Late in 2018 I listened to Oprah interview Michelle Obama about her forthcoming book. That was the first time I’d listened to a podcast, and I was hooked. I’d been an avid radio listener, but broke the habit during the protracted Brexit negotiations. I didn’t have the mental headspace for rolling political news, but I did want to listen to intelligent people talking about subjects that interested me. Podcasts were my answer.
The ambition to start podcasting myself came about around 12 months later. I knew I needed to create regular quality content about my own business – not least to practice what I preach to my clients! I dabbled unsuccessfully with Facebook lives, and blogged sporadically. But when I attended a podcasting workshop I realised that I had found the answer.
As an introvert, there are lots of benefits of podcasting. Creating content in my own home office, without the need to dress up or even brush my hair, is a big attraction. Talking to interesting people in detail about interesting things is great fun. Podcasting has given me the opportunity to put myself out there in a way that suits me.
I would absolutely shy away from being described an expert on the subject. However I have found myself debating the pros and cons with a number of clients so I wanted to share what I have learnt since I started podcasting.
1: It’s not difficult getting started
Since that first Oprah interview I now listen to a wide range of podcasts on a regular basis. Whoever the host, whatever the subject, you don’t need hugely expensive kit. And you definitely don’t need a fancy studio. At the recent British Podcast Awards, very many of the winners said they had recorded episodes at home in lockdown. Although you do need to think about sound quality and making that as good as you can.
There is a huge amount of expertise to help you get started, from courses and freelance producers, and videos to podcasts, of course. Podcasting is open to anyone, from the super famous to large corporate companies, right through to independent creators, like me.
2: Set the Frequency
Regardless of our intentions, life can often get in the way of best laid plans.
Personally, I started with a weekly show and it was just taking too much time in my week. I know many podcasters batch create their episodes, and find that a very successful approach. This doesn’t work for me, I need to be able to give each episode my full attention and once it’s done I need to have a break! I also found I was on a huge podcast marketing treadmill and I had no opportunity to say anything else on social media.
So I dropped to a fortnightly schedule, to run in series that fits in and around the school term times. This has helped me to remain consistent. But whatever you choose, you need to stick at it, and ensure your audience knows when they can expect each episode.
3: Podcasting needs a strategy
Your podcast needs a long-term plan to ensure it is contributing to your business, otherwise it’s simply a great distraction! How are you going to encourage listeners to become subscribers, and subscribers to become customers. How can you encourage them to find out more about you, join your mailing list or book a call?
Creating podcasts, indeed any kind of content, requires a steady stream of ideas and energy. It helps to plan your episode ideas out well in advance. And remember that each episode can focus on a very small idea or a very big theme, but either way it needs a standout title.
My best episodes to date have been:
- Building a business as an Introvert
- Introvert as Expert and Storyteller
- Networking for Introverts
- Marketing Mistakes
You can find all the episodes on the Marketing for Introverts page.
4: Podcasting needs a niche
I launched my first podcast, The Marketing Room, 2 weeks before the UK went into lockdown in March 2020. Designed to appeal to UK small businesses, I realised quite quickly that it wasn’t niche enough – it ran to 20 episodes. I focussed in on Marketing for Introverts, and my show by that name launched in the autumn of 2020.
I now have 41 episodes of the ‘Marketing for Introverts’ under my belt (including the trailer), and there’s no danger of running out of things to say!
5: Make it a conversation
Having guests on the podcast brings a new dimension to whatever subject you are talking about. Add to that, a good guest will share the episode to their audience, leading to more downloads.
I have had wonderful conversations with people that I would not normally have had the opportunity to meet. I have found that people are naturally intrigued about the podcast and it’s much easier asking them to be a guest than simply asking them to talk to me for half an hour!
Talking about your business and your expertise is a lot more fun to discuss over coffee, during a podcast recording.
6: Outsourcing is Key!
Outsourcing is essential to so many aspects of running your small business. I’ve talked before about outsourcing your marketing. The reality is you just can’t beat having a professional to help you. I’ve outsourced the editing and production of all the episodes. It’s saved me having to learn how to edit sound files, which I really didn’t want to do. Plus, if you find the right person you also have someone to bounce ideas off, to provide motivation and crucially, accountability. Knowing I have an agreement to get an episode edited every fortnight means I always find time to plan and record it. If you want some help for your podcast, do get in touch with Pete Morgan at Monkeypants Productions, and tell him I sent you!
And Finally… Each episode requires (a lot of) marketing
As a small business owner, you can’t just start podcasting and expect people to listen. I share each episode with my mailing list and on several social media platforms. I mention it in networking, I turn episodes into short videos to share on social media, the link is in my email footer. In short, I talk about my podcast a lot! But I remind myself that I am the only person that sees all of my content.
So those are some of the things I’ve learnt since my decision to start podcasting in 2019. It’s certainly added a huge amount to my business, as well as being great fun. If you are thinking about starting a podcast, I can only recommend it!
If you would like to work with me on your marketing or content plan this autumn, please book a call