Podcasting is having a tremendous year. Pew Research reports that 17 percent of all Americans over age 12 were listening to podcasts in January 2015, a two percent increase in just one year and nearly double the number in 2008.
Podcasting is an ideal marketing tool for self-employed, WAHMpreneurs for two critical reasons. First, there is every reason to expect that its popularity will continue to grow. Second, (and most important to a WAHM), podcasts can be created at home – there’s no need to travel to a broadcast studio.
Here are some other reasons to consider podcasting to grow your business.
Podcasts Boost Your Brand
Anyone who has ever listened to “Car Talk” on NPR (which rebroadcasts the show following the death of the wonderful Tom Magliozzi) knows the value of a recognizable voice.
The same could be said of Julia Child, whose voice hardly matched the stereotype of a French chef, but became part of her persona and “quirky charm,” as a PBS tribute notes.
Try to consider your voice as part of your brand. If you’re self-employed, your professional self is your brand. You’re already speaking with people who apparently aren’t covering their ears in horror. If you have something valuable to share, they will listen.
Plus, we’re hard-wired to like familiar voices, BuzzFeed says. Even if you dislike the sound of your recorded voice, keep in mind that it isn’t a true representation of how it sounds to everyone else. Recordings of our own voices add distortion we’re not used to, something our brains are hard-wired to dislike. Customers, though, will simply hear your familiar voice.
Podcasts are Easy to Produce
One common concern is that podcasts are expensive and difficult to produce. That’s not an issue anymore with the vast array of software and built-in podcasting tools, available on many computers.
For Macs, iTunes offers a podcasting tool. And both Mac and PC owners can get lots of free software from sources like Audacity. You can also get free podcast hosting and tools that track your statistics, award-winning podcaster Daniel J. Lewis writes in the blog “The Audacity to Broadcast.”
One thing every podcast needs is theme music to play at the introduction and end of the podcast. Music is widely available to download for very little cost. For instance, Shutterstock offers 12 genres of music, from children’s to jazz to good old rock and roll to suit pretty much any kind of mood you want to establish. Prices start at just $50.
Podcasts Let You Expand on Your Blog
Podcasts are an excellent way to reuse existing blog content and expand on your ideas.
I’m not talking about reading your existing blog post out loud…verbatim. But rather, take three or four points you make and go into more detail. Chances are, you cut a lot of content that you felt was too off the point to publish, but that doesn’t mean the content isn’t useful.
PRO TIP: Start saving all your blog drafts to preserve those ideas.
You Control How Much Time You Want to Podcast
Podcasts keep you in charge of deciding much time you want to record. It’s not like you are buying airtime and have to fill in a pre-determined amount of time.
Start small and add time as you get used to podcasting and, of course, if your feedback asks for more. You can begin by offering 5-10 minutes of tips relevant to your industry. Or, consider interviewing an industry luminary for 10 minutes. He or she may appreciate the free publicity and your expertise in the field will get an additional boost.
Are you currently podcasting? Let me know about it in the comments. I’m always looking for new material to listen to while I’m on the DREADmill!