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Podcasting for Business: Part 2

In Part 1 of Podcasting for Business, I discussed the medium itself and a little bit of its background. But the focus is on how it can help your small business or startup. So let’s get down to it: 
What can my business get out of podcasting?

  1. Similar to videos (specifically vlogs), there’s something about hearing someone’s voice – or seeing their face – that makes communication more personal. If you don’t want to come across as just a content marketer, creating a podcast where listeners can hear you will allow you to better connect with audiences and customers.
  1. Podcasting still isn’t as widespread as other media, such as blogging. And even fewer businesses are using it as part of their marketing strategy. So getting into now would help you stay ahead in your field.
  1. Inviting guests – experts, affiliates, or even clients – to speak on your show is a great way to provide variety and useful information. This can also strengthen business relationships and even bring you closer to your work team.
  1. Podcast promotion is not limited to the standard channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+; you can also reach more audiences and increase your following through distribution on Stitcher, iTunes, and SoundCloud.
  1. If you’re not good at writing, and don’t like to see your face on camera, then podcasting may be a more effective and comfortable way to get your message across. It also allows people to hear your enthusiasm and passion for your product or service!
  1. This is just my opinion, but I believe podcasts are more focused and consistent than blogging, which can become quite sporadic and off-topic. This of course depends on if you are reliable and/or have a clear strategy. Whatever it is, audiences and customers like and want a regular line of communication.

Is podcasting right for you?
As a compulsory part of my university course, I had to produce a few podcast episodes. After a lengthy process of research, writing, interviewing, recording, and editing, I listened to the final result.
And I was horrified.
Forget the background ‘hiss’ or the fragmented audio. Never mind the disorganized content and presentation. I, as the host, sounded like a corpse would: dull, stifled, nauseated, and miserable.
I had been told to ‘smile’ while I spoke, but I could not get the stiffness and monotony out of my voice. Funnily enough, I had truly enjoyed the podcasting experience, but it sure didn’t sound like it when the episodes were played back.
My point is that podcasting really isn’t for everyone – or even most people. Not only does it require a considerable amount effort and commitment, you need to have a certain talent for speaking. Of course, like any skill, with time and practice you will get better at it.
Also remember that creating a podcast will not necessarily bring you more traffic or customers. In fact, it might do nothing for your business at all, or even make things worse if you don’t do it well or properly.
The medium has a lot of potential, but it’s not suitable for many businesses. However, if you’re a better speaker than you are writer (or vlogger), and if you like the sound of your own voice, then I encourage you to try it out.
Lastly, don’t forget that you’ll need podcasting tools/equipment, such as a computer and microphone, editing software, a hosting service, and a website. Some of these are free or cheap, some are not.
It’s up to you to decide whether your business is at the point where podcasting could help it or hinder it.
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So how does one get started with the podcast production process? Well I’ll tell you all about that in Part 3 of Podcasting for Business! So do you think you’ll give podcasting a chance?

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