The Power of Podcasting: How to Grow Your Email List, Build Immense Trust and Leverage the Heck Out of Your Brand

power of the podcast

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.

About Dean Dwyer

Dean Dwyer is a former teacher who roamed the planet aimlessly until the age of 45. He then got into shape, published a book, and now makes his living online. He is currently finalizing a new project called “Willpower: How to exercise self-control to do what you must when it matters most.” For updates on that or anything else you can follow him over at Dean Dwyer and Beingprimal.

  • Barry Ricks

    I really enjoyed this thank you. I’m starting my own podcast and so reading this was very motivating, thanks again, and if have any advice for me that would be great.

    thanks for your time.

    Barry Ricks

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, Barry! So happy to hear you liked this post – I love Dean’s humor and the guy is a smarty pants for sure :-) If you are looking for some free podcasting advice, you don’t want to pass up this great tutorial from Pat Flynn – I went through the whole thing when I was just starting out: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/how-to-start-a-podcast-podcasting-tutorial/ GOOD LUCK!!

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Good luck Barry. Advice? Give yourself about 10 shows or episodes to get a sense of your style.

  • http://twitter.com/Jeff_Machado Jeff Machado

    Thanks for this great post Dean! Transparent moment here – I’ve been freaked out big time about turning 30 back in November. I spent most of my 20s wandering aimlessly and feeling like I would never accomplish anything big. It’s AWESOME seeing an example of someone who put it into high gear and shifted things completely. I’ll def start listening to your podcast.

    I am pumped up to get started with creating more rich content like podcasts – so much to talk about and so many awesome people to connect with. Thanks for the kick in the butt!

  • http://twitter.com/Jeff_Machado Jeff Machado

    Thanks for this great post Dean! Transparent moment here – I’ve been freaked out big time about turning 30 back in November. I spent most of my 20s wandering aimlessly and feeling like I would never accomplish anything big. It’s AWESOME seeing an example of someone who put it into high gear and shifted things completely. I’ll def start listening to your podcast.

    I am pumped up to get started with creating more rich content like podcasts – so much to talk about and so many awesome people to connect with. Thanks for the kick in the butt!

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    JEFF!

    30? My friend you just a baby! You are 17 years ahead of me my friend. That is awesome. Feel free to email me when you do start your podcast if you have any questions. And definitely check out Pat’s stuff down below.

  • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

    Good stuff, Dean! Couple of quick questions. Like you, I never listened to a podcast before I started my own. It’s been mainly an experiment, but I’m investing much more time and money into it. Downloads suddenly spiked, but it went from nothing to something, so I’m not real clear on what numbers to target for a podcast (unlike website traffic). Any rule of thumb there?

    Also, you mentioned a couple of times that this is a good way to grow your email list. Maybe I missed the explanation there, but how exactly would you do that?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Hey Jon, sorry I’m not sure exactly what you mean with numbers to target. With regards to the second, two things I would suggest. 1. Always have a call of action (a few time to during your show) to drive them back to your site. 2. Incentivize them to sign up. Perhaps use a show transcripts as an incentive. They could be delivered via email only. Don’t limit your creativity on this one my friend.

  • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

    Hey, Dean, thanks for the info on list building. Will keep that in mind! I definitely don’t do enough of driving people back. I think the reason for that now is currently (or until recently) most people found the podcast on my blog. But as more people find me via my podcast, that makes a whole lot more sense!

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer about the first part. Essentially, what is considered a “good” amount of downloads? I read a post by Pat Flynn recently that gave some perspective, showing he gets somewhere in the neighborhood of 125k-150k downloads per month. We’re not all Pat Flynn, of course. Any rule of thumb regarding a number of downloads a podcaster should shoot for?

  • http://twitter.com/Jeff_Machado Jeff Machado

    Dude – I just listened to one of your podcasts for the first time last night and I really enjoyed it. You were with me on the Arc trainer (like an elliptical) and I know this is going to be happening often.

    The sound quality on your podcast was amazing. When I make a good and solid plan for my content, I will def follow up with you regarding tech stuff to make it sound as sharp as yours.

    Really thankful for you Dean! You actually have a similar voice as one of my mentors so I was thrown off a bit when I first started listening. It’s a good thing though!

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Pat is not a great example to use in this case because he is the exception. not the rule. He is a TOP podcaster. His numbers are irrelevant to your journey. The truth is there is no set number. Anyone starting a podcast is going to have a small audience starting out. The metric to use is growth. If you had 100 downloads last week, what strategies can you implement to get 110 this week? Podcasting is as much about marketing as it is about podcasting. Focus on slow and steady growth, which is actually a great thing, because in the beginning our shows are crap anyhow because we don’t know what we are doing.

  • http://twitter.com/bodysculpter Carol Dunlop

    Dean, you are hilarious and I totally agree and can understand where you are coming from, alas, I hail from that same planet, good to meet a kindred spirit! I’ve hosted my podcast for 5 years and it has been the greatest source of joy and therapy that I have ever know! I host Fit4Life Radio. I use the BlogTalkRadio network, but I am starting another podcast for my web business and I am going to host that on my own server. I will be following!

  • http://twitter.com/bodysculpter Carol Dunlop

    Dean, you are hilarious and I totally agree and can understand where you are coming from, alas, I hail from that same planet, good to meet a kindred spirit! I’ve hosted my podcast for 5 years and it has been the greatest source of joy and therapy that I have ever know! I host Fit4Life Radio. I use the BlogTalkRadio network, but I am starting another podcast for my web business and I am going to host that on my own server. I will be following!

  • http://twitter.com/bodysculpter Carol Dunlop

    Dean, you are hilarious and I totally agree and can understand where you are coming from, alas, I hail from that same planet, good to meet a kindred spirit! I’ve hosted my podcast for 5 years and it has been the greatest source of joy and therapy that I have ever know! I host Fit4Life Radio. I use the BlogTalkRadio network, but I am starting another podcast for my web business and I am going to host that on my own server. I will be following!

  • http://www.bizsugar.com/ Heather Stone

    Hi Dean,
    As a writer, I’m definitely a fan of the printed word and believe it will always have its place both online and elsewhere, but there’s no question that podcasts and video add spice to any content and should never be ignored. In addition to the ever increasing ease of creating content like this, the prospective content creator should also remember that they’re just loads of fun to do. Thanks for sharing this great post and thanks to Rachel Parker for sharing it with the BizSugar community.

  • Fave

    Great post. I’ve been podcasting since 2006 and the opportunities that have resulted have gone beyond my wildest dreams. There are many dimensions to my creativity and podcasting allows me to channel them all into a concise platform of positivity – while connecting with other like-minded people. Every element you described above underpin my success in podcasting. When I say success, I don’t mean “money” (although I’m working on how to live from my show(s)) but the immense happiness I feel when creating/sharing my podcast with the world. Cheers!

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Wow Fave! You are a true pioneer my friend. That is incredible you have been doing it for 7 years. And I like what you said about happiness. The other thing I realized today is i am going to be doing a few webinars and my podcast training is going to be perfect for this medium. And making money off this stuff is still in it’s infancy. In about 3 weeks I am posting a new interview on the lifestyle hacking show from a gal by the name of Natalie sisson from the suitcase entrepreneur. She talks about hwo she just landed a sponsor for her show. Might be worth a listen.

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Hey Heather,

    First thank the wonderful Rachel Parker on my behalf. How freaking awesome is she. And you are right…I write first…it’s my best way to get my ideas out…but as Pat Flynn talks about…BE EVERYWHERE that people consume content. I love that line.

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Look at you carol. Hosting on your own server. I love it. And btw you can’t go wrong starting off with telling me I am hilarious. I fall for that all the time. You own me now. :-) I love what you said about therapy. Although when I do my show I think people think I need therapy…:-)

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Jeff then I am counting that as a workout for me too. No wonder I so tired yesterday. And I have a voice like your mentors? Is name, is it Yoda? (get it??)

  • http://twitter.com/brandstylistnyc Letitia Elizabeth

    Fantastic post Dean, this is very timely for me! It was Amy who has inspired me to do so much with my new Branding Academy, from Facebook marketing to now doing podcasts. Glad to see you proving I was right to be inspired by this flexible and fun medium. I have two episodes under my belt and am launching a creative entrepreneur series next week that will interview brands who can inspire other small biz owners. Just trying to learn ways of distributing, sounding better, and editing :)
    Thanks!

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    That’s awesome Letitia. You know the thing I have kind of learned is that no matter how much I think I have all figured out, i continue to learn something new that will improve the technical aspects of my podcast along with the planning marketing etc. One great way to distribute is to go the interview route like you are doing. Not everyone will necessarily share their interview with their audience but most do and that’s a great way to attract new subscribers. Good luck my friend.

  • Lois Ridley

    Thanks! This is helpful…
    This confirms the direction I planned to take.
    As a mom, I must say I enjoy expanding my education through podcasts on my phone as I buzz about with my teens and tots! I love them. This was encouraging….thanks again.

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    It’s a pretty cool journey Lois. There is lots to learn and it can be overwhelming at times but there are so many positives that come for this. Good luck!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kipepiper Kip Piper

    Hi Dean -

    Thanks for the excellent post! I have just started a new video product review website. When appropriate, should I also include a downloadable podcast along with the video review? Let me know what you think!

    KIP

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Well Kip my friend, I would for the reasons I stated in the post. Gives your peeps another way to digest your material.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kipepiper Kip Piper

    Yep! That’s what I was thinking! Thanks again for the post so I could make this “leap” in my business!

  • http://www.SoloSmarts.com/ Kelly Mccausey

    I started an internet radio show in 2003 and made the turn into podcasting when it was ‘invented’ in 2004. Best moves EVER for my online efforts. Great post Dean – great points made for podcasting.

    I listen to one of your podcasts by the way, and have another in the queue to check out.

  • http://www.chuckbartok.com Chuck Bartok

    I started in 2006 after a massive coronary slowed down my travel and speaking time. 2 show a week in the Talk Show format have allowed me to fulfill my business objectives and “Be Better Than I Was” ~~smile~~
    Greta article and thank you for the share

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    KELLY! You are a pioneer my friend!! I love it! What is your podcast called? And be careful with my podcasts. Too much Dean can be problematic. :-)

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Related but not related Chuck I was reading a story about a woman here in toronto who suffered a spinal injury and is now a quadriplegic. She has begun to rebuild her life and part of that is to start writing using voice technology. I couldn’t help but wonder if podcasting might be of interest to her. Her life has changed so dramatically that this might be a perfect fit to get her message out to people. Thanks for sharing my friend.

  • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Entrepreneur On Fire

    Dean,
    Great post…thank you for sharing. You hit all the major points as to why I love listening to podcasts during my free time, and my major takeaway is that podcasting has bigger and better things in store for us all! Now you promised a joke…

    ~ John Lee Dumas

  • Vanessa

    This is great Dean. May I take a moment to ask a question for the non-tech savvy peeps? What does it take to actually execute a podcast? Meaning, what devices do I need and where do I get started? Thanks for indulging this! I’ve read a lot in the past before of all these great ways to market and get your name out and really sometimes it’s the literal execution where I get hung up.

  • http://www.outsmartyourbodyfat.com Dean Dwyer

    Totally get that Vanessa. It literally took me a year from the time I thought about it to the time I figured out how to launch the dang thing. Feel free to email me at dean@deandwyer.com for more specific questions, but I keep my set up really simple. The reason I do this is because i want to be geographic independent and lugging a studio around with me just isn’t practical. So my essentials at this point: podcast hosting account, macbook, garage band to record my audio and edit it and as I said, a great mic because the sound quality matters. Oh and my Canadian charm (not sure I can help you with that one though?)

  • Vanessascotto

    Thanks so much Dean! I have Brooklyn charm- think that counts? ;-)
    I think I will take you up on that. I’m going to check out your site now. With all of the big things I’m working on I need the help with the logistics so I don’t get bogged down!

  • Maryalice

    **QUESTION: Fist – thank you very much for the content of the article. I have been thinking about producing a podcast for several months now. I am wondering – I have several youtube videos with training and insight as it’s structure and was wondering if their is a way to create an audio recording to put on as a podcast. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevinyates Kevin Yates

    Maryalice you can convert YouTube videos to mp4 and create a podcast with them on certain podcast hosting sites. Here’s what I’ve used to convert my videos: http://www.listentoyoutube.com

    Hope this helps :)

  • cottageguru

    This is a great post – thank you. I have just started my first podcast and have four episodes up now with about 550 downloads which has blown me away. I’m growing my list faster this way than with my blog alone which is great. #5 gave me a lot to think about. I have some people on my interview wish list that I have been nervous about approaching, but now feel motivated to send an email and ask for the interview…maybe practice my Canadian charm too (though with a British accent)

  • http://www.facebook.com/cecile.weigle Cecile Weigle

    This is fantastic info! Thank you so much, Dean. Now I just need to decide on a topic for my very first podcast – I’m pumped!

  • http://twitter.com/CatieRagusa Catie Ragusa

    Awesome post! Podcasts are always intriguing and make a brand a little unique and fun, and surprisingly they haven’t caught on to as many businesses as I would have thought!

    How do you think brands can incorporate a podcast into their content that will appeal to their audiences (and won’t get old or boring quickly)?
    Thanks for the awesome information!

  • Sue | CandlesOffMain.com

    Thank you for this! I’ve always been partial to videos as they always seem more personal to me, but this medium makes a lot of sense as well. You really opened my eyes. Thanks so much.

  • http://www.freshrag.com/ Dave Conrey

    I couldn’t agree with this post more. Since starting my own podcast, my traffic numbers have gone through the roof, and my interactions from people has shot up as well. It’s time consuming, but incredibly rewarding, and I have Amy to thank for the subtle reminders to stay focused on getting the show started.

  • The Book Wheel

    This is great advice. I’ve been considering a podcast but wasn’t sure whether it was necessary or even recommended. Thanks!

  • Carolina Flórez

    wow i totally agree.
    As I was reading the blog post I was feeling so excited about the idea, and yet, simultaneously imagining the process of figuring out which host would be the best fit, whether all this would be compatible with my computer (chromebook), and how long it would take me to figure things out like editing, etc…

  • tore

    Thanks for mentioning that one; it’s amazing how versatile the fb ad platform is. I definitely prefer it over Google Adwords now!
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