Guest post by Kelly McCausey
Back in 2003 when I started my internet radio show (which turned into a podcast a year later) my format was a weekly interview style talk show. It never occurred to me then to do something else. Over the years though, I have found a lot of other interesting ways to incorporate podcasting into my business and I believe everyone can find at least one format to suit their business.
What you should know up front is that there are no rules!
There’s no one perfect way to podcast. That’s fantastic news for all of us because we’re not all amazing conversationalists and even if we are, we don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time interviewing others about what they’re up to ñ we want to focus on what WE are up to.
Here we go… 5 business podcast ideas:
Idea #1: Podcast a Product Launch: Build excitement for what’s to come.
Working on a great new information product or membership site? To build buzz and let others know what you’re up to ñ start a ‘count down’ style podcast series. This is especially suitable if you’re working with a business crowd, they’re all very interested in how and why you do things.
Take a look at your time line and count the week’s until your product will launch. That’s how many podcast episodes you will want to create.
Now let’s make a plan for content. It’s simple really because it’s all about the upcoming product launch.
- Share your excitement in a ‘bubbly/instructional’ non-promotional way.
- Share your process ñ what are you doing on the product this week?
- Share your experts ñ who are you tapping for expertise within the product?
- Share useful, actionable tips listeners can use now.
- As the launch date draws nearer you can share about bonuses that you’ve prepared for those who sign for it.
In the end you will give a direct call to action. Anyone listening to the series at this point is definitely interested!
Idea #2: Podcast for Product Customers: Teach them how to use the product.
If you’re selling a simple product, a podcast to teach it’s use is surely overkill ñ but there are so many products, physical and digital that are complex and can truly benefit from instruction.
Let’s use a year long membership program as an example product.
Create a podcast that acclimates new members to the resources available to them. This may only require only a handful of episodes where you cover each area of the membership one at a time and use your voice to convey the overall culture of the group.
On the hand, it might be fantastic for you to expand the podcast to include member nudges ñ little motivational messages that spur them back to the membership and encourage them to take real action. In this case, a podcast could be crafted to last throughout the year.
Getting clients to actually use the product you’ve sold it important and a customer podcast is a great tool to make happen. Be sure to build in invitations to submit questions and give feedback along the way.
Idea #3: Podcast for Affiliates: Teach them how to promote you.
This idea I have personal experience with. Before I re-branded my business in 2011, my target market was the online work at home mom. I knew that many of my new affiliates were just dipping their toe into the world of affiliate marketing.
We received so many basic questions over and over that we created a ‘get started’ style course to teach them the ropes. Released as a PDF, it was used ñ but I know that there are a lot of folks who want to learn via audio so we took a step further and created a multi-part podcast especially for our affiliates.
My VA/Affiliate Manager and I recorded the podcasts together. We tackled everything from getting started to teaching simple sharing strategies that moms could put to use easily. Covering all of the different affiliate tools that we had available helped to give our new affiliates more ideas on how to make the most of the program.
If you reach a market that is unfamiliar with affiliate marketing or even if your market is savvy, an affiliate podcast can be a powerful communication tool.
Idea #4: Podcast your Teleseminar Audios: Let them work for you long after the event is over.
Re-purposing content rocks and reusing audio content is one of easiest ways to leverage what you’ve already done. No rewriting needed!
How many of you are regularly holding webinars and teleseminars every year? That’s a lot of audio content. I know you’re already being smart ñ you’re probably transcribing the content and reusing in a variety of ways. Let’s add podcasting to that mix.
If you’ve recorded a typical 45-60 minute event, even if you’re selling it or including it in a membership program, you can slice out a chunk of great content and give it away via podcast ñ using that to promote the product or membership!
Choose one or two great questions and answers or simple a segment of conversation and pull it out.
It’s important that the audio you choose can stand and be useful on it’s own. I don’t love listening to short clips that only tease and neither do most others.
Now record your own intro and closing segments to sandwich it in. Your intro can explain that they’re about to listen to, the origins of the audio and any details you want to share. Your closing can remind them where to find the entire audio.
Idea #5: Start a Round Table Podcast to Develop Strong Partnerships.
Truthfully, there are untold thousands of awesome experts out there who do not have a steady podcast and this is a source of angst for me! Some my favorite people to learn from who for one reason or another, the never make time to create a podcast ñ or start one and let it fade away. So sad!
Well, experts are busy people and I get it. It’s not easy for everyone to make a long term commitment to podcast. Good thing I have a great answer for them 😉
Expert Joe, Expert Tina, Expert Lois & Expert Ron are all terrific busy solopreneurs with a full schedule. For each and every one of them to sit down and record a podcast each week is tough ñ but what if they joined forces and created a ’round table podcast’ where they all come together on a schedule that works for most of them and record a series of episodes to be dripped out on a weekly schedule? It’s a great idea!
All four (or however many) experts don’t have to be present in every episode, if you can have at least three together at once, it works very well. Topics can be brainstormed out in advance and tackled one at a time in a casual ‘mastermind’ style conversation. Every expert gets a chance to share what they’re up to, mention their brand, etc. Show notes will link out to everything mentioned.
With a little help from a media savvy VA, they wouldn’t even have to sweat the tech. Record with a conference line and let your tech know it’s there, they take it from there to get it published.
Bonus Idea: Podcast Your Book.
Several successful bloggers have blogged a book. They’ve written it chapter by chapter as blog posts, then re-purposed it all together to be published. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Content for the blog, content to sell.
The same concept can be applied to a podcast, instead of text, you talk. When you’ve completed your series, send it all over to be transcribed and reworked for publishing. I’m gonna give this idea a go in the new year with an idea I have for my next book.
Many fiction writers are using Podiobooks.com. It’s not limited to fiction though the majority of projects there are in that genre.
Are you ready to give one of these podcasting strategies a try?
One thing all of them have in common is that they’re light on overall effort and pack a lot of punch for your business.
Which one will you implement? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below…
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.