You might not know this about me, but in 2016 I started a podcast.
It was called The Fine Point, and it was a podcast about hot and important topics in digital marketing.
We had some pretty incredible guests on that podcast.
Not to brag (well, maybe a little), but we had Larry Kim, Rand Fishkin, and tons of other super talented people join us to talk about all kinds of topics: their new projects, the industry, and so much more.
It was, hands down, some of the most fun I’ve ever had at work.
There are two critical points I want you to know about The Fine Point.
The first is that I had never listened to a podcast when I decided to start one.
Although I don’t recommend this approach, it did mean I was able to explore and build without any preconceived notions about what a podcast should be.
The second thing you should know is that this podcast is no longer in production, due to circumstances outside of my control.
It was like a big silky Sasquatch: here in all its glory one moment, slipping out of view the next.
I have no regrets. Everything turned out for the best, and I learned a ton about the benefits of hosting a podcast.
Interestingly, thanks to the increased exposure, I was subsequently asked to be a guest on several podcasts.
This time I’m actually not bragging. I bring it up because the experience has given me a unique 360-degree perspective on why it’s worth your while to be a guest on a podcast—and I want to share that with you.
Why a Podcast?
Before we dive into the details around the WHY, let’s start with the WHAT.
As in, what is the deal with podcasts? Why are they a thing?
And we’ll toss a little WHEN in for good measure, to give you some background on the topic as well.
For full transparency: my perspective is colored by the fact that I have a lot of opinions about everything, have been doing marketing for a long time, and is punctuated by some interesting facts about this new-but-quickly-maturing content channel.
As I was researching this article, I ran across the origins of the word “podcast.”
I thought you’d find it as interesting as I did: it’s a combination of the word “iPod” and “broadcast” (PodcastHero.com). A nice little portmanteau!
You should also know that podcasts may seem new, but they’re not. They’ve been around for more than a decade (Forbes). We just hear about them a lot more often these days.
My theory is that as technology has improved, and content creation has taken the main stage for marketers, the barrier to entry from a producer side is low.
And as the volume of content on topics people cared about rose, we get to benefit from a perfect confluence of producers and consumers.
The result? Podcasts are everywhere.
Also, have you listened to the radio lately? It sucks. It’s absolutely terrible.
There is a statistic floating around about how 90 percent of people listen to the radio, and I’m pretty confident that if they’re doing so, it’s under duress.
(Editor’s note: This study pegs it at 93 percent.)
As a cord cutter, I have limited exposure to advertising.
And when I do happen to accidentally hear an ad on the radio, it makes me Charlie Sheen-level crazy because it’s downright insulting.
As I started exploring podcasts, I discovered they were like a “Make Your Own NPR” station. Stories, news, perspectives, arts, business.
Podcasting allows you to jump around comfortably with a much lower Sheen-crazy factor because even the advertising tends to be better targeted and less patronizing.
The Benefits of Appearing on a Podcast
As someone who has sat on both sides of the microphone (Wait, don’t both the host and the guest have microphones? Whatever — you get my point.), I can tell you that there are a few key benefits to being a podcast guest.
- It’s a great way to start your thought leadership career.You could be a completely no-name talent with great things to say and find an opportunity to speak on a podcast. Why? Because most podcasts are always on the hunt for good content. If you’re articulate and interesting, chances are high you’ll get some exposure. And with each podcast guest spot where you demonstrate how awesome you are to talk to, it’ll make the next, higher-profile podcast guest spot easier to secure.
- It’s a great relationship-building tool.While it’s true that each podcast guest opportunity makes it easier to get the next one, don’t think you can’t return to the same podcast time and again to discuss topics that are interesting and timely for you or the industry. Most of the time these formats are conversational. Building rapport is part of doing business in this particular format. And it’s not only easy to form relationships—it’s smart. Each time that happens, you’ll have a little PR placement. And that new contact might be able to help you achieve your goals. (And hopefully offer you a chance to reciprocate somewhere down the road.)
- It gives you a longer-form opportunity to talk through your point-of-view. The nice part about most podcasts is they can be long-form or short-form. There are no airtime restrictions like you have with TV or radio. So, if you have something interesting to say, the podcasting world will make room for you to talk it through.
- Podcast guest opportunities help feed the content machine.Just appeared on a podcast? Great! Now write a summary or some additional insights about the topic you talked about and link back to the podcast. Create a series of content for both the blog and the podcast to share with your networks. And don’t forget to add it to your company press page! Voila, you now have an instant suite of content—all from one interesting conversation.
- It’s a way of exposing your brand to a new audience.As with any guest appearance, you’ll gain exposure to a new audience. Share your project, your enthusiasm, your passion, and you’ll likely be unforgettable—to the right person. (You can’t please everybody, you’re not a taco.) Mentioning the brand you represent and demonstrating the human side can elevate you and your company.
Wrapping it Up
All snark aside, I genuinely do encourage you to look for guest podcast opportunities relevant to your business.
It’s a way to gain non-text based exposure (great for reaching audiences who prefer audio consumption).
And without having to worry about the trappings of appearance that go along with video.
The most exciting part is that once you’re on a podcast, it becomes a virtuous cycle.
You get one, and now it’s easier to get another, and that leads to a guest blog post, and then a speaking engagement!
If you’re looking for a way to build your personal brand and authority, you can’t lose with podcasts.
Photo by Matthieu A on Unsplash