In 2018, both Seth Godin and Pat Flynn stated they believe podcasting is the new blogging. It feels a lot like that too – back around 2004, when blogging really exploded, we saw a number of tools come out to make publishing easier for those who aren’t tech-savvy. Blogger, Live Journal, WordPress, and Moveable Type all set out to do something that hadn’t been done before: allow people who know nothing about website development to set up their own websites.
In 2020, we’re seeing the same thing with podcasting. You no longer need to be in a recording studio to get high-quality audio. You can get a decent mic for less than $100 that plugs right into your computer. There are all-in-one services that allow us to create and manage our entire show from one place, for a small monthly fee. And there are scores of online resources to show you how to get started.
So the question become less “Can I start a podcast” and more, “should I start a podcast,” and importantly, will it help you grow your business? We’re going to talk about all of that and more in today’s episode. We’ll go over why podcasting is getting easier, some of the basics, and why YOU should start one. At the end of the episode, I’m going to tell you about a new online course I have coming out that will give you everything you need to launch your own show. Let’s get to it!
Hey everyone and welcome to episode 154 of How I Built It, the podcast that asks, “How did you build that?” Today: building your own podcast is the topic of conversation.
Last week we heard from Matt Medeiros about how building a podcast can help grow your business, and specific how his local podcast has helped him. But why are we talking about podcasts now? I think there are 3 reasons:
- Podcasting is getting easier from a technical standpoint
- More people know about podcasting
- Significant resources are emerging to help everyone, not just tech savvy people, discover podcasts.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
PODCASTING IS GETTING EASIER
First, let’s look at why podcast is getting easier. As I mentioned before, you no longer need a professional studio to make a podcast. You no longer need a $1000 mic to make a podcast. And You no longer to professional editing tools like Logic Pro to edit a podcast. Many people are able to do it, and make it sound decent, right from their home.
One app, Anchor, even lets you record, edit, and upload directly from their interface – on the web or your phone, for free. They even submit it to all of the podcast directories, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. It couldn’t be easier.
And they aren’t the only service to help you. There are countless resources to help you record, edit, and release your show out into the world, from apps to online courses.
MORE PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT PODCASTING
According to Edison Research, a leading organization in gathering podcast statistics, in 2014, less than half of people have knew what podcasts were, and just 30% of respondents had ever listened to. In 2019, both of those numbers grew. 70% of people were familiar with podcasts and 51% had ever listened.
Just to repeat that: in 2019, the number of people who’ve listened to a podcast was higher than the the number of people who heard of them in 2014. That’s thanks in no small part to true crime podcasts like Serial, and widely popular celebrity podcasts like Joe Rogan’s, Conan O’Brien’s, and Dax Sheppard’s.
With the ability for people to find a podcast on just about any topic they want, it’s easy to see why it’s growing too. As more people become away, they’ll want to check it out. But still, the barrier for entry wasn’t always clear…until recently.
IT’S EASIER TO FIND PODCASTS
On top of that, accessing podcasts is becoming easier. This was the biggest barrier to podcasts becoming mainstream – it’s unclear how to find and access them. And according to Edison Research, that was the number one reason respondents gave for not listening.
Sure there’s Apple Podcasts, but unless you know about podcasts, you’re probably ignoring that app. It’s been even less clear on Google until recently. But now, Google is surfacing podcasts in a way they never have before. They finally have their own, standalone podcast app. And if you search for podcasts in Google, you can see episodes right in the results on certain platforms.
2 other huge players (pun intended) that have jumped into the podcast fray are Pandora and Spotify. And in-fact, 43% of people who said in 2019 they had ever listened to a podcast did so on Spotify. 35% did so on Pandora. The fact that podcasts are showing up where people already listen to music makes a huge difference.
So podcasting is grow.. …but why should you put your own time and money into starting a podcast? Let’s talk about that after a word from our sponsor, TextExpander.
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WHY SHOULD YOU START A PODCAST?
So why should you start a podcast? We talked about it earlier: it is the next form of blogging. As a result, many people will start to consume content that way, and for good reason.
Unlike books, blog posts, and even videos, people can passively listen to podcasts. They can listen while driving, cleaning, or while out on a run. It’s the most convenient way to get ideas, news, and entertainment. Heck, if you have a smartwatch, you don’t even need your phone to listen to podcasts anymore!
Podcasts are also popular, but not too popular. We’re on the cusp of the economic boom of podcasting. The pioneers got in around 2008-2009. The early adopters and shapers came in the early 2010s. Now it’s primed for anyone to get in. This is evidenced by huge investments from Spotify, Apple, and The NY Times, among others.
So if you want to reach a new audience, grow your current audience, or even just provide a new avenue for your readers to consume your content, you should start a podcast.
YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR OWN REASON
You should also have your own reason. Podcasting is a deeply personal medium. Listeners and hosts can form a great bond and strong trust. Don’t get in it for the money and the glory (you’ll be disappointed in the short-term). Get into it because there’s some strong personal desire.
In the book Start With Why, author Simon Sinek talks about how you should define why you want to do something first. Why do you want to do a podcast? Do you have a message you want to get out there? Is there a story you need to tell? Perhaps you just want to impart your knowledge from your career or personal life. No matter what, figure out your own reason why you want to start your show.
This reason – the why – will help you muscle through when you might want to give up.
Another question to consider is, “what do I hope my audience gets out of it?” Ultimately your listeners will make or break your show, and there’s a lot competing for his or her attention. So once you come up with your why, figure out what you’re doing to make sure your audience gets value. This is what will help you grow your business the most. And we’ll get into that, right after a word from our sponsor.
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GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
Answering that last question – what do you hope your audience gets out of your podcast – will be the main driver for growing your business. Like any good content, the main focus should be helping, not selling. Your podcast is a fantastic opportunity to form a stronger bond with your listeners. There’s a closeness that listeners forge with the host because of the medium. They feel like they know the host better. It’s not a connection you can get from blogging or PDFs.
As a result, listeners trust podcast hosts more. There are numerous statistics that state listeners are more likely to buy something when it’s advertised on a podcast they listen to.
But it doesn’t have to be advertising. Offer your audience quick wins and a strong call to action and you can see growth in your business, if you’re reaching the right people.
MY OWN STORY
From a personal standpoint, I can vouch for this. I started this show about 4 years ago and have been podcasting for about 7. I honestly started this show on a bit of a whim because I wanted a new podcast to do, and I had what I thought was a good idea.
As the podcast grew, I noticed my business grew with it, and it’s been instrumental in my self-employment. Sure, the sponsorships help specifically with direct income, but gaining a following has helped me connect with more people in my community, learn new things, and establish myself as an expert in the field of both podcasting and web development. I honestly don’t think my self-employment would have lasted very long without this podcast.
STARTING YOUR PODCAST
So hopefully I’ve convinced you at this point that starting a podcast is worthwhile. What do you do first? Well, that’s the course I want to tell you about today.
I’ve spent the last several years growing this podcast, working through some trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn’t and then doing the same thing for clients to help them launch their podcasts. Now I want to help you launch yours.
My new course, Podcast Liftoff is launching soon, and I want you to be part of it. You can head over to podcastliftoff.com to sign up for a FREE podcast workbook to help you answer all the big questions. It will also get you on a mailing list to get notified when the course launches. Finally, you’ll get a nice discount just for being on the list.
That link again is podcastliftoff.com. I’d love to see you in the course !
Thanks so much for listening! If you liked this episode, be sure to leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find a link to Podcast Liftoff and all the show notes at https://howibuilt.it/154/. Thanks to TextExander and FreshBooks for sponsoring. And until next time, get out there and build something!