By Doug Foresta and D’vorah Lansky
Podcasting is a powerful way for authors to get your message out into the world in a bigger way, but it may be one of the least understood mediums, compared to blogging or video.
We’ve found that many people have shied away from podcasting thinking it was too technically complicated or perhaps they tried to create a podcast but it wasn’t successful. In this article you’ll discover the seven biggest mistakes that many authors and entrepreneurs make, when they try to start a podcast, and what to do instead.
In their article What’s Behind the Great Podcast Renaissance? New York Magazine points to the recent success of the podcasts such as Serial and Start Up, but says that the real growth in podcasting lies in the automotive industry!
As they point out, 50% of all cars sold in 2015 will be Internet connected. What this means is that more people than ever can listen to podcasts while driving, and this is opening up a huge market and opportunity for new podcasters.
Done correctly, a podcast can help you connect to a new audience in a way that was never before possible. People can subscribe to your podcast, and through distribution channels such as Stitcher Radio, the application will even suggest your podcast to them based on their listening habits.
Through a regularly scheduled podcast, you become a thought leader to your tribe. As you offer valuable content, listeners come to know, like and trust you and look forward to reading your books and enrolling in your programs or courses.
However, for an author looking to build their platform and expand their reach, there is a lot that can go wrong when launching a podcast.
7 Secrets to Podcasting Success And Key Mistakes To Avoid
1) Have a plan
Many authors launch a podcast because they’ve heard it was a good idea, but don’t have a concrete strategy in place to ensure their success. You want to have a concrete definition of success and have a clear sense of what you want to get out of your podcast. Then you can design your podcast and your podcast launch to match your goals.
For example, if your goal is to connect with thought leaders in your field, you can create an interview-based podcast and reach out to those leaders to appear on your podcast.
If your goal is to create more content to nurture your list, then you may do a survey of your list about their biggest challenges and create podcast episodes based on their responses.
2) Go Beyond Your Book
There is definitely a place for audio books, but a podcast is not an audio book.
What you want to do is provide value for the listener beyond the content of your book.
Your podcast is an opportunity to demonstrate your personality and your point of view. If you simply read the content of your book, you miss this opportunity. Be creative and share stories, case studies or even answer reader questions on your podcast.
You can read snippets of your book on your podcast, but to only read from your book is a missed opportunity.
3) Create a Powerful Podcast Title
Just like with books, the title of your podcast matters. There are two parts to titles; the title of your podcast and the title of your episodes. Your podcast title should convey a specific benefit to the listener. For example “The Blog Podcast” is not as powerful as “Be A Better Blogger: Tips For…”
Likewise, when you title your episodes, do not title them episode one, episode two, etc. The title should convey a specific benefit to the listener. Let the listener know why they should take the time to check out your podcast.
4) Niche Down For Success
In a recent conversation with John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire on The Coachzing Show, John stated that a big mistake he saw many podcasters making was that they didn’t niche down their focus. It can feel limiting to niche down your podcast, but you will become a much bigger fish in a smaller pond.
For example, if you are doing a podcast about relationships, you’ll be competing with many other podcasts. By focusing on a small niche within relationships you’ll be able to stand out more.
For example, if you are passionate about how people transition after divorce, you can create a podcast specifically for people who are navigating dating after having been married for a long time. If your program is targeted to everyone you’ll be lost in a sea of podcasts.
I’m amazed at the number of authors and entrepreneurs who create a podcast but don’t connect with other podcasters. One of the biggest challenges in ranking high on iTunes is to get more ratings and reviews. The best people to give you those reviews are fellow podcasters.
Search under “podcasting” on Facebook and LinkedIn and you’ll find many groups of podcasters who are looking to connect. Seek out people who’ve traveled the road before you and you’ll benefit from their experience.
A powerful way to grow your show is to invite other podcasters to either be on your podcast, or to send them a link to your podcast and invite their feedback. Remember as well, to be an active member within a podcast group and give lots of ratings, reviews and feedback to fellow podcasters and they will respond in kind.
6) Listen to Your Listeners
Remember that first and foremost your podcast should be about providing value to the listener. You want to make sure that you are serving your tribe and providing them with content they want to hear.
When we hear from podcasters who are getting few listens or who are struggling to build a following, it is often the case that their podcast is about what THEY (the podcaster) finds interesting, but not necessarily what their audience wants to hear. In order to make sure that you are providing the content that your listeners want, create a survey and send it to your list.
Or you can create a Facebook or LinkedIn group and invite in people who are your ideal listeners and ask them to provide feedback for you about their biggest challenges and what they’d like to know more about.
7) Join The Conversation
Remember that your podcast is a platform for you to share your point of view on things that others are talking about.
One way to do this is by using a program like TalkWalker to monitor where the conversations are going on about your topic. Find the key bloggers, authors and thought leaders in your niche and read their work.
As you do so ask yourself if you can do a podcast that responds or expands upon their work. Make sure to mention the blogger or thought leader on your podcast and provide a link to their website. Then, send your guest speaker a link to their podcast episode.
You don’t have to ask them to do anything. If you do a good job with it, they will share your podcast of their own free will, and you will be contributing to the conversation in your niche.
This is a highly effective method for getting your podcast out there in a bigger way while connecting with the people who most need to hear your message.
The Future of Podcasting Is Bright
The future of podcasting is bright, particularly as more people are able to listen to podcasts in their cars and via their mobile devices.
Podcasting is a great medium for authors to expand their platform and reach. Follow the above 7 tips and you will be well on your way to podcasting success!
Join Us For The 30-Day Podcasting Challenge
If you’d like to bring podcasting into your marketing or speaking mix, consider joining Doug, D’vorah, their guest experts, and authors and entrepreneurs from across the globe, for the 30-Day Podcasting Challenge. To get your FREE access pass to the 30-Day Podcasting Challenge click here.
Future of Ink guest authors Doug Foresta and D’vorah Lansky are co-founders of the 30-Day Podcasting Challenge. Doug is a leading podcasting expert and the founder of Stand Out and Be Heard. D’vorah is a highly regarded online book marketing expert and bestselling author.
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.