Since 2017, the number of monthly podcast listeners in America has grown 54%, from 24% of the population to 37%. And in 2020, 49% of Americans ages 12 to 34 have reported listening to at least one podcast per month.

In addition, since the majority of Americans are working from home and restricted from other forms of entertainment, such as concerts and movie theaters due to COVID-19 at the time of this writing, the statistics for podcast listeners are bound to skyrocket.

You’ve been mulling around the idea of starting a podcast, so what are you waiting for? If you’re like me, you were wondering how you might fit into the current landscape.  You can read my blog The Leader They Are Looking for is YOU, if you need help with that.

But, the long and short of it is, with listeners on the rise, there’s never been a better time to start a podcast!

5 Key Reasons Why You Need to Start a Podcast

Whether you’re a natural conversationalist or want to dive deeper into a topic you’re passionate about, there are several personal reasons for launching a podcast. From a business perspective, however, there are five core reasons why starting a podcast is a great idea.

1. Podcasts Tell Your Story

Remember—your brand is your story. And investing in content such as podcasts helps to share that story with the world.

Each podcast episode you record is an extension of your story. No matter if you interview guests or discuss industry news with your audience, you’re building upon your story every time you work on an episode.

2. Podcasts Are Content Distribution Channels Too

Podcasts are also another cog in your brand’s content marketing machine. They help to build up your arsenal of content and function as a distribution channel for your content links.

For instance, if you reference a specific article or piece of content in your podcast, provide a link to it in the episode notes. Listeners will then click on the link, which drives more qualified traffic to your website, where they become active blog subscribers, too—and the content marketing cycle continues!

3. You’ll Reach More Customers

Did you know you’re only reaching a fraction of your total target audience with your existing content marketing strategy?

Brands often make the mistake of going all-in on one type of content, like blog articles. But a portion of your market may prefer to watch and listen to content rather than read it.

By recording and distributing a regular podcast series, you’ll reach more of your target audience, effectively increasing the number of potential leads for your business. Plus, if you film your podcasts and publish them on YouTube and Vimeo, you’ll increase your audience volume yet again!  You can see an example of my audio podcast as well as my videos on youtube by clicking here: Audio version, youtube version.

Best of all, starting a podcast doesn’t require a large investment to get started, meaning you’ll reach a wider audience without spending your entire marketing budget.

4. You’ll Develop a Loyal Audience

Although bloggers have been developing solid relationships with their readers for decades now, podcasters have a unique advantage.

As you publish more and more podcast episodes, your listeners will begin to establish a familiarity with your voice and story. As a result, they’ll begin to create a community of listeners and a relationship with your brand. This loyal community will become your core audience who will help amplify your podcast to the next level.

While articles, emails, and other written forms of content can build the foundation for a customer relationship, a podcast series seals the deal.

5. Podcasts Position You as an Authority

Customers want to interact with brands and stories that they trust. Podcasting allows you to showcase your knowledge and help customers find the answers to their questions. While you build a relationship with your audience and publish more podcast episodes around your topic, you’ll begin to position yourself as an industry expert.

Trust, combined with expertise, leads to your podcast being an authority on your particular topic. This authority leads to other opportunities such as increased search rankings, engaged fans, and best of all, qualified leads for your business.

Another benefit is that you will be seen as a leader in your industry, with an outlet for the other experts in the industry to share their own news.  You’ll be shocked at how easy it is to get industry leaders to agree to come on your podcast.  Once they’ve been on, you’ll have a deeper relationship with them because they will feel like you really helped them out, and they will try to reciprocate and offer you opportunities that they have access to.  It’s a cycle that will continue to propel you forward the more you connect with others and have them on your shows.

Launch Your Podcast Today in 3 Easy Steps

It’s never been easier to launch a podcast than it is today. You don’t need to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars into a podcasting studio to launch your brand’s podcast. All you have to do is follow these quick steps:

1. Get the Right Podcasting Gear

While you don’t need to splurge on the best podcasting equipment available, you do need to start with the basics. Otherwise, you’ll have difficulty recording the quality podcast content your audience deserves.

If you plan on going the DIY route, all you’ll need is a laptop computer, headphones, and a microphone to get your podcast up and running.

Although many people try to do it with the microphone on their airpods, we recommend you at least invest in a USB condenser microphone such as the Shure MV5 or if you want to step up to what many of the pros use, you can get a mixer and a Shure SM7B. If you plan on recording multiple people, consider purchasing an affordable dynamic microphone, too, like the Shure SM58 (a classic mic that nearly every rock band across the world has used!).  If you can’t tell, I’m a Shure guy. I’ve used lots of their stuff over the years and it’s rock solid.

As your podcast grows and becomes more successful, you can invest in other equipment such as:

  • Audio mixer
  • Pop filter
  • Audio interface
  • Mic stands
  • Acoustic room panels

When you’re new to podcasting, record and edit your podcasts using a free program such as GarageBand or Audacity. Once you’ve built up an audience and a podcasting budget, you can purchase more in-depth recording and editing software. Or you can do what I do, hire someone to edit it for you!

If you lack the funds to purchase the basic equipment, record directly to your phone or on your computer’s microphone to get started.  It’s not ideal, but getting started is better than waiting.  Just make sure that the audio is good enough that it won’t hurt people’s ears and cause them to stop listening.

2. Develop Podcast Topics and Record

Arguably the hardest part, but often the most fun about creating a podcast, is coming up with episode topics. Take the time to sit down and write out as many ideas as you can. As you view this list, you’ll start to notice a common theme or strategy forming. Roll with it!

If you find yourself hitting a wall when brainstorming, use these ideas as prompts:

  • Your/ your company’s history:Talk about what you experienced while building your brand. Create topics around the struggles and lessons you learned along the way. It may help future industry leaders with their careers.
  • Article content: Browse through the articles you’ve written for your blog, or that someone else has written. Think of ways you can supplement or expand upon the topic through various podcast episodes or even just add your comments to someone else’s content. You could even consider inviting the author of another article or blog to be a guest on your show, which leads me to….
  • Interviews:Do you have industry contacts in your professional network that would be willing to speak with you for an interview series? Do you have friends who have interesting points of view?  Do you like a particular journalist’s article, and would love to discuss it in depth? You get the point.
  • Industry News: Talk about what’s going on in your industry. Discuss major news stories and share your perspective on it.
  • Your Competition: It never hurts to listen to your competitors’ podcasts. What are they talking about? Could you expand upon a specific topic they covered? What could you do better than they did?

Once you’ve got a steady list of topics, hit record and get started!

3. Distribute Your Podcast

This step may seem pretty straightforward. After all, who’s going to listen to your podcast if they can’t find it? Yet, a lack of distribution is what sinks promising podcasts.

First, you need to choose a podcast hosting platform. This is where the audio files for your podcast will live. From there, you can distribute your podcast to apps such as iTunes and Spotify via the RSS feed link. These hosting platforms also help you with features such as monetization, podcast analytics, and more.

Now that you’re all set up and streaming on major podcasting platforms, tell your audience to tune in! Promote your new podcast on all of your marketing channels, including:

  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Blog content
  • Your Website

While now is a great time to start a podcast, all your effort will be wasted if you don’t get the word out about your new show. Every podcast episode you publish must have a distribution strategy in order to drive more and more listeners.

Don’t be afraid to ask your network to share your new podcast with their audience, too.

There’s Never Been A Better Time To Start A Podcast, So What Are You Waiting For?

With podcasting’s immense growth and lack of entry barriers, there’s no excuse not to launch a podcast!

Position yourself as an industry expert, tell your story, and create engaging podcast content today.

Of course, I’m always here to help grow your brand through podcasting and other opportunities. Feel free to check out how we are doing it on The Success Network® too.  We are building a list of channels on The Success Network®, and we have a platform where we can do everything you need from show planning, all the way through to producing, editing and posting it.  Let us know if you need help!