Most of us today are knowledge seekers. We are in the pursuit of bettering ourselves. We want to empower ourselves so we can grow, make better decisions and ultimately live a lifestyle we dream off. As people we are constantly in a pattern of learning. New life chapters start everyday and each come with a new invisible heading with a collection of invisible bullet points under it. Unfortunately life isn't like a laid out curriculum, though sometimes I wish that it was, so I can tick it off as read, learnt and apply. Anyway.. the point being is we are knowledge seekers and these days we have many ways in which to collect that knowledge. We can read, watch videos or listen to podcast!! And this is what this podcast/blo is about because if you are a knowledge sharer and want to add value to your business then podcasting could be your way of streaming up to date audio knowledge to your clients and prospects.
What is podcasting and who is using Podcasts?
Podcasting is a great way to share your business message and core values. It is simply a digital audio file which your clients or prospects can download from ITunes, Stitcher, your website or other podcast platforms. On the digital file you have created is your content, you can discuss whatever your business is about, so for example with my own podcast show, The Learning Curve Podcast, I interview Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East. My digital content is my conversations with these women to showcase what their business is about aswell as sharing their challenges, successes, tips, advise and much more. All aimed at helping more women take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
Today many people create podcasts sharing their expertise, their opinion, their interviews, film and book reviews and all sorts of material. Just check out the Podcast list on ITunes or Stitcher. Choose a subject you are interested in and you will find any number of podcasts from mentorship shows to people travelling the world. Through the advent of this simple and low barrier to entry marketing method many businesses are starting to see the pull of podcast.
Big brands today are starting to create their podcast shows. For Example the Economist now streams in audio. American Airlines - just started. In-fact, here is a list of the 38 best podcast shows this year.
How Can We Use it For Marketing?
Showcase your business and build authority
We all want to be seen as a product authority or an expert in our particular field and often that is difficult to achieve as to show case you need to get in front of your clients and prospects, you have to create workshops, events, meeting spaces to make this happen. All this can cost you a bit in terms of organising the right location, catering, material and then marketing but this is where podcasts could be quite a useful tool. Creating an audio series showcasing products, new information, showcasing customers, discussing the latest information allows your clients and prospects to have an interaction with you without actually having to interact with you just yet. What a great way to build authority. They can listen to what is going on in your business and you get to show off your knowledge, expertise and advise on a particular matter or product. Seems like a great way to do some inbound marketing with a relatively inexpensive medium. Plus the content is evergreen meaning that it has longevity too, so you can keep it up for months, even a few years and it doesn't get old until it really does need updating. You can share your podcasts through your website or via your email marketing or your newsletters. Your customers get to interact with you on their terms without being bothered by annoying cold sales calls.
Build a rapport with your audience.
Podcasts are great relationship builders and a great way to connect with your audience. As a listener you get enjoy a two or three way conversation between the podcast host (usually the business owner/Entrepreneur) and the guest(s) talking about what their business/subject is, how it helps its customers, their success, failure, tip or advise. As the host you get to share a bit more of who you are and what goes on behind the scenes of your business. You allow your audience to get to know you and your style. There is so much to learn from someone's voice when they talk. You can hear the movement of their voice, the low and high tones, the pauses, the passion in their voices. Its just adds a whole new dynamic which isn't always achievable through the written word. If your audience love you then they can subscribe and get the update when you add a new podcast episode.
I've seen an article somewhere that it says it take 7 - 8 connections before a prospect will potentially buy from you so why not take the opportunity of building that rapport with your audience and allow them to connect with you before they make a purchase.
Brand building is an absolute must and with online marketing is even tougher to break through the noise of the competition. But here's where podcasting can be fruitful. Sharing short snippets from your podcast which you can then share on social media gives you an opportunity and your audience a small teaser into what your business is up too. We all watch or listen to short clips so why couldn't this work for you? You can build your brand, build your authority and look like you are progressive. Using technology to up your game. Remember podcasts don't just have to be audio they can be video aswell and with the advent of Live video streaming on Facebook on via live streaming networks this is another great way to build your brand, put you behind your brand and give your product or service more of a voice? Facebook LIVE at the moment is very powerful. Facebook have made it so that your live stream generate lots of traction and interest so you may find when you go live that you get lots of views, likes and comments on your Facebook page than you would if you just put up a post. Try it!
The other great benefit of podcasting is it is relatively inexpensive to get started. You need a microphone, a lap top, download audacity a free audio software and press record. Once that is done you need an audio host so you can save it in cyberspace. You can use your website or a third party tool, like Libsyn, Omny or Soundcloud to save and all these hosts come with additional tools to help you share your podcast, see the background demographics, see which podcasts are the most popular and more. There is a lot of information and with that you can see how your podcast is doing and what your audience likes and engages with.
Accessibility and Flexibility
Its the only medium that allows you to be doing something else while you listen to them. You don't have to be watching TV to listen to them or at your laptop - you can listen to them on the move. They are also on demand - so like how many of us like our TV shows, you can listen to podcasts whenever you want. So how is this right for my business? Well now you don't have to schedule time slots with your audience you can be getting your commentary out there and get marketing it without having to pay for a physical space to create that same conversation or sharing of information you want. Hit record and then share the knowledge you want to get out there and being valuable to your audience.
Overall I think Podcasts are a great addition to your marketing. They beautifully compliment a blog and your articles on your website. In some ways they can bring them together too. Take this recording...this is also a blog piece so you can choose to sit and read or listen. As a business you can use the space to showcase your products, services, current commentary, interviews, discussions even record panel discussions and make them available to those that couldn't attend your events. All this material isn't wasted it's in full view to your audience, helping them to get to know you better and if they want to buy from you. We know today that people buy from people they trust and find authentic - this could be you! Bring podcasting in your marketing. I can help you make that happen! :) i currently offer a podcast series creation for businesses in the UAE. We create a 12 episode podcast season which you can showcase on your website or an audio host platform. Check out our particular offer via our page called Start a podcast.
How many podcasts do you listen too? I bet the number is either none, some or loads!!! Its really fascinating when you talk to people about podcasting and they are either totally into them or haven't got a clue!! Often the cluelessness is based around the 'Why would I listen to them?' or 'Where do I get them?' or quite plainly 'what is a podcast'. Living here in the UAE I have to say the latter of those questions is the most common, but then weird things happen like, I get the opportunity to be part of The National newspaper on podcasting. That was awesome by the way! :) So it really is a 'learning curve' when it comes to podcasting!
So if you are one that sits of the fence as a listener or as someone that could see the medium as a tool then here are my 4 superpowers of podcasts that 'hopefully' will help you jump off the fence to downloading a couple to listen to some or start your own. Really there are thousands of podcasts. I am part of 4 communities on Facebook where there are podcasters producing shows and episodes and nearly everyday we see a new show launching around another niche area. From health & wellness to fly fishing, there are literally thousands of podcasts out there! Check out ITunes or Stitcher and Im sure you will find something you like.
They Can Educate - Don't stop Learning!
A recent guest of mine Rana El Chemailly said to me 'if you stop learning you will fail'. She's right! Just because we have finished school and got that degree doesn't mean we need to stop learning. To move forward and be successful at whatever we do, we need to be learning all the time.
But the big issue to learning is time! We are all so busy with our lives with work, kids and trying to have fun ourselves, when do we schedule in learn? I've recently starting asking this question on my podcast because it was something I was struggling with too. How are these ladies still continuing to grow and learn and still run a business? Good question right? The answer was simple. They all made time to learn. Some were up early and studied and some added it as a 'to do' item into their schedule. I'm still bartering time and learning I have to say but one tool I know I can do is learn and be on the go! I have the school runs, I have traffic jams, I have walk training and I have trips to Dubai. All these trips equal time and that is when I can learn. I can download my favourite podcasts and get myself plugged in and while I either exercise or just 'get through the journey' I can listen, learn and question. This is what a podcast can do, it can educate you. There are soooo many great podcasts out there from educators, consultants, facilitators or councillors who are keen to share their knowledge and insight to help you with your journey. You can do the same. Show off your insight and knowledge. Create that thought leader persona that is inside you and help build your business and drive your career.
They Can Entertain - Find a podcast that fits your mood!
We all need to be swept out of our daily life and just be entertained. Much like Friends of the 1990's or 'How I met your mother' in the 2000's - its nice just to be entertained. Take us away from our daily chores or work and just sit back and let the story unravel in-front of us. Podcast can do that too! I don't know about you but when I get on a plane I want to zone out, be undisturbed for the duration of the flight. Much like a good book or a movie, listening to a podcast is just another form of engagement and you can binge listen much like you would with a TV series or a good book. But the cool thing is you can physically be doing something while you indulge in your favourite episode. So you can de-clutter your closet, clean out the car, paint a picture or weed the garden all while you are being entertained. Things we would all rather NOT to but have to do from time to time. So use the time productively and be entertained at the same time.
They Can Inform - Give yourself An Edge
Being informed has many advantages. Being informed helps you build informed opinions, helps you get off the fence and help influence a line of thought at work, at home or on a cause you are passionate about. Being informed helps you learn about other cultures outside of your own. Being informed sparks engaging discussions, positive debate and helps grows awareness about issues around you. Being informed helps you travel, it supplies you with useful and insightful knowledge to help you get from A to B. Being informed gives you an advantage. Just this week a friend of mine did an interview and she had to make a presentation based on the case study presented to her for the interview. She used some right up to date knowledge she had learnt via a podcast making part of her presentation bang up to date. She came across as knowledgeable, informed and forward thinking! Great eh! So this could be you too. As a podcaster you can share your views, opinions or be a content curator and really give your audience the information they need to support their career or business. As a podcast listener, the work is done for you. You get information in structured setting, you are able to articulate it and go away and do further work around it. You are informed.
They Can Inspire - Give yourself a daily dose of goodness
You have probably heard these expression. 'You are who you surround yourself with. Well here is another, 'You are what you listen too'. I've read alot recently from thought leaders that say 'weed out the negative people' or 'hang around with smarter people' or 'be the person you want to become' and I do believe there is a lot of merit to this. The power of the mind to cling to negativity is magnetic. Its so much easier to be negative than it is too be positive so we need to really work at keeping a positive mindset so why not be inspired.
Listening to Podcasts really can inspire you. From exercising to commuting or working you can be inspired at any time. They are some GREAT people out there just driving positive change and energy. They are fiercely fighting the negative, weeding out the sh&t and helping you be better you, or better at your job or be a better member of the community. Yes I know its easy to go down the negative path but when so many great people are just offering you up daily doses of inspiration, why fall for the dark stuff! Get yourself on ITunes or Stitcher and type in your keyword and be inspired.
So where do I start?
I am very much a person who has a wide interest in many things. I am a people explorer and a subject geek. Podcasts give me quick access to themes, ideas, stories, people and topics which can be absorbed in 30 minutes. I am a slow reader and I don't have much time these days to sit an enjoy a movie or many documentaries. Podcasts offer up these superpowers and I love to listen to stuff that will give me that edge, keep me informed or use as a reference when I need it. And the best part of all is I get to update my knowledge bank without spending a penny because Podcasts are free knowledge. I don't by magazine anymore, I just head over to ITunes or Stitcher or use one of the podcast directory apps and research keywords or topics. Then I download. If I don't like it, there is a delete button! There is no clutter, no mess and if I want to refer back to something, I can just upload that episode again and find what I need.
I really recommend you give it a go! I know its new and will definitely feel weird to start with but you will find a library of topics that you love and be on your way to the super powers of podcasts.
ps. I have no idea what you like and rally thre are thousands of podcast but here are a few links to some good articles on podcasts. You may like.
In the states and Europe Podcasting really is moving fast. Everyone who has a business is using the medium to add another dimension or connection to their customers and clients. There are literally thousands of podcast shows now available to listen to via ITunes or Stitcher and many other platforms. These days you can even find out the top 10 best podcasts to listen to based on the niche of you like.
Well competition is tough and business these days isn't just about building brands and creating products or improving services, its about connecting with your customer. Building a relationship. Adding value and making connections. One of my favourite Podcaster 'Pat Flynn' refers to this as P2P - person to person. Pat flynn himself has seen his podcast generate increased traffic to his website and thus has impacted his revenue earnings in a big way.
So Why Should I have my own show?
Well this is a two part answer.
a) This answer is based around the future of cars and the connectivity in cars. Its predicted this year alone about 50% of cars will be internet connected and by 2025 all cars with carry connectivity (Forbes.com). This means that you can listen to your choice of programmes just like you do at home with your satellite or cable TV. You watch what you want. So with cars connected you can listen to your podcasts of choice. With the average to and from work car journey around 30 - 40 minutes or longer, this is where you can just listen and enjoy. So from a business prospective that opportunity allows you to share your content via audio and have the listener engaged in your podcast and engaged in your product/service. From a customer prospective you can listen to shows and topics that are hobbies, inspirational, educational or the news. Making productive use of the time of your journey
b) Wouldn't it be great to listen to some local podcast shows sharing information about local products or services. I see tonnes of questions on local Facebook groups. People asking lots of questions. Where are the companies? - why are they not seeing these 'pain factors' and talking about them? We don't just have to use blogs and articles we can use audio too. Find a pain factor that bugs your audience and talk about it. Share advise, tips and guidance.
Why should I start one now?
Here in the Middle East there are still only a few known podcasts. From my show to news network there are only a few BUT... the wave will come. We are all information hungry particularly if you are new to this region and want to suck up as much knowledge as you can to help with our decision making. We also want to gain that knowledge in our own time while we do our own thing. Using audio gives you the opportunity to build on your relationship with your customers. Give them that little bit more and show off your expertise in an area. Have you read my 11 reasons to start your own podcast show? Believe me if your customers want more information or help, they will contact you. Why? Because they heard you talking about it on your podcast.
In the last few months I have interviewed so many lovely women entrepreneurs and shared their stories. I've been bringing Podcasting to this Middle East and encouraging people to take up the opportunity to use podcasts to listen to topics they love aswell as use it as a tool for their business. Podcasting is a great way to learn about a product/service and a great way to share your products/services BUT I know as well that there is a 'learning curve' to this opportunity to I'm going to start to writing about Podcasting in the Middle East and encourage more individuals and aswell companies to adopt the tool as part of their marketing. So, to get the ball rolling Im going to share my 4 reasons why you should start a podcast. Let's begin.....
1. Become THE authority in your field
I was at an event recently at the gentleman at the event really knew his stuff. He shared not only his professional knowledge, but case studies and articles and then answered many individual questions the audience was asking. He was an expert, an authority in his chosen profession. With a podcast show this gentlemen could share this great advise through focused topics each week and even answer questions/case studies he received on a weekly basis which might help other people. Thus developing his reputation and his business as an expert in his field. Now you may think you are parting with your valuable know for free but you are not. One of the key points of selling is being able to share value, show off your services and how informed you are about your product. To do this you need to get in front of your potential customer and possibly give them a sales pitch. Sales pitches are great BUT no great either. Who likes being sold too? I know I don't. BUT with a podcast episode you can share your knowledge and your expertise from a far, while your potential customer is sat at home or in the car or on the treadmill. They are absorbing what you are saying without feeling they are being sold too. This allows your listener (and potentially your lead) the opportunity to get comfortable with you and learn about you and your services from a distance. Wouldn't it be awesome to have your customers feel at ease when you share your products or services. Its kind of like getting a referral in some way as the 'breaking the ice' is already done and the bonus part the customer feels like they know you already.
2. You can Generate new customers, generate new leads & promote your products and services
It is really hard to generate leads, find new customers and promote your products and services. We use social media, blogs, meetings and referrals to help us take potential customers through a sales funnel. A podcast show can help here too because you can use the show to talk about your products and services, add value through sharing pros and cons, share FAQ's and then direct people to your web page or website with clear call to actions. This podcast can be on your website and available for your leads and customers to listen too at their own convenience.
3. Its an inexpensive way to share your knowledge, the latest news in your industry or case studies
Its not expensive to set up at all. Folk think it is but its not. You need a good microphone, a laptop and editing software and then be signed up to a podcast host so they can host and share your podcast. An episode should be about 20 - 30 minutes long which can be uploaded straight away then you use social media, your newsletter, your blog and your website to promote it. Easy! You can start one now. Just brainstorm your topic ideas, find the pain factors that people talk about in your industry and make it happen.
4. Its a convenient way for your audience to consume your content.
Content is King. Creating articles, stories, case studies are all content that you make available to your potential leads and customers to help learn more about you and your products/services. But to get to his information we need to be sat reading it or watching it. Podcasting is an auditory tool so your customers could be listening to you while they drive, while they work or while on the treadmill or running. Its the only activity you can do while you do something else. Its effectively your multitasking partner.
OK.. so there are 4 reasons. I think you should adopt podcasting into your marketing tool collection. Im not the only one saying it though. Podcasting is a very effective way to connect with your audience and many publication and podcast experts out there are encouraging you to take it on and use it as a tool. I love it, its something I'm passionate about and as been an awesome way to share the stories of amazing women entrepreneurs in this region.
If you would like to know more and what to chat about Podcasting, then let me know. I'm listening... :) I've also got a few brilliant courses via Udemy on my resources page you may want to look at if you want to podcast.
I look forward to hearing from you.
ABout the blog
Share interviews with Arab and Expat women entrepreneurs, sharing their entrepreneurial journey with their top business advise. We blog about knowledge, articles, FAQ on social media and share tools and resources to help us get going in our niche.