I've seen a few comments on twitter of people who think they should be podcasting, but they are just not sure. For those people who are asking the question, “Why should I start a podcast?” Here are twenty reasons:
1. Be seen as an expert.
I do a podcast about weight loss – that I ‘m not losing weight – people STILL ask me questions about weight loss. I even point out that I'm not a doctor or trainer. You have instant credibility.
2. You will be seen as reliable when your produce on a regular basis.
I got an email from a listener that said there were certain things that were certain, death, taxes, and my podcast being available on Mondays.
3. Loyal Audiences.
Scott Sigler‘s audience purchased the paper version of a book they had already heard to #2 on Amazon (next to Harry Potter). Keith and the Girl's audience have took to tatooing the podcast's logo on them. Now fans are “taking it to the next level” and BRANDING the logo on their skin.
4. More Sales – More Leads
theoutdoorsation.co.uk showed a boost of 20% in sales or products mentioned in his podcast. Why? Because of the “narrow casting” of podcasting. The people who listen to this podcast are into the outdoors. I once had a client call me and say, “You never do cold calling do you? I feel like I already know you.”
5. Bigger Audience
Pat Flynn has a very successful blog. His readership grew by 20%. Where did those people come from? His Podcast. By the way his WORST month this was was $47,000 (for the month). If you go to the five minute mark in this video you will hear Pat talk about his podcast and how it helped grow his audience.
6. Better Understanding of Your Customer
The people behind the Evernote software do a podcast about updates to their software. It features their CEO, their chief marketing guy, and their chief technical person. Their customers call in with questions, as well as stories of how using their software is benefiting them. How often do you get to send comments to the CEO?
Jesus Christ said go and tell the WORLD. You can't do that on radio, as you're only as strong as your signal. This is why many churches and non-profits are using podcasting. Two weeks after starting my podcast I got a voicemail from Germany (I'm in Ohio) and I just about fell out of my chair.
8. Extra Income
While I would NEVER recommend people get into podcasting for the money, There are those who are enjoying some spending cash. This is from building a relationship with your audience, and then leveraging that audience into a selling of a product, service, etc. Adam Curry and John C. Divorak take donations on their No Agenda Show (noagendashow.com). In a recent episode one of their listeners donated over $1000 for the 33rd time. Please note this is from developing a relationship with their audience which did not happen over night.
9. Make Friends
Kevin Mulryne create a podcast devoted to the music of the 70's band Yes. He wasn't sure if anyone else enjoyed this music. He networked with others via twitter, and forums and has a thriving community around his podcast.
10. Become the Media
11. There is no spam in Podcasting
While I might be able to get your email address off of your website and send you unwanted email, there is no way I can make you listen/watch a podcast against your will. Thus the only people who consume your podcast are people who WANT your podcast.
12. Consuming Podcasts Is Getting Easier
Apple is recommending people download their Podcasts app, there are MULTIPLE podcast management applications on Apple devices, Android, and Blackberry. Companies like Stitcher have eliminated the downloading of podcasts and now people just stream them over their phone. With blue tooth technology and auxiliary inputs built into car stereos, playing your podcast in the car is now easier than ever. Libsyn reported 1.64 billion podcast downloads to over 50 million people in 2011. That's billion with a “b.” Libsyn is only one provider.
13. Radio Is Horrible
I've mentioned this before, but Radio (in my opinion thanks to Clear Channel in the US) has been ruined. It has bee stripped of all personality, and has failed to listen to its audience. In its place is lots, and lots, and lots of commercials. The top drive time show in Cleveland is 38% commercials.
14. Time Shifted Material
Speaking of radio, one of the big benefits of podcasting over radio is that you don't have to be at a certain place and time to catch an episode. I can record something today and you can listen to it 8 years from now. My first episode of the School of Podcasting's Morning Announcements was downloaded almost 20 times this month. If you content is “evergreen,” it can continue to spread your message, promote your products and services for years to come.
15. Everything is Going Digital
I recently had a discussion with a magazine editor who told me that sales of printed magazines on a newstand are down 200% while consumption of digital content (i.e. Kindle) is up 300%.
16. Audio Podcasts Allow People To Multitask
I have nothing against video podcasts (I will be launching one the second quarter of 2013), one of the great benefits of an audio podcast is people can listen to it while they drive to work, walk the dog, etc. How can you NOT establish a relationship when you are literally in their ears.
17. Podcasting is Intimate
While you can go to a conference and hear a presentation, when a persons voice comes through you computer, phone, or tablet, its as if they are talking to you.
18. Podcasting is Inexpensive to Start Up
While you can spend $1500 on Podcasting equipment, you do NOT need to. In fact with a $40 microphone, and a $65 mixer, $50 on some graphics, $7 on some web hosting, and $20 on media hosting (you can get a free month using the code sopfree), $80 on a customizable wordpress theme, and $20 on a pop filter, you can spend about $250 and have a great sounding podcast. I could spend $830 on a 1/4 page of a magazine page that most people will just flip past.
19. Big Fish in Small Pond
You can add one more to the 70 million wordpress blogs, or 39 milloin tumblr blogs wikipedia says the number is closer to 156 million or you can start a podcast and be in a smaller podcasting pool (estimated in the hundreds of thousands) where you can connect much more deeply with tone of voice, and visual images.
20. Your Audience Awaits
37 Million people have gym memberships. CNet reported that Apple is going to end up selling 1 billion iOS devices by 2015 and already 410 million of these devices have been sold. CNet reported that 500 million Android devices have already been activated. There are also 97 million people who drive alone every day to work. With more people owning smartphones, podcast consumption will be going up. The U.S. podcasting audience is ballooning, and eMarketer projects that growth will continue at least through 2013. By then, there will be 37.6 million people who download podcasts monthly, more than double the 2008 figure of 17.4 million. As a percentage of Internet users, podcast downloaders are expected to grow from 9% in 2008 to 17% in 2013