Podcasts have exploded in popularity over recent years. With more than 90 million monthly listeners, it’s no surprise that they have become an innovative new marketing technique. As a small business owner, creating a podcast may seem like an overwhelming endeavor, but what if we told you it was more achievable than you might think?
If you’re looking to use a podcast to help your small business grow, you are in the right place! In this week’s episode, we are joined by Travis Albritton to discuss how to start a podcast as a small business.
Travis is the CEO of Honest Podcasts, a podcast production agency he started in 2021. Originally a rocket scientist (for real!), Travis has always had a mind for taking complicated problems and creating simple solutions, but it paled in comparison to his heart for serving others. From becoming an Amazon best-selling author to hosting a podcast that has been downloaded more than 350,000 times, he has learned firsthand what it takes to share a message that resonates with and drives people to action.
In this episode of Priority Pursuit, Travis gives us an up close and personal look at how a podcast can have a major impact on your business and shares the steps you can take to start your own.
Reasons to Start a Podcast for Your Small Business
There are millions of marketing tactics your small business can utilize, but podcasts have quickly become a popular and effective way for you to grow and connect with your audiences.
Travis shares that there are three reasons why having a podcast could be a great opportunity for your business:
Podcasts are Inexpensive
When it comes down to it, podcasts are relatively inexpensive to produce. With a microphone and editing and recording software, you can have a podcast for less than $100 a month.
What it really ends up costing you is time and effort. If you have the time, you are more than able to produce your podcast completely on your own. However, if your plate is a little too full, a professional podcast agency can help you manage podcast tasks such as editing and uploading.
Overall, the cost comes down to a balance between what time you are able to spend and what you want to pay.
There is Relatively Little Competition
The goal of any brand’s marketing strategy is to cut through the noise and be heard. With more traditional marketing tactics like blogs and video content, it can be difficult to stand out because of the sheer mass of other content you are fighting against.
Conversely, podcasts are still relatively new in the content world. While there are well over a billion blogs or 300 million YouTube channels out there, there are fewer than approximately 250,000 podcasts that upload weekly. And those range a variety of genres and topics that aren’t all related to you and your business’s content.
So, if you continue to break those 250,000 podcasts down to your niche topic and audience, you are competing against fewer and fewer other companies or podcasts of the same subject. At that point, it becomes easier to differentiate yourself from your competitors and reach through the noise to your ideal audience.
Now, some of you may be thinking that the reason there aren’t many podcasts in your specific area is because there is no audience for it. However, Travis argues that the fact that you have people doing business with you proves there is an audience looking for the information you are uniquely capable of providing. The size may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable audience you can utilize to grow your business.
Podcasts Have a Potentially High ROI
Depending on how you plan on or want to use your podcast, you can generate a variety of returns on your investment.
For example, you can provide information for your audience that in turn makes them more qualified as buyers or makes them become potential leads. If you grow your audience enough, you can start looking at sponsorship and ad opportunities. Or, you can turn your podcast into a strategic networking tool where you interview potential connections or clients. This initiates a relationship more naturally and effectively than a normal sales pitch would.
Qualifications for Starting a Podcast
In theory, any human who is able to speak can make a podcast. What tends to stop people is the uncertainty that they can produce something of the same quality as what they listen to.
While production quality does matter, it’s not nearly as important as the content you’re sharing. According to Travis, podcast listeners are focusing on two things: Who do I connect with, and who is sharing the information that is interesting to me?
People will tune into your podcast for the content and connection, not the production value. You need to make sure that your audio is good enough that it doesn’t dissuade people from listening to you, but it is you and the content that will keep people there.
By leaning into what you know and do best and by following some best practices, you can have a great podcast—even if it’s just you doing it solo.
How to Use Your Podcast to Reach Your Target Audience
A lot of small business owners are under the impression that their podcast needs to be geared towards business owners like themselves and focused on business tactics—much like we do here at Priority Pursuit. But there are other ways you can utilize your podcast to draw in your current target audience.
Regardless of what you sell or provide, your podcast should work to develop a sense of trust for your business in your audience. Your podcast should focus on serving the person that you are hoping to do business with and helping them work through their fears and anxieties by bringing clarity to confusing situations.
To better explain this, Travis uses the example of a photographer that works with newborns. Keeping in mind their target audience would be new mothers, they might have podcast episodes focused on tips for new mothers, prices and explanation for the types or services they provide, or even interviews with past clients.
Each of these topics focuses on something that directly relates to their target audience and the service the business provides. In creating this kind of content, they are able to both serve their audience by providing them with helpful information and generate a sense of authority and trust for their business.
How to Start a Podcast as a Small Business
If you’ve decided to start a podcast, that’s great! However, you need to decide on your strategy and understand how to record, edit, upload, and market your content before you jump in.
It’s crucial to narrow down who your podcast is for and what it is about. These two elements will inform most of the decisions you make in regards to what topics you cover, how you cover them, and where you upload your content.
For example, if you’re focusing on a younger audience, you may want to create long-form and short-form video content along with your audio recording to post on platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to better reach your desired audience. Creating a strategy and understanding your audience allows you to create relevant content and get your podcast in front of the right people.
It’s pretty obvious, but in order to record a podcast, you’ll need recording equipment. In today’s day and age, this has become quite simplified. All you really need is a USB microphone (one for each person on your podcast) and an online recording software.
Travis recommends the Samson Q2U microphone and the Riverside.fm software—both of which we use here at Priority Pursuit. But there are plenty of other options available. Online software such as Skype, Google Meet, and Zoom all have recording capabilities that allow you to record and use the audio for your podcast.
Once you have your recording, you need a way to edit it so it sounds polished. Travis recommends two different free editing softwares: Garageband for Mac users and Audacity for Windows users. Both of these allow you to edit and tweak your recording by cutting awkward sections out and inputting music wherever you’d like.
Instead of uploading your finished podcast episode straight to Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts, you’ll want to upload your episode to a podcast host. This online program then distributes your audio files to the various podcast platforms for you so you don’t have to go to each individual platform and repeatedly upload your episode.
While there are some free options like Red Circle and Anchor.fm, Travis recommends using Buzzsprout as it’s still affordable while being able to offer you additional features you wouldn’t get with the free options.
Unlike social media, podcast platforms don’t have an algorithm that is constantly reinforcing your content. Because of this, it’s important to market your podcast in order to gain subscribers.
Word of mouth is the number one way people discover new shows. You want to create a podcast that is dialed in and focused on a specific audience that will then share it with others in that audience. This will bring in listeners who are passionate about the topics you are covering and help grow your podcast’s reach.
Don’t forget to tap into your other channels! If you have a newsletter, social media presence, or anywhere else you are getting traffic or attention, use that as a way to promote your podcast. Regardless of the channel, be intentional. Don’t just tell them to listen—give them a reason to want to listen.
There are also opportunities for you to pay for promotion. Travis states the most effective place for paid promotion for your podcast is inside podcast listening apps like Overcast as that audience is already inclined to enjoy that long-form content. It’s more difficult to convert someone who is, for example, enjoying short-form TikTok videos as they are in a different frame of mind.
Do it Yourself vs. Hire a Podcast Manager or Agency
When it comes to creating a podcast, it’s possible to do all the work yourself. However, you may want to consider hiring on a podcast manager or agency to help lighten the load.
First, you need to consider the opportunity costs. If you are someone who has plenty of time on their hands and is able to spend time working on all the aspects of a podcast, then you can likely do it yourself. However, if you are someone who is very involved in the daily operations of your business and hardly have time to get home for dinner, you might want to consider hiring some help.
You also need to consider your budget. What are you comfortable with spending—both in money and time? Content marketing is different than paid advertising as you often are not going to receive an immediate ROI. Instead, you have to be willing to play the long game in order to see results. In order to be effective, podcasts need to be sustainable. Less than 50% of podcasts make it past seven episodes—likely because the showrunner was unable to keep up with all of the tasks involved with running a podcast.
There is no right or wrong when deciding whether or not to use a podcast manager or agency. It all comes down to which is worth more to you and your business currently—time or money.
Be sure to listen to this whole episode (at the top of the page or wherever you listen to podcasts) to hear more about Travis’s tips and tricks for starting your own podcast. If you’d like to connect with Travis, please visit his website at honestpodcasts.com.
Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
- Learn More About Honest Podcasts
- Access the “How to Start a Branded Podcast for Your Business – The Ultimate Cheat Sheet” Here
- Find the Samson Q2U Microphone Here
- Learn More About Audacity Here
- Learn More About Garageband Here
- Access the Recording Software Riverside.fm Here
- Access the Podcast Hosting Platform Buzzsprout Here
- Receive $10 Off Your First Three DoorDash Orders (That’s $30 Total)
- Learn More About Treefrog’s Small Business Marketing Resources & Services
- Join the Priority Pursuit Facebook Community
- Follow or DM Treefrog Marketing on Instagram
- Follow or DM Kelly Rice on Instagram
- Follow or DM Victoria Rayburn on Instagram
The Priority Pursuit Podcast is a podcast dedicated to helping small business owners define, maintain, and pursue both their personal and business priorities so they can build lives and businesses they love.
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