It has become easier and cheaper than ever to commoditize any good or service and as a business owner you must find ways to build a brand around your customer experience from the beginning of the buyer's journey (before they know your brand) to post purchase (loyalty and referral) stage. This often means a dual opportunity to build or leverage your personal brand as a differentiator and sales accelerator.
Today's search engines reward you for being 'relevant to the end users search intent' and no company can survive without a robust content strategy under the current algorithm rule of law. Content strategy is one of the most important components of how you attract, grow, and retain your customer base regardless of whether you sell business-to-business or direct-to-consumer.
Podcasting is back and it's bigger than ever as a mobile customer brings their bluetooth and ear buds into every mode of transport and the best news is that there are few digital tactics that can be launched and scaled as efficiently with relatively little to no capital.
If you have thought about podcasting, but hesitated to start these next several steps will get you up and running and in massive action for under $100.
Make a list of 100 show topic ideas and guests (Cost: Free)
A long time friend of mine who spent over a decade as a strength and conditioning coach in the NFL and Division 1 Football has recently launched a podcast as part of his personal content strategy and purpose to elevate the ideas, best practices, and innovations of unknown names in the lower division college and high school ranks. There are only 32 NFL teams and just over 100 Division 1 programs, but there are millions of athletes impacted by 10s of thousands of coaches from the lower ranks and high school programs. These coaches and trainers deserved a platform to share and learn from each other more efficiently.
Step 1 is to realize that being a guru is fine, but interviewing the gurus is even better. The first step was to write out a list of 100 coaches (some known and mostly unknown) and relevant topic areas (polarizing debates work well) that he wanted to cover. Then sort and rank them by their knowledge base, social media reach, and willingness to be interviewed.
Step 2 was narrow it down to 50 episodes (at least 1 per week, although if the demand is there you could easily publish 3 per week). StrengthandStogies.com was born in less than one day and is operational with its first podcast scheduled to publish August 31.
Download a desktop or mobile app and start recording (Cost: Free)
Anchor.fm is a few year old startup out of New York City that has taken the podcasting world by storm the last two months since announcing several new feature enhancements that allow anyone to build a radio station, syndicate podcasts, and interview guests from their mobile phone in high quality with transcribed video included. Download it asap and you can get going with zero cost on both Android and IOS.
Another favorite is included free on most mac computers is Garageband. PC users can use Audacity to record and edit. You can also just sign up for a service like Soundcloud and record directly into their hosting (Free plans store up to 300 minutes per month of recorded content which can get you your first 6-10 episodes without any cost.)
Come up with a catchy title and get a show logo graphic (Cost: $5-25)
Podcasts that are authentic are the best. My other friend (and Inc Contributor) Travis Wright and his co-host Joel Comm had recently begun looking into building a blockchain related startup with several other co-founders.
The stock volatility and growth of cryptocurrency has been a mainstay of news cycles lately and they sensed a mass market growing interest and confusion in bitcoin and blockchain. They sensed an opportunity and decided they would build a podcast to record their daily learnings and discoveries for others curious and confused about the cryptocurrency world.
Wright and Comm didn't pretend to be experts in all things out of the gate and went with a title that reflected that fact. The Bad Crypto Podcast was born on July 18th 2017 and has 25,000 subscribers/downloads in just three weeks, cracked the top 100 list of itunes podcasts, and landed its first paying sponsor because they caught a wave and are riding it full speed.
This side project of broadcasting their own learning/research publicly is becoming a business in just its first 7 episodes.
You can find a freelance graphic person on sites like Fiverr to get your graphic work done in days.
Build a podcast blog page on your website with RSS feed (Cost:0-$20)
If you know wordpress this is simple to add. If you don't then I suggest signing up for www.squarespace.com and they have simple to follow video instructions to creating your podcast page and RSS feed for syndication into the major marketplaces like itunes, etc.
Syndicate it out to several portals and pay for unlimited (Cost:0-$15)
Anchor.fm, your website, and soundcloud all connect easily into the major portals (iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, etc.) and will allow you to build and grow an audience on multiple operating systems without expense.
Hit record, edit, and publish (Cost: Free)
No excuses. Now go and I look forward to pressing PLAY.