Fortune favours the brave

Podcasters are building such a ground swell of influence that advertisers are beginning to take notice. Like blogging, it’s the authentic connection to the customer that makes this channel a powerful influence of which advertisers are keen to explore.

This week, I read a great start up story of a guy who began his podcast on a shoe string budget. Before long, a PR company contacted him with a sponsor to support the costs of the podcast and he dropped his day job to take on full time podcasting. He now travels the world with his portable kit, interviewing highly successful business people for his podcast.

This guy was very dedicated to his concept for a podcast and he had a passion for the topic that formed a solid base for sponsorship investment. There’s no way I could have got to 50 episodes and 4,000 downloads on my podcast without sponsors supporting the cost of the channel. However, I first had to take a leap of faith and invest in building episodes at the business’s expense before seeking the support from advertisers. Now, my podcast engages my community, informs and educates them and drives leads for the business. And my sponsors are happy too. Win/win/win.

Fortune favours the brave.

However it’s OK if you don’t have intentions to be a full time podcaster and drop your day job. In fact, I’m hoping that your podcast, like mine, will be your main marketing effort that drives business to your day job. The point is, your podcast can be quite lucrative in the long run. If you’re brave enough to get started.

So how do you make a podcast that appeals to advertisers and sponsors? My advice is don’t focus on it at all. Focus on good quality content, and building a strong community of followers. Before long, advertisers will hunt you down, via directories where your podcast is available or via contact details on your channel. A PR company could approach you, should you be so fortunate!

The more subscribers you have, the more advertisers will take notice of your influence and reach. Likewise, seeing a consistent volume of episodes and series demonstrates your commitment and longevity. Lastly, the quality of topics and calibre of guests also indicates whether your podcast aligns to their brands and brand values. 

It’s helpful to have a sponsor’s section on your channel to allow for advertisers to contact you. Mostly, however, it will be the buying agency or PR agency that represents the brand who will be reaching out to you. 

Here are my top ten tips for attracting advertisers:

1. Focus on educating or helping your community

2. Share your Podcast’s vision and stand by your genre

4.  Interview influential people and do it regularly, in a variety of ways

5. Focus on recording quality podcasts, always

6. Use social media and use hash tags to grow your community (or hire someone who can)

7. Seek out awards to gain credibility

8. Enter competitions to win podcasting equipment

9. Interview a potential sponsor to reel them into your world

10. Be patient and you will be rewarded!

Sound like a plan? Then it’s time to get started. Let’s talk!

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Start your podcast today!

Start your podcast today!

Soliloquy, one two three

Do you have trouble finishing a sentence at the dinner table before one child or the other pipes up with their story for the day?

Hang on, hang on, let me finish. I was talking.

No, I started first.

Yeh but I hadn’t finished my story from before!

Air time in our home can be an issue, though I wouldn’t want it any other way!

This got me thinking about a theme for a blog this week because, many times, I am asked what’s the best approach to a podcast: is it one person telling a story, two as an interview or three as a panel discussion. And the answer really comes down to the topic at hand.

I ask my keen podcasters to think about their topics, because they can actually have a combination of these options for different series that they record. Let’s not be restricted by a format!

Here are my thoughts and some options for you to ponder..

1. One

If the topic lends itself to a range of academic references and is already stitched up as a topic that your customers will digest and accept as the preferred point of view, then a soliloquy-style podcast is perfect. In fact, you are better able to develop the story telling and build the excitement or complication effectively. The big caveat, however, is that you do not tempt yourself into reading from a script. Big mistake. Your listeners will lose you. Beware!

2. Two or three

If the topic is still in the process of being digested and churned by your customers, then a panel discussion with guests from differing opinions will be more appealing to your audience, helping them see various viewpoints on the topic. Remember, at MONIQUEPR, all podcast recording is done over the wire, so you can afford your guests from any part of the world providing they adhere to our time zones!

3. You and me

If the topic has more of an educational outcome, then an interview in a “how to”  series will go down well for your listeners and will be an opportunity to positioning you as the expert on the topic. The host (in this case me) will ensure that the questions give you the opportunity to share your knowledge and stay engaged with the listener. This is a safe place to start if you are new to podcasting.

4. Your guest and me

Lastly, if your guests have great stories to tell, and should not be interrupted (as I am at my dinner table), then a two way interview with a host is ideal. It adds to your podcast episodes and you don’t have to take time out to record. Your guests can be experts that you hire for the episode, your customers who have succeeded or who’ve had a positive experience with your brand, or anyone really who you think your customers would find interesting.

The key is that your podcast has regular episodes to keep your listeners engaged.

Series of podcast interviews are a great flexible option for podcasters because they allow you to trial different formats without pigeon-holing yourself into one.

Where to start?

A “How To” interview style podcast series is a MUST for those of you who have some education to offer customers. There’s also a fantastic call to action, allowing for you to send listeners to your landing page where you can capture details before giving them a free handbook, white paper, template or other free resource. This will also grow your subscription to your podcast, allowing for you to trial a few other formats as you grow.

Then, once you’re killing it, a series of soliloquies where you offer inspiration and motivation in episodes that go for a neat 25 minute commute is extremely powerful for your brand. It’s your soap box and can results in instant sales.

For me, there’s nothing like competing opinions and I enjoy being host to such scenarios with two experts challenging each other’s view with informed approaches to the debate. Here’s my favourite example where two experts - one from commercial property and the other from logistics - grapple with the future of the “last mile” which is an exciting topic with many possibilities for future solutions.

It can also drive engagement after the recording, in your chosen social media channels for podcast amplification. In my previous blog, I share the power of social media and how one little egg achieved as many likes as there are Australians. You never know where your podcast will travel when you leverage the power of the hashtag and social media.

The other great thing about podcast recording is that the time on air is your air time! No but-ins or pipe ups! Now that gives you space to share your story with the world! How liberating.

Keen to get started on your podcast but not sure how? Let’s talk.

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