Podcasting is one of the fastest and easiest ways to establish authority. Whether you’re just starting to build your audience, or you have a long-established following, this online audio platform can catapult your influence beyond the capabilities of many other expert-building promotional platforms. Since there are now 65 million people in the U.S. alone listening to podcasts every month, authors have an exciting opportunity before them to engage and build their book-loving fan base.
Getting featured on TV or publishing a book still serve as gold standards for having achieved expert status, but podcasting has made it possible for even new authors, experts, and thought leaders to share their knowledge and expertise with a wide audience. The advantage of this modern platform is that it’s open publicity—meaning the host has the freedom to generate the message and control the content. Podcasting also requires fewer resources, and is more accessible because audio is available to consumers when text and video are not. The convenience of listening to downloadable audio files on their smartphones or tablets has allowed for a new wave of attentive, on-the-go listeners.
Why is podcasting so effective? The opportunity to reach your target market by using your personal voice offers an additional layer of communication to convey your compelling story and your authenticity. Doing so deepens trust and develops loyalty. By using a conversational format, authors have the freedom to articulate what makes their message unique, without using typical tropes and ‘marketing speak.’
How can you get started with podcasting?
You don’t need to be a host yourself. One of the best ways to introduce yourself to a new market is as a guest. Hosts are hungry for content. They are searching for people like you to feature on their podcasts to keep their shows fresh and to provide value to their audience. Libsyn, one of the largest commercial podcast hosting companies, reports an increase from 16,000 hosted shows in 2013, to 22,000 shows in 2014, to 28,000 shows in 2015. These numbers are expected to continue to increase as more people become exposed to the platform.
The key is to connect with the hosts of shows most appropriate for your subject niche, and to do so in a way that’s personal—your chance of getting a response lowers dramatically if you have an assistant send an email. Note that podcast hosts want a good fit on their show; if they decide to have you on as a guest, they will take the time to give you ideas on how you can most effectively reach their audience. One way to find podcasts that are looking for guests is to do a keyword search in iTunes or Google for shows with topics that appeal to your ideal clients or target market. iTunes is to podcasts what Amazon is to books; it is the premier platform for broadcasting your audio message to an eager audience.
You don’t have to start with cold leads, however—the easiest opportunities for guest spots may exist under your nose, via your colleagues. Ask people you know who have been podcast guests to introduce you to the hosts of those shows. Referrals can go a long way in establishing credibility and building relationships. If you have the resources, you can also use a booking service to acquire guest spots; there are several excellent companies that can take care of placing you on the perfect shows.
How to Leverage Podcast Interviews
Once you’ve secured a podcast spot, there are an extraordinary number of ways you can use, and re-use, this valuable material. You can now post audio clips on your website or blog; include audio clips in your media kit or feature them on your author or business profile page or LinkedIn page. You can share the audio across social media, or use the transcribed content for new articles or blog posts. A wealth of marketing assets are available at your fingertips when you have podcast content.
As nonfiction authors, we’re always looking for ways to increase our exposure and to grow our communities of loyal followers. Podcasts are free to access, there are so many shows to choose from, and it takes virtually no technical know-how to get started as a guest. These characteristics make being featured on podcast interviews one of the best marketing and branding platforms available today.
Tina Dietz is the owner of StartSomething Creative Business Solutions and an internationally acclaimed business consultant, audiobook publisher, podcast host and launch specialist, and professional speaker/voice talent who has been featured in such outlets as ABC, Inc.com, Huffington Post and Forbes.
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