Podcasting's explosive growth shows no sign of slowing, and many entrepreneurs and businesses now have their own podcast or are thinking of starting one. Podcasting is great for expanding your content base and broadening your community. However, when you're starting your podcast, be strategic about using it as a successful lead-generation tool. Consider how the podcast might direct more people to your business or strengthen your profile as a thought leader, and then begin planning your content around that. 

Here are some basic tips to keep in mind if your goal is to convert listeners into clients. If your podcast doesn't bring in leads, it might be time to freshen up your approach.

High Quality 

According to Podcast Insights, there are currently around 850,000 unique podcast shows.  Unfortunately, many of them have poor audio quality. When audio is your only impression point, it's important to invest in solid recording equipment. A podcast recorded through laptop speakers or via phone has a grainier sound. With so many podcasts competing for listeners, quality sound is critical to keeping the listeners who find you. It also reflects the quality of your work and brand, and the pride you take in what you produce.

Relevant Content That Avoids Direct Promotion

Provide listeners with advice and information that is important and relevant to them, but steer clear of overloading your podcast with self-promotion. While it's important to identify and discuss your audience's pain points, take a neutral position and avoid the temptation of offering yourself up as the obvious solution. Overly promotional podcasts quickly begin to sound like commercials rather than an honest exploration of a subject. The expertise you show as a host who is an expert on the subject matter is how you build credibility and trust with the audience. Focus on that and your audience will seek you out as an authority in the field.

Calls to Action

Calls to action differ from overt promotions in that they should be used as gentle reminders for your audience to further engage with your content. Pepper them throughout your episodes; the more action items there are, the more likely your audience is to complete one. In your show notes, leave links to relevant documents or a splash page with more information on the episode. Suggest that your listeners should join your newsletter if they'd like to hear more about your podcast topic of the week. At some point in the episode, ask your audience to rate and review your podcast. Calls to action are great tools to raise engagement levels and bring consumers closer to the business behind the podcast.

Captivating Guests

If your podcast format is interview-style, find guests who can provide strong value to the listener and expand on areas outside of your expertise. It can be especially powerful to bring on outside guests who have a particularly progressive, disruptive, or controversial approach to a common problem your audience faces. You don't have to agree or disagree with your guest on record (though you certainly can do so); your primary job is to draw out their position for your listener to assess. 

Higher-profile guests can also bring their own audience to your podcast by sharing their episode online--another great way to reach a new listener base. Think about the rock stars in your business whom you might recognize as leaders but a listener would not without your introduction. Guests of this type bring huge value. Also, be sure to actively and consistently ask your audience to give you guest suggestions. This builds engagement and creates a stronger and more dedicated fan base.

In the crowded podcast space, it's important to define and stick to a strategy that authentically amplifies your brand. With these tips covered, your podcast is well-positioned as a lead-generation tool, allowing you to see a powerful payoff from your content-creation efforts.