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When you want to grow your influence, conventional wisdom says to hire a public relations team.
With public relations, branding is generally the top goal. Brands want to connect to a new audience with their products and services to gain the potential customers' trust. The secondary goal is to strengthen relationships with existing clients and customers, creating brand advocacy through their dedicated audience.
A lot of people believe that television is the best platform for reaching these strategic goals, but media is evolving and podcasting is quickly taking the place of television as the medium of choice for telling your brand story. There are several reasons for this.
Podcasts Connect You to a Captive Audience
In order to grow your influence you need to get people's attention.
Podcast interviews last anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes. The shows present their guests a chance to tell a longer and more captivating story. Local television interviews only last about 3 minutes…just enough time to give a quick tip or fact to demonstrate they are a thought leader.
A podcast gives you more time to share information with the audience and make a wonderful connection that can result in additional fans, followers and customers for your business. This connection is the often overlooked aspect of monetizing a podcast.
The Audience is Growing
In 2008, radio executives were telling their teams that podcasting wouldn't go anywhere. Years later, after many podcasters had become “internet famous” for their shows, radio stations started repackaging their content for on-demand listening.
Today, 57 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly, and this number continues to grow.
A Podcast Can Reach More than Television
John Lee Dumas,
Some local TV segments on shows reach from 1,000 viewers up to 15,000 viewers, which means that a podcast interview is most certainly comparable to, if not greater in
Grow Your Influence Through Relationships
I feel like I really know you, Mike!”
I hear this quite often when speaking to potential new clients when I meet them for the first time. I completely understand. Before I started my own podcast, I listened to hundreds of hours of shows. When I met some of the hosts I felt like I already knew them.
Podcasts are unique in that they help build strong relationships without the two parties actually interacting. It is a one-sided medium, but after hours of listening to someone talk, you develop a type of friendship.
Interestingly, it goes both ways. As a host, you will feel as though you know your listeners as well. If someone has listened to hundreds of hours of you talking, you have something in common.
This connection has helped bring our customers closer, and as a result, we've been able to better understand what they need, so we can develop products that matter to them.
Growing your influence is going to lead to more conversions naturally.
With one of my companies, we offered 3 types of memberships–one free and two paid. We would ask people who upgraded from the free level to a paid level some questions to find out patterns of behavior. We had a question about whether or not they listen to our podcast.
What kind of percentage would you expect to say “yes”?
We found out that 95 percent of our upgrades listened to our podcast. That is an incredibly high number. We didn't promote the upgrades, so why did the listeners convert so easily?
It is my belief that we built trust through the podcast. People who feel they know me and my ability to handle the business line also know that when I say something has a positive benefit, it has a positive benefit. They know they are not being sold on anything. They realize I am trying to help them and their business.
It completely makes sense. Would you rather buy something from a friend or a stranger?
Grow Your Influence and Public Speaking Skills
When I listen to some of my earliest episodes, I sincerely cringe. It is pretty awful.
I stumbled over words, I was monotone when it was a pre-planned script. It was just awful. There were tons of things to edit out of the show, making releasing it a nightmare.
In fact, I ran for public office last year and had to speak in front of large crowds. I did so with ease. My public speaking skills have improved tremendously. This is entirely due to my experience with podcasting.
Grow Your Influence from Other Influencers
I love learning from books, but they are one-directional. You cannot ask questions directly to the author. Unless you have massive influence, you can't pick up the phone and chat with “the elite.”
As a podcaster, you become part of the media and can ask for exclusive access to pick the brain of
As a result of my podcasting, I feel comfortable calling up almost anyone to get them on my show. I get to ask authors questions that came up while reading their books.
When I ran my Fitness Freedom podcast, I got to talk to many influencers in the fitness community. I was able to have amazing conversations about different fitness techniques and nutrition ideas with people who lived and breathed that world. I learned so much from doing that podcast that I am considering resurrecting it in a slightly different form.
Talk about drinking straight from the fire hose!
It isn't just authors and fitness gurus, I get to trade ideas with some of the brightest minds in politics, business and religion via my podcasts. Every time I do an episode I learn something new and forge new relationships. Do the same thing and you will grow your influence.
You Become an Authority
Let's face it, when you first start a podcast, the only listeners you get have stumbled upon your show. They start out knowing nothing about you or who you are. If they continue to listen, they learn everything about you, even things you don't think you revealed.
I recently interviewed Michael Max of Qilogical podcast. Michael is an acupuncturist. He told me all about how podcasting has increased his own influence in his field.
He originally started a show aimed at educating the general public about acupuncture. He would discuss the techniques and what they did to help heal the body. He got clients out of these shows because they were curious and felt as though they knew him, so they booked appointments.
Later he changed his format and now podcasts about acupuncture, but it is now aimed at those in the field. He says that he learns about new techniques this way. He gets to spend one day a week chatting with someone else in the field who is just as passionate as he is. How has this helped his influence?
Michael says now other acupuncturists refer people to him because they need someone in the area he works. He has been asked to speak at conferences. He has gained more patients. This is all the result of his podcast.
Think that one through. How can a podcast potentially help your business? I've discussed it before, but transparency, relationship building, and authority are three things that impact business in a huge way.
Grow Your Influence Through Guest Appearances
Guest appearances on other podcasts seem to be the coveted item for all podcasters and it is obvious why. Each appearance you make expands your influence. You reach a wider and wider audience with each guest spot you appear on.
The show host has an audience and he will be promoting you to them. He will talk to you about your knowledge and you get to show his audience just how amazing you are.
Keep making appearances on other shows and you will see your influence grow a great deal! I know some people who spend at least 1 day a month doing guest spots on other shows. They sit down with their microphone and they connect with other podcasters and their audience.
One side effect is that when someone hears you talking on one of their favorite podcasts, they instantly trust you. If the host they love is willing to present you to his audience, they figure you must be a decent person.
You will find that they contact you for your products and services. You quickly become someone they know, like and trust–the key ingredients to a long-lasting relationship.
Podcasting does a lot of amazing things for people.
- It gives you a captive audience
- It gives you an ever increasing audience
- It gives you a tremendously wide reach
- It builds relationships
- It increases sales conversions
- It improves your public speaking skills
- It puts you in touch with thought leaders
- It turns you into an authority
- It gives you tremendous growth opportunities
These are just a few ways you can grow your influence through podcasting.