Why podcast? Why the hell not!?

podcasting

Oh my God.

Oh my God.

I was just tagged in a Facebook post (see below) by an old mate Kylie Bartlett (thanks KB 😉 and was about to leave a comment when I thought, hell, those bad boy questions are much more deserved of a blog post. Here’s what was posted on Facebook:

Podcasts are curious items. Free ones in particular. How do they make people money? do they care about money? Why do people do them? Why do people purposely download what equates to talk radio? Savvy friends this one is for you.

Firstly, thank-you to Jodie Dunne for even asking these questions in the first place. I love the fact that more and more people are thinking about the role podcasts can play in their life. In fact, I spoke at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City just three days ago, and of the 15o financial planners in the audience over 50% had heard of and actively listened to a podcast. Two years ago this number would have been 10%.

Anyway, I digress. Here’s what I reckon in response to Jodie’s statements and questions:

 

“Podcasts are curious items”

So whilst curiosity is a good thing,  let me make podcasts uncurious. A podcast is simply an audio file uploaded to the Internet. Technically, it’s a .mp3. Big deal. Not really. The big deal is what they contain. I remember when I started my podcast (The Small Business Big Marketing Show) six years ago thinking …. this is fricken amazing! Anyone can now have their own show. And now, thousands have. Google your area of interest followed by the word podcast and there is sure to be a show being produced by someone, somewhere in the world. That’s cool. Stuff commercial radio, now you can tune in to a topic you are 100% interested in, whenever you damn well want to! OK, curiosity? Tick!

 

“Free ones in particular”

Podcasts are free. There’s thousands; tens of thousands to find on directories like iTunes and Stitcher.

 

“How do they (podcasters) make people money?”

A great question. Some podcasters don’t want to make money, but for those of us that do, here’s four ways to make money from podcasting:

  1. Sponsorship: Netregistry and 99Designs pay me well to be associated with my show. Good on them for being such forward thinkers. Should be more of them. Us podcasters do have influence, you know 😉 Thanks guys.
  2. Advertising: Just sell ad space, like the radio stations do.
  3. Affiliate sales: Promote other peoples’ products and services and clip the ticket along the way.
  4. Digital products: Produce and sell your own digital products like training courses, eBooks, webinars and coaching services. I started The Small Business Big Marketing Forum, as I had loads of listeners who wanted a little more of what I’ve got. Now I’ve got a solid community of motivated small business owners talking marketing every day.
  5. Speaking engagements: This doesn’t happen overnight, however, my main source of income is now speaking; and I get booked often to deliver a marketing keynote due to the profile my podcast has created for me.

 

 “Do they (podcasters) care about money?”

Some don’t. They’re in to making art. I love money (and art!) I need it to support my coffee addiction. So I choose to provide helpful marketing information via my show, knowing that it will pay me back in spades, via a mix of the above five points.

 

“Why do people do them (podcasts)?”

So many reasons. Cause they can. Podcasts are so inexpensive and easy to produce. Anyone can speak in to a microphone, so the magic is the information you share and how you share it. Other reasons why people podcast include:

  1. To position themselves as an industry expert
  2. To give back or pay it forward
  3. To promote their business
  4. To drive traffic to their website
  5. To share their knowledge

 

“Why do people purposely download what equates to talk radio?”

It doesn’t. Podcasts are better, I mean different to talk radio. They’re generally more real, authentic, interesting. Geez, that sounded biased!

Peeps download podcasts for so many reasons. Here’s three:

  1. To learn or be informed or entertained in their own time (I get so many emails from listeners telling me they listen to me at work, commuting, working out, going to sleep … thanks!)
  2. Talk radio is constrained by commercial realities … time, advertisers’ needs etc
  3. Oh, and because most talk radio is shite!

Righto. I’ll get off my high horse now. Just one more thing.

Podcasting is about to hit a purple patch. New cars now have Sticther on their communications dashboard which means more and more people can easily access this great medium. Celebrities are starting to see the power of podcasting. Check out Osher’s show. People want real content from real people. And we’ve got guys like Alex Blumberg building empires around this humble little medium with his business Gimlet Media. Go Alex!

OK. OK. I’m hopping off. Thanks Jodie for the question. And KB for the nudge.

But please, you got this far. What’s your views on podcasting? Leave them below.