Podcasting: The Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How Of It All (Part 2)

Part 2: The Who and The What and the Why

Should you have a podcast?  And if so, what should it be about?

That’s an excellent question, and really the first thing you should be asking yourself.

We all have our reasons for wanting to dive into the world of Podcasting. Let’s dive into some reasons why you should start a podcast.

Find your voice.

One of the hardest things in the world to do, besides hitting a 95mph curveball, is public speaking. It ranks up there with one of the top phobias…and rightfully so. But this gives you the same opportunity – being able to reach an audience or a group of people – without the jaw-clenching, knee-buckling moment of seeing their faces or looking into their eyes. It’s you and a microphone.  Or you, a friend / co-host, and a couple of microphones.

Share your expertise.

Everyone is good at something, so why not share it with the world? Are you the leading expert on retro video games? Do you know more about Criminal Minds than anyone? Are you the biggest Star Wars geek on the planet? Do you absolutely love beer? Then share it and find an entire community of those who want to learn from you and those who want to enlighten you.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that no matter what it is that you’re into… there’s someone out there who wants to hear about it, talk about it, and learn about it.

It’s euphoric.

Falling asleep after a late-night show is almost impossible to do after a fun podcast session. For us, it’s the fastest 2-hours of our lives. It is literally a rush.  And we don’t mean a rush because we  know that thousands of people are listening, but simply that you are recording that part of your life to be put on the internet forever.

You can immortalize your bar conversations.

Can you imagine if you were able to tape some of those great bar conversations and arguments from when you were younger? Podcasting lets you do that. Want to listen to it years later? You can. Immortalize your Flash Gordon vs. Star Wars argument. Tape your “which craft beer is better” argument. Listen to your bad jokes months or years later.  The best part then comes when it gets put out for syndication… and you now the opportunity to get opinions from around the world that you might not have ever even thought of before.

It’s not expensive.

We always figured the podcast to be bowling night. Why? Well, it cost a certain amount for 3 games, plus beer, pizza, then beer after. If you have a co-host, well, that just became a $20 per night plus beer and food.  Golf has greens fees and beer carts.  Hockey has equipment and ice time costs.  A daily workday drive stop at Starbucks adds up.  So all things being equal, podcasting isn’t too bad considering the fun that is had.

Audience engagement.

That first email, Tweet, etc. acknowledging something you said on a podcast is literally insane. Building a community revolving around a show is an art, but it is attainable. Most people worry about downloads for a podcast, but audience engagement is the key.  Especially if you’re a business or a brand, engagement is of the utmost importance to you, and podcasting is an easy way to get there.

You can literally talk to the Globe.

When we found out we were listened to in 41 countries, we almost fell over. But that’s the beauty of a podcast, you can literally be heard on any corner of the entire globe.  Some of them might be from military bases and troops wanting to hear about things back home.  Some might be the randomly curious.  It’s amazing no matter what the reason.

You can build your personal brand.

Building your personal brand and your network are you two biggest assets professionally. What better way to build your brand than you telling your story yourself. Whether you are in wellness, or in entertainment, or IT, your podcast can be that vehicle to shape your brand.

It’s an amazing conversation starter.

Whenever I say I am a podcaster, I get 20 questions. What I think is simple is fascinating to some people. Going back to the #8, your personal brand, you are remembered for doing a podcast and you will be amazed how many conversations you have turn into regular listeners of your show.

It’s an insane amount of fun.

If it was work, there is no way we would be here right now. It’s fun. It’s a lot of fun. And to think it helps us professionally and doesn’t cost a lot?  Total no-brainer.  But that’s because of our approach and take on how we do our show – you can be as loose or controlled as you want, as ad-lib or scripted as you choose.  But even the tightly scripted and controlled shows still walk out of their recording sessions with an exhilarated look on their faces.

Your voice and opinions are unique

“I thought about starting a show about [x], but I see someone else is already doing one…”

So what?  They’re not you.  They don’t have your take, your opinions, your voice… everyone is unique and has their own flavor to bring to the table.  You should be doing this because it’s something you believe in and have a passion about… don’t worry about whatever someone else is doing.

Passion and Authenticity are the keys

Don’t start a podcast because you heard how much money Joe Rogan is making.  Do it because it’s something you enjoy, something you have a passion for, and something that you can see yourself talking about every week for the next year or two at a minimum.  If that’s not true… odds are staggeringly against you making it to your 10th episode.  Some people get very lucky, some people have an enormous following before they launch their show, but for the vast majority of people doing podcasts, it’s because it’s something they’d be talking about anyway.  If your kid loves playing football and winds up with a full ride scholarship to college and gets drafted into the pros…outstanding!  But is that what you’re thinking about the first time they hop on the field to play flag football with the other kids?  Probably not.

Enjoy yourself.  Have fun with it.  But keep your expectations realistic and you’ll be a leg up on a lot of people out there already, because listeners can tell when you’re being authentic and genuine with them.  You are cultivating a relationship with your listeners, and we all know that relationships that start with lies hardly ever end up making it.

So that’s that.  By now, you should know that there’s something you want to talk about, and that you should.  Next up, we’ll take a look at the next steps…