s really just spending a little time learning the tools, investing in the equipment (podcasting won’t break the bank). So, if the only question you have is ‘how much time will this take me?’. Cross that off the list and get recording.
4. Gather and listen to feedback
This is critical. Sure, people will tell you they enjoyed the show. Get feedback from your nearest and dearest. Get honest feedback. Listen to your shows once they’re recorded. Take notes about your style and ask for feedback specific to your delivery. You’re going to start out sounding wooden. We did. But, now? 19 weeks on? We’re getting comfy with the approach we’re taken. Yes, you make mistakes. Learn from them.
5. Remember, this isn’t a sales channel
Don’t sell. Share stories, share insight, share insight. Just don’t sell. It’s so so obvious. It turns people off quickly. Your listeners will be naturally inquisitive if they feel your guidance inspires. At the end of each of our own shows we point our listener in the direction of MarketingHomebrew.com. Somewhere they can find out more about us and the show. Nothing more. Just to reiterate… don’t sell.
4 months in and we’ve seen over 3,500 downloads from 24 countries across the globe. 80% UK based. We haven’t ‘pushed’ the podcast on our own individual audience. We’re continuously learning and we’re inviting our listeners along for the ride. We believe we have something of value. Something we can trade 30 minutes of our listeners’ time for. That’s the key to podcasting. Creating value.
What would you share with your podcast listeners? What format would feel comfortable for you? Make no excuse. Podcasting is experiencing huge growth. If you don’t take that idea to market, you can be sure your competitors will.