Should you only do podcasting if you can generate an income directly from it? I believe the answer is ‘no’. Yes, money is important, but it’s not the only way you can get return on time invested.
Since starting podcasting, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked, “But how do you make money from it?”.
Yes, like all marketing activities, podcasting needs to show that it’s providing a return on both the time and money being invested in it. But I also believe there is more to every transaction than just money.
Here are seven ways a podcast provides a return on investment that go beyond the traditional ROI way of thinking:
1. It allows you to become a celebrity
I suppose you will not become the next Justin Timberlake by starting a podcast, but stranger things have happened. (Look at the success of the podcast “Serial”. Its creator is now a celebrity and she is famous.) Even if you don’t become a celebrity in the wider world, what a podcast allows you to do is become a celebrity within your industry. For example, there are a couple of ‘celebrity’ podcasters in the tradesman space who started a podcast only six months ago. When you create a great podcast, your profile goes through the roof. It is the quickest way I can think of for you to become famous within your chosen circles.
2. It allows you to become friends with influential strangers
I cannot tell you how much of a pleasant surprise this was for me. The kinds of people I get to meet and have an hour long conversation with just astounds me. I got a chance to chat with the Director of Baking at the Culinary Institute in New York, with a personal trainer for Hollywood stars, and with the world’s most popular blogger. Once you have a podcasting platform, you can invite anyone to come join you on it. It is, hands down, the most cheapest and quickest way to make some pretty high profile friends.
3. It allows for the creation of easy-to-consume content
There is no doubt in my mind that an audio podcast is the easiest way for anyone to consume your content. Take a blog and video as alternatives; you have to stop what you’re doing to consume that content. With audio, however, you can do other things like driving, running, or scanning documents for your paperless office. And given all you (the podcaster) have to do is talk, it is also a cheap and easy way to create that content.
4. It allows you to connect with potential customers
They say a baby’s first developed sense is when it can hear its mother’s voice in the womb. Some of the biggest movements that have started on the planet began with a single, well delivered speech. The connection you’re able to make with your customers, or potential customer just by virtue of them being able to hear your voice is unparalleled.
5. It allows you to become a well-paid affiliate
Once you’ve made a connection with your readers and they know, like and trust you … this allows you to authentically tell them about/sell them products that would benefit them. These products are not things you’ve created. They’re other people’s products that you’ve tried yourself and know will make your listener’s lives better by solving their problems. The more you make your listener’s lives better and keep them in their happy place, the more you look like a rock star baby!
6. It allows you to play with less competition
The number of blogs on the internet is in the billions (over 1.5 million blogs published at time of writing). There are over two million minutes of video being produced on YouTube every month. Compare that with the 250,000 podcasts on iTunes today and your competition is pretty much tiny (for now anyway)!
7. It allows you to get a focused following
If someone is listening to your podcast, it isn’t like a billboard, a television advertisement or a newspaper article. They know why they are tuning in to listen and they want to be there. There is no better way to get a focused following in my opinion. And, if you factor in the connection you create (see number 4 above), then my only question to you now is: when are you starting your podcast?
Got a podcast? Got anything to add to the above? Thinking of starting a podcast? What’s holding you back from podcasting?