This featured article is brought to you by: Jess Dornieden, Business & Marketing Strategist
There is no denying that podcasts are in everyone’s ears right now, and I’m delighted to bring more awareness around podcasting to a wider audience, so in this article, we’re diving into leveraging the power of podcasting for your online business.
Podcasting is by far not a new medium, it’s been around since 2013 and steadily growing every year since then. Already around 1/3 of the entire US and UK population are listening to podcasts on a weekly basis, and this number is rising steadily in the German and Spanish-speaking markets too.
I know it’s easy to think at this point that it seems everyone already has a podcast and it’s too late to join the game, but that’s absolutely NOT the case. There may be around 4-5 million podcasts listed, but 75% of them have less than 3 episodes, and only around 170.000 podcasts are producing an episode consistently every single week.
The average podcast listener listens to 7 different podcasts, so if you take 1/3 of the population of an entire country x 7 podcasts a week, you can see that there is still a lot of room for growth.
To start this deep dive into podcasting, I first want you to put your marketing hat on.
I have worked as the CMO for a 7-figure coaching company, and I’ve learned a thing or two about marketing in this time that is absolutely crucial for you to understand before we dive into podcasting specifically.
Every business has only 5 ways to generate leads.
Podcasting falls into the content marketing bucket, and specifically, it is long-form content.
Long-form content has a different purpose in your business in comparison to short-form content.
Short-form content (your social media posts, Reels, TikTok Videos etc.) is designed to grab attention and to get people to take a look at what you’re saying. It needs to be created by the bucket load and it has a pretty short shelf-life.
While you CAN get people to buy something from you through short-form content, they often end up needing MORE from you before they’re happy to make a larger investment.
And that’s where your long-form content comes in. People get attracted to you via social media and then they may sign up for your email list, watch your videos, listen to your podcast episodes or read your blog.
And over time you offer them a transformation through that content – and THAT is what gets people to buy.
So podcasts are NOT geared to get massive numbers of downloads and attract HUGE audiences, they are geared to creating transformation in your listeners and therefore getting them ready to make a positive change in their lives – and do so by working with you.
I am tired of “the magic bullet” talk. Podcasting is NOT a magic bullet. And neither is anything else that comes along.
It is simply a marketing tool that, if you use it well, can give you a benefit and if you don’t use it well, doesn’t do anything for your business.
Your main alternatives are blogging and video content.
Blogging is great for SEO and being found, however, blogging lacks that personal connection and doesn’t offer a transformation quite as readily as when someone listens to you speak. There is something about hearing people talk about their work and sharing their expertise. Your audience can tell so much about you from your VOICE – and that is where blogging alone falls short for me.
With the rise of AI, there is going to be more and more content created, and a lot of it is just going to be a collection of information, so adding voice and stories to your content is really going to help amplify your message.
AND when you have a podcast, each episode comes with show notes published on your website, so you’re basically creating a blog post for each topic anyways.
Your other alternative is YouTube. YouTube is way better for search and discoverability than a podcast is (however YT has started to add podcasts to YT Music which may potentially eradicate this issue if they implement it well) – but the downside of YouTube is that people are spending way less time watching your content and are easily distracted, plus it’s way more effort to produce a good-looking YouTube video than it is to make a decent-sounding podcast.
Podcast listeners listen to episodes as long as 1.5 hours and many of my episodes have a completion rate of over 90% – whereas if you can get someone to watch a YouTube video for 5 minutes you’re doing really well.
So, in summary, podcasting beats blogging because of the level of personal connection PLUS it’s easier than video and keeps people listening for longer, so it is my go-to medium right now.
So, as I mentioned above – no magic bullets. Only smart decisions with our marketing hat on.
If you have a method right now that generates leads well and is working for you, and that is NOT in the content marketing bucket – so that means you successfully sell through cold DMs, or you successfully run paid ads – do not start a podcast.
Double down on what’s already working for you and get better at that until you’re earning in the mid-7-figure range.
If you are doing content marketing and you’re wanting to elevate your game because what you’re doing right now is not really working well for you, then you can consider adding a podcast into the mix instead of another form of long-form content. Please note I said instead of – I am not trying to get you more work, I’m trying to get you to work smarter.
The key is that you need to be in a place where your target audience is clear to you AND you have an offer that you have successfully managed to sell. If not, then your marketing is not working because you’re missing the basics and a podcast will not fix this, it will just make more work.
There are many ways in which a podcast can help you in your business – and how exactly you set up your show depends on the result you want to get from it. Our clients have started podcasts for various reasons including:
So there isn’t ONE WAY in which a podcast can become an asset for your business, it all depends on the result you’re looking for.
Again “success” has a varied definition and not everyone has the same goal. So it’s important to first define success for you first before you do anything else.
Once you’re clear on the outcome you want to achieve you can make a plan on how to get there, but there are some factors that make or break a podcast and they are pretty much universal.
There is no denying that people have multiple options for podcasts in any given niche and the minimum requirement is that your audio sounds good – or that’s part of your brand to record your podcast in a certain way. If you have a premium brand and your audio sounds like it’s been recorded with a calculator and has been butchered during editing, then it’s not going to cut the mustard.
Decent mics are available at around $100 and you need a quiet space to record. If you script the episode you have little to edit and you’ll have a decent enough end product. This is something we work on during our launches with clients and during Podcast in a Weekend 🚀. So it’s not complicated at all.
If your content doesn’t help you get towards your desired outcome, then you may attract listeners to the show, but they’re not taking any action.
You need to understand your target audience and you need to understand your customer journey and help people to move through that effectively.
Your customer journey is not usually linear, people may not enter at the start of your “customer journey” they may skip stages and they may go back to the beginning. Your content should well planned to serve all stages and you should try as much as possible to link people back and forth between your episodes.
During Podcast in a Weekend 🚀 we spend 60% of our time on planning content and creating a good first episode – and the rest of the time goes into the technicalities of setting up, and that’s because content is so important.
I am all for being spontaneous (ADHD and stuff) BUT your content can’t work efficiently if you’re constantly moving the goalposts, changing offers, deciding to not do a launch you’ve worked up to etc.
Long-form content takes a while to work and it’s essential to plan ahead and know what you’re going to be selling and when.
Podcasting is difficult to track and you need to be smart with the call to actions you give on your episodes so that you can track the actions your listeners take. Otherwise, you will be in the boat that many of our clients found themselves in – they just didn’t know if all this content they’re investing time and money into is doing anything for their business.
Initially, whenever you start a new project, you experience the “fresh start effect” and that high wears off eventually – and then you’re thinking “What did I get myself into” – so we want to make sure our clients don’t overload themselves by starting a daily podcast and then regretting their life choices. So always think long-term.
There are many ways in which, once you’re up and running, you can grow your podcast audience – and that’s what makes this platform so great.
The best way to bring new listeners to your show directly is by doing guest appearances on other podcasts with similar audiences. Once you have your own show podcasters are much more likely to have you as a guest, particularly when you’re open to do interview swaps with people.
You can also do promo swaps, which is when 2 podcasters promote each other’s show in their pre-roll. You can do a 2-part episode with someone where part one goes out on one podcast and part 2 on the other podcast, or you can even swap entire episodes with someone else.
Having a podcast opens you up to a whole host of opportunities that may not have presented themselves before.
Yes! I always suggest to our clients that are not sure about whether it’s right for them and their people to try it out.
Make an audio version of your Newsletter and send it out to your list and get some feedback (just remember that if you haven’t been serving audio or video content your audience currently may just be readers, so take that feedback with a grain of salt!).
Or you can do a limited private podcast for 12 episodes on a specific topic and test things that way.
This allows you to get a feel for creating audio content without having to go “all in” publicly just yet.
Before I sign off from this, I want to give you some advice along the way.
Doing a podcast is NOT the same thing as getting married. Everything you set up can be changed. If your business grows and evolves you can change the name. You can change the publishing frequency if life shifts. You can make shorter episodes. You can switch to publishing in seasons. You can go from interviews to solo episodes and back. Nothing is final.
Old content can be replaced with a newer version once you’re better at recording content – it’s not like YouTube where when you delete a video it’s gone for good.
So, the best thing you can do is to START.
Only when you do something you get better at it, so there is no point waiting another 2 years, because in those 2 years you could have become a really good podcaster already.
Confidence comes AFTER taking action, not before. So, if you think podcasting is for you I’d love to see you on one of our upcoming sessions of Podcast in a Weekend 🚀
This featured article is brought to you by: Jess Dornieden, Business and Marketing Strategist
Jess Dornieden is a Business and Marketing Strategist and is a Co-Founder at Pristine Podcasts where they support small business owners to leverage the power of podcasting by launching, managing and producing their shows as well as helping them to book guest appearances and sponsorships.
Jess has been supporting online business owners full-time for more than 7 years. She started her journey as a techy VA, one of the first ConvertKit Certified Experts and grew her little side-gig into a six-figure agency within a year. She then focused on strategic marketing and business support for entrepreneurs looking to scale and accidentally became the fractional CMO for a multi-7-figure coaching company. She now supports Pristine Podcast’s clients full-time with launching shows and creating content that converts.
>>>>>> Ready to finally launch your own podcast? Join Jess HERE for Podcast in a Weekend! Spend a weekend packed full of implementation on creating the podcast of your dreams. You’ll jump into the clarity you’ve been looking for and have the technical side of your podcast ready to go in no time!