Practical Podcasting


Is there such a thing as practical podcasting? Enter Tom Webb of F & H Solutions Group. After taking part in the podcast, he used his appearance to open doors to new business for his company, calling attention to his appearance to position himself as a recognized expert in his industry. Webb identified key individuals in a prospective company including high-level decision makers involved in the decision making for a multi-million dollar contact and sent them a link directly to the podcast. The result? Because of that video podcast, the prospect company’s senior management asked Webb to meet for a one-on-one meeting to discuss their capability to service this pending contract award. Although podcasting is commonly considered entertainment, businesses increasingly utilize audio and video to drive marketing and sales. By creating podcasts that target potential customers, then emailing them a link to that podcast, your can leverage the intimacy of online audio and video as a powerful business development tool. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a superstar on iTunes to develop podcasts as effective tools to increase your business. However, your podcast needs to be of professional quality, sound good and position you as a subject matter expert and thought leader. Producing Your Podcast Podcasts should have good quality sound (no background sounds, no pops), a brief description of the podcast in the introduction and can even include lead-in music. Business podcasts can be created inexpensively with simple computer equipment, such as a $50 headset with a microphone, free audio editing software, and royalty free music. Many podcasts are conducted as telephone interviews with guest experts. To produce this type of podcast, which involves recording a telephone call, the easiest way is via Skype, a free voice over IP “telephone” service, which offers free downloadable software for making calls over the Internet. Next, you will need software to record your phone interview. I recommend two programs: Pamela or Power Grammo. Each costs a small amount (under $50) but allows you to now record and edit your phone calls. Internet based services like Talkshoe.com can be a great source for recording your guests. Talkshoe has a “private” group call and record capability, and it’s free. With these sources, you can produce compelling shows with guests or roundtable discussions without an expensive studio. One of the easiest ways to promote your podcast is commenting on another popular podcaster’s show. Podcasters love it when people make comments, and many times they will use your show as a sample of “who likes them,” and thus you get introduced to all their listeners. Get featured on podcasts aggregator like PodcastPickle.comPodcast Alley, or even Switchpod. These podcast aggregators often showcase new or un-usual podcasts to their communities, including featured links and shows, and are great places to promote your podcast.   How can online audio serve your business? Gone are the days of cold calling, door knocking, and other types of advertising-oriented marketing activities. We are going back to the way we did business 100 years ago: doing business with those we know and trust. What is new is how people use the Internet to learn about, know and ultimately trust potential businesses. Podcasting provides a way to build relationships with prospects, clients and customers. By producing your own podcast, you can become a recognized subject matter expert—someone prospects come to trust and value, which sets the stage for sales. Podcasts can be used to target potential clients. Simply identify key people in companies you’d like to do business with and send them a link to your podcast. If you’ve created a podcast that speaks to their needs, and provides objective, useful information, it will have perceived value and that can jumpstart a sales conversation by positioning your business as a trusted advisor. Invite prospective clients onto your show! Many will be honored by the invitation. You will build a relationship with these prospects and they get will develop first hand experience with you and your business.   Getting Ideas for Content What’s the easiest way to find in-demand podcast topics? Create programs based on your everyday conversations with prospects, clients and customers. For example, I often talk to potential clients about the their value propositions. Rather than have the same conversation over and over, I developed a series of podcasts that educate prospects about business fundamentals. Not only do these provide value to prospects, but also we are more likely on the same page when they become clients. Get inspiration by listening to podcasts within your area of expertise. Learn what your competition is doing. Research print literature in your market niche and identify trends and hot topics for podcasts. Trade journals, trade publications, and other market-driven materials are excellent places to look for inspirational podcasts. I always recommend developing at least six podcasts before you announce your show. You need to have sufficient content so that once you bring a potential client to the site, you have some reason for them to get interested enough in your show to press the “subscribe” button! So what are these six episodes? I always suggest one episode about your company and the benefits it brings to your industry. Next, do a series of podcasts on your marketplace including trends, your predictions about the future, how-to or instructional information and potential opportunities and/or risks you’ve identified. I like to develop episodes based on lessons learned or case studies. I like podcast episodes that interview guest experts, which lends to your “air” of expertise. You can find guest experts through online research. Social networking sites like LinkedIn are great places to find and approach people with specific subject matter expertise. Industry trade journals in your niche market can provide sources for guest experts. Conduct online research using key words related to your niche. Note people and companies that get quoted as experts, maintain prominent industry blogs, and have a lot of other web sites linking to them. Seek out centers of influence and industry thought leaders, who are usually happy to provide interviews based on their knowledge. Peter Brusso, CEO of Infocard.cc, is a new media-marketing expert. An engineer by education and trade, and an inventor and entrepreneur by nature, Mr. Brusso has developed marketing techniques utilizing new media and viral marketing to bring new dimensions to his client’s marketing repertoire. Learn more athttp://www.infocard.cc/


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