A million things have been said about writing great content.
In a world where there is so much information and noise on the internet, standing out with great content becomes harder and harder.
Written content isn't dead by any stretch (ironic that I'm writing this guest post, eh?). There are plenty of opportunities to create written content that is valuable for your audience, helps convert them into buyers, and helps you profit.
But why play in a crowded sandbox when you can have your own?
Podcasting is what written blog posts were over a decade ago. According to Edison research, your written content is competing with 500 million active blogs. In contrast, there are only 250,000 active podcasts.
Leveraging podcasts isn't only about getting out of the crowded space of written content. We'll outline not only why podcasting is so imperative for your business (no matter what you sell), but also the exact steps it takes to become a podcasting celebrity.
1. Podcasting is time effective
For the past 30 minutes I've been brainstorming the first section of this article. As I finally sit to write, I'm again reminded of why podcasting is such a worthwhile medium: it's time effective
Small businesses low in cash flow and personnel must leverage time carefully to get the best return on their investment. Podcasting can take a maximum of 2 – 3 hours (including preparation), which is a far cry from the 5 – 10 hours I spend on a content-rich, valuable blog post.
If you can't write good content, you've got to pay for it. My friend's social media scheduling app pays $1,500 a month for a full-time overseas writer. That money could be better spent elsewhere.
2. Podcasting creates more connection
Humans are built for building emotional connection. Millions of years of evolution have made us receptive to other people based on their appearance, voice, tone, and body language.
In a written post you can be as vulnerable and authentic as possible to resonate with readers, but it will never be as effective as your voice on a podcast.
When you build more trust with listeners, you have more influence over them when you make a call to action. Which leads us to…
3. Podcasting traffic converts better
When people hear your voice, feel trust, and connected, they buy. A lot.
Author and friend, Taylor Pearson, did a lot of outreach for his book End of Jobs. After launching his book, he had one podcast go live with a guest post following the next day. Despite equal reach, the day of the podcast sold 5 times as many books.
Aside from greater trust and connection, listeners are far less likely to skim a podcast in the same way that a reader might. Therefore 10,000 listeners will be far more engaged and valuable than 10,000 readers of whom only a small percentage read the entire thing.
4. Podcasting builds relationships
When it comes to business, I like quantifiable metrics as much as the next guy, but I can't discount the immeasurable benefits of podcasting for my personal and business relationships.
Last week I went to a dinner party and a woman I don't know walked up to me and asked about a podcast my girlfriend shared on her Facebook profile. Even if no transaction is made, she may introduce me to someone important, share wisdom with me, or improve my life in other ways.
A couple of years ago I went on the most reputable podcast in the nootropics industry. The relationship I created on the podcast helped get my former ecommerce site featured in Vice.com with instant credibility and an uptick in sales.
The great thing is, podcasting may still have a lot of room for growth, but over ⅕ of Americans currently listen to a podcast. In small niches, you can bet podcasting will make you a celebrity of sorts.
5. Podcasting builds backlinks
Not everyone is trying to improve search engine rankings, but they should be.
Most businesses that operate online still rely on search to bring in most of their traffic. One SaaS company with $4 million annual run rate got 90% of their customers from search.
Podcasting is an easy way to build many natural backlinks that will give your site authority and relevance within your space.
5 Sources for podcast prospecting
Okay, now that you're fully aware of the benefits of podcasting, it's time to focus on getting podcast interviews to grow your business.
When you prospect, make sure you are following a process to keep things organized and save time in the long-run. Before you even record anything, consider these criteria:
- Does this podcast have guests? Some don't invite guests at all.
- Is this podcast active? Podcasts come and go. Don't waste your time on defunct operations.
If they pass these criteria, don't instantly start emailing them once you have prospects. Instead, I create a spreadsheet to track them. My spreadsheet includes the following information:
- Category (what niche is it? Examples: business, entrepreneurship, digital marketing)
- Mutual Contact? (do I know somebody who can make an introduction? If yes, who?)
To free up even more of my time, I create standard operating procedures for a virtual assistant to do this kind of research.
1. Who do you know?
Start with the low hanging fruit. If you have a friend or acquaintance that manages a podcast, see whether you can reach out to them first.
No need to add this to the prospecting list. Reach out as a friend with your request.
It may not be within your niche or industry, but getting a few successful podcast recordings under your belt is going to make a big difference when you start cold-emailing.
2. Authorities in your niche
With a few under your belt, it's time to start creating a prospecting list. The first step is to consider a big name in your industry. Maybe it isn't the most well-known figure, but let's assume they're a few steps ahead of you.
Go to iTunes and visit the podcasts page. Type in the name of the authority and you will find a whole list of podcast episodes (and their corresponding podcasts) that you can add to your prospecting list.
This will be most useful because of the relevance. So long as you have chosen similar people within your space who are ahead, they most likely will be on podcasts that are highly relevant to you.
Also, assuming the authority makes good use of their time, they will rarely be on podcasts that get no listeners. Thus, these prospecting targets are well-trafficked and relevant.
3. Amazon authors
If you run out of authority figures within your niche from above, Amazon has thousands of authors to create more.
Most authors do some kind of podcasting outreach, which means they will have some podcast episodes that are relevant.
Go to Amazon and do a search for either a topic or a specific author you already know. Now, click on the name of the author and find the “Customers Also Bought Items By…” list to the left.
Here you'll find a whole new list of relevant authors (i.e: authorities) that you can feed into the method we outlined in step #2.
4. New & Noteworthy
To add more targets to your prospecting list, head into iTunes and go to the “New & Noteworthy” section. Select your industry and do a search.
While these prospects will have less traffic, they must have some traction to make it within this category. It is also valuable because these are rising stars in the podcasting world who need guests for their show.
If you can get in at the ground level, you could receive downloads (and thus traffic) for many months or years to come.
5. Adjacent possible industries
This is arguably my favorite method of prospecting because it takes creativity, but is still low hanging fruit.
The “adjacent possible” is a term from Steven Johnson's book Where Good Ideas Come From where he describes that ideas and inventions come from a confluence of history.
This applies to prospecting for podcasts because of how your industry could potentially interact with others. For example, my latest venture, Nootropedia, is a all about brain health and nootropics. Instead of staying within the health niche, I decided to find others where information about nootropics was relevant and stands out.
Day traders on Wall Street are always looking for an edge over their competition. Hence, I pitch a day trading podcast on an interview about smart drugs and suddenly I have a whole new attentive audience to speak with.
The value here is bringing new viewers into the world of nootropics. Instead of fighting over the same 10 people interested in your niche, go find 100 who have never heard of your niche and desperately need it. Only you can tell who truly needs it so this takes creativity.
A word on outreach
After 1500 words, there is no need to create a full guide to the outreach process, but this is a crucial step in getting your brand or business successfully in the podcasting circuit.
Before you make any pitches, make sure you do a little bit of research on the topic of the podcast and what might be valuable for the host.
Make the host's life as easy as possible by establishing quickly why you are in any place to speak about the subject, what you want specifically, and a few topic options they can gauge for relevance to their audience.
Once you have developed this process (especially with the help of a virtual assistant), it is easy to spend no more than a couple of hours on each podcast and better leverage your limited time.
Given that podcasting is growing rapidly and yet remains relatively small, it is a great source of traffic that converts better, and creates raving fans. Best of all, it's a great way to create valuable content without expending too many of your resources.
Guest Author: Mansal Denton is a writer, entrepreneur, and health enthusiast who currently runs Nootropedia. He is specifically interested in how to optimize the human brain and live happier, longer, more fulfilling lives.
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