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Podcasting for Business: Part 5

In this post of Podcasting for Business, we’ll look at what specific content you can use for your business’s podcast.
If you’re involved in a specific field, like web design, then there are plenty of general things to talk about. But if, for example, you sell special coins from a certain era, then the options are limited. You’ll need to take those factors into account when deciding on how often you’ll release an episode, as well as how long each episode will be.
Many podcasts usually fall within the 20–45-minute range, but some can be as short as 10 minutes or well past an hour. Also, some podcasters release an episode each week while others release one per month. It all depends on how much time you have, how much content you have, and of course the preferences of your target listener.
The best thing to do, before you start podcasting, is ask your audience/customers what they’d like to listen to, for how long and how often. You can do this via social media, email, or even in person. If you can’t access that information for some reason, here are some general ideas for content.
1. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, then think about your experience, your expertise, and what you can help others with. How can you verbally convey this information to people?
You can talk about an example from your life, where you learned something important or someone taught you to look things differently. You can chat about the mistakes you’ve made in your field, and how they made you a better businessperson for example.
You can make it as informal as you want (I’d recommend doing so), with a funny anecdote or a personal story. As long as it provides value—by being educational, informative, entertaining, or inspiring.
2. If you have a co-host or are doing an interview-style podcast, then that’s great because the content will be dynamic. The best guests to have conversations with—and people who would interest your listeners—would be experts in your field/industry, co-workers, and even customers.
The latter would be great for case studies and could also promote your business in a subtle way. Thought leaders could provide valuable insight and advice for your audience, and it would also be a break from your voice!
3. Since this is a series about podcasting for your business, you should of course talk about your company, products/services, updates and industry news. To make it more interesting though, you can take a “behind-the-scenes” approach.
You can also get employees to pitch in and talk about the organizational culture at the startup or small business. Another suggestion is talking about the mistakes that you’ve made (within reason) and how you’ve refined the business over time. This gives your business a more human feel and also shows how you’re committed to quality and your customers.
Some tips for when you’re recording:

  • Remember that it’s okay to wander off-topic occasionally—your listeners may even enjoy that!
  • Be enthusiastic about what you’re talking about; if you sound as if podcasting is a chore, no one will listen to you.
  • In a similar vein, keep your voice upbeat. To prevent yourself from sounding stiff or dull, smile while speaking. It sounds odd, I know, but this is a common technique to inject life into your voice.
  • Most of the time, unscripted speech sounds better. Having a few notes in front of you helps for sure, but don’t just read out an entire episode.
  • If you make a mistake while talking, you don’t necessarily have to edit it out—sometimes laughing about it can be entertaining and can even spark another discussion.
  • Don’t talk too fast. Allow people the time to absorb the information, especially if it’s a heavy topic.
  • Silence is golden: you don’t have to fill every second with noise. Pausing once in a while will catch your audience’s attention and will also give you time to think/breathe.

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In the penultimate post of this series, I’ll talk about how you can promote/market your podcast.

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