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Published June 3, 2020
Published June 3, 2020
MouthMedia Network

What if I told you that a single “supertool” could empower you and your business with each of the following accomplishments in the next 12 months?

Fifty friendly meetings with the exact people you need to meet to propel your business, and a strategically curated community of several dozen game-changing industry leaders, innovators, and decision-makers with you as its founder An efficiently deployed strategic internal communication asset with critical messaging, training, and compliance directly from top leadership to all of your company, employees, investors, or partners anywhere with empathy and context. The groundwork laid for your next big move into an industry while getting to know the biggest players and learning the exact intel you need to succeed, a major advantage to maximize your investment in, and results from, conferences and trade shows (and even get you in free), and an overflowing vault of repurposable content that can fill multiple channels every month of the year. Would you believe me? So many business leaders, brands, and entrepreneurs now have a podcast, it’s something more and more of them are thinking about. That evaluation is often based on the exposure we’ve had to the podcasts we know about, and the limited ways they’ve experienced podcasts being used. Through that short lens, an acceptable ROI on budget spend, use of bandwidth, our risk to brand may not always be obvious. As well, most podcasts are only thought of as an extension of marketing. If this is the first adventure into podcasting, the risk of an experiment might be a tough sell. If the measurement is based on conversion of listeners (and therefore the number of listeners), which is a tough metric to fully predict and control without a sufficient runway, a podcast that has been successful in every other way will be seen as a failed experiment.

This is like taking a Ferrari for a test drive, and never driving above 30 MPH, never turning on the radio, and never opening the convertible top. You missed out on all the best stuff.

The podcast has been a remarkable supertool I have utilized for more than seven years. It has literally enabled my team to develop relationships with thousands of captains of industry, celebrities, and business founders, convert large enterprise brands into clients, be seen as thought leaders, and co-found a business that fuels the same opportunity for other successful people. Podcasts have paid our way to other continents, put us in the offices of members of Congress, and become a business development tool that pays us to acquire new customers. I can promise you with maximum certainty that I would not have done any of that without podcasting.

Now, in the business reality during (and looking ahead at after) the pandemic, we must all use every tool that can get us in front of the most relevant people in the fastest and most efficient way possible. We must rekindle relationships which have paused, stalled, or gone cold. We must rise quickly above others as a thought leader and stand out from the crowd, and find alternative paths to meeting new people when other avenues such as conferences, trade shows, and networking events are out of reach. I strongly believe that the podcast is the exact dynamic and flexible supertool that is just waiting for you to turn it on.

Here are three applications of a podcast which can clearly advance your business goals:

1. Benefit from a community built from 50 friendly meetings with the exact people you need to meet to propel your business in the next 12 months.

Set aside one day every four weeks, and schedule four people to talk with on each of those days. Those people are potential clients or strategic partners, existing clients you’d like to provide some value to or get in front of, or prior prospects you’d like to rekindle. Instead of trying to get a meeting with these professionals (which is an ASK), you invite them to talk about what’s important to them, providing them a published platform, additional SEO, a media asset they can point to and repurpose, and an enjoyable escape from the office (which is a GIVE). You are also conveniently positioned as a thought leader by default.

After 12 months you will have at least 50 people you have been in front of for 60-90 minutes. They all are someone you have needed to be in front of, and this gave you a frictionless way to make that happen. Each guest feels like they benefited, and they enjoyed the experience of giving you intel on how they think, what their business needs, and what’s important to them—-plus it was all recorded so you can reference it again. You can leverage this opportunity into referrals as guests will be willing to suggest other future guests like them in their network. Most of these guests will be up for another meeting, and see the interview as a bonding experience. How many of those 50 people will you have to convert into action to make a meaningful difference to your business?

This group of 50 has at least one thing in common (they were relevant to the topic of your podcast, and a guest on it). What’s next—closed networking gatherings? Facebook/LinkedIn groups? Fifty people you can reconnect with at conferences (plus the people they’ve met there)? Be seen as a problem solver by matchmaking amongst the group?

The possibilities are unlimited.

2. You need an efficient, strategic internal communication asset with the ability to deploy critical messaging, training, and compliance directly from top leadership to all of your company, employees, investors or partners, anywhere, and with empathy and context.

Do you have a real strategy for internal communication? Seriously—do you? As I discuss in my article “Succeeding with Internal Communication in Business: Are You Really Using Your Inside Voice?,” companies with thoughtful, effective internal communication strategies achieve more—and generate much higher returns—than organizations with poor communication. And now that more of us are working from home, this has become even more crucial.

Most companies don’t have an internal communication strategy, and struggle to meaningfully connect leadership priorities with employee belief and commitment regarding how their work has meaning in the overall scheme of the company.

Every year that goes by, your workforce is getting younger. A natural example of a communication method that successfully appeals to younger generations while also being adopted by older generations is the podcast. More and more companies are making use of internally deployed audio content which closely resembles podcast episodes. This media asset is cost-efficient to produce, and allows leadership at any level to personally provide a message from the convenience of one’s own office, or while traveling. The content can be consumed at one’s own pace and is repeatable, when convenient when doing other business or personal activities.

Our clients already utilize internal podcasts to easily and efficiently train sales teams, introduce new leadership to a large number of employees, provide additional value to and upsell subscribers, and relay company policy or directives—all with the right tone and empathy, and with time-sensitive deployment.

3. Lay the groundwork for your next big move into an industry, while getting to know the biggest players and learning the exact intel you need to succeed. Plus—conferences!

You’re moving into another area of an industry, launching a new product, or learning the landscape and major players of a new vertical.

A podcast provides the perfect mechanism to invite major players in as guests for a conversation. It’s both an opportunity for connection and a way to learn that industry from the inside. Soon, you can have forged relationships with important personalities in that industry, been introduced to the founders of tomorrow’s next big companies, and learned from thought leaders and community leaders that matter (they’ll amplify your introduction to the right people when promoting the interview). As you enter the industry or launch a product, you’ll be welcomed as a peer (not an outsider) and your new community will help spread the word.

Also, many conferences and trade shows will allow attendees with a published media asset (including podcasts) complimentary admittance with a Press Pass. Free is good.

Events can find value in partnering with relevant industry podcasts, offer them a prime location and provisions to record, connect them to desired guests, and even distribute published interviews to attendees. Speakers and VIPs will make time for a media interview, providing you meaningful access and time most others will never get at the event.

Some exhibitors will dedicate part of their exhibit booth for podcast recording, drawing additional attention to the exhibit, providing leverage to get target speakers or attendees to come to your booth for an interview, and allowing the value of your exhibit investment to live on with content for weeks afterwards. Adding a podcast to the mix can manage risk and offer a better chance of results.

In addition to being published across platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and more, every podcast episode can provide excerpts that drive thought leadership, illustrate strategically useful concepts, and remind people of your association with other important people. A weekly episode provides inspiration or content for social media posts daily, articles, blog content, and newsletter entries. And, after enough guest conversations, what insights and quotes could assemble content for a book?

Plus, when you complete an important meeting or schedule a new one, how powerful would it be to send that person a link to an interview you conducted with an impressive leader, illustrating exactly the point that was referenced in the meeting or that you want them to think about in advance of the meeting? While also providing tangible value with useful or inspiring information, this move shows leadership, builds credibility, subtly shows who you have access to, and illustrates that you understand your new connection.

A simple premise.

Of course, a podcast can also very effectively build brand recognition, inform and engage a customer community, and be a showcase for the work you do. All of this comes down to a simple premise: an effective podcast can be as simple as a well-produced, published recording of a strategically curated conversation. But it is the conversation and the things you can learn in those conversations, the connection and relationship-building, and the access a podcast can grant, that will matter most. Like any tool, you can definitely DIY. The tool becomes a supertool when done strategically and at a high level. The speedometer rises, the wind’s in your face, and the radio is on.


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