Launch Your Own Podcast and Reap the Rewards

By: Martin Bamford
CEO
Bamford Media Ltd

Lockdown life appears to have spawned a plethora of podcasts. As a tactic for creating a pillar piece of content, raising your profile in the local community, and expanding your network of professional connections, podcasting has relatively few equals.

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with two excellent Financial Planner podcast hosts. 

Sharon Sutton, a Chartered Financial Planner on the Isle of Man, is the host of the Island Influencers podcast (https://www.thorntonfs.com/podcasts/). Amyr Rocha Lima hosts a podcast called Inside Kingston (https://www.hhw-uk.com/inside-kingston-podcast-by-amyr-rocha-lima/) .

Despite my podcasting experience stretching across more than 1,000 episodes, including close to 500 episodes for Informed Choice Radio, in the space of a one-hour conversation, I was able to learn a great deal from Sharon and Amyr.

What Sharon and Amyr are doing with their podcasts is incredibly powerful for their respective businesses and is simple to replicate in any local community.

Within this article, I’ve attempted to distil some of their wisdom, along with some of my observations. My goal is to inspire you to launch your podcast and reap some of the many benefits this content marketing channel can offer.

Building trust

Assuming we won’t be getting face-to-face with prospective clients for a protracted period, we all need to rethink the act of building trust. It’s much harder to gain the confidence of a new client when you have never met in person.

Publishing a podcast is a powerful way to build trust because the listening experience is intimate. In each podcast episode, you speak directly to the listener, and they feel like they get to know you. When a prospective client contacts you from that position of an existing trust, the engagement process is that much easier. 

I recounted to Sharon and Amyr an experience of a podcast listener recognising my voice as I was ordering a coffee one Saturday morning. Podcasting is unlikely to turn you into an A-list celebrity, but it can result in a very loyal tribe of followers who get to know, like and trust you.

Playing a pivotal role in your community

During these unsettling times, something is reassuring about hearing local voices. My local podcasting mission at the start of the lockdown, Cranleigh Community Radio, regularly gets positive feedback from residents who miss the conversations they used to enjoy in the High Street.

For older members of the community, many shielding due to pre-existing health conditions, a local podcast can serve as a lifeline to their regular interaction with others.

Sharon explained during our conversation that the timing of her podcast launch, with episode one published in the first week of lockdown on the Isle of Man, couldn’t have been better if it were planned. 

We won’t all have a captive audience forever, but Covid-19 does seem likely to accelerate an existing trend towards local living. Providing genuinely local content for a local audience is a fantastic way to connect with your target audience.

Creating a content pillar

Each podcast episode is only a starting point. Recording a 20-40 minute conversation for a podcast provides a core of content, what we call a ‘pillar’, which is ripe for repurposing. 

When we produce each episode of Island Influencers for Sharon, we also create ‘audiograms’ to share on social media. These 30-60 second audio snippets sit within graphic cards with moving soundwaves and serve to tease a potential listener, encouraging them to click through to listen to the episode in full.

Running the audio through a transcription tool allows us to readily select interesting quotes, creating quote cards for sharing on social media channels too. 

When you film the conversation as well as recording the audio, your pillar content has even more possibilities for repurposing.

For an example of repurposing a podcast, look no further than this article. My one-hour conversation with Sharon and Amyr formed the basis for this article, along with several short videos and countless social media posts.

A foot in the door

Prospective clients are naturally wary of cold approaches. Hosting a podcast offers you the perfect excuse to pick up the phone or send an email. Instead of calling to pitch your services, you’re providing something of value; exposure to your audience and an opportunity to share their story.

In our experience, business leaders are likely to respond positively to an invitation to appear on a podcast. They recognise its value because it’s an effective way to reach a wider audience with their story.

My podcast guests are typically authors, who want to promote their books, but I also use Informed Choice Radio as an excuse to sit down with professional connections. Sharon uses Island Influencers as her foot in the door with the leading lights on the Isle of Man, and Amyr does the same within the Kingston business community.

Selling without selling

I called Amyr a genius at one point in our conversation. Here’s why.

When business owners agree to appear as a guest on Inside Kingston, Amyr coaches them a little to have the best possible conversation on the podcast. As not all of his guests are natural storytellers or have never had an opportunity to tell their story before, he takes some time to show them how.

To coach his guests, Amyr shares the questions he typically asks along with (and this is the genius bit!) how he would answer them. So, each guest reads about Amyr’s business and what they do locally.

Keep in mind that Amyr’s guests are his ideal clients. In a very subtle way, he’s come up with a foolproof way to sell to them without selling to them. He’s giving each guest something of value – help in presenting their story – and in return, they are learning about his value proposition. 

Exponential network effect

Amyr admitted he found it difficult at first to gain agreement from potential podcast guests. He thought it would be easy to email business owners, set a time for recording, and go from there. 

In the early days, winning podcast guests was more challenging than expected. But it became easier from there. Each guest would refer Amyr to three more, and now these referrals mean guests approach him without him even asking.

There’s an exponential network effect from podcasting with each guest sharing their episode within their network. You can start small and then expand your reach into the community as the podcast scales. 

Just get started

The kit required to record a podcast can be expensive and complicated. It can also be incredibly simple. 

Whether you use a set of iPhone headphones, with their in-built noise-cancelling microphone, or invest in the fancy headsets Sharon and I both use, the critical thing to consider is capturing a conversation.

Amyr differentiated between ‘fiddlers’ who are happy to learn the gear and watch YouTube videos to learn production techniques and Financial Planners who want to press record, leaving the heavy lifting of editing, production and promotion to professional podcasting firms like Bamford Media.

Also by Amyr Rocha Lima:
https://pfspower.org/deepening-relationships/

More from Sharon Sutton:
https://pfspower.org/panel/sharon-sutton/


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