It’s critical that today’s entrepreneur understands the necessity of adopting a multi-medium approach when it comes to developing an information business. As the social media and global communication aspects of Web 2.0 continue to kick in, we are beginning to see that podcasting is not only a good idea – it’s the law. Actually, it isn’t the law but it is becoming an indispensable method of reaching new audiences with your message.
While there are about a million and a half reasons you should seriously consider launching a podcast, we don’t have space or the patience to list them all here. You’ll have to settle for eight right now, but after reading them, we think you’ll agree they’re pretty good ones.
1.Low cost of entry: Assuming you already have a computer and high speed Internet connection, all you really have to spend to get into podcasting is twenty bucks for a decent microphone that plugs into the quarter inch audio jack on your laptop or desktop. That’s it. Of course, the sky’s the limit if you want to shell out extra for top-of-the-line equipment but it’s not a necessity to produce a professional-sounding podcast.
2.Simple technology: If you think that it takes a techie or computer geek to figure out how to record, format, and upload a podcast audio file to the Internet, you’d be wrong. If you have the wherewithal to navigate to this website and read this blog, you’ve got what it takes to create and syndicate a podcast.
3.Indie has gone mainstream: Five years ago, when podcasting first arrived on the scene, it was occupied by indie-minded early adopters of technology. As with other new Web 2.0 technologies, it takes a bit of tire kicking and test driving before the public decides whether or not to give it the stamp of approval. Well, consider that the initial indie spirit of podcasting has officially gone mainstream. Downloads are increasing, as are advertising dollars and sponsorships – all good news for the future of the medium.
4.The asynchronous advantage: What happens if your favorite terrestrial radio program comes on at 11 am sharp and you happen to be occupied collecting the contents of your neighbor’s trashcan, which your escaped dog conveniently spilled? Long story short. You miss the show! Not so with podcasting. The asynchronous nature of the medium means you can listen to the show any time you want. The span of time that separates recording and listening can be hours, weeks, months, or years. With podcasts, you listen on your schedule, which is a pretty nifty deal, in our humble opinion.
5.Humans love multimedia: Most people find audio and video files easier to digest than pages of text. That explains the enormous popularity of the iTunes podcast directory, as well as the continuing global phenomenon that is YouTube. Not to denigrate reading, because, Lord knows, we need to not forget how to do that, but the simple truth is people like audio and video.
6.The “podium effect”: One of the reasons you got into this speaking business in the first place was to gain credibility, right? It turns out that podcasting grants a similar effect to those who do it well. When people can download your professional looking and sounding podcast from the iTunes directory, their estimation of you arises according. We tend to grant more legitimacy to the guy or gal behind the podium, and podcasting acts the same way. More credibility usually leads to more money, which ain’t half bad.
7.Create a personal power player network: There’s a hidden benefit to podcasting, especially if you decide to include interviews with thought leaders in your field as part of the format. What’s the hidden benefit? Well, it just so happens that you now have a relationship with that person and, if the interview went well, could call upon them in the future for another interview and perhaps even a favor. In our opinion, that’s not half bad either.
8.Become a thought leader: While this is somewhat similar to the “podium effect,” it’s not exactly the same. A thought leader in any industry is a person who has risen to the top and tends to influence what people think about certain issues. For example, like him or not, the sitting president is usually the primary thought leader for the United States. He leads the conversation in the direction he wants and people people pay attention.
A final thought is this. Like blog entries, podcasts stay around forever, carrying your message time and again to an ever-increasing audience. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
The Speaking of Wealth Team
Flickr / Jeronimo Palacios