I have to be honest. I had no clue how powerful a podcast could be.
That may have had something to do with the fact that I never actually listened to any. Seriously, up until about a year ago I had not listened to a single podcast.
It was nothing against podcasts, but my default mechanism for learning has always been books. However, in my defense, I should make it clear, I am not from this world.
I come from a planet where people wrote letters to communicate long-distance, watched black and white television on 12-inch screens and made calls on a rotary phone that weighed about as much as a bowling ball.
All that to say that things like podcasts were not something I was naturally drawn too.
But all that changed about a year ago when I read a blog post by Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income.
Pat is a superstar in his own right and I know Amy is a big fan of all things Pat Flynn. In fact, in one of our Skype calls I thought I saw a Pat Flynn bobble head doll in the background.
I digress however. In that post, Pat mentioned that his podcast was the number one driver of traffic to his site.
I was dumbfounded. I had no clue podcasting was so powerful, but I knew I needed to get me some of that action.
Fast-forward to today and I currently have two podcasts with two more in the works.
The first is called Make Shift Happen, which is a solo show where I share BIG ideas for BIG living. The second is called the Lifestyle Hacking Show, where I interview incredible people doing amazing things with their lives. The lovely Amy Porterfield was my second guest in fact. It was an awesome interview.
And the best part is the whole experience has been the most powerful thing I have done to grow my online business.
So let me share some reasons why you should seriously consider starting a podcast of your own.
Reason #1: It allows you to leverage the incredible power of transparency.
There is a reason that Pat’s podcast is the number one driver of traffic to his site. Pat is Pat on his podcast. He shares personal stories about his family, he makes jokes, he talks about things that he struggles with, and he reveals lessons he has learned on his journey to live life on his own terms.
Podcasting lets you leverage your personality to extend your brand in a way that a blog post could just never accomplish.
And the biggest reason for that is transparency. I believe that transparency is the new online currency and the people who can leverage it will prosper immeasurably.
And there is nothing better than a podcast to do just that.
For instance, Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF (this is just a guess, but I believe the acronym is short for “Where’s The Fruit”), is one of the top shows on the Internet. But up until 2009, Maron was a struggling comedian who was finding it difficult to earn a living.
On a whim, he started a podcast and began interviewing other comedians. He swears, he reveals personal struggles and tells jokes, all while digging into the lives of other comedians.
He is 100% himself, foibles and all, and people LOVE him for it.
His career has not only been saved, but he has gone on to flourish because he has leveraged the incredible power of transparency.
Reason #2: It’s the most flexible way for people to absorb your content.
I kind of kick myself for not realizing this sooner, but a podcast can be experienced in a way that is very different from a blog post or a video.
Blog posts or videos are what I consider to be events. You have to make a concerted effort to read or watch them. It requires that you sit down at a computer or some other device and commit 100% of your effort to either reading or viewing.
In other words, you have to drop everything (the exceptions being babies, small fragile animals and your in-laws’ fine china) to absorb those mediums.
But that isn’t the case with a podcast.
People can listen while still attending to other important aspects of their life.
Many listen to podcasts while exercising or commuting to and from work. Some play them while preparing meals and others use them to go on long walks.
The versatility of a podcast is unmatched.
Reason #3: You cater to multiple learning styles.
Have you ever heard of The Theory of Multiple Intelligence? Howard Gardner, a Harvard professor, introduced it. He discovered that there were 9 different learning styles that people use to assimilate information.
As a business owner, you want to try and provide information that appeals to as many of those intelligences as possible.
And judging by the podcast explosion, the evidence suggests there are a great number of people who use the auditory intelligence as their primary modality to assimilate information.
Reason #4: It develops immense trust.
Developing trust is without a doubt the #1 thing you can do to build a thriving business. It’s why Mrs. Porterfield is so dang successful. She actually talks a lot about the importance of trust in her latest webinar, which you can see here.
And a podcast does this incredibly well for two reasons.
First, people hear your actual voice. Hearing someone changes how you perceive him or her. It creates a sense of familiarity that is lacking in a simple blog post.
Second, you can convey a range of emotions in a podcast. Blog posts tend to be written from a single voice that the writer has developed.
But a podcast changes that. They can hear you laugh. They know when you are peeved about something and they sense your enthusiasm for a particular subject area.
That emotional connection is huge when it comes to building trust.
And once you begin to leverage this via a podcast, your email list will begin to grow in a way that is far more dynamic than a 2-dimensional blog.
Reason #5: It provides instant and implied credibility.
Everyone and their cat have a blog. Seriously, there are cats with blogs. However, I have it on good authority they are outsourcing their content to their owners.
There is nothing exclusive about saying you have a blog anymore. In fact, if you don’t have one people are tempted to go all Dr. Phil on you and hold an intervention on your behalf.
But having a podcast gives you credibility and opens doors that just wouldn’t be open otherwise because so few people in your space have a podcast.
I was selected to interview Tim Ferriss when he was launching his third book, “The 4-Hour Chef.” In hindsight, I realize that I was chosen because I had a podcast audience.
It’s also a great way to make connections with powerful people.
Amy agreed to do an interview when I mentioned I had a podcast.
International best selling author Gretchen Rubin from the Happiness Project agreed to my interview request.
And best selling author Susan Cain, who wrote the bestseller, “Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that won’t stop talking,” has agreed to do an interview with me in a few months time.
And here is why that is important to you:
To grow your business, you need to leverage the power of other people’s platforms.
But in order to leverage their platform, you need to find a way to provide immense value in return.
A podcast is a powerful way to do just that. It’s no coincidence that I was allowed to do this blog post after I interviewed Amy.
Wearing her down with my Canadian charm was one big reason, but the other was the fact that my podcast allowed me to make a connection with her that just can’t happen through blog comments alone.
So what is your takeaway from this post?
Seriously consider starting a podcast of your own, remembering that it will allow you to grow in ways you never imagined.
It will grow your email list, your audience, your influence and your bank account.
But even more rewarding is the fact it will challenge you personally and force you to grow and evolve in ways that will enhance your life and your business. That has been absolutely priceless for me.
If you have a question or comment leave it below and I promise to respond. Heck I might even have a joke or two to add.