In case you need a little more convincing as to why you need to start your podcast as soon as possible – and hopefully you don't, which is why you've signed up for this course, but maybe you still need a bit of a push to get you past the learning stage and into action!
So, here are the top 5 reasons why it makes good business sense to start a podcast right now:
1. BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Whether you’re an accountant, a life coach, or an athlete, you can use podcasts to build your personal brand. In other words, the show becomes an extension of you, or at least the persona you’re selling to the rest of the world. It’s an advertisement for you.
Podcasts are much less restrictive than other platforms like radio or tv, you can speak uninterrupted and, if you do have ads, you can choose when to run them.
A great example of a personal brand podcast is Karly Nimmo’s Karlosophies. She talks about her day-to-day life and philosophies but she also has a permanent ad out there to attract new fans, who may, after listening to her podcast, purchase one of her programs or sign up to work with her.
Another great example is Leisa Nadler’s new podcast The Art Of Quantum Healing. The show perfectly captures her personality whilst showing off her professional credibility. It boosts her profile and may also lead to new clients.
So, a podcast doesn’t have to be a direct profit-centre – it can be a powerful tool to build your personal brand and drive your success.
2. EXTEND YOUR BUSINESS’S BRAND
From small start-ups to large international corporations, more and more businesses are launching their own branded content.
You can, of course, sponsor another show, but your own show is a space where you can truly embody your brand identity and connect with your audience.
Dr Alice Kerby's Beyond The Pink Cloud is a great example of this, while Fearne Cotton used her Happy Place podcast as the launchpad for a lifestyle & wellbeing brand, which she has now turned into an annual festival.
Podcasts are an intimate, direct and unfiltered way of promoting your business and your brand to audiences, and as long as your messaging and delivery is consistent with your overall identity, they can add enormous value to your business.
3. INCREASE ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Building brands via podcasts are a great way of engaging with your customers or fans, but sometimes a podcast can be used specifically for this purpose.
Perhaps you’re thinking you would like to do interviews on your new show, and if your guests are purely facilitating conversations about you or your business, then it probably falls into one of the first two categories.
However, if your show is an interview series, like my own Menopause, Marriage and Motherhood, then it’s giving a platform to its guests to increase engagement with their own customers, listeners or fans. Wheel of Misfortune by Alison Spittle and Fern Brady on BBC Sounds is a textbook example of how to use your podcast to both interact with fans and cross-promote guests.
If your goal is to interact with your audience, then use your podcast as a forum to encourage feedback, book guests, build a social presence and make it a space which invites that interaction.
4. GAIN CREDIBILITY
Podcasts are also an excellent way to show off your creative experience and sell yourself to potential clients and employers.
It’s a common misconception that a podcast has to be entertaining for the masses or the next Joe Rogan Experience. It doesn’t. A podcast is your platform to express yourself, so use it.
You can use a podcast as a space to upload compelling audio to highlight your skills and experience, then embed your podcast, or specific episodes, onto your website or into your social feeds to showcase those skills and experience.
5. MAKE MONEY
Maybe, despite all of the above, you really just want to create a podcast in order to supplement your income, or maybe you’re even more ambitious – maybe you want it to be your career?
If you want to be a professional podcaster, and make money from your podcast, then you need to be realistic. It takes a lot of work, and it takes a lot of dedication and perseverance, but it also takes a lot of luck.
That’s not to say it’s impossible but creating a podcast specifically to make money is a challenge. To succeed, think about the advertisers and sponsors you want to attract – what kind of show will they pay to associate themselves with? What kind of genre are you interested in (because you have to care about what you’re making)?
Note: How much money is enough?
It’s perfectly reasonable for the purpose of your podcast being to make money, but if that’s the case then you need to think about your podcast less as a creative project and more as a business. Your show is a product – what is your selling point, who is your audience, and why should they buy it?