Last week Brian got nerdy about DragonCon so that he could relate the importance of building a community. This week, Brian gets nerdy about business with very special guest Tom Schwab. It’s not purely about business, mind you, but as starting, growing, and maintaining a podcast is very much a business venture, many of the same principles can be applied as we consider the various options available to us in marketing.
One of the most disheartening facts to hear about is how little time people spend reading in lieu of audio or visual resources. It’s not an exclusive fact, as I am likely one of few people my age who prefer holding a local newspaper in my hands over a global, glowing newspaper in the palm of my hand, but it’s foolish to ignore the fact that listening is the preferred method of information consumption. This isn’t to say blogging isn’t useful, but everything does have its place.
Most listeners of Profitcast have no reason to be disheartened by this fact, though! As this is a podcast about profiting with podcasts, not blogs, most of you are probably excited that there is increasingly more traffic being driven toward your enterprise, rather than away from it. Even two or three years ago, this was not the case. Podcasts, and podcasters, were capable of delivering news in the way people want it now, but people didn’t know they wanted it. Good innovators provide solutions for problems that don’t exist yet. Only by presenting the solution do people realize there was a problem in the first place. And in that way, passion podcasters are in the best position to be innovators of information consumption.
Now that there is a need, and a demand, it’s essential to learn how to take advantage of the system. If you think take advantage bears a negative connotation, don’t think about it as making unfair demands or exploitation, rather think of it as making good use of opportunities provided by a situation. When a residential building has a fitness center, it’s smart take advantage of that facility instead of buying a membership to a gym. Right?
This is the topic of conversation in this week’s installment of Profitcast, how to make good use of the embedded marketing opportunities podcasting provides. Tom Schwab presents a very intriguing model that organically evolved from an Inbound Marketing approach. Whether the end goal is to drive people to a business or to drive people to a podcast, the basic problem is obtaining exposure. For a while, this is how blogs were useful. But as blogs have become so saturated and podcasting becomes the primary source of information, a distinct paradigm shift resulted.
In Schwab’s case, this opportunity meant being a guest on other podcasts. The exposure that guesting creates is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before because there is an implicit endorsement by the regular host, a chance to intimately connect with the guest’s voice and demeanor, and a natural segue into the guest’s services or products without the shameless plugs or unnecessary fanfare.
What I like about the model that Schwab presents is that it requires us to care about someone or something else before others can care about us. At least, that’s how it should be. How do we become desirable as a podcast guest host? How do we get this kind of exposure? Well, it takes investing in other people. It takes seeking out peers and mentors, people who share interests, other podcasters in your industry, and then learn how you can provide value to them by first discovering how they provide value to you.
Schwab particularly emphasizes the difference between leads (potential clients, potential listeners) and good leads (clients who fit, listeners who will invest). This circles back to the previous point, in which it is in our best interest to first seek out those podcasts that have relevant content and a relevant listener-base because it it will maximize the potential for good leads.
I’m not an entrepreneur, nor do I know much about running a business. Sometimes, to me, marketing seems ethereal, like it relies on the perfect set of circumstances in order be useful. Buy an ad here and here and here and hope someone sees it and cares. But this model, investing in podcast communities to then provide value to them, is a mutual exchange of free advertising. Your listener base is exposed to that podcaster, and their listener base is exposed to your podcast. That is a marketing strategy that makes sense to me!
We’re left with quite a few takeaways from this episode of Profitcast, but the one I want to reiterate is this: you can either BUY traffic and attention, or you can EARN traffic and attention. Do you want to grow a community, or do you just want to make money? As a passion podcaster, I truly hope your answer is the former.
If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, grab a notepad and go lounge in the sun because you’re going to want to take notes.
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