Everyone Loves Podcasts, So We’re Making One January 15, 2021 Way back in 2018 (it feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?), Entrepreneur said podcasting was “the next marketing frontier.” At the time, Statista predicted there would be more than 100 million podcast listeners in the United States alone by 2021. And guess what? They were right. Here are some interesting statistics from the team at Podcast Hosting: 75% of Americans are familiar with the term “podcasting”55% of Americans have listened to a podcast (about 155 million people)24% of Americans listen to a podcast weekly They reach an incredibly broad spectrum of people, meaning they’re an excellent tool to add to your marketing toolbox, and they’re still growing in popularity. The switch to mobile makes them easy to access while listeners are on the move – whether that’s driving, walking, working out, or cooking. We’re a generation of multitaskers, and it’s rare that we’ll sit down and focus on a single piece of content unless it’s truly exceptional, so it’s important to make content that suits the needs of your target audience. Podcasting is the easy-going cousin to traditional strategies like blogging. It follows a similar structure, but it works in a fundamentally different way. In the words of AJ Agrawal, founder or Verma Media, “podcasts inspire conversation, while blogs tend to provoke thought.” Here at Beacon Media + Marketing, we love a trend. We know that a huge number of Americans love podcasts, and since we’re committed to helping American small businesses grow, scale, and thrive, we’ve finally joined the podcast train. We’re excited for you to hear it! Click here to listen to our podcast, or contact us to discuss content marketing. Introducing ‘The Beacon Way’ Podcast So, what’s our podcast actually about? At the time of writing, we’ve launched three episodes, which talk about our origin story. Our founders, Adrienne Wilkerson and Jennifer Christensen, love sharing their knowledge and experience with other business owners. (They’ve definitely ridden their share of ups and downs on the way to creating the seven-figure company we know and love today!). Adrienne and Jennifer launched the first inbound marketing agency in Anchorage, Alaska, back in 2012 when they merged their two companies. They knew a lot of the same people, and traveled in a lot of the same circles, but they never actually met until they were in a shared client meeting one day. They’re award-winning speakers who specialize in providing practical marketing advice from the trenches of their own company, with entrepreneurial tips galore. When we describe them as a “dynamic duo,” we really mean it. They’re best friends and business partners and their podcast will take you on a journey, laughing about the highs and revealing the truth about the hard knocks. There are lots of lessons that can save you a lot of time and energy in the early phases of your business. Take, for example, the clients you want versus the clients that actually pay the bills. “These are what we call ‘non-sexy’ clients,” says Jennifer. “These clients are the ones who need and can see the value of your services.” It’s an important lesson, but it can take a while before it sinks in. Even then, the type of client you need can change over time as your business evolves. Raise your hand if you can relate, right? Check our Episode 2 for more insights on this topic. As business owners, it’s important to stop every now and then so you can reflect on your journey. We know exactly what it’s like to be so busy working IN your business instead of ON your business. Even as marketers, it can be hard to make time to do you own marketing, so we really wanted to put ourselves out there and walk the talk. This stuff is really important. And hey, if you’re looking for a little extra help in the marketing department, we welcome you to call us at any time. Want to go ahead and schedule a free consultation? Click here. How to Make Your Own Podcast Planning a podcast is similar to planning other types of content marketing. If you haven’t come across this term before, content marketing is an umbrella term that describes a type of marketing that focuses on information – for example, stories, how-to guides, reports, and so on – to stimulate interest in your products or services. Most often it takes the form of things like blogs and videos. It’s important to note that this type of marketing doesn’t sell directly. Instead, as our friend AJ Agrawal said earlier, it provokes a thought or starts a conversation that invites the prospective customer or client to reach out. The key is to make it as interesting as possible. As a business owner, you might not be familiar with the content creation process. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to succeed, so here’s a step-by-step guide to nailing your content. These principles cover everything from blogs to videos, podcasts, and more. Step 1: Plan We’ve all heard the saying, “Fail to plan; plan to fail.” When it comes to content marketing, nothing has ever been more accurate. Remember, you’re fighting with every other business on the internet to capture your customer’s attention, so you need to make it interesting and meaningful. This doesn’t mean your plan has to be elaborate. In fact, a couple of bullet points will do the trick! Just make sure you have a clear message and you don’t dive off on too many tangents along the way. People’s time is precious, so you need to keep things moving to keep them engaged. Need help developing a plan? Call our friendly team. Step 2: Execute Block out time on your calendar and just get it done. Don’t push it for other meetings. Don’t push it for other deadlines. Commit to spending time growing your own business, because if you don’t – who will? It’s important to give yourself every possible opportunity to succeed. If you think best at 6am, or 10pm, lock it in then. Start by listing your bullet points and then simply color in the gaps. If you’re creating a video, add two or three sub-points under each one with a shot list to match. If you’re writing a blog, expand those sub-points into paragraphs. If you’re recording a podcast, use those sub-points or paragraphs to keep your conversation on track. Don’t overthink it, make excuses, or procrastinate. Just start. Then keep going. It will be done before you know it. The only caveat we’ll add to that is to make sure you record good quality sound. Crackling phone lines, delays over video chats, or sloppy editing will make people turn off faster than… oh, what do you know? They’re gone. You don’t have to have the latest and greatest audio gear, but make sure the sound is clear and free from background noise with a decent level of volume. Can’t stop procrastinating? Hello! It’s us again. Step 3: Share Here’s another business cliché: “Done is better than perfect.” It’s important to make the content great. That’s a non-negotiable. But people are actually more forgiving on the polish than you might expect. A good introduction, good music, good graphics, and good synopses are all very nice to have, but don’t let them prevent you from sharing your content. We know from experience how easy it is to get hung up on details, but if they stall you unnecessarily, they’re not serving your business. Pick a hosting platform (we’ve chosen Buzzsprout for ours) and upload the audio with an image of either you or your business logo. Then share the link on every social platform where you have a presence: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, you name it. Pay attention to the feedback you get, and use this to refine your technique for episode two. Remember, the point of this exercise is to inspire conversation, so make it a two-way street and keep engaging with your listeners. Don’t make us feel like that kid waiting to be picked in gym. Say hello! Final Thoughts on Podcasts Podcasts are here to stay, and they’re only going to get more popular in the future. We’re so excited to be bringing The Beacon Way to small business leaders around the United States. It’s never too late to get started, so if you’ve been working on a podcast idea for your business. We encourage you to take action and make it happen. It’s a great way to build your brand, reach new audiences, and if you’re anything like us, have a whole lot of fun reminiscing along the way. What are you waiting for? Let’s talk content marketing.