Podcasting For Your Biz

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tuningEstablishing yourself as an industry expert can help differentiate your business from the thousands of others out there on the Web. One way to share your knowledge is by creating a podcast.  

A podcast, according to Yaro Starak of Entrepreneurs Journey.com, is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet. Despite the name, you don’t need an iPod to listen to or produce a podcast. “The reason it became linked with the iPod in name,” writes Starak, “was because people download podcasts to listen to on their iPods.” However, you can use music software on your computer such as Windows built-in Media Player to listen to a podcast. 

“Podcasting puts the power to communicate into the hands of individuals,” writes Michael W. Geoghegan and Dan Klass authors of Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Audio and Video Podcasting. “Thousands of people are already involved, each as unique as their podcast.” Because of the power of the Internet, podcasts can reach a broader range of people than any radio station with an AM/FM transmitter. Someone in another country can find your podcast on the Internet and subscribe. 

In order to have a successful podcast, according to Geoghegan and Klass, you need to be a radio host, audio engineer, blogger and advertising rep all rolled into one. But don’t let that frighten you away. As with any new technology, there will be a learning curve in the beginning. Once you understand the basics, you’ll be moving right along. Podcast Solutions provides information about the software, hardware and services available to help aspiring podcasters get started. 

Find a podcast you like. 
Before producing your own podcast, become part of what Geoghegan and Klass call the “podcast community.” Listen to and watch podcasts to observe what you like and don’t like about each show.  Observe the various formats. This will give you ideas for when you produce your podcast.

Find your niche.  Prior to doing anything media related whether it’s publishing or broadcasting, you must first define your audience. Are you trying to reach customers or potential partners? Do some research to discover what your target audience is looking for so you can fill this void with your podcast. 

Don’t be concerned if your topic is very specific. Podcast Solutions uses the term “narrowcasting,” which means making programs that appeal to a small percentage of listeners. 

Maybe only a few people will be aware of your podcast initially. “But to those few people who are interested in that kind of show,” write Geoghegan and Klass, “it might be, to them, the greatest show ever made in the history of electronic media.” Word will then spread to others who share the same interests. 

Make money with podcasting.  Podcast Solutions devotes an entire section to various ways podcasters can monetize their show. As you build an audience, you can attract sponsors, charge subscription fees or sell products as an affiliate with a major online retailer.   

Additionally, you can hire yourself out as a professional using your own show as an example of your podcasting abilities. “If you have the knowledge and expertise to put a podcast together for yourself, you surely could be doing it for others as well,” they write.