28 May Promoting your business with podcasting
Blended is excited to be launching our new The Office Guys podcast very soon. Why? Podcasting is one of the fastest growing forms of media and also one of the cheapest ways to promote your business. It’s also a heap of fun.
Its simple formula allows for limitless creativity. All you need is a microphone and someone talking for a few minutes and bam! You have a podcast.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as that sounds. There are a few key ingredients that separate good podcasts from the great ones.
Compare the pair.
- A jazzy, catchy theme tune fades into “Hello and welcome to the first episode of Talking Tech. My guest today is science journalist…”
- Three seconds of dead noise are interrupted by “Um, hi guys. This is, uh, Talking Tech. Hope you like it.”
Getting the hook right is fundamental to enthralling your audience. Some podcasters think going in unprepared will create a casual, laidback feel that makes their show easy to listen to. This is a mistake.
While it can be easy to talk unprompted for hours at a time on a night out with friends, the intimate atmosphere of a studio with a mic in front of you makes talking much more intimidating.
This is why preparation is so important. You just need to find that healthy balance between total improvisation and a full script. The former will make you ramble on incoherently while the latter will make you sound stiff and unnatural.
If you just write up a basic outline of how your show will run, you’ll find it’s much easier to sound professional and keep to your talking points.
Why are you talking?
No podcast starts out perfectly. It will take a while to refine the length, format and structure of your podcast so don’t expect it to sound perfect from Episode 1.
However, there are a few things you should be able to do right from the start.
The most obvious element that is regularly overlooked is what the point of the podcast is. Too many amateur and professional productions alike frequently ramble on and go on tangents unrelated to the core discussion.
There is no surer way to lose an audience that making them bored.
If your podcast is about a particular area of expertise, stick to it. If your podcast is about finance, no one listening is interested whether you enjoyed the footy on the weekend.
The ultimate question is what you can offer your audience that no one else can. The best podcasts are popular because they’re original and unique.
Take How to Fail as an example. Journalist Elizabeth Day started it with a very basic premise: what can we learn from our failures? It’s now one of the most popular podcasts on the web because of how she refined her approach to tackling this simple concept.
You won’t necessarily come up with a eureka moment overnight but if you’re just copying another show that has a much larger audience, it’s a sure-fire way to bury your podcast before it starts.
Another thing that can sink podcasts as soon as people tune in is poor production values. Scratchy mics, glitchy phone calls and clunky editing all add up to an unpleasant listening experience.
If you want your show to live up to your own expectations, invest time and money to make it worthwhile.
A quality podcasting kit can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars. If you don’t want to invest in such equipment yourself, cities usually have plenty of spaces like Bris Podcast Hub that you can rent for affordable rates.
When you have the recording in the bag, the next step is editing. Again, there are heaps of expensive programs you can buy to refine your audio but if you’re starting out small, Audacity is a perfectly acceptable piece of free software to service your needs.
It’s worth investing in a piece of production music to use as your theme too, but this isn’t necessarily essential. The most important thing is that your show sounds slick.
You won’t record live, so be sure to do plenty of takes to make something sound right. In the edit phase, take the time to get rid of every “Um” and “Ah”. These small things make a huge difference to how smooth your podcast is.
OK, you’re probably not going to get a Spotify deal worth $100 million like Joe Rogan, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile to start a podcast. When you nail the key elements, you create something relatable and engaging to promote your business and inform your clients and partners.