Podcasting is the new blogging -- everybody's doing it. And if you do it well, you'll see massive benefits for you and your business.

I've been producing podcasts since 2010 and now have more than 250 in my archive. I like to think of " A ll Access Radio" episodes as fireside chats with some of the most interesting movers and shakers I know from tech and entertainment.

Over the years, I've discovered that podcasting really feeds my business. People love to talk about their work, and podcasters are seen as super-connected thought leaders. So inviting guests to my show is an easy way to make valuable connections, as these "fireside chats" often segue into longer, off-air conversations.

Building Relationships Builds Business

One of my favorite shows featured the founder of the Campowerment retreat for executive women, Tammi Leader Fuller. In another, I had a great discussion with famous venture capitalist, author, marketing specialist, and Apple alum Guy Kawasaki. By hosting artists like Stewart Copeland, Greg Kihn, Ann Wilson, and other influencers -- such as my two living mentors, Alan Weiss and Alan Cohen -- I've opened up multiple channels through which I can promote my brand.

Having created this platform and body of work, I can also recontextualize the content. For example, I always have my podcast interviews transcribed to send to my guests, as well as to repurpose for my own blog and newsletter.

While some of my guests were or have become clients, I consider all of them to be important connections that add value to my business and my audience. Podcasting is a great way to build or reinforce those relationships. I've learned a thing or two (or three) about making podcasts as effective as possible so that you can later capitalize on those connections; here are a few tips:

1. Don't just wing it. In the early days of podcasting, you could probably get away with rudimentary production. People weren't as put off by low-quality audio or poor editing.

However, in today's world, that won't cut it. Episodes need to hit just the right balance. Too little editing, and you end up with a lot of distraction. Too much editing, and you have an episode with awkward cuts or not enough quiet spaces. Striking that balance can be tough. So I've hired a show producer and recommend you do the same, if you can.

Besides getting the editing right, show producers can also do a lot of the legwork of inviting and researching guests, structuring interview questions, and following up afterward. A producer not only helps you create high-quality content, but also saves you time.

2. Target guests your audience will connect with. This sounds like a no-brainer, but because the market is so crowded these days, it's harder to do than you might think.

First, identify the guests who your audience would find most appealing. This might mean nixing the biggest name with the most recent book in favor of a lesser-known guest with a story your audience will love.

How do you find out which guests your audience will be into? Asking for recommendations from your listeners at the end of each podcast is one surefire way -- just make sure you also make it easy for them to reach you.

You can also look around at similar podcasts to discover guests you may not have considered. To add real value for your audience when bringing familiar guests on, try asking them unusual questions that will yield more interesting answers.

3. Leverage key influencers. Don't forget about your brand! When it comes to guest selection, your audience matters, of course -- but so does your business.

Consider what types of guests will enhance and promote your brand as someone who engages comfortably with thought leaders. You automatically benefit from having a peer-to-peer conversation with them, as you'll be seen to associate with people at the top of their game in your field.

Inviting prospective clients or mentors as podcast guests is a great way to create rapport with them. By promoting them and their pursuits, you could turn the experience into opportunities to do business together or provide reciprocal referrals.

After the interview, follow up. Your guests are now thought leaders in your network. Using your podcasting experience as a foundation, you can suggest future projects or connect them to opportunities that will enhance their businesses. Doing a podcast isn't all about you, but it is a wonderful opportunity to grow your business, build your brand, and boost revenue.

Published on: Dec 4, 2016