If you’re thinking of starting a podcast for your business, you may be wondering if you’ll get a return on investment for the time and money you invest.
With that in mind, here’s seven compelling reasons to start a podcast in 2020.
1.You’ll find it easier to attract (and convert) your ideal customers/clients
Most people won’t buy from strangers. In fact, research suggests most need at least 7 or 8 touch points with you before they buy. Which is why publishing content that answers your ideal customers/clients questions and solves their problems is so powerful.
For example, people often find my podcast because they are searching for content on a specific topic e.g. how do I build an audience for an online course or how do I grow my following on Instagram? And if they enjoy one episode they generally subscribe and stick around for more.
Listening to my podcast helps them to get to know, like and trust me enough to invest in my products/services. While other forms of content e.g. blogs/vlogs can help do this too, there is something very intimate about podcasts. Being in peoples’ earbuds as they’re running, walking their dog, cleaning their house (or whatever they like to do while listening to your podcast) creates a powerful connection. People start to feel as if they know you - which gives them the confidence to invest in working with you.
I recently asked the students in my Build Your Online Audience programme how they found me and - unsurprisingly - the podcast was the number one way.
Sales expert Jessica Lorimer sold many of the tickets to a recent live event after just five episodes of her Selling To Corporate podcast.
That said, people don’t always buy straight away. My listeners typically spend around 6 -12 months listening before they buy an online course, membership, physical product e.g. my Social Media Diary & Planner (although sometimes it can can be sooner).
By that time they've got to know me and are ready to buy - which means there’s no need for a hard sell. And once they buy one product/service, the lifetime value of each customer can run into thousands. And wouldn't you rather be building an audience of repeat customers/clients than busting a gut for every single sale?
I also talk a lot about my products and services on the podcast itself - which means listeners often reach out to me asking how they can work with me.
2.You’ll gain authority (which means you can charge more)
Anyone can say they are an expert. Publishing regular content on a podcast SHOWS you are an expert.
This makes it easier to get new customers/clients (because you have credibility). It also makes it easier to land other lucrative opportunities e.g. speaking gigs, book publishing deals and press coverage.
And as Ken Nedy, co-host of the Email Marketing Show points out, there are other benefits to having greater authority - you can charge more. “When you're positioned as a leader in an area of thought leadership, when people come to you for help there is far less price resistance because we expect the leaders in an area to be higher priced,” he says.
Just having a podcast gives you authority, for sure. Having a popular podcast can open even more doors for you. My podcast, The Janet Murray Show, has had over one million downloads. It also frequently tops the Apple Podcasts business charts and is currently Number 1 in the Chartable rankings for marketing podcasts. This means I am more in demand as a speaker, coach and consultant. This has allowed me to increase my rates and be choosier about who I work with.
3.You’ll gain more visibility
And being ‘known’ increases your chances of getting booked to speak, guest on other peoples’ podcasts and/or collaborate with others in your industry.
As Roger Edwards, host of the Marketing And Finance podcast explains: “I make most of my sales of consultancy and speaking gig enquiries from my podcast (though my vlogs still bring quite a few speaking enquiries).
I was at a conference recently and a lady tapped me on the shoulder and asked: “Are you Roger?” She’d recognised my voice as I was talking to someone - even though we’d never met in real life.”
And with visibility comes credibility. As Steve Folland, host of two podcasts: Doing It For The Kids and Being Freelance explains: "I once walked into a client pitch and as soon as they heard my voice said ‘ooh! I feel like I know you...’ Honestly felt like I’d won the work before I’d even sat down.
4.It’s easier to connect with leaders/influencers in your industry
Having a podcast has allowed me to build relationships with influencers/thought leaders in my industry.
I'm not just another person trying to get their attention because I want them to do something for ME
I actually have something valuable to offer them: a guest spot on my podcast and the opportunity to get in front of my audience.
And as Natalie Hailey, host of the One Hot Thing podcast points out, this can lead to all sorts of opportunities. Some of her podcast guests have gone on to hire her to help with their content strategy.
5.It’s quicker to create than other content forms
If writing isn’t your strong point, recording yourself talking about a topic you’re passionate about - or interviewing an expert - can be a much easier way to create content.
While I am a writer by trade - and enjoy writing - I still find it quicker to record a podcast than write a blog post.
And there is just something more intimate about podcasting that helps you create a deeper connection with your audience. As Ian Anderson Gray, host of the Confident Live Marketing Podcast explains: "What I love about podcasts are that you can get a small, but more passionate audience than other mediums, like blogs. I totally see the power of blogs. One of my articles has had over 6 million page views. That sounds impressive until you realise that this audience isn't anywhere near as engaged and targeted as my podcast audience. I'd rather have that any day!"
6.You’ll reach new audiences
Some people like to read, others like to watch, others like to listen. And podcasts are increasing in popularity.
According to figures released at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (AWDC) there are more than 700,000 active podcasts and more than 29 million podcast episodes - up from 550,000 and 18.5 million respectively last year.
People are actively searching for content on podcasting platforms like Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts. They are searching for content that answers their questions and solves their problems.
So it’s a great way to reach new audiences.
7. You’ll stay on top of your game
Making a commitment to publish content on a specific topic forces you to become an expert. Because you’re talking to lots of people in that space, you naturally become more knowledgeable about your niche.
Roger Edwards says he learns tons from his guests. “It’s almost like getting a half hour of free consultancy/training,”
Ken Nedy adds that launching The Email Marketing Show forced him and co-host Rob Temple to stay up to date with developments in that space. “I knew email marketing before the show, but now I know more about it than ever because I'm immersed,” he says .”Now we cannot get complacent."
And there are other less obvious benefits that are more difficult to put a price on. Osmaan Sharif, host of the Get Out Of Your own Way podcast points out that making a public commitment to publish a weekly podcast - and delivering on that - has helped him become more consistent with his content creation across the board. As a performance and mindset coach who works with tons of entrepreneurs, he knows better than anyone that consistency is crucial for business success.
Andy Storch, host of the Talent Development Hotseat Podcast says hosting his podcast has helped him build confidence and find his voice. "Conducting over 200 interviews over the last three years has taught me a lot and built my confidence and then starting to do solo episodes helped me find my voice and realise I have a lot to say."