In most social situations, being a know-it-all, blabbermouth, or self-proclaimed expert are surefire strikes against you. But when it comes to the world of online broadcasting, these traits might just be your saving grace. Just think of it—for once in your life, being an insufferable windbag who tends to dominate every conversation could really come in handy!
Although the white-hot hype and buzz that once surrounded podcasts has died down a bit over the last year or so, that doesn’t mean that these cost-effective broadcasts aren’t still a great way to get your firm’s name out there and, with any luck, implant it firmly in the minds of a few key influencers and prospective clients.
Many VARs possess a unique vantage point on the industry that could prove to be enlightening to listeners on both sides of the sales equation. With any luck, customers and competitors alike could glean something valuable from your pearls of wisdom. If you’ve ever thought about starting a podcast, here are a few tips to help you get the most value from your investment of time and energy in the project.
Stake out a narrowly defined target audience. Before you commit your first word to tape, define exactly who you’re trying to reach with your podcast. Put together a “mission statement” of sorts that identifies the audience you want to appeal to. This exercise will help you focus and tailor your topics to make sure they remain relevant and interesting. Niche podcasts are generally much more effective as marketing tools than are broad-based, freewheeling podcasts that address a wide range of subjects.
Familiarize yourself with the terrain. If you’re not already a podcast listener, spend a few weeks figuring out the way this unique genre works before you dive in with your own contribution. Learn the jargon, the unofficial do’s and don’ts, and the general etiquette. That way, you’ll be less likely to come off as an out-of-your-element newbie when you begin podcasting.
Engage in shameless self-promotion. Building up a sizable audience can be an uphill battle when you first begin podcasting. If you’re not comfortable tooting your own horn, as it were, you might have difficulty drumming up enough interest in your podcast to have it really pay off as a marketing tool. Submit your feed to a wide array of directories and leave relevant, thoughtful comments on related podcasts and blogs. When you finally begin recording, don’t forget to mention your firm’s name and website several times in each episode.
Keep tabs on pertinent conversations. It’s not a crime to Google your podcast’s title to find out what people are saying about you. In fact, seeking out this kind of indirect feedback is a great way to figure out if your efforts are paying off. If you stumble across some harsh criticism, take the source into consideration and if applicable, tailor your output accordingly.
Start and sustain dialogues with your listeners. The best—and most popular—podcasts are those that involve a lot of connection and back-and-forth between the broadcaster and the audience. Try to actively engage your listeners with a few interactive features in each podcast. Consider incorporating live call-ins, reading and responding to audience emails on the air, or diving right into the fray with website comments.
Are you a fan of business podcasts? Have you ever considered throwing your hat in the ring and starting your own podcast? Let us know in the comments.
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.