Why You Need a Podcast Now

If you haven’t heard, podcasts are a pretty big deal, and they’re an ideal way to reach new people, build connections and differentiate your business.

Victoria realtor Tony Joe working on his podcast. Photograph by Jeffrey Bosdet.

Play-on-demand broadcasts (podcasts) have grown from nerdy obscurity in 2004 to downright trendy in 2018. According to FastCompany, Apple’s iTunes alone has upwards of 525,000 active shows and over 18.5 million episodes currently available. Even better, more than 68 million Americans tune in monthly, and in March 2018, iTunes surpassed an impressive 50 billion podcast downloads. If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, podcasts are big, really big, and the time is right to consider launching your own.

Since 2009, I’ve been fortunate to host a weekly niche podcast called SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM where I’ve recorded over 325 episodes that earn over 30,000 downloads per month. Over the years, SEO 101 has become a valuable source of business for my company.

Now that you have a bit of my history and qualifications, I want to share a few reasons why a podcast may be a good idea for you or your business, and the various options you have to get the job done.

Why a Podcast?

There are a bewildering number of marketing options for businesses, and I know from experience it is easy to become overwhelmed trying to decide which one to invest valuable time into. With that said, here are a few reasons to choose podcasting:

Build authority and trust: Regular listeners inevitably build a connection between your name and the services you offer along with the high quality of knowledge you share. This connection often results in business from listeners who don’t need to be sold on your services; they already trust you know what you are doing. I have regularly found listeners to be ideal clientele.

Stand out: Competition is just becoming more intense as the years go on and it gets harder and harder to stand out. By creating a podcast, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and leverage the additional authority you create (which often leads to press, links, speaking opportunites, etc.) to push well ahead of the competition in the public eye and on search engines.

Open new markets: If your podcast gains traction in your marketplace you will be positively gobsmacked by the diverse leads you obtain from markets you never knew existed or you had yet to tap. Furthermore, if you have a service business that isn’t restricted geographically, you may find leads appearing from the other side of the world on a regular intervals from die-hard fans! That is a trip, I tell you!

Connections: the free nature and ease of access to podcasts provides a valuable opportunity to connect and affect listeners through storytelling. Where stories in written form can be powerful, the same story spoken with eloquence and passion can move people to action and create a more lasting connection with the story and/or the speaker.

Low cost: The expense of creating and listing a podcast online for the masses to access it can cost as little as five dollars a month after buying some essential equipment.

DIY or Use a Podcast Service?

The next question is whether you choose to record, edit, and post your own podcast or to go with a podcasting service that can handle all of the details for you.

If you choose to do it yourself and you have your own computer, then you only need to buy a decent quality USB microphone like a Blue Snowball mic that runs around $84 or a Blue Yeti for $160. You can use the free Audacity software for PC/Mac to record and edit your podcasts. Lastly, you will need somewhere to publish, such as LibSyn, which is my go-to at just $5/month.

If you decide you don’t have the time to record, produce, and publish your own podcast, there are a growing number of service providers that will handle it all for you. As you might imagine, the price varies widely, but you can expect to pay around $100 per episode using an individual producer found on UpWork, or several hundred to a couple thousand per month if you use an agency that produces at the highest levels and includes marketing.

With that said, I hope I’ve been able to entice you into considering your own podcast, at least. I have found it to be a great opportunity for personal growth, increased sales, and an enjoyable break in my weekly grind.

Ross Dunn is the owner and CEO of StepForth Web Marketing and the host the podcast SEO 101 on WebmasterRadio.FM.

This article is from the October/November 2018 issue of Douglas