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Have you ever had that fleeting thought pop into your mind about starting your OWN podcast? If you’re a fan of podcasts of any kind – and if you’re listening to this, I’m assuming you are – then you’ve probably considered it at least once or twice. And I fully think it’s a totally amazing, valid, and worthwhile consideration.
Podcasting has been an instrumental part of my business, my brand and my growth. It’s allowed me to create new relationships, interview incredible humans, and dig deeper into topics I’ve wanted to learn about. My podcast allows me to connect with my audience (ahem, YOU) in new and more impactful ways.
But I think a lot of people start to think about launching a podcast and get tripped up by the details of growing and sustaining it – the tech and the time and the effort and the investment spent to keep a podcast moving and grooving – well, it can feel like a lot. And just those thoughts can quickly begin to overwhelm and crowd out the benefits that podcasting can deliver, which I honestly believe are beyond worth the roadblocks or growing pains that come with simply starting one!
So instead of focusing on growing the podcast, focus on having your podcast grow your business. That’s right – if you already have an established business, no matter how new or old it is, a podcast can be an incredible way to continue serving your audience in new and more intimate ways.
For me, that “aha” moment came when I was listening to my friend Amy Porterfield’s podcast while I was in the shower, and she was talking about a promotion coming up for one of her courses.
I was like – oh my gosh, I can’t wait to sign up for this course! I didn’t even know what she was selling, but I was ready. And that moment made me realize that she had become this trusted mentor and voice in my life over the past few months, without even knowing I exist and without me having to pay her a penny.
And Amy teaches on this all the time too: that if this is what someone’s giving away for free, just imagine what the paid product might look like and cover. Podcasting allows you to form a relationship with your audience focused on serving so that there’s a foundation to sell when the time comes for your next launch or product reveal
Literally – while still in the shower! – I had this massive realization and reached my hand out of the shower to voice text my one employee at the time, Caitlyn to say I think we should start a podcast. It was literally JUST me and Caitlyn at that time working on my business, which at the time was mainly a photography business serving a side of education.
I didn’t have a producer or a manager or a big team behind me. I didn’t have any radio background or podcasting experience whatsoever, no know-how or education in this arena, but I just wanted to experiment with starting a podcast to just SEE how it works and how it could support the brand, and honestly just to see if I even enjoyed it! Which – spoiler alert – I did.
This show truly started as an experiment and has blossomed from there into one of the most important and valuable extensions of my business. And today I want to show you the how, the 5 ways a podcast can help you to grow YOUR biz. You ready to get all the feel-good affirmations you’ve been waiting for to finally go for your podcast dream? Let’s do this!
1. A podcast grows your trust with your audience.
First things first – the biggest reason podcasting can support your business has less to do with the podcast itself and more to do with your relationship with your audience, followers, listeners, or whoever you’re attracting to tune in.
There’s only so much you can do with still images, static posts, and ads. Those things are GREAT as more of an introduction or the handshake to who you are and what you do. They dip people’s toes into what you’re all about – but hearing someone’s voice consistently and allowing them into your space is a huge way to develop that know/like/trust factor, beyond what photos and captions can ever do.
Maybe you’re thinking: well, video would be great here too! YES, yes it would but there are certain people — like me — who don’t want to be in front of a camera all day and who don’t have the bandwidth to edit and produce videos. For me, being able to deepen that connection with my listeners while recording in a closet in my sweatpants is way more my jam.
I love that meme of the girl sitting by herself next to an ad on a wall that shows two other women laughing and enjoying themselves, and the girl not in the ad laughing and acting like she’s hanging out with them and it says “me when I listen to my favorite podcast.”Do you know the meme I’m talking about?! It always makes me laugh because I SO get it – and that is so me.
The podcasts we turn to when we have questions or want to learn something or even just want to be entertained for an hour while we do the laundry become more than just voices in your ears. It almost creates this sort of trusting friendship between you, the listener, and the host as you invite that person into the structure and routines of your day.
When YOU move into that host position and become a go-to voice or expert in your industry, you’ll be able to build that same sort of connection and relationship with your listeners. It allows you to serve people at a different level that isn’t possible on social media alone, and that’s invaluable in the business world.
2. A podcast is a great list builder.
I think most people think of podcasts as a medium for stories, interviews, and sharing insight and advice – and they are ALL of that and then some. But your podcast doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, stop with storytelling. In fact, I think that you’re only getting the full advantages of podcasting if you’re intentionally and thoughtfully weaving in calls to action – specifically ones that will lead to longer term relationships, like encouraging listeners to sign up for your email list.
If you’re strategic with how you start your podcast, how you direct people and what kinds of calls to action you use, it’s a really great way to get people off of the airwaves and onto your email list so you can continue serving them there. With podcasting you don’t have direct access to your listeners, so it’s important to invite them off of their listening platforms into a place that you can reach them easier.
Now, that doesn’t mean you just say “by the way, join my email list at yourbusinessname.com!” Even though signing up for an email list is free, if there’s no incentive, people won’t really care or take action on it. You want to really think through how to thoughtfully incorporate your calls to action into your episodes – do you have a freebie that would complement the topic of the episode well and that people can download in exchange for their email address? Could you create bonus content? A checklist? Access to something special? Try to keep it aligned with the topic of the show and invite people off the airwaves and into the inbox.
Point to how they can easily get their hands on the resource, and talk less about the FEATURES of the freebie and more about the promise and end result of accessing it. Features such as something along the lines of, “7 pages of social media tips” are a lot less enticing than sharing the promise, which might be something like “learn how to own your social media presence with confidence with less than an hour of work or effort a week.”
3. You can monetize a podcast from day 1.
A lot of people don’t realize that you can monetize your podcast from day 1 – and you absolutely should! You don’t need thousands of downloads or listeners or a bunch of 5-star reviews (yet) to begin making money from your newest side hustle.
Maybe you’re thinking: but no one will sponsor me? I have no clue how to make this profitable. Here’s the secret: you can use affiliate links from episode #1 and share things that you naturally and authentically love to collect commissions in that way, treating your affiliate links like you would a potential ad spot on your show.
Share about a product or service you love and where people can get it, referencing your affiliate link or a link in the shows description. Now, proceed thoughtfully here, that doesn’t mean you want your episodes dripping with affiliate content – the point isn’t to JUST make money, and if you’re pushing too much too hard, then you’ll likely experience less sales anyway, diffusing the point.
My recommendation? Weave in just 1 to 2 quote “ads” to your first episodes sharing affiliate links to a product or service you truly do love and use. Pop them into natural pauses within the episode, like in between segments or right after the introduction or before the wrap-up of the show. It also helps to have scripts for these, even if you’re not using a script for the rest of the show, so that you keep it time-conscious and you don’t end up rambling on about your love of this thing – which is prone to happen when we talk about the stuff we love! Hit on a few points of how it’s useful or beneficial in your life, drop the code, and bam. You’re on to the rest of the show!
The mistake I made when I first started this show was that instead of doing affiliate links, I partnered with an incredible company that I STILL love, Honeybook for a set rate that literally just covered the editing of the show to help me get it off the ground and while that was a HUGE help in launching the show and eased my concerns of the extra outsourcing necessary, I WISH I had instead focused on the affiliate approach because if even 2 people signed up using my link, I would have made more money than that flat rate.
It’s important to be thoughtful about your early episodes. Even today, YEARS later, people go back to those initial episodes and listen from the beginning, so setting it up right from the get-go can be long term dividends. In following this recommendation, you’re setting yourself up for success from the jump, AND it’s good social proof to eventually hand off to potential sponsors down the line when you’ve grown and want to do more official ad spots. You don’t have to wait for some big breakthrough to experience monetary benefits of podcasting – so start early with affiliates and continue on from there.
4. Podcasting can support your launches.
One of the MAJOR ways podcasting can directly impact your business is through supporting your launches. It really helps in the pre-launch phase of launching specifically, when you’re wanting to warm people up to new ideas or concepts in your product or service. You can test out ideas, introduce future concepts and give glimpses of what your audience can learn or experience more in-depth with your next paid offer. It’s a way to gauge interest, teach new ideas, and start to help your listeners understand how your tactics, strategies and techniques can apply to them.
Before any launch nowadays, my team and I spend some time prepping all of our content across platforms so that it answers the biggest questions my audience might have about what’s to come, before they have a chance to even realize their own questions. By familiarizing your people with concepts and ideas from your soon-to-come launch, they’ll have a deeper understanding of the benefits of your offer when the cart actually opens and they have the opportunity to invest in the more conclusive materials.
5. Podcasts are a huge connection builder.
Let’s be honest! Connections are everything – even more so these days in the digital space, when so much is changing in the world. Imagine being able to interview your heroes, other experts, people you admire.
Through podcasting, you can gain access to the minds, the knowledge, the know-how, and the experts in your arena or in industries that interest you by giving them a chance to share their story on your show. And the best part? You can foster these relationships from the comfort and safety of your own home – or your closet, if that’s where you end up recording for peace and quiet like I do! You get to share an opportunity and your platform with someone else and that is a huge honor for so many. Along with that, you may gain access to their audience if they share their interview so it’s a win-win situation for you both and a potential opportunity for exposure.
Podcasting has been a huge way to grow my network, and I’ve been able to meet new people, build true relationships, and support my guests in their endeavors as well! It opens doors and allows YOU to learn and grow and get around people you maybe never would’ve been in a room with otherwise, just as much as you’ll be leading and teaching your listeners.
The Big Picture
The opportunities are endless with podcasting when you have a business and want to use it as an extension and expansion of your brand. My random stroke of inspiration in a shower turned out to be one of the BEST moves for my business and my life, and I have no doubt that you’ll experience the power of podcasting if you decide to give it a try. It certainly takes some effort and planning, but I 100% believe the energy poured into it is worth your while tenfold.
You can expand your network, create a more trusting and deep relationship with your audience, and have another source of income from the jump. Not to mention it’s a fabulous way to grow your email list and prep for any and all upcoming launches and events. I mean, I guess you could say I’m sorta podcasting’s biggest fan – but rightfully so! I fully believe that starting a podcast can transform and expand your business, and take you to the next level with just a microphone and some compelling words. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to jump into the podcasting world, consider this it! A whooole lot of opportunity is waiting for you on the other side. Time to hit record.