Is it too late to start podcasting?
It will come as no surprise that I – a podcast coach and mentor, the founder of a course that shows entrepreneurs exactly how to gain audience, attention and advocates with the podcasting platform – believe that it is not too late to start a podcast. There is no better time to start podcasting and in this article i will explain why and fast track the how so that you can get started and make this part of your 2017 growth engine. After all, it’s only too late if you want it and you don’t do it.
There are more entrants to podcasting than ever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed with this strategy. In fact, the storm of new entrants is a positive thing, it’s a proof point that podcasting is more popular than ever (and growing exponentially each year).
A growing industry is a huge positive!
- Podcasts are a much more regular and understood part of our content consumption habits. When I started 80% of people didn’t know what a podcast was, let alone how to subscribe and listen to one. Now almost everyone knows the term and most have even listened! Collectively, we are educating the community on how to grasp this slightly more unusual content platform.
- The barrier to entry is low. Anyone with a smartphone can podcast. The technology is affordable and there are options to suit the home studio.
- A growing industry attracts new entrants – providing affordable services, support, software – which allow us to do more with what we have!
What are the keys to standing out as a podcaster in 2017?
Stand out. Be different.
- The Ladies Lounge is doing something very cool by doing all of their interviews in person.
- The Good Work Revolution podcast is embracing the “work environment” as part of their show and interviewing guests in their workplace.
- Magnetic Mama, Big Impact: Using interviews with past clients to showcase your work, your credibility and impact.
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Industry growth has seen money and big brands enter the space, investing in highly produced and quality products. The expectation from listeners is higher and the attention a new listener will give to deciding if a new podcast is for them is reducing (anecdotal and personal evidence: I used to listen to at least 3 episodes of a podcast before deciding if it was for me. Now I decide within the first 10 minutes of one episode).
- Niche. The key to cutting through the noise is always to get very very clear on who you are for and what you’re about. Even in a category as broad as business you can find your niche. Look at the #BusinessAddicts podcast which have plunged their hands into the broad pool of business podcasts and immediately formed a connection to the self-confessed “addicts”. (Love this show! Check out my interview on there!)
- Don’t do what everyone else is doing. I am the first to recommend interview based show formats as an excellent starting point because they’re so easy to create and your guests do a lot of the heavy lifting. But … have you noticed that almost everyone has an interview show now? So ask yourself how can you be different?
- Commit to the long game. Podcasting takes work, time and effort and energy and in the day-to-day you can have moments of wondering if it’s all worth it. Do you know how many podcasters decide it’s not worth it? iTunes is a graveyard of podcasts that haven’t published a new episode in months or years. Just by staying live and current you are already ahead of the pack.
- Ensure your podcast aligns to your business strategy. How is your podcast working for your business? Is it attracting your ideal client and turning them into fans of your work? Is it showcasing your expertise as a speaker and facilitator? Is it providing additional insight to your core thought leadership? There are many brand benefits of podcasting and you need to be deliberate about which benefits you’re really going after and how you will measure them.
Nifty tools I’m experimenting with to promote my podcast episodes:
Clammr – an app that allows you to grab a clip from your podcast and share it on social. It’s not seamless but it looks gorgeous in the Facebook feed.
YouTube – I have just started sharing my podcasts on YouTube. I’m no YT expert so this is still very much a learning ground for me, but it’s not hard to share your podcast on this major content consumption platform.
If it's not about the tech...what IS it about?
Great content that garners attention grows your audience and creates advocates for all you do. With passionate advocates you become a person of influence, attracting more attention, more opportunities which can be turned into a lucrative business model.
Where does great content come from?
- Purpose/Strategy. A clear direction and reason for being. Knowing with laser focus who you’re talking to and what their challenges are.
- A unique perspective. What’s your point of difference? How will you stand out and bring something different, new or unique to the podcasting table?
- Quality production. The bar has been raised. Crappy sound will not do. You don’t have to produce the next This American Life but you must take care and effort with your production.
- Consistent publishing. If you want to become a habit or addiction for your listener, you need to produce consistently.
- Share-worthy marketing. Every new episode needs it’s own launch. How will you launch in a way that will encourage your audience to do the sharing for you?
What does it all cost? How much time does it take?
The annoying answer is the truth: how long is a piece of string!
But… as you are an entrepreneur who needs to focus the majority of your time on revenue generating activity, and you aren’t getting directly paid to create your podcast, your process needs efficiency.
I highly recommend outsourcing the back-end processes of your podcast.
Tasks you can easily outsource in order of priority:
- editing, tech, production
- blog post creation
- social media post creation and scheduling
- episode research
- guest approaches and scheduling
To outsource you need EPIC systems that are clear and simple and tested.
What trends will we see in 2017?
Facebook Live for Audio
The hottest new trend coming in podcasting is Facebook Live Audio. Lots of people have asked me if it’s the death of podcasting.
Now I’m no futurologist or Facebook expert, so I don’t know what the FB Audio product will do. But my initial thoughts on this are:
- I am sure it won’t be the death of podcasting.
- I believe it will only GROW the interest in the audio product, which is a tide that will raise all of our podcast boats.
- If it’s truly live, I think there is still a huge proportion of podcasters and consumers who prefer the ability to edit and produce that podcasting allows. I don’t think we’re all going to turn into spontaneous live streamers overnight.
More large brands podcasting
Companies are onto the podcasting medium as a way to develop deeper relationships with their client base. We will see more and more brands enter the market, probably with highly produced shows. As well as companies like the National Rugby League or Foxtel (an Australian cable tv provider) who are already podcasting, in the online world, high level entrepreneurs who already have massive audiences will definitely be coming to the platform and bringing their audiences with them.
So … What do these trends mean for you?
If you don’t have a large brand, budget or a huge following already it makes my points above about what it takes to succeed in podcasting even more important.
Don’t try and emulate these brands, learn from them, but niche down and engage with your audience in ways that big brands are less able to do – run live events or meetups, start a Facebook Group for your audience, reply to every emailed or social media piece of feedback.