Guest article by resident podcasting expert, Katie Wyatt: The Wellness Entrepreneur
I often meet entrepreneurs who are interested in podcasting but are unclear on how it can benefit their business. The thought of sharing a message, building profile and having a unique content offer is appealing, but what isn’t immediately clear is how that benefit converts to actual, warm leads on your email list and fans ready to buy from you.
There are two types of lead generation strategies – the marathon and the sprint. To run a marathon or a sprint are two very different types of sport, with different training and preparation regimes. Some athletes are better at one than the other. The marathon lead generation strategy is, as you might guess, the slower, deeper strategy – consistently and deliberately chipping away at the road and watching the miles slowly clock up. An example of a marathon lead generation strategy is consistent blogging. The sprint is the short, fast, accelerated and intense strategy which is intense, fast and builds list quickly. An example of a sprint lead generation strategy is a webinar or a virtual summit where you create a whole lot of noise about your online event, build a big list of interested parties and then provide value and sell to that new audience.
A podcast is definitely a marathon strategy for lead generation.
It’s a beautiful slow dance of getting to know someone, more and more intimately over time rather than the one night stand that a fast-paced, one-off webinar can feel like – particularly if you gain an entirely new audience with your webinar who may or may not stick around.
I might sound biased but I’m not. In business, your lead generation approach should contain a variety of both strategies. I wouldn’t recommend the same approach to relationships, but that’s another conversation!
So here is the formula for creating a podcast that does generate leads for you, as well as some actionable tips to up-level your strategies if you’re already doing these steps.
Step 1: Create a podcast that solves a problem for your ideal client and gives them insane value
You may say “der” to this, but seriously, starting a podcast often comes from a place of “what’s my message? What do I want to share? Who do I want to interview?” So it’s important to bring it back to your listener as you are just the channel for value for your listener. What does insane value look and feel like for her and how will you provide it?
One of the podcasts I really admire is called Start Up. It’s a podcast created by former This American Life producer Alex Blumbery (TAL are famous for their excellent storytelling in audio format.) Alex, the producer, decided to start a podcasting company – with no startup experience whatsoever – so he decided to document the journey, from the embarrassing pitching humiliations, to the cringeworthy equity discussions and the factual detail about working with investors. For anyone wanting to start a company this is invaluable insight because it’s not something that is ever talked about – not until after someone is already a raging success and subconsciously edits their own rise to the top. Imagine hearing Mark Zuckerberg document his startup story back when he was a college dude building tech in his dorm room with no concept of if and what success would come.
Up level strategy: If you’re already solving a problem and creating insane value – rock on sister. Next step? Get yourself onto other people’s podcasts and take your insane value to the world at large.
Step 2: Take your show further using show notes
The goal of a business podcaster should be to bring listeners back to your website and ultimately onto your list. The very immediate way to do that is via show notes. Show notes are literally a record or summary of what’s discussed on the show as well as links to any resources that are mentioned.
If someone’s interest is piqued by your show, they may follow it back to the show notes on your website.
Up level strategy: Turn your show notes into a stand alone blog post that exists as a valuable post whether or not people have listened to the show.
Step 3: Include an enticing call to action on the podcast of your valuable opt in
Listeners can “subscribe” to your podcast in iTunes, but that doesn’t give you access to any data that enables you to contact them, in that it’s not building your email list. The only tool you have to bring listeners to your website and ultimately onto your email list is by what you say to them on the podcast.
Show notes is one way, although people can read your show notes from the Podcasts app (in iTunes) if you load them directly there, and I suggest you do (it’s all about giving value). So you need to offer other invitations to return to your website and a highly valuable free gift, or ‘opt in’ is the way to do that.
Up level strategy: Create a unique opt in for each episode of your podcast. Amy Porterfield is the master at this, she creates insanely useful worksheets and examples and templates and tools as a free download specific to each episode of her podcast. I’ve seen other podcasters make added value show notes a specific download, or their guest has created something of value for them to give away. I haven’t seen anyone do it better than Amy.
Step 4: Invite your target market to be guests on your show
It is highly likely that your target market is already networking with or talking to your target market, so including them on your show is a great way to raise your profile within that group. You can find your target market and potential guests through Facebook groups as well as networking events.
Up level strategy: Find the person who is already speaking to your target market and interview them on your show. For example, if your podcast is about blogging, interview the blogging leaders like Darren Rowse, Jaclyn Carlson or Kate McKibbon on your show. If they share the podcast with their network, it’s being shared with your target market.
Up level strategy: Find a leader who is talking to your target market who also has a thriving Facebook group, for example Natasha Corbin, Kate Toholka (or me!). Interview them on your podcast and chances are, they or you can share that interview in their Facebook group, bringing a whole new audience of listeners to your show.
Step 5: Promote your podcast
Again this sounds obvious. When I launched my podcast the only person who knew was my producer and my husband. And my mum (and yes, she said, “what’s a podcast?”). I was nervous, I felt exposed. And I started so far before I was ready that I didn’t really have anyone to tell anyway. I had a tiny email list and I hadn’t yet discovered the power of Facebook groups.
You need to promote your show, and use all of the marathon and sprint strategies at your disposal to do so – social media posts, your show notes / blog post, sending it to your email list (if you have one), promoting it in Facebook groups on promotional days, and so on.
Up level strategy: Ask your guest to promote your show and make it easy for them to do so. Provide them a link and an image, and tag them in all of your posts so that they can just click a button to share.
Step 6: Extend the life of your podcast
Most podcasts get the majority of their downloads and listens on the day it goes live. This is for a number of reasons – one is because it will automatically download to the devices of everyone who subscribes to your show. Another is because if people are listening to you regularly, they will know when you go live and will listen within a few days. (Try missing a show and see all the tweets and emails you get asking you where it is!)
Make sure you do things to keep your podcast “evergreen” and popping up for people. Schedule social media posts that recycle old podcast episodes, like Edgar or the Tweet Old Posts WordPress plug in. Ask your guest to include the episode in their newsletter.
Up level strategy: If there is someone who talks to your target market who creates great content but doesn’t have a podcast – invite them to do a regular spot on your show. A short segment where they share their insane value and this in turn builds your profile as the creator of insane value for your audience. Even better is if this regular includes a Blubrry player on their website so that your podcast is now being shared on another website to another set of traffic.
Step 7: Repurpose, reuse and recycle
Finally, the number one lesson in content marketing – repurpose, reuse and recycle! This is all about taking the valuable content created in a podcast episode and creating more value – value that can be turned into an email opt in.
Amanda Cook of the Wellpreneur recently did this by creating a mini e-book of wellpreneur wisdom, garnered from the interviews she had done on her podcast. John Lee Dumas has also created a free PDF of the ten most successful habits of highly successful entrepreneurs.
Up level strategy: Cut together segments of past shows to create entirely new shows around a theme, for example social media, or living a vegan lifestyle. Natalie Eckdahl did this over the American summer and created a “summer camp” collection of new content created from existing content without having to schedule in more interviews.
Boom. There you have it. The secret to a long, loving relationship with your podcast listener. What’s the lead generation strategy that has worked best for you from your podcast?