Some of you may or may not know that aside from blogging (and speaking and consulting and running workshops), I also moonlight as the host of my own podcast called REPUTATION REVOLUTION.
The podcast is focused around the theme of DIY personal branding for aspiring thought leaders. If you’re a business leader or professional subject matter expert and you want to raise your profile and over time develop into an influential public voice within your industry, profession or community, then I’m confident you’ll gain value from the podcast (that was the pitch!). N.B. The 100th episode is in three parts – you can listen to all three ‘sub-episodes’ below.
Creating useful, compelling content is a foundational requirement for those keen to build and reinforce their thought leadership positioning in the marketplace,
More often than not, blogging takes centre stage. Sometimes video. But increasingly, aspiring thought leaders are discovering the power of on-demand audio content. With that in mind, having just published the 100th episode of REPUTATION REVOLUTION (made up of three sub-episodes), I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way.
LESSON ONE – Podcasting is a long-term game
Every podcaster (particularly the successful ones) will tell you it takes considerable time to gain traction with your show. Yes, there are those crazy breakout success stories (I think you’ll find that if an individual is involved, mostly they had a platform in the first place – i.e. a strong media profile – or they brilliantly produced and genuinely have tapped into the public consciousness i.e. Serial) but by and large, podcasting can be a bit of a slog.
It takes commitment to build an audience on any medium. Yes, people will provide examples of how they ‘gamed the system’, but remember, it’s not just about the sheer numbers of listeners but the impact you’re having on people.
Are you connecting with your audience?
Are you educating them in some way?
Are you inspiring them to take action?
Podcasting, perhaps more than any medium, is a powerful way to build an emotional bond with strangers halfway around the world. Someone listening attentively to you via their headphones or earbuds while on their daily walk or commute or gym workout – wherever they listen to your podcast – this is way more powerful than if someone skims over your blog posts or watches your YouTube videos (but are often distracted at the same time).
Podcasting is about building connection and affinity with an audience, and you can’t do that overnight.
If you’re going to podcast, be prepared to commit for the long haul. This takes planning and commitment. It’s important you’re aware of this upfront.
LESSON TWO – Programmatic content works well for podcasts
When I fall off my podcast publishing schedule for a period of time for whatever reason, I always see the number of downloads drop off.
This is because podcasting is about habit. If people enjoy listening to a particular podcast, often they will make it part of their listening repertoire. If you neglect to publish for a couple of weeks or more, you run the risk of ceasing to become part of someone’s habit. If your new episode doesn’t appear on schedule, they might just try another podcast, which raises the risk of your show falling off their radar as they gravitate to the shiny new podcasting thing.
Develop a schedule ahead of time and try and stick to it best you can. It will pay dividends in the long run.
LESSON THREE – Repurpose your audio content across multiple mediums
I know this is the right thing to do, but sometimes I run out of time to do it! When I go that extra mile, it tends to work well i.e. write a blog post based on the interview you’ve conducted on your podcast and publish, for example, on LinkedIn’s blogging platform.
More importantly, I’m seeing other successful podcasters repurposing their content consistently, and anecdotally it works well for them.
For example, I’m now (when it makes sense to do so) starting to riff on a topic I’ve recorded on the podcast when I do my regular MeVee video live-streams. But there’s so much I could be doing here – writing an ebook based on the first 100 episodes springs to mind (I’m happy to announce this project has at least been started!).
While we’re on this topic, people get their podcasts from numerous sources.
iTunes is the Granddaddy distribution point of course, but there are now audio content aggregation apps such as SoundCloud, acast, audioBoom and Stitcher Radio. Make sure your podcast is available across a number of these sites as well as iTunes.
LESSON FOUR – Your audience is global (but you can still skew domestically)
Okay, I realise all content on the social web is global 🙂 But when you use a podcast hosting platform such as Libsyn (which I do), the geographic stats are pretty much ‘in your face’ and so nicely laid out for you, you can’t help but take notice!
While the bulk of my audience for REPUTATION REVOLUTION is based in Australia (followed by the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand), my podcast has in totality been downloaded in over 50 countries. Bigger podcasts have geographical reach two to three times that. I find that very cool.
The subject matter of REPUTATION REVOLUTION is global in nature but I understand for some people they’re just after a domestic audience. Does that mean they shouldn’t podcast? Of course not.
For example, if you just want to target an audience in a particular country, say, Australia, just make sure everything you do reflects that – i.e. your podcast name, and/or its logo; if you’re interviewing guests, make sure they’re skewed to an Australian audience for example, they might be talking about a case study that’s inherently local. Sure, you’ll probably pick up international listeners, but by and large I think you’ll find your audience will heavily skew domestic.
Mind you, if you want to build an international following for your content, podcasting is a great way to do just that! Remember, iTunes (probably the number one way people source their podcasts) has over 800 million user accounts, so the potential to build a significantly-sized global audience is huge.
LESSON FIVE – There’s a great thirst for knowledge out there!
As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m all for publishing content that’s on the whole useful and interesting (I hope I succeed on that front, please let me know if I’m letting you down in this regard!).
With some planning, podcasting is a great way for companies and individuals to produce on-demand content that will help satisfy people’s need for information on a particular topic. As is the case with blogging and online video, you can go super-niche on a particular subject if you wish; indeed, many content marketing experts agree this is the best strategy to cut through and resonate with your core intended audience.
A good example of a niche podcast is the TRADIES BUSINESS SHOW by Warrick Bidwell and Michaela Clark.
In today’s noisy digital world, people are becoming adept at seeking out content that is super-relevant to them, that satisfies a specific informational need they might have at any given time.
Know what information your customers are seeking, and then deliver it (podcasting can be a good option in many instances) in non-chest beating editorial fashion and you might just grow an audience of enthusiastic advocates and supporters for your brand and your business.