DaveCharest

Ask an Expert: How to Create a Podcast for Your Small Business

Have you considered creating a podcast for your business?

A podcast is a unique way to connect with your audience and share your expertise in your own words.

If you don’t know—podcasts are audio recordings—typically of moderated discussions or interviews that you can post online and share with your audience through email, social media, or on your blog.

They can be about anything: as long as the topic you choose is one your customers will enjoy and your speakers are knowledgeable about.

Our weekly Speakeasy Marketing Roundtable podcast for example, is an opportunity for us to interact with customers by answering their questions and sharing our reaction to hot news topics from the world of marketing.

Want to create a podcast of your own? Find out how from the moderator of the Speakeasy Marketing Roundtable: content manager, Dave Charest.

Why would a small business want to consider creating a podcast?

A podcast is really just a great way to connect with your audience. People can hear your voice—it’s a way for you to share your expertise and they get those vocal inflections and those types of things. It’s a nice way for people to hear you and connect with you better.

But it’s also a great way to start your content creation process. It’s a lot easier to talk about a topic that you have expertise in or can talk to somebody about, than it is to sit down and say “OK, I’m going to write an article on this.” Because there’s not an intimidation factor there and it’s easier to just talk about things.

When you start there, you have the content and can even transcribe what you said in the podcast, and people can get the information who want to get it through audio, they can listen to it in their car, they can listen to it on their iPod–they can do those types of things that they couldn’t do with other types of content you created. But it starts that process, so you can then transcribe it and take that information and maybe expand on it in another form or even in another podcast. So it’s a great way to get those creative juices flowing.

How can a small business go about creating a podcast?

It seems like you would have all these things to think about and all this equipment you would need to do a podcast, but what’s great is technology is really accessible to everyone now and our devices can do so much.

There are a couple of ways that I’ve created podcasts. With the Speakeasy podcast that we do, I’m just using my iPhone to record that. I use an app called iTalk which creates great quality audio. It’s really that simple: you hit a button and it records.

Another way is Skype. Another great way to consider doing podcasts is to find people that can share information with your audience and interview them. That’s as simple as getting on Skype and using a headset microphone and the program that’s available to record the conversation on Skype. That’s also an easy way and really doesn’t involve any huge audio equipment or anything like that.

I think that’s a great place to start. You can see how it goes and how people respond and if you find it’s taking off, well then, maybe you’ll want to consider investing more money into equipment and things like that, but you can get started relatively cheap.

What is the biggest thing that small businesses need to be aware of when creating their podcast?

The big thing I would say is preparation. You really need to come into the podcast prepared; you don’t want to just sit down and say “Alright, I’m going to make up some questions to answer.” You really want to have a goal for the particular podcast you’re creating or that episode—if you want to call it that.

And have some type of structure. That way, when you’re having a conversation, you know where you are and the people following along know where they’re going and where they are in the conversation.  If you’re interviewing someone, it’s also a great way to make sure everyone knows what the agenda is for the particular podcast and where it’s going to go. And while it’s great to follow conversations where they may end up, you also want to be able to “bring it back” to the next spot you want to get to within the conversation.

So the two most important things are preparation and structure.

Have more podcast questions? Post them in the comments below and make sure to check out the Speakeasy Marketing Roundtable every Friday for inspiration!

Comments:

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  1. Ryan,

    If you like iTalk you may also like the Mobile Podcaster iOS app (http://www.mobilepodcaster.com), which not only records your podcast, but also uploads and creates a blog post for you on WordPress. It works with Libsyn too if you want to FTP your recordings to their servers.

    I think that the biggest barrier to entry for most folks has been that podcasting is just too complicated. Hopefully these new tools will help people try it out without the need for creating mp3’s, editing audio wav files, uploading files, creating blog posts and everything else that goes to into creating just one simple episode.

    BTW, for planning your podcaster I recommend MindNode mind mapping – great stuff!

    Thanks,
    Steinar

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