You're always looking for ways to bolster your digital marketing strategy and stand out as an expert in your field, so why not consider hosting a podcast series?

Sure, it's not exactly bleeding edge, but the practice is expanding. In fact, podcasting grew 105 percent between 2006 and 2012, and the number of customers listening jumped 163 percent.

According to a survey KnowledgeStorm and Universal McCann conducted, 65 percent of business and IT professionals listen to podcasts for personal and business purposes, and 60 percent interviewees said whitepapers and analyst reports would be more attractive in podcast form.

That is a huge potential for a strong revenue stream--plus a brand and credibility boost.

Think about it this way: You've spent years gathering knowledge, and now you have tools to share it with the world. How empowering is that?

Learn From the Best

Podcasting is a portable way to communicate a message, which fits seamlessly into an entrepreneur's busy lifestyle. It doesn't need to be live--it's on-demand. And you can forgo the screen because it plugs into your smartphone or car. It's a brand extension that demonstrates your expertise and credibility to your target audience and sets you apart from competitors.

Celebrities and entrepreneurs alike have begun to capitalize on these incredible benefits.

For example, Internet marketer Brendon Burchard led the charge in building audiences, teaching them techniques in certain verticals, and selling them products or events that dive deep into the topic. For Burchard, this has netted millions and launched several New York Times best sellers.

Television mogul Kathie Lee Gifford also runs a successful podcast. She promotes her brand affiliates, such as Walmart, and hosts a long line of celebrity guests each week. An especially entertaining moment was hearing Gifford try to explain podcasts to an incredulous Regis Philbin.

"You mean they can hear this anywhere in the country?" Philbin asked. "No Reg, they can hear this anywhere in the world," Gifford retorted. "It's a radio show that goes out in cyberspace."

5 Keys to Podcasting Success

These entrepreneurs didn't create successful podcasts over night, though. They planned and prepared carefully. Here are five tricks to cut down time and achieve rapid success:

  1. Plan ahead. If you're doing a solo show, you might want to script it. For some, this means writing down every word you plan to say. For others, it's making a cheat sheet of topics you want to cover in case you lose your place.
  1. Consult your knowledge bank. If you can't decide where to start, sift through old blog posts or articles you've written, and use them as a guide or script. Choose a post that's a few months old so the content isn't too new but is still relevant.
  1. Find the right platform. Podcast success stories aren't limited to massive spaces such as PodcastOne and iTunes. Other venues--including Libsyn and BlogTalkRadio--have built huge followings of do-it-yourselfers on social media. Keep your options open.
  1. Let your guests do the talking. If you're doing an interview-based show, coach your guest with premade questions beforehand.Hosting a guest is also another promotional outlet, so make sure to ask interviewees to promote shows by linking to them on their website, blog, social media sites, email, etc.
  2. Get it on paper. Invest a few dollars to get the interview transcribed and sent to your guests soon after. You can also post it on your website's blog or newsletter. I recycle the audios for an audiobook and have also created a series of audio "snacks" from my series I call "Coffee & Connections." It's another way for listeners to engage, and with a modest annual subscription fee attached, it provides a passive revenue stream. For entrepreneurs who teach, you can repurpose these into workbooks or audio portions of subscription-based training products, such as Kajabi.

The benefits podcasting has produced for my brand have far outweighed the risks--and the solid brand recognition that accompanies interviewing intriguing people is a fantastic asset and differentiator for any entrepreneur. So next time you're searching for a new digital marketing tactic, consider a podcast. The personal and professional impact it'll have might surprise you.

Published on: Sep 5, 2014