People won’t shut up about podcasts.
I know, I know, my bias is showing. I’m a podcasting coach & business strategist, after all. But hear me out, because there’s a reason you keep hearing about them. Actually, there’s several. And I’m hoping that after multiple podcast launches and recording more than 300+ episodes at this point, I’ve learned one or two things that might help you decide if a podcast is the right fit for you.
THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE
Does it feel like everyone has a podcast these days?
I’ve got news for you: podcasting is still in its infancy.
At time of publishing this article in September 2020, there are 1 million podcasts available on Apple Podcasts. Compared to the more than 50 million YouTube channels and over 400 million blogs out there, I like those odds. It leaves massive room for expansion and growth, and makes it significantly easier to be heard in a much less crowded online space.
For some perspective, let’s take a look at the average length of time people spend consuming content on other major platforms:
Watching Facebook Live videos: 10 seconds
Reading a blog post: 96 seconds
Watching YouTube videos: 11.7 minutes
Podcast listeners, however, spend an average of 6 hours and 37 minutes listening to podcasts every. Single. Week.
WHAT?! Can we take a moment to appreciate the amount of time people are dedicating to tuning into these shows?
Plus, 80% of podcast listeners stick around for all or most of an entire episode.
The average length of a podcast is around 43 minutes.
Insert the head-exploding emoji right here, because this means you’re capturing the attention of your audience for an absolutely enormous stretch of time. Think about what a f*cking GIFT that is. Seriously. There are human beings out there who are ready and willing to give you their most precious and valuable resource: their time. And they’re giving you a lot of it.
Are you going to waste that kind of opportunity?
I would argue that podcasting provides the most intimate experience available online to create trust and develop relationships with your listeners.
Think about it: not only are you being given the immense gift of speaking straight into someone’s ears, you’re also becoming part of their daily routine and the habits that govern their daily life. People are tuning in to hear you speak while they walk the dog, take out the trash, cook dinner, commute to work or clean the house.
And if you hook them with your show? They’re going to keep coming back for more.
Speaking of building relationships, I don’t tell many people this, so keep it on the down-low, but I can’t be the only person to talk about my favourite podcasters as though they’re my BFFs on speed dial, am I?
Assuming that’s not just me, (right?!) who do you think your listeners are going to think of first when it comes to that thing you’re awesome at?
Every time you release a new episode, you’re building a relationship with someone who needs to hear that message from you in the exact way that only you can teach it based on your unique experiences and perspective.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Want to start a podcast as a hobby? Cool! Have at it.
But if you want to use a podcast to grow your business, now you’re speaking my language.
There are multiple ways to do this, and while the first area most people jump to is ads and sponsorships, I take a different approach and instead encourage my students to use their podcast to build their own businesses first.
It’s part of a greater strategy, and while it looks a bit different for everyone, there are a couple major things you need to remember here.
First, come to the table with value. You’re asking for a major investment of people’s valuable time, so you need to make sure you’re delivering the goods in return to keep them coming back for more.
Plus, when you show up with value, you’re creating super-fans along the way who will rave about you, your content and support what you’re putting out into the world.
Remember Kevin Kelly’s article about the 1,000 true fans? He argued that you don’t need hundreds of thousands of people to build a solid 6-figure business. Instead, you simply need to establish 1,000 loyal followers who will share your work, buy anything you put out, and sing your praises from the rooftops because they’ve come to know and expect great things from you. The trust that you establish with these people is what will sustain your business growth in the long term.
Secondly, have an irresistible offer that will solve a problem your listeners are struggling with.
Yes, this might seem basic, but you would be surprised at the number of people that seem to skip this step entirely and then are surprised when their businesses don’t grow.
Which is also why building relationships is so important. Get to know your people. Talk to them. Ask more questions. Find out what they need and how you can help. When you do all of those things from a place of genuine interest and care, the offer you need to make will become obvious, and will set you up for long term success.
Because podcasting, like business in general, is a long game. Anyone who will tell you otherwise is lying to you.
We haven’t even gotten to the best part about podcasts yet.
That’s right, there’s more.
As you continue to podcast, show up every week consistently and create value for your audience, you’re creating a body of work that is going to continue to work for you while you sleep for years, if done correctly.
I’ve had former students reach out and thank me for encouraging them to start their podcasts because even when there were times that they needed to step back and take a break for a few weeks, they’ve continued to have new people stumble across their old episodes and reach out, book calls, and sign up for their courses or coaching.
Hold the phone. You mean that thing called ‘passive income’ isn’t an out-of-reach pipe dream?
Not at all, and podcasts are one of the best ways to do this. When you’re putting episodes together, not only are you establishing credibility for yourself the longer you continue to show up consistently with tons of amazing value, you’re also creating content that will continue to be discovered long after you’ve put it out into the world.
This can be taken a step farther by maximizing tools like search engine optimization (SEO) and a variety of other tools I teach my students to make sure your show can be found quickly and easily in any search engine.
Podcasting is a simple, cost-effective way to expand your reach, grow your business and have massive impact. It builds trust, establishes you as an expert in your field and allows people to get to know you, your story and your personality. And honestly? It makes you a little more human too.
Want help starting your podcast? Let’s connect and chat!