5 Reasons to Start Your Own Promo Business Podcast (Plus Tips and Advice)
Do you want to become the “go-to” expert for your industry? Gone are the days of relying on big media and TV stations to gain the exposure for your company to build credibility and visibility. You can now create your own podcast to host your own original content, interview other experts in your industry or provide branded content for your business.
According to Buzzsprout, as of April 2021, there were 2,118,515 podcasts (and 48 million episodes). In the early 2000s, only 22% of the adult population in the U.S. was aware of podcasts.
Having your own podcast takes commitment and dedication. If you feel you don’t have the time, consider being a guest on other people’s podcasts. But if you’re ready to do your own show, here’s how you can get started.
Benefits of Having a Podcast
First, the why. Having a podcast has several major benefits for your business, including:
1. Growing your network. Use the podcast to connect with your guests and their professional networks. For my own podcast, “The Small Business Show,” I was fortunate enough to have TED speakers and internationally known presenters as guests. These are people out of my normal contact sphere, but I am now able to make connections with them because my podcast gives them the exposure they are looking for.
2. Answering frequently asked questions. How about having your client as a guest to talk about their promotional product campaign they have done with you as a case study? Be a problem-solver and use the podcast to answer questions surrounding your business. In the promotional products industry, our most frequently asked questions include: How do I design a logo for promotional products? What type of items should I purchase for a trade show. How do I build a better brand for my business? I discussed all three of these questions on podcast episodes with expert guests to speak on each topic. Now, if I have a client or prospect asking these questions, I can point them to listen to the podcasts.
3. Increasing website traffic. Podcasts can also increase your website traffic and improve SEO (search engine optimization). Once you have finished recording and uploaded your podcast, it doesn’t end there. How about writing a blog post to summarize the key points, posting the trailer on social media and writing a press release for the episode?
4. Increasing content reach. If you already have a blog, how about repurposing some of the popular content into a podcast? This will allow you to use existing materials to reach audiences who prefer audio over text. Listeners also develop a relationship with their podcast host, and if you post regularly your followers will be more likely to subscribe and look forward to your new content. You can create a community among supporters of your podcast. You can also have a call to action, promote new products, or even create a series of podcasts to educate your prospects about new products or services. Chances are, by the time you speak with a new client, they might already know about the key elements of your offerings. You will be able to connect with your guest’s audience and build a bigger network for your services, and it does wonders for brand awareness.
5. Improving public speaking skills. On a more personal level, my podcast helped me improve my public speaking skills. I have gotten over listening to my own voice and am more comfortable presenting information. I feel more confident and comfortable speaking publicly, and it is a big help for presenting in front of prospective clients.
Good news! It does not take millions of dollars to start your podcast. For those of you who have been doing Zoom meetings, you might have most of the tools already to record a podcast. Sound quality does matter, though, so here are some suggestions to get good sound for your show.
Use an external microphone and a pop filter, and wear a headset for audio listening. A quiet room is a must—it is much better to record in ideal conditions than to fix them during editing.
Most people use Zoom because they already have it available and feel comfortable using it. It has decent audio quality, and you can export the audio to an editing program like Adobe Audacity. I also recommend a program called Streamyard, which allows custom visual branding. Our podcast is streamed live to Facebook and LinkedIn. The audio portion of the conversation will be turned into a podcast.
Make sure the audio is recorded in high resolution format, and the audio level is acceptable. Try comparing your audio level with some of the popular podcasts out there. Aim for volume levels evenly through the -1 (db) range. You might also want to run the audio file through a compressor. I normally set my Ratio at 4 with -10db threshold. The compressor will even out the highest and lowest audio volume and make the audio sound smoother.
It is also a good idea to make a test recording of yourself, and experiment with different mic placements and settings to find the best sound. You’ll want to be comfortable with the setup since you will be having candid conversations with your guests.
Lastly, you will need a hosting service for your podcast. I suggest Buzzsprout, as it is easy to use and can export the podcast to various platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and iHeartRadio.
Be the go-to expert and establish credibility in your industry. Visibility + Credibility = Profitability. Podcasting is a great way to reach your audience. Start out by recording a few episodes with colleagues and friends. Invite prospective clients to have an engaging conversation. It’s time to get in front of a microphone!
Swire Ho #thepromoguy is co-founder of Garuda Promo and Branding Solutions, a distributor based in Los Angeles. He trained as a recording engineer and worked in the recording industry prior to joining the promotional products industry. Swire is the host of his own podcast, “The Small Business Show.” Reach him at email@example.com.