It’s easy to see why we forget about podcasts. Screens dominate our lives. We watch Netflix and YouTube on multiple devices. We skim (never read) articles on our phones (sometimes while watching Netflix or YouTube). Whenever we have access to the glowing glass, our eyes turn in that direction.
But here’s the beauty of a podcast: it’s in our ears. It’s great for when we are driving, running, bicycling, pushing a stroller, or sweating it out at the gym. We can roam the grocery store while listening to a podcast.
People are Getting into Podcasts
You definitely don’t need to take my word for it. Read last year’s Infinite Dial report, by the same people who handle the exit polling results for presidential elections. The numbers are on a steady rise for people who are consuming digital audio content (and especially podcasts) in their cars and on their mobile devices.
As more of us seek ways to entertain and inform ourselves on topics we care about versus whatever happens to be on the radio, the rise of podcasting is only natural.
That becomes my first piece of advice: start learning about podcasts by seeking a topic of your interest.
Look up a show that catches your interest. Google Play has a podcast section. Apple has a podcast section. Spotify is investing more every year to add even more podcast content to their platform. You’ll find what you want if you search.
Find a show on yoga or Texas hold-em or true crime stories (a surprisingly popular podcast genre) or one about your favorite show, new or old. A guy I know runs a Babylon 5 podcast about a show that hasn’t been on for decades and few watched even in its prime.
From here, you’ll learn about the value of listening to podcasts.
Where’s Your Podcast?
The effort required to produce a podcast isn’t all that intense. (Disclosure: I offer a jumpstart program for just that.) Since 2005, I’ve launched (and eventually shuttered) six or seven shows and I have a new one starting soon. It’s that easy to make one, and that easy to take one down.
The work to produce a simple podcast is minimal. You can do the actual recording on a smartphone if you can find a quiet place (like a closet) to record. Or you can do interview style shows by recording a Zoom or Skype call. Background music isn’t hard to find (I use Epidemic Sound). Editing is as easy as cut and paste.
But What Will You Talk About?
Here’s where you can shine. Your podcast can be about exactly what your customers and prospective customers most want to know about. If you sell dog grooming, maybe you do a show called “Between the Cuts” that gives general dog health and grooming tips for people to follow between visits.
If you sell ventilation systems for buildings, maybe you make a show for facilities managers called “Go Duct Yourself.” (Okay, that’s a bit irreverent, but I predict it would get a lot of pick up.)
The point is that you have a massive amount of freedom to make exactly the kind of show that customers and prospects would benefit from having. Shows like this keep customers warm between sales. They improve usage of the product. They sometimes even solve simple customer service challenges by educational means.
In fact, if you want to stretch the concept of podcast and not create an ongoing show, you can record 8 or 10 episodes of a “boxed set” and use it as a lead generation or on-ramping tool, or as a way to warm people up for the product they’ve purchased.
Their Ears Are More Ready Than Their Eyes
There’s far less competition to reach someone’s ears. You can encourage someone to take you to the gym, play your show on their morning commute, or tune in every time they go grocery shopping. The ear’s the limit in this case.
But really. Why not? It’s a strong opportunity to reach an otherwise overwhelmed prospect.
Give it a try.
About Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan is an author, keynote speaker and business advisor who helps companies update organizational interfaces to better support modern humans. The age of factory-sized interactions is over. We all come one to a pack. And it’s time to accept that we are all a little bit dented. Chris advises leadership teams to empower team members by sharing actionable insights on talent development. He also works with marketing and communications teams to more effectively reach people who want to be seen and understood before they buy what a company sells.
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