Let’s get one thing straight. Any piece of marketing you do—blog, newsletter, email press release, etc.—can be the tipping point for a prospect to make the call and reach out for your company’s services. That includes podcasts. So, it was a little troubling when I read this comment to a LinkedIn post on the value of podcasting:
“I have a podcast with 87 episodes, and I can say without a doubt I have not made anything for the efforts to date.”
Now, there could be all sorts of reasons for why those 87 episodes didn’t result in any business. Those could range from the quality of the content, the skill of the podcaster, the guests or lack thereof, and much more. Yet if the intent of starting a podcast was to get new business, it could explain why it hasn’t.
The numbers are against you
According to Podcast Index, there were over 4 million podcast episodes by the end of 2022. So, podcasts are a pretty large ocean to swim. That’s why starting a podcast strictly for new business can be setting yourself up for failure. It can also taint the quality of the podcast and what does attract a following: authenticity.
Tell your story
Sure, a podcast provides a platform to strut your stuff as a subject matter expert. More importantly, viewers get to know you by the manner you speak, how you interact with guests, how you articulate; the entire package. For listeners who have an interest in the topics you cover and a potential need, you’re giving them an idea of what it would be like to work with you. Essentially, you’re telling the story of your business and it’s coming directly from the source: you.
Build your network
Most business owners wouldn’t think to start a podcast as a way to build their network. Yet having a podcast with guests does provide that opportunity. Additionally, most podcast guests will market and promote their appearance on your show to their network. This widens your exposure and brings more people into your orbit. So, you have the double bonus of expanding your network one guest at a time and an opportunity for new listeners.
In the post-Great Resignation era, the employee is in the driver’s seat. Many prospects have multiple options on where to hang their shingle for their next job opportunity. You can rest assured that liking what they do is only part of the equation. Post Great Resignation, employees want to like who they work for and with, too. In a way, your podcast can be your audition for future members of your team.
Retaining your talent
Your podcast can have a similar impact on retention. You want to give your staff a reason to say, “Hey, I work for that person!”. Your podcast provides that platform. Depending on the format of the podcast, you might also have the opportunity to talk about the people who work for you, the work they are doing. Maybe even have one or two on as a guest. Having a thought leader at the helm of the company you work for does mean something to staff. It can mean more if you use that space to laud people at your company.
Make content opportunities for your company
Creating your podcast and just expecting prospects to knock down your door hearkens back to the 1990s. People created websites and just expected the orders to roll on in. Creating the podcast creates an abundance of new content and provides opportunities for your social media, newsletters, email marketing, website, etc. It’s those touches with your network that light the fire for new business.
You got to where you are by putting yourself out there. With a podcast, you’re putting yourself completely out there for the whole world to see (if your podcast is on video as well). Nothing keeps you on your game more than the deadline of coming up with content and sharing it in a way that makes people stop and want to listen. A podcast will keep you at the top of your game and that will show up in other areas of your business as well as the show.
Does it matter?
Yes, you do want to get business from your podcast. There’s nothing wrong with that. And you’re right to try to make your mark with podcasts. Particularly when you consider that according to Ovum, by 2023, global monthly podcast listener figures are forecast to grow more than six-fold, from 287 million in 2016 to 1.85 billion.
Still, beyond the numbers, there’s something about pushing your company story out via your podcast. You create marketing karma. The more you tell your story, the better you tell your story. The more media you use to make your story accessible, the more likely that marketing karma shall be returned. And with a focus on storytelling and good content, the marketing universe just might surprise you with new business.