As you know I am a total marketing freak and I can speak super intelligently about many different types of marketing (public speaking, networking, graphic design, blogging, social media, SEO and about a gagillion more things). That said, I never had a podcast so I don't feel like an expert at podcast this point by any stretch of the word.
I don't know everything (yet) about podcast marketing, but what I do know about is the challenges and frustrations of hearing and reading bits from AMAZING podcasters who started years ago who now give totally different suggestions than than what they actually did to be successful. I think this happens in every business so I WILL have an amazing podcast with thousands of downloads someday in the not so distant future, but this is what I am doing just as we start out.
If you would like to hear more about our “journey” through podcasting startup, I will have that below!
1. Don't just look at iTunes
I am a Apple fanatic, iPhone, MacBook Air, iPad and all. OF COURSE I was going to put our podcast on iTunes, but what do all those android users do to listen? I looked around to some of the blogs of amazing podcasters I liked and they had their shows on iTunes AND Stitcher. The cool thing is once you have that RSS feed thingy done, adding your podcast to other services is a breeze!
2. Podcast graphics on your websites
Make sure the iTunes podcast and Stitcher podcast graphics are on all your websites, not just your podcast site (more about that later).
Podcasts are not mainstream yet, even though you may be consuming them like a mad person. BUT people who like podcasts REALLY like podcasts and will see your download on iTunes or available on Stitcher graphics in the top right.
Don't get cute about them, much like the Twitter logo generally leads to a site's Twitter account, your podcast buttons should lead directly to where they can find your shows to subscribe.
3. Have a separate website
I totally lucked into this one. We were messing around trying to figure out which of our “real” websites to use to host the show on, thinking that it didn't matter all that much. Come to find out your show feed IS the thing that makes your iTunes and Stitcher bits work. I would not want the hassles of trying to keep my podcast feed separate from the hundreds of other posts that I have on Marketing Artfully..ack.
Additionally, I couldn't figure out how to make it a great user experience for our listeners. If it was tucked in this site or the MandM Monsters site, they would have to hunt for it instead of it being right out there, front and center! >> check out our AMAZING Marketing Podcast website
4. Don't forget what you already know!
Putting a keyword targeted link in there made me realize that oftentimes we discover a new technology or start a new project and want to learn all the “secret tricks” about how to do that one thing better. Instead, you should look in your bag of goodies and see what you are already good at (SEO, social media, networking) and make sure to use those skills when you are marketing your podcast!
5. Don't listen to what they say, do what they did
So my secret crush, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, has a STUPENDOUS “setting up a podcast” post, that made our initial setup so much easier. But he said something in there that made me realize this post needed to be written. Pat makes thousands of dollars and had a gagillion downloads of his podcast. He has worked for years to build it up to what it is and is a raging success. BUT he says things like, “if I had it to do all over again I would..”
We have gotten most of our best ideas from listening and copying successful podcasters. Our intro is a compilation of a bunch of different starts that we like, the format was figured out by listening to a LOT of podcasts and figuring out what we like listening to. We put certain graphics on because we had stalked other podcasters and seen what we liked.
When you are figuring out your podcast, don't think you have to make ALL the mistakes others have made, emulate the shows that you like and take the best bits from each!
6. Start right away, don't wait to have 4-5 “in the can”
I feel like all these people who say, “if I had it all to do it all over again I would work less, have more balance, start it perfectly, do it this or that way” are being genuine but misguided. Pat said he would have waited to start until he had a bunch of podcasts done before launching. But that would have changed everything. Maybe he would have gotten one less opportunity or missed being featured on a site or other podcast that made a huge difference.
DON'T listen to them, start when you have your first one. It will be horrible and you will cringe in a year when you hear it, but it will be out there in the world. It will be an opportunity for someone to find you that will not happen if you are waiting for perfect. It will also force you to get all the pieces of your marketing together all at once instead of waiting weeks or months to get them done. There is nothing like being under the gun to make things happen!
7. You need to have more than a podcast on your posts!
Now we are getting into marketing instead of “podcast marketing”. On our first podcast blog post we forgot everything we know about marketing and made a bunch of mistakes. We are going to leave it that way so you can see our problems!
While we do have a video that people can watch and a player for the show episode, there are MANY things missing! (see the “right” way to do it here, on our “perfect” podcast blog post example)
A graphic that people can share on social media. You should have a separate graphic for each of your shows. It should be branded with your podcast but should also be unique enough that you can tell them apart. For these first few ones where it is just Rebekah and I, I used pictures of us with the M&M Monster branding and the iTunes and Stitcher icons so people know it is a podcast.
Content, words, heck anything for Google to index. On the first post I was so excited (overwhelmed) that I just wanted to get ANYTHING out there. That said, you can't grow a blog without any words on the page for Google to index and we want the chance at least for that blog to rank well in search engines for topics we talk about on our shows.
Resources. There is nothing worse than listening to a podcast or Google hangout and not being able to figure out what the hosts said and how to find the things they are talking about. I am going to try to get WAY better about writing notes so that I don't have to listen to every show in its entirety.
8. Any format you have!
Some people like video (hangouts), some people like audio (podcasts) and some people like to read (transcripts of the show). Make sure you are offering every format that will make everyone happy. YES, it takes a little longer but it will serve you well in the end.
9. Google Hangouts
We struggled with wanting to do podcasts until we figured out we could just do a hangout and then whizzy-wig the recording into an audio format. The benefit of doing a hangout and then recording it is that you are letting people see you and get to know you in a way that is not possible when just hearing your voice (more about this later).
Our Podcast Story
If you had some amazing a-ha ideas while reading the podcast marketing bits, I don't mind if you leave now and get to work, but I did want to at least once tell you about our podcasting journey!
For a few years now (don't let it take you this long!) I have been hearing about podcasts and just never jumped in the pond. Then a few months ago I figured out how to make iTunes work and started listening like a madwoman. There are some great podcasters out there and I got to “know” lots of them through hearing them talk to “me” each week. Now I know that they aren't actually talking to me personally, but by listening week after week I got to learn about them and their lives, really feeling like they were a friend who told me neat things.
But I still didn't want to just do a podcast. It seemed like a lot of work and I didn't have anyone to do it with. Then my biz partner and I went to conference and heard about using Google hangouts to feed a podcast and the lights went on! I have been wanting to do more real videos where you don't just hear my voice, but you get to see me too. That said, we have tried the “sit down in front of a video camera” or taping our events and neither one of those was right either. It was just too contrived and not something that I could maintain over a course of months or years.
But doing Google Hangouts is easy. It is using the camera on my laptop and then the Google just puts that recording right on my YouTube channel! I am doing it with a friend so I don't have to look at myself and cringe every time I see a bump or a wrinkle, I just watch her and she just watches me.
We are not worrying about them being heinous and weird. They are not perfect and that is okay, I am sure they will get better and we will make more money and get a better backdrop…but for now good enough is good enough! We are so out in front of the game that we will win.
We give great content in a niche that is not talked about all that much…finding your perfect customer who will buy and buy. We are VERY knowledgable and already know that people like our “stuff”, we are just able to broadcast it the whole world now.
It is supporting our books. We are writing a business book a week for a year and have creeping up success but this should supercharge those sales.
It is free. The wonderful, weird part of this whole thing is that besides the $15 a month fee for hosting the audio files, this is all free to do. We take our time, use Google, iTunes, Stitcher and a number of other sites and bam we are broadcasters. Think of back in the day what the cost would be to do a “TV show” and record CDs to send out. The expense and time required would have put it out of reach for many of the people who are succeeding today.
The dorky ending. I am not a real emoter except with my friends and family. You are not going to find passionate talk about how I help people or what my dreams are (I do things and have them, just I don't talk about them here). But if there is one thing that I wish for all my entrepreneur marketing peeps it is this…figure out how to make this work for you! Start an accounting podcast or a direct sales hangout or a funeral home show. Yes it will take time, but the rewards that you will get in the long term are something that you can't even imagine today.
You WILL be the same person in a year, but where you are and what you have accomplished will be different. Make a difference starting today.
If this helped at all and you would like to help back a little bit, please signup for our podcasts on either iTunes or Stitcher. Bonus points if you leave a review!!! Please let me know about it in the comments and I will do something nice for you too!!!