You are laying on a beach, eyes closed, the sun is warm and there is the distant sound of lapping waves. Or, you’re laying in bed, safe, comfortable and relaxed.
You feel receptive, fuzzy and happy.
Or maybe you are travelling to work, making the most of your thirty minutes of free time before the day begins.
In your ears you have some buds or you’re wearing headphones.
And you’re listening to someone you respect talk about a subject they are knowledgeable about.
"You want to hear what they are saying and when you take your headphones off you are going to tell people about what you’ve heard."
You may think that podcasts are limited to the world of true crime, entertainment, comedy, sports or music but business, and more specifically, niche business interests are growing exponentially on the biggest podcast forums such as Apple Music or Spotify.
And there are good reasons for this. Podcasts can establish you as an authority in your particular business area whatever, and I want to stress this, whatever it is.
Whatever your business is, a bar in downtown Barcelona, landscape gardeners in Birmingham or dog walkers in L.A, people are interested in your personal experience and nothing, I repeat nothing, allows you the ability to talk about your experiences like podcasting.
The spoken word allows nuance, humour and your personality to shine through in a way that the written word just can’t compete with. And if you podcast on a regular basis, particularly in your niche area, then this is a fast way to become an authority in your area.
“Radio is the most intimate and socially personal medium in the world.”
Harry Von Zell
Nothing connects with your audience like the sound of them hearing the voice of the presenter. Faces could be anyone, but when someone talks we get so much more of their personality.
As you grow into podcasting, and you become more natural and relaxed, people will begin to welcome the sound of your voice, it becomes trusted, a regular presence in their lives. How many times have people told you they keep the radio on just because they like the ‘background noise’? The reality is we are social beings and we feel more comfortable with the presence of them in our lives.
Once, people subscribe, you become a familiar presence in their lives, and they understand your values and expertise. This is the holy grail of a good marketing strategy and is particularly suited to small and medium businesses rather than the corporate giants.
And don’t forget whilst traditional marketing requires your audience to be looking at a device or magazine, your podcast audience can be doing other things whilst they are listening such as laying on the beach, ironing, sky diving, or ironing whilst sky diving. You get the idea.
I’m going to let you into a secret, a podcast is easy to produce. You can do it from home with some basic equipment.
You just need a computer, a microphone, editing software and a hosting platform.
Just set up, write a loose script, and hit record.
Of course, if you want to be a bit more professional then you can hire a company to assist you, they can polish up the recording, help with the hosting and website, and mix the podcast for you, adding sound effects or music if you want it.
The beauty of podcasts is that the familiarity and consistency of regular podcasts helps develop your company's brand and make it just part of their lives.
You are able to integrate information about your products and services as they relate to the information in the podcast.
Say you are an estate agent you may just talk about what’s happened this week in your area and link that to wider concerns in the housing market, but the message you are giving to people is that you are an expert in this area. Who do you think they will call when they next decide to sell their house?