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What’s stopping your business from starting a podcast? You’re probably thinking, “I don’t have an audience.” Not to worry. This is where you build listenership by appealing to a small but mighty core audience which will eventually give way to a larger one that naturally stays targeted. What’s more, it doesn’t take up much space or cost very much to start. If you have a desk then you have the space for the microphone, computer and podcasting software (Garageband already comes on a Mac!) that are required to get recording! The last thing you need is a good topic to discuss. Once you’ve checked these boxes, it’s time to put words into action and get recording. Here’s why your business needs a podcast:

Podcast Microphone8. People Dig Podcasts. Period.

In its infancy, podcasts were...different. They weren’t radio or video, rather they straddled a limbo between the two that no one could relate to. But that was over a decade ago and now podcasting has become a mega tour de force for businesses, brands, advertisers and more who are looking to speak their truth. Podcasting is the go-to medium if you want to make a difference and get your voice heard.

7. Reading Takes Too Much Effort

People will never actually stop reading, however, with so much movement and commuting involved on a day to day basis, it’s far easier to listen. Driving, walking, working out, mowing the lawn, flying overseas – these are all ample opportunities to get into someone’s head literally through their ears!

6. They Are Professional But Down To Earth

Podcasts are conversational and you don’t have to go through hundreds of revisions to produce perfection. Little imperfections and improvisation give your podcast authenticity. Even if your business is big and corporate, you can still nail professionalism while throwing down a strategic joke. And if you do need to make a revision? You can re-record and edit. No big deal.

5. Podcasts Score High On The Stickiness Factor

If someone decides they like a podcast, chances are they’ll stick with it. Here’s proof – “The Cultdom Collective” is a podcast hosted by TalkShoe that touches upon everything to do with Doctor Who, sci-fi, fantasy, cult TV, superheroes and all the movies, books, and comics that come with it. With discussions that include reviews, commentaries, interviews and more, it’s no wonder this fan fave has been running for 9 years with over 620 episodes. If you speak it, they will follow!

podcaster4. Personality Is Memorable

Got a personal brand? Time to add a whole new layer. A logo, slogan and digital presence are critical when establishing yourself, but to be a cut above, it’s your physical voice that will give your brand personality. It’s the cherry on top, really. Personality shines through voice – think about your tone, vocabulary, accent, speaking style, guest choice... these all add to the allure and genuine appeal of your brand.

3. Speaking Skills Will Improve – Dramatically

At this point, you’ve already got your hands in the ‘digital cookie jar’ with emails, sales funnels, social media marketing and more – but with a podcast, this is your chance to become the ultimate digital entrepreneur. It might be weird to be speaking in front of an audience that isn’t physically there, but practicing this skill enables you to be convincing when pitching a business idea; delivering engaging content on a webinar or articulating the right words when closing a big contract.

2. Gives Your Listeners More

If you know your audience and customers are opening up your emails, reading your blog posts and registering for your webinars, then getting a podcast running is really just the next step. You can form deeper relationships by creating content, for example, through interviews (aligning yourself with successful people in your niche to build rapport) and case studies (which puts what you teach into play).

1. Creates Scalable Content – Exponentially

Business podcast

Startup Business People Working on Laptop

The beauty of a podcast is that while you might go in with a plan and a script, you will also have nuggets of insight that naturally come up, and can spin off into other content or trigger an additional idea, and so many more possibilities. A podcast can be a content goldmine:

Planning to go forward with a podcast takes practice, patience and a good set up. Let TalkShoe host your business’ podcast from the beginning. With a community-building podcast platform that has all the essential features like free storage, RSS feeds and easy web and phone connection, your business’ voice is just episodes away from being heard. Try it out here.

If you’ve got a podcast or you’re thinking about starting one, guaranteed you’ve heard whispers of the term RSS feed and you’ve seen the symbol on various web pages or Facebook posts (it looks like the wifi symbol fell over on its side and it’s now radiating the arcs on an angle rather than just up).

RSS FeedYou probably even know that RSS stands for Rich Site Summary (also referred to as Really Simple Syndication) and you may even know that plenty of news sites, weblogs, Twitter feeds, podcasts and online publishers use an RSS feed to syndicate and get their content read or heard.

But there’s lots more to how an RSS feed works, what it is, why you need it and how to use it to make your podcast a thing of beauty and joy. Not a sound engineer? No problem. Here’s the 411 about RSS feeds written in plain English and drilled down for easy understanding and implementation.

Okay, so first things first – There is a lot of content on the Internet. In fact, that’s an understatement. On YouTube alone, more than 4 million hours of content is uploaded every day, with users watching 5.97 billion hours of YouTube videos each day. And that’s only one website.

Podcast ListenersSo much content, yet so little time! Sorting, reading and consuming relevant content that matters to you can be terribly daunting considering the breadth and depth of the Internet. This is where RSS feeds come in. Rather than the user going to each individual site to check for updates, the updates and new aggregated content to the user which ultimately saves time and patience.

It’s like using Netflix where all the movies are there in one place for your perusal compared to walking into a Blockbuster to see if the new releases are there yet. An RSS feed makes content available for the masses so creators can distribute their blog, posts, articles and podcasts to the audiences who want them the most. It’s mandatory for podcast syndication and distribution and becomes the URL for your show.

Specifically for podcasts, it’s extra important that you create a podcast only RSS feed instead of one that has other content. Unlike a radio or TV show, a DVD or magazine (these describe the media and distribution) a podcast is downloadable episodic multimedia (audio, video, and PDF) that gets syndicated through RSS – no one can hear your podcast without the feed.

Having an RSS feed is kind of a big deal (totally, a big deal!) because it contains all of your podcast’s information including the title, image, description, mp3 file URL, and category. Basically, all the nuts and bolts for your podcast to be distributed outside of your hosting platform so you can broaden your audience reach without them needing to visit you on the regular.

For listeners, an RSS feed removes the heavy lifting of creating an email list and sending out push notifications. It couldn’t be easier. Listeners can stay up-to-date with all of their favorite podcasts right at their fingertips in one podcasting app. No searching for new content required, which makes it easy for podcasters to get new listeners without having to put in a lot of time creating email databases and funnels, or putting out newsletters.

Bonus: you can spark more engagement by using the RSS reader to link back to your website. What’s more – and this is the best part – all your content can live and breathe in one place (the hosting site) while the RSS feed disseminates your show for you – that’s what it’s there for!

Podcast Recording studioNow for the hosting site. Self-hosting is always an option, but if you’re not down to code and aren’t in tune with exactly what’s happening in the industry, a hosting service might be better suited to your needs. Check out Spanish Mustang Radio, an audio journal hosted on TalkShoe’s hosting service (no special tech skills needed!) that discusses everything about and everything to do with Spanish Mustang Horses. Listeners get to hear guest speakers that are breeders, traders, owners, and preservationists who are passionate about the breed discuss stories and personal histories.

As with any show, specifications and technology shift so a hosting site that’s able to ebb and flow and is designed for end-users, is what will help you get noticed. Your feed is the groundwork for your show to be built upon. Choosing the right hosting service will ensure your podcast grows and your audience multiplies. While you’re responsible for the content, a good hosting service is responsible for packaging your content well.

Take a look at TalkShoe where it’s super easy to produce, stream, record and share via RSS feed. TalkShoe takes the guesswork out because your podcast comes with a built-in feed that connects to iTunes and other sharing sites. With a simple code provided upon sign up, your podcast gets to live across multiple channels and you don’t even need to be a technical genius. It’s really that straight forward.

Want to try it? Sign up for free.

Since its inception in 2008, Spotify has been sweeping the globe, connecting music lovers from all over the world. Boasting a collection of millions upon millions of songs, every genre is represented, from mainstream to obscure and every mash-up in between. Spotify was once a music streaming site but has since grown into the music giant it is to include all types of audio. Podcasters, rejoice! Spotify has over 159 million users worldwide, positioning them as the most notable digital audio content platform on the planet. As of June 2018, there are 83 million paying subscribers.

Now that Spotify has opened the floodgates, audio content broadcasters are presented with the sparkling opportunity to reach millions of new ears in over 60 markets. That is one big pie with lots of slices. Want one? Of course, you do. With such a huge audience, surely your own audience is out there, looking for you and eager to hear what you have to say!

Here’s the thing. There are a few hoops you have to jump through first, and rightfully so. These criteria are set in place to ensure quality, so once you’ve checked the boxes, you’re good to go and ready to get heard!

Podcast studioStep 1 – Get Your Basics Down

If you want to measure up to Spotify standards, make sure you’ve laid out the groundwork. Your podcast is a reflection of you and what you have to say. It’s your brand, so as long as it’s polished and pretty, you’re setting yourself up for success. Consider the following guidelines so your podcast passes with flying colors:

Sound:
It should be an MP3 format and audio with bitrates between 96 and 320 kbps. Also, keep it clean. No one likes an echo, feedback, muffled noises, and dead air. Try to steer clear of any audible imperfections.

Size:
Ideally, keep your episode under 200MB, which translates to approximately 83 minutes at 320 kbps or just over 200 minutes at 128kbps.

Podcast Image:
Artwork absolutely needs to be square at a 1:1 ration. Keep the resolution as high as possible (to avoid pixelation) and save as a JPEG or PNG.

Feed Values:
Special characters in your copy, especially ampersands (&), must be HTML encoded (&amp). Any HTML tags (<p> or <strong>) will be removed once submitted.

Episode Titles:
Make it short and sweet! Titles must be 20 characters or less (including spaces) so they are fully legible and live well across Spotify listings.

podcast listenersPodcast Feed Files:
Ensure your podcast feed has a title, image, and at least one (1) episode, otherwise your submission will not qualify. The more the merrier!

Just one more thing to keep in mind – increasing the number of listeners doesn't always translate into a surge of advertising numbers. Spotify re-hosts, meaning if your ads are already set, they won’t be played. This is still a work in progress, however.

Take a look at TalkShoe’s “Cutting Room Floor” for inspiration. Hosted by Casey Ryan, the show is a platform for independent filmmakers and other entertainers to promote their projects. It’s the perfect online space for people who are rising in their filmmaking careers to get a boost and strengthen the independent art community!

Step 2 – Submit to Spotify

All items checked off? Feeling confident? Excited to set forth your podcast to all the millions of Spotify listeners? We’re almost there! Just a few more hurdles until you cross the finish line now that the technical stuff is out of the way.

spotifyIt’s actually pretty painless. Don’t worry if you’re the techiest person. Spotify has a form right here that’s straightforward and easy to follow. Once you’ve submitted, this is where you have to leave it up to the universe! The approval process can have you sitting on the edge of your seat anywhere from a few hours to 5 days. Keep in mind that Spotify won’t contact you to let you know if your show has been picked up and listed. Check the site to see if it’s gone through…

Good news! Your show made it through! Now that you’ve got some traction, you’re going to want to see your hard work pay off. Spotify doesn’t provide direct access to stats and data, however, the numbers that affect you can be found on your host platform.

Get excited, and ready to keep the content coming because once you open the doors to Spotify, you can expect an increase in listenership. After all, Spotify counts for 10% of the total podcast listen everywhere. Let TalkShoe help get you to that next level with a free hosting service that makes starting and maintaining a podcast simple. Enjoy state-of-the-art tools like YouTube live streaming, and easy-to-use RSS feeds that ensure your podcast is high quality and gets noticed online. Start today.

Listening to podcastWhen did podcasts become so popular? First of all, humans love stories, and the podcasting medium caters exactly to that. Segments can be long and saved for later to be listened to over and over and over again. Secondly, they incite your imagination. There is usually zero visual component, which means your mind gets to hum and whir and make it all up – just like a book. Thirdly, listeners trust their host. The potential for fake news is minimal. Good content builds a wider audience which builds listeners which builds brand integrity.

There are so many more reasons why podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity and why they’re a critical component to your brand but one thing is for sure – Podcasts are here to stay. They give us access to such a wide range of incredible information at our fingertips – or ahem, earlobes!

As with anyone’s words or product, however, knowing who your audience is, so you can market and cater to their needs and desires, is how to grow your podcast from a seed into a forest. Before we jump into some best practices, it’s important to point out that even though you might have a strong social following, it doesn’t always translate over into your podcast following. This is where it’s easy to become disgruntled. By implementing a few techniques when creating your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to get your story out to the world using this popular and evergrowing medium.

Social MediaUse Strong Keywords

Keywords make the world go ‘round. Ok, maybe not, but they at least get your podcast to go around! Without ‘em, how are listeners searching for the exact content you offer, supposed to find you? Think about what words you would type into a Google search, then use them in your title and description. Just like TalkShoe’s, “X-Files Truth.” It may be simple, but it gets the point across. This show, hosted by Agent Shadow and his partner Agent Angela takes hardcore “X-Philes” (their fans) down memory lane through all 9 seasons of the beloved show, as they review, analyze and breakdown each episode. The show’s essence is encapsulated in the title.

Think Of Other Podcasts As Growth Opportunities

You get a lot more with honey than with vinegar. Keep this in mind when you’re ready for your voice to be heard and your podcast is ready to be uploaded into the sea of other podcasts. It’s not reassuring to see all the competition out there, but this is the chance to look at things differently. Instead of feeling threatened, reach out and recommend other other podcasts on your show. Lift up another podcaster and in return, yours will most likely get a boost too. Join groups on Facebook, including @talkshoecommunity to ask and give advice and spread the love!

Recording a podcastWrite a Press Release

Keep an eye out for media outlets and digital publishers who are creating articles and listicles, like “Best Self-Improvement Podcasts” or “Best Podcasts To Keep You Entertained While Cleaning The House,” for example. This is a great opportunity to comment and send in a short and sweet press release you have on hand. Writing to the author is a great networking move that could get you on their list next time. Be sure to include a shoutout to them too. What goes around, comes around.

 

 

Give a Juicy Description

Finding the sweet spot between not giving it all away but giving just enough to leave them hanging is a fine art when it comes to writing a description for your podcast. Leaving a trail of breadcrumbs will position your podcast as being irresistible. Remember your keywords, relevant links, and a few provocative adjectives!

Consider Including Shownotes

Show notes are a few steps past a description for your podcast. Think of it as a trailer for a movie that presents to the listener the point, and the goal and generally what to expect before they hand over their time and focus. Show notes go beyond a word-bite to break down context, present links, mention sponsors, and really set up each podcast as a thing of beauty and joy! Even to prospective listeners who haven’t actually listened to your show yet, show notes strengthen your podcast’s integrity.

As podcasts skyrocket higher and higher in popularity, so do listener’s expectations. Creating content and marketing that reflects their online behavior should be on every podcaster’s mind. Stay up to date with current trends by signing up for a free podcasting hosting service with TalkShoe.TalkShoe has everything you need to start your own podcast for free; record it live; stream it and share it with a captive audience and host it! Start today.

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