(By Mark Asquith) Podcasting is booming. 2019 has already seen Spotify make three major acquisitions in the space and entrepreneurs, in particular, are continuing to flock to the medium.
And rightly so. After all, the barrier to entry has never been lower in terms of ease of production. And consumption by listeners has never been higher and continues to grow at a steady pace every year.
However, when looking at podcasting through the lens of business, entrepreneurs, or marketers, it’s easy to get things wrong because podcasting is deemed to be pretty easy. Sure, creating a show is straight forward, but just like any content, product, or service, making a podcast successful is hard, especially because consumption is growing — you’re now competing with more podcasters, all vying for the audience that you’d like a slice of.
Entrepreneurs look to the success stories in the space and often try to replicate their success by following a format that has already been done well by someone else. They forget that podcasting is an entertainment medium, even if you’re using it to build a business as a content marketing piece.
Here are two big mistakes that I see entrepreneurial podcasters making:
1) putting everyone else at the center of their podcast.
Most entrepreneurs starting a podcast do so with the intent to create an interview show.
I believe that they do this for a few reasons:
– It is perceived to be less work for them
– They have seen other entrepreneurial podcasters succeed doing the same
– They wish to build their network.
The last point, building a network, is a superb reason to start an interview podcast and if you need to build a network quickly there’s no better way of doing that than starting an entrepreneurial podcast.
The former two points, however, are exactly the reasons not to start an interview podcast.
Audiences see straight through this and the market is saturated with entrepreneur interview podcasts these days.
Your goal with an entrepreneurial podcast is likely to build your brand and create an audience that you own via an email list, for example. Due to the mass saturation of entrepreneur-interview shows, PR companies and entrepreneurs alike see guesting on podcasts as a viable and high-quality marketing method.
But, being one of the podcasts that entrepreneurs guest on to market their services, product, or new book doesn’t generate the best content — this method is never going to elevate you to the status you need to be at to generate your own revenue, all it will do is keep positioning each guest as the expert, never doing the same for you.
Your audience tunes in for you. Big name guests rarely positively affect download numbers — so why give them all of the limelight?
Instead, consider a format for your podcast that puts you at the front of your brand and builds you as the expert.
2) Getting stuck on a podcast production hamster wheel and forgetting to market your podcast.
Podcasting can be easy, but growing a podcast is really hard.
Most entrepreneur podcasters get stuck on a content production hamster wheel that means they’re always just ticking the box to record and publish their next episode rather than spending time growing the podcast.
I did a lot of research into this recently for a podcast marketing tutorial that I put together introducing something that I call the Podcast Discoverability Triangle, positing that most podcasters market using a cycle-based, episode-by-episode marketing process which is a flawed method when used in isolation.
Entrepreneurial podcasters should focus on four types of marketing that help to educate listeners and prospective podcast listeners to the benefits of podcast consumption overall and then push them down a discoverability funnel to the entrepreneur’s content.
Spending over 50% of your podcasting time creating content and less than 50% of that time marketing your show will result in stagnant growth and ultimately lead you, as an ROI-focused entrepreneur, to lose interest in the continual production of a podcast that is returning less than it should for your brand.
Podcasting can deliver great dividends over the long-term if delivered well, consistently. The medium is not a short-term-win platform, nor should it be approached as a sales tool, because your audience, well, they aren’t fools. Give them something that they value, something that entertains them and helps them to fall in love with your content. Success will follow.
Remember, your job as a podcaster, entrepreneur or not, is to create entertaining content that makes your audience feel something enough to engage with your brand repeatedly.
Maintaining that as your “true north” when making decisions around your podcast will keep you focused on why you’re podcasting at all.
Mark Asquith is the CEO of Rebel Base Media, which owns Captivate.fm, Podcast Websites, Podcast Design Studio, Podcast Success Academy & Poductivity. Reach out to Mark by e-mail at Mark@rebelbasemedia.io