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2019

Ready to sell your business? Whether you want to retire, start a different venture or just take a break for a while, this is a good time to sell, according to BizBuySell’sInsight Report. Median sales prices are at record-high levels.

 

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There’s a lot of preparation that goes into the selling process, says Luba Kagan, Business Development and Strategic Partners Manager at BizBuySell. One of the first questions potential buyers ask is “Is the business worthy?” You need to show that it is.

 

You’ll need to get your documents in order. In some cases, business owners have prioritized minimizing taxes and not showing profits. While this may have helped you take home more money, it’s not beneficial when you’re trying to sell. Buyers, Kagan says, will likely use standard industry formulas to evaluate the value of your business (such as multiple of earnings or multiple of sales).

 

One way to avoid this problem is planning early. If you know you’re going to sell in 3 to 5 years, Kagan advises “to start reporting your earnings with this in mind.” While you may have to pay more taxes, your business will likely sell for more.

 

Determining Your Sales Price

 

To determine a fair price, Kagan recommends starting by estimating the value of your tangible assets. Make a list of your physical assets (furnishings, fixtures, equipment and inventory) and consider their acquisition cost, age and condition when estimating their value. If these assets are close to the worth of your business, Kagan suggests it might be more cost-effective to liquidate those assets before you sell.

 

The specific financial statements you’ll need are:

 

    • Income statement with gross revenue, expenses and bottom line profits or losses
    • Cash flow statement
    • Balance sheet
    • Statement of seller’s discretionary earnings showing how much your business makes after backing out non-recurring and discretionary expenses

 

Your accountant can help you create a statement of owner’s cash flow or statement of seller’s discretionary earnings. This, says Kagan, is the basis for sale pricing and of primary interest to buyers.

 

Estimate Value Using Earnings Multiples

 

There are numerous factors that affect your multiples, including business type and location. Typically, business values range from 1- to 4-times your annual cash flow. Estimate your earnings multiplier by assessing your business in key areas, such as revenue and profit trends, products, customer base, or position in its industry. To determine an estimated sales price, multiply your seller’s discretionary earnings by your earnings multiplier.

 

Analyze the Comps

 

Compare your estimated sales price with the prices of other businesses for sale in your industry and area.

 

Closing the Sale

 

Kagan says you should create a pre-closing day checklist. Your attorney and accountant will know what specific papers you’ll need, such as the government and tax forms required by your Secretary of State, any transfer contracts and agreements, list of accounts receivables and accounts payable, loan documentation and more.

 

Kagan suggests scheduling your closing in the morning, when it’s easier to reach banks and government offices. “Aim for the last day of the quarter, month or pay period to simplify proportion of monthly expenses that transfer with the sale,” she adds.

 

Remember you and the buyer have different goals. Price is important to you, while terms and conditions are important to them. Kagan says you may be able to get the price you wantifyou provide the terms and conditions the buyer finds valuable, such as a seller financing option, or transition timing, etc.

 

If this sounds arduous, you might opt to work with a business broker. Kagan suggests checking with International Business Brokers Association, your local business brokers organization, or this list of brokers on the BizBuySell site.

 

          Related Links:

 

About Rieva Lesonsky

 

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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Rieva Lesonsky is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

You probably associate YouTube with music videos, children’s programming and strange influencers, yet the Alphabet property is as much a marketing channel as it is an entertainment channel.

 

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Alphabet, the parent of Google and YouTube, doesn’t break out YouTube’s advertising revenues but in 2017 it  was believed to have earned about $12.4 billion from advertisers. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, a combination of YouTube and mobile search were responsible for much of Alphabet’s 17 percent growth. That was money spent by businesses looking to turn YouTube’s video views into revenue. Some of those companies would have been local—and not all local businesses on YouTube even spend money on placement.

 

Here are four ways to use YouTube for local advertising.

 

1.    Create Local Content

 

The easiest option is to create video content that appeals to your local market. This video from Del Sol Furniturelooks like the kind of commercial you might find on local cable. It picked up nearly 250 views on YouTube. That’s not much but even a 1 percent conversion rate would have been enough to give it an extra sale or two with little expense beyond the commercial itself.

 

You can be a smarter though. B&H Photo in New York City invited Austin Evans,a YouTube influencer with nearly 4 million subscribers, to tour the store after closing. Viewers got to see some cool gadgets. Evans got to shoot some good content. And the store won some free advertising. That video has clocked more than 1.25 million views. If you can turn a tour of your business into interesting content, either by shooting the video yourself or by working with an influencer, you can land some big views and plenty of new customers.

 

2.    Go Live!

 

In a recent trend report, Google noted that more and more people are watching “global cultural moments in real time.” The examples that Google gave included Felix Baumgartner’s leap from space and the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle but you don’t have to jump out of a balloon or marry into royalty to benefit from live video.

Whenever an event takes place at your business, or whenever your business takes part in an event, bring everyone with you. If you’re planning to take a stall at a fair, for example, tell your social media followers that you’ll be broadcasting from the event. Grab a camera and walk the stands. Talk to other stall holders and ask them about their products. If you’re holding a sale, broadcast from the store. Tell people what’s selling and why they should get down to your outlet fast.

 

A live video might land a small audience during the broadcast but it does bring a number of additional useful benefits. It’s interactive: viewers can use the comments to ask questions in real time. It’s urgent; anything can happen during live television. And it’s also permanent. Even live video becomes recorded video after the broadcast is over. The video just keeps on working.

 

3.    Go International

 

Over a third of the clicks on Google ads posted by U.S. businesses are generated outside the country. On average, more than 60 percent of the viewers of U.S.-made YouTube videos are outside America. Those fascinating figures are also from Google, and they show the size of the opportunity available to local companies that are willing to ship abroad.

 

Google cites a South Dakota bicycle-maker and a Maryland bow tie-maker as two examples of local businesses that use YouTube to reach customers overseas.

Clearly, this isn’t going to be a solution for everyone. A wedding photographer will only have a small market but even local manufacturers can export if they’re willing to figure out the logistics. YouTube’s borderless reach gives those companies access to new international markets.

 

4.    It Pays to Advertise

 

Finally, there’s always advertising. The advantage is that you don’t have to build an audience for your YouTube videos. You can just benefit from someone else’s audience. The disadvantage is that you pay for the placement and you have to be careful with your targeting to make sure that you’re only showing your ads to people who genuinely want to see them.

 

You also need to choose which kinds of ads to buy. Skippable ads are user-friendly. They let viewers scroll past after a few seconds. You need to give viewers a reason to keep watching as early as possible. Non-skippable ads force viewers to watch to the end. They deliver the message and tend to have high engagement levels but also a high abandonment rate.

 

“These ads also tend to get a bad rap because they seem forceful,” says marketing expert Neil Patel. “But, if your ads are good and targeted effectively, they don’t need to represent trouble. In fact, good ads will be shared on social media for entertainment purposes in their own right.” Get Started.

 

Start by creating your own content and building your audience on YouTube. Broadcast a live video to deepen engagement. Look for opportunities to make international sales. And once you’ve got the hang of video making and winning audiences, look for places to advertise and deliver the messages that turn YouTube viewers into your new customers.

 

                   Related Links

 

About Joel Comm

 

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As an Internet pioneer, Joel has been creating profitable websites, software, products and helping entrepreneurs succeed since 1995. He has been at the frontlines of live video online since 2008 and has a deep expertise in using tools such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat to broadcast a clearly defined message to a receptive audience or leveraging the power of webinar and meeting technologies.

 

Joel is a New York Times best-selling author of 15 books, including “The AdSense Code,” “Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays and Twitter Power 3.0.” He is Co-Host of The Bad Crypto Podcast one of the top crypto-related shows in the world and has spoken before thousands of people around the world and seeks to inspire, equip and entertain.

 

Web: https://joelcomm.com/ or Twitter: @JoelComm

Read more from Joel Comm

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Joel Comm to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Joel Comm is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Joel Comm. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

When I was in law school, I took a class on how to run your own law office, and the topic on everyone’s mind was: where in the heck will we get clients?

 

A few years later, as I started my own business, the question was the same: where would I get clients? I began to interview every successful solopreneur I knew, and essentially, their ideas boiled down to:

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  • Networking
  • Advertising, and
  • Networking some more

 

While that might seem like pretty thin advice, back then, those truly were the options. And somehow I made it.

 

The good news is that these days there is no shortage of places to get viable leads, and most are highly effective andquite affordable. You know the drill: Google ads, e-newsletters, Facebook ads and campaigns, tweets and blog specials, yadda, yadda, yadda.

 

Is there anything new under the sun? Yes. If I was to give a new entrepreneur advice today on where to get leads and find clients, I would point to three very viable, but a tad under-the-radar options:

 

1. Craigslist: Sure we all know, love, and use Craigslist to get rid of the old stuff in the garage (or buy new old stuff for the garage) but you make a mistake if you discount what a great resource the site is for business leads.

 

First of all, the Jobs listings are a virtual cornucopia of business leads. Yes, of course, jobs are listed, but so too are part-time gigs, contract positions, requests for proposals and the like. Beyond that, there is also, in fact, a listing called “Gigs,” and then, beyond that,  an area listing for “Services.” And if you sell a product, and list it for sale in the right area, it will prompt more leads and potential customers.

 

Best of all: It’s free.

 

2. Project bidding sites: I would have loved these sorts of sites if they were around when I was still practicing law: Sites like Upwork,Guru,Freelancer, etc. These sites are amazing, listing tens of thousands of contract opportunities a day for the self-employed and other small business people to bid on.

 

Let’s take Upwork for example. Upwork is a fantastic all-in-one solution for corporations and contractors. Corporate clients list projects through the platform, and the contractors then bid on those projects and use the Upwork virtual workplace and guaranteed payment system to complete the work. Pretty cool.

 

Bottom line: There are thousands of companies who not only need your help but are actively seeking it out on these sites. It is your job to get on these platforms, let them know you are out there and get some of this available work.

 

3. LinkedIn: Sure you have a LinkedIn account and maybe you even have a couple of hundred contacts. But do you use them? Have you ever really considered what an incredible resource and opportunity LinkedIn is?

 

Consider my pal, a San Francisco entrepreneur who gets all of his business through LinkedIn: He scours the site looking for potential partners and other people with whom he would either like to do business with or to whom he would like to sell his services. He then finds out who he knows on the site who knows these folks and gets personal introductions. He then meets these leads and closes the deal, or not, but he sure does save time and money.

 

And that is the beauty of LinkedIn. What is the point of having all of these contacts if you don’t use them? So use them. Here’s how:

 

LinkedIn has a very powerful feature that lets you search for people by name, industry, title, keyword, region, company and more. Do that, and not only do you get a list of viable leads, but you also get a list of people you know who know these people. And since nothing beats a word-of-mouth introduction, a LinkedIn lead is often a hot lead. And away you go.

 

So happily, gone are the days when you had to either network (the old fashioned way), or advertise your way to success. These days, there are a lot more and better, options available.

 

    Related Links

 

 

About Steve Strauss

 

Steve Strauss Headshot New.pngSteven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business SuccessSteven D. Strauss

 

Web: www.theselfemployed.com or Twitter: @SteveStrauss

You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

One of the best ways to get more customers for your small business is by cross-promoting with other small businesses. Big companies cross-promote all the time (such as fast-food operators offering kiddie toys to promote the latest superhero movie), but small businesses can do it, too.

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Why should your small business consider cross-promoting?

 

  • It gives you credibility. Your partner company’s customers will trust you because the partner is recommending you.
  • By sharing the cost of marketing and advertising, you’ll reduce your marketing budget.
  • You can benefit from your partner’s strengths and experience.

 

One of the biggest benefits of cross-promotion has nothing to do with sales. Running a small business can be hard and lonely, and working with another business owner who understands your challenges and can share the load makes everything feel easier.

 

Where to find cross-promotion partners

 

Your cross-promotion partners should target the same customer base and be complementary to your business but not competing. For example, a children’s hair salon and a children’s clothing store are natural partners. So are a website design firm and a marketing copywriting business.

 

Select people you can trust and who share similar business values. Working with business owners you already know or getting references from trusted colleagues can help.

 

You can find partners through your Chamber of Commerce, social networks and local business networking groups. Alignable, a social network specifically for small businesses, can be a great way to connect. The founders started Alignable to give small business owners “an easy way to meet the other business owners on their street.” Today the company has over 3 million members.

 

Your community may also have local business organizations such as this club for women business owners in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. If it doesn’t, consider starting one. The founders of Ladies of Logan Square—small business owners Kelly Marie Thompson and Mary Nisi—started their organization to help highlight the area’s female small business owners.

 

The founders say they had “trouble finding the time to network and collaborate with other business owners on top of all of their work and family obligations.” They told Block Club Chicago, they wanted to “create a community of ‘badass’ women” and give “women who have smaller companies. … an opportunity to get their name out there.”

 

Ideas for cross-promotion

 

Once you’ve found your partner/s, develop a plan together for your cross-promotion efforts. What are your goals? How will you measure success? What’s your budget?

Then brainstorm ideas. Here are 20 ideas to get you started:

 

      1. Do joint print advertising, such as mailers, postcards, or local newspaper or magazine ads.
      2. Host an event that appeals to all your customers.
      3. Display one another’s marketing materials.
      4. Give your customers your partner’s brochures or coupons when they check out of your store or packaged with their online order.
      5. Promote each other on social media to expose your business to a new audience of local customers.
      6. Support a charity together. Get your customers involved in volunteering or donating.
      7. Hold a joint contest.
      8. Link to one another’s websites. You can even create a section on your website and link to local businesses you recommend (making sure they link to yours, too).
      9. Offer a discount when a customer shows a receipt from the other’s business.
      10. Bundle your products and services. A website designer and a marketing copywriter could offer bundled services, for example.
      11. Do joint publicity. Team up to reach out to the media about a relevant topic.
      12. Conduct a survey and share the results to get publicity for your businesses.
      13. Produce co-branded marketing content, such as videos, e-books or white papers.
      14. Team up to write an article for an industry publication.
      15. Create and host a webinar together.
      16. Host a joint podcast.
      17. Write guest posts for your partner’s blog.
      18. Promote your partner in your email newsletter. Include an easy way for recipients to sign up for the partner’s email newsletter.
      19. Mail to your partner’s email newsletter list.
      20. Set up a system to refer relevant customers to your partner.

 

Ideas for cross-promotion are limited only by your imagination. Put your heads together and you’ll soon have double the sales success.

 

About Rieva Lesonsky

 

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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.

 

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.

 

Web: www.growbizmedia.com or Twitter: @Rieva

You can read more articles from Rieva Lesonsky by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Rieva Lesonsky is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2018 Bank of America Corporation

People only read an average of 19 minutes a day, including texts, emails, social media posts, and books. As important as written communications are, other mediums are on the rise in terms of capturing attention from potential customers. Today I want to talk about video. YouTube serves over 1 billion hours of video a day and climbing. Most of the world consumes more video. So, are you using video to earn more small business customers?

 

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One detail about your business that I see entrepreneurs underestimate is that what you do is often more interesting than you think. Okay, it’s true: Some of you have boring businesses. No one would ever want to watch a video of someone filling out an insurance form. But that doesn’t mean the information you know can’t be made interesting. There are tons of videos like this that prove the point.

 

Often times, what you sell can be interesting. I saw this swell video about coffee making. Or if you prefer beer, here’s my pal Sam Calagione walking you through one of Dogfish Head’s beers being made.

 

Video Isn’t SUPER Hard Once You Break It Down

 

To make video, you need only a few tools and a little bit of creativity. For instance, you don’t need a lot of tech. Your smartphone and the camera built into your laptop is a decent start. Let’s talk tech first and then production.

 

Tech

 

    • Something to shoot with - use your smartphone and laptop camera to start
    • Lighting - you can use something as tiny as this Lume Cube Air or get a little more fancy with a ring light kit
    • Editing - use iMovie on a Mac or Microsoft Photos on a PC
    • Music - if you want to get a little more fancy, get a subscription to epidemicsound.com and throw that into the mix.

 

Production

 

Video needs to serve your buyer. If you want to do a behind-the-scenes video on how your shop bakes wedding cakes, people will love it. If you want to interview your air conditioner installers to show what separates you from the competition is service, that’s great.

 

Start with a story. “I’m going to interview the president and a couple employees about a typical day here at the fish market.” From this, you can start to figure out what you’ll need. Obviously, you’ll need the interview video footage. You’ll also want some clips of the market, some of the workers doing their jobs, and so on. But what should you shoot?

 

My favorite secret to teaching people how to make videos for work is to look at and break down other videos to get a sense for what reallywent into making it. Scroll back up to the coffee making video above. Count how many clips of video show up in the first five seconds. I got 6 or 7. (That’s a little more than one clip per second.)

 

Your first recording/production tip is this: shoot lots and lots of tiny clipsof video to go with the longer ones. Get lots of angles, zoomed in and out, and use them to enhance the story. Notice in the coffee video, the clips showed loose grounds, then a menu sign (I’d have put that in somewhere else), then tamped down grounds, then coffee poured in, then steam coming out of the espresso machine.

 

Editing is Where It’s At

 

Once you shoot all the video clips you need, toss them into iMovie or Microsoft Photos (open a new project and you’ll see where to drag everything). This is the editing phase. (You can ask YouTube for a few tutorials on either software. There are literally thousands of videos to help you.)

 

Trim the clips to grab only the action you need. Phil DeFranco explains why jump cuts are important in this video. It’s what separates out useful video from “just a bit too long” video.

 

If you decide to add some music underneath clips, you might do two things: 1.) lower the music clips when people are speaking and 2.) lower the sound on your video clips if it doesn’t add to the experience. (That’s the very basics of sound editing in a few sentences.)

 

How Long Should Your Videos Be?

 

There are a few “magical” lengths of video to consider.

 

    • 30 seconds - 1 minute - this will get the most views.
    • 1 - 3 minutes - most people want nothing more than this.
    • 10 minutes plus - now you have a “show” length. People love shows, if they already have a video consumption habit. 

 

Notice what’s missing? The middle. Between 3 and 10. That’s the weird “people don’t watch these as often” times. Why that is the case is still up for debate.

 

Upload and Share

 

I post my videos to a few different places. I post to YouTube because it is, by far, the most used video service in the world. I add my videos to LinkedIn because they’re investing heavily in showing off video right now. I sometimes post to Facebook. I link to my YouTube account via Twitter, and I post some of my videos on my business website.

 

People’s number one protest to me about making and posting video is that THEY don’t watch videos online.

 

1.  Usually, people under-report how much video they actually watch, forgetting everything they scroll through on Facebook.

2.   Even if YOU don’t watch a lot of video, people of Earth do.

3.   Maybe you should watch more video.

 

There’s gold in here. It takes practice, but not as much as you’d think. Peek at some of my videos. They’re simple as anything. Often just talking head videos. But they serve my business well. You can do the same for yours!

 

Related Links

 

About Chris Brogan

 

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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.

 

Web: https://chrisbrogan.com Twitter: @ChrisBrogan

Read more from Chris Brogan

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Chris Brogan to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. The third parties within articles are used under license from Chris Brogan. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

 

Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

Do you remember the first season of the podcast Serial, way back in 2014? Not only was it a captivating story, but the show launched podcasting into the stratosphere, becoming “an event.”

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The lone advertiser at the beginning of that season, MailChimp, never expected to be part of a cultural phenomenon, but undoubtedly were quite happy with podcasts’ popularity.  To date, the first two seasons of Serialhave been downloaded – wait for it – 340 million times.

 

To say podcasts are hot now would be an understatement. Consider these stats from Edison Research:

 

    • About 50 million people listen to podcasts each week
    • They typically listen to five shows during the week
    • The average podcast listener subscribes to six different podcasts

 

I have been podcasting my popular show Small Business with Steve Strauss for over six years, a long time in the short history of podcasting. Moreover, my content business has now added podcasting as something we offer clients, it has become that popular.

 

You can also check out Steve Strauss on “The Heartbeat of Main Street,” a collaborative podcast between Bank of America and ForbesBooks.

 

From a small business perspective, I am a fan for a very good reason: Podcasting works. It gets your name, business and brand out there, and it does so in a way that is unique and memorable, a difficult achievement in this media-saturated world.

 

There are two ways to use podcasts to grow your business. You can start your own podcast, or you can advertise on someone else’s show. Let’s look at both:

 

Should you start a podcast?

 

There are plenty of good reasons to do so:

 

1. It builds the brand. With so many people listening to podcasts, hosting a show can help establish you as a “thought leader” and thus is a great way to get you and your business in front of a new audience.

 

Moreover, if you read my stuff with any consistency (and thank you if you do!), you know one of my main marketing maxims is to mix it up. Trying a new marketing trick gets your business in front of new people, and that equals new growth.

 

2. It is an excellent way to network: That same Edison Research survey states that podcast listeners listen to an entire show 85% of the time. People listen attentively and react. Where else do you get someone’s uninterrupted online attention for so long? Right, nowhere. Your listeners will want to network with you too.

 

Moreover, if your show would interview industry experts, then that is a powerful way to, well, meet industry experts.

 

3. It’s easy and affordable: There are two ways to launch and run a podcast: You can either do it yourself or hire someone to help you. Both are easy and affordable.

 

Let’s start with hired help. I have a great podcast producer who helps me book guests and does all the tech stuff. We record the show and interviews in his studio, he edits it, and then uploads it to iTunes, my website, and so on. A Google or Craigslist search will help you find an audio engineer in your area.

 

The other way to go is DIY.  Here, you need to choose the right app that works for you, invest in some basic sound equipment (like a great mic), and start recording. Your options include:

 

1.     Anchor.fm

2.     Garage Band (on a Mac)

3.     Adobe Audition

4.     Audacity

 

Advertising on someone else’s show

 

I love this option  almost more because it is just so potent. If the good news of podcasting is that they are so popular, the bad news is that they are so popular.

 

You can simply find a show that caters to your audience and advertise there. That show has already done all the heavy lifting, and yet, because it is such a niche audience, the fees should be very reasonable. Since you will be in front of people like your customers, and because the host would likely read your ad, your results should be excellent.

 

If you’re interested in advertising on a podcast you could reach out directly to podcasts you like or get in touch with a network like Stitcher, Gimlet or others to look into the cost of ads and where your target audience is most likely to be listening.

 

You will likely not become the next MailChimp on the next Serial, but who cares? Podcasting can drive leads and build awareness among a new audience, so start mixing it up.

 

About Steve Strauss

 

Steve Strauss Headshot New.pngSteven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business SuccessSteven D. Strauss

 

Web: www.theselfemployed.com or Twitter: @SteveStrauss

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Bank of America, N.A. engages with Steve Strauss to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Steve Strauss is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Steve Strauss. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.  ©2019 Bank of America Corporation

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