Podcasting, whether via blogs or through the newest trend of audio and video content, is part of the social media revolution. Through this technology, everyone has a voice and that voice can be heard around the world. It's a powerful tool in your social media toolkit that exponentially expands your outreach to your target market, improves lives, and helps create a better world.
Think of podcasting as creating a level playing field. Like other elements of social media, podcasting enables anyone with a specific expertise to reach those who want and need that information anytime, anywhere they want it. No longer do you have to get booked on a national radio or TV show, coddle the media, or dumb down your message to get it out there. Podcasting is a simple to implement, easy to deliver, user-friendly, and inexpensive way to get YOUR MESSAGE out to YOUR AUDIENCE.
Are you using podcasting to reach more people, inspire change, and help make this a better world?
Like any new invention, audio and video podcasting came into being from a variety of fronts. The format and term "podcast" that we use today grew into widespread usage beginning in the year 2004. No, it isn't an Apple invention, though I'm sure they are happy to have the name "pod" in the name--and they've definitely capitalized on the medium on I-Tunes.
Basically, a podcast is a digital file that is delivered in episodes (blogs, audios, videos), available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player. It is usually part of a series designed to reach a particular niche audience.
Niche is the key word when talking podcasting. The style of a podcast is personal, in-depth, and niche-specific. It's all about talking directly to an audience who is "really into" a specific subject matter. Successful podcasters are known for being passionate about their topic and talk about it in a way that connects with real enthusiasts who know the language and want the deeper secrets.
Think of the difference between seeing a 90-second news story given by a reporter who is just getting to know about World T'ai Chi Day and conveying it to those who know little about it versus hearing a martial arts master divulging inside secrets to his loyal and devoted followers.
Other examples include podcasts for Trekkies, NFL fanatics, Asian travel buffs, computer gaming enthusiasts, and conscious entrepreneurs. . .
Since podcasts are typically pre-recorded, listeners/viewers can tune in at their convenience and access the content from any computer or digital media device. This makes the content highly-accessible and user-friendly. Because creating a podcast doesn't require a lot of expensive equipment and is fairly easy to post online, it invites most anyone with even a little tech savvy (or who can hire the tech part) to get their word out there. For a few hundred dollars, you can get set up to do quality audio podcasting - imagine the possibilities.
Many entrepreneurs have seized this easy entry point to grow their audience--and some have even capitalized on it to make big money by selling advertising, letting people know about their own programs and products in a sidebar, or by selling subscriptions.
However, what makes podcasts so popular is that they are known for making content "king." One thing podcast audiences favor is quality, in-depth material, offered in a knowledgeable, personal style, with minimal or no promotion or advertising. It is all about passionate people sharing what they are passionate about to those who are passionate about it!
With those points in mind, here are three powerful secrets to creating a successful podcast:
1. Know your niche. Choose a subject in which you are an expert and know what your audience wants to hear about. If you are a die-hard participant in this niche, it's likely you'll know the needs and the language. Speak to what matters most to participants in your niche. Know their challenges and offer solutions. Title your podcast in a way that lets your niche know that you're talking about exactly what they want to hear.
2. Provide quality content. Be wary of making your content a sales pitch for your products and programs. Focus instead on providing valuable information to your audience. Give them quality content that is designed specifically for their needs, interests, and issues. Make your podcast a "go-to" source for good information. This is how you will build a loyal following who will be happy to share your content with others they know who love what they love.
3. Engage your audience. Speak to them directly, in a personal style, and ask for their interaction. Ask questions, use quick surveys, and consider contests and giveaways for those who interact with you. For example: to launch our Conscious Millionaire Podcast series, we are offering a free mini-pad to those who interact with and share our content the most.
Here's an additional tip for maximal impact: If possible, make your content available in multiple formats: written, audio, and video. Consumers have different consumption styles, so make your content readily accessible to as many of those styles as possible. If given the choice to read, listen to, or view video content, some of your audience will choose to read, some will listen, and some will watch the video.
So, consider how you can leverage one podcast format into other formats, so that you reach more of your audience by providing information in the way they want it. For example: transcribe an audio podcast and posting it as a blog or article; adding slides to an audio and turning it into a video that you can post on You Tube or other video platform.
Podcasting is a powerful way to reach those who need what you have to offer. I'd love to hear how you are using it to grow your audience and expand your business.
J V Crum III is the founder of ConsciousMillionaire.com; as a business coach, speaker, and podcaster, he is sought after for his unique ability to help entrepreneurs and executives integrate their strengths and passions into a well-defined strategy for creating big profits and making a big difference in the world. Listen to the Conscious Millionaire Podcast, M-F. J V holds an MBA, JD and a MS in Psychology; his best-selling book, "Conscious Millionaire: Grow Your Business by Making a Difference" is available now: http://www.amazon.com/Conscious-Millionaire-Business-Making-Difference/dp/0976719223/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
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