Where were you at the infancy of podcasts? As on-demand radio is introduced into cars in 2016, I believe time will look back at Podcast Movement 2015 as a pivotal moment. While most of the world didn’t know what a podcast was, over 1,100 early adopters gathered in Fort Worth, TX for the biggest conference of its kind. The good new is that you can still leverage this technology to connect with your ideal audience, your dream customers. Even if you don’t have a podcast, you can participate in this opportunity as a podcast guest.
Here are the 6 big lessons I learned that will grow my business in 2016
The riches are in the niches
This quote often used by John Lee Dumas of the Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast. With over 200k different podcasts in 2015, the podcast market is highly fragmented and still has major gaps just waiting for a host. Terrestrial radio broadcasts to the masses. Decades ago, Casey Kasem had millions tune into his Top 40. Now the top podcasters like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income boast 350k downloads per episode. While radio had passive listeners, podcasts have loyal raving fans.
It takes systems to get the riches
Most podcasts are not profitable. I was shocked by this. To most it was the elephant in the room. The brave admitted that even after 24 months, their popular podcasts were not even close to breaking even. Everyone could SEE the potential, but it was only those with the systems built to automatically and scalably serve their audience that were reporting revenue. Kate Erickson’s talk on Business Systems should be required reading for any host of guest who looks at podcasting as anything but a hobby.
The best make it look easy
Anyone who says that doing a podcast is easy has either never done a podcast or never done a good one. I was amazed at the hours, days and weeks podcasters were investing in each show. The interview is the easy part. Most don’t appreciate the hours before to set up the guest and prepare for an interview. While some of this can be outsourced, it’s obvious when it’s skipped. After the show, there is production, posting, promotion and hopefully monetization. It’s can be an expensive hobby or a time-consuming business. Either way I learned I’m continuing to focus on being a podcast guest. Compared to the host, the investment of time and money as a guest is a fraction. The return on investment as a guest is greater.
Podcasts are largely unknown
When you hang out in church, you assume everyone is saved. When you hang out with podcasters, you assume everyone listens to podcasts. The current statistics show that only 20% of the United States listen to podcasts. With the introduction of on-demand radio (a.k.a. podcasts) to cars in 2016, this should provide a huge increase in the audience.
Podcasts are still art, not big business
While there were some people attending Podcast Movement that came from corporate radio, the majority of the attendees were passionate artisans excited about creating audio people loved. This is a huge opportunity for engaging guests who want to share their message with a targeted audience. Today your request to a radio or TV station for an interview, will get a call back from the sales department: “We’d love to include a featured interview with your advertising purchase.” Podcasts are not commercial based, but content based. Most hosts are starving for a compelling story to share.
Podcast are all about relationships
A recent article in Fast Company called podcasting the new form of networking. The intimate connections that show hosts make with their listeners is intense. The same can be said between hosts and guests. After talking for an hour, then cross-promoting an episode a bond exists. I’ve never experienced this with blogs or guest blogging. If you want to meet amazing people, start a podcast. If you want to do it without the work, be a podcast guest.
The Podcast Movement 2016 conference is in Chicago from July 6-8. I hope to see you there and hear what an impact podcasts are having on your business connecting you directly with your ideal customers.