Are you letting your customers know what work you do best and how you can make their business more successful? Effective marketing establishes and promotes your brand. Your web site and marketing materials should, powerfully, demonstrate why they should do business with you.

Eleven tips for a first podcast

A client asked for tips on what makes a good podcast. I created the following list to include some of the factors that I think makes for good podcasting – and particularly those first few podcasts:

  1. Keep it short. I suggest going for about 5 minutes. A shorter podcast may encourage people to give it a try. If they have to listed to 30 minutes, they might not be so keen to invest the time. You can always increase the length of the podcast as your audience grows.
  2. Focus. Focus on a particular area of interest and talk in depth on that subject.
  3. Project your personality through the podcast. It’s not just the information that the listening audience will be interested in – it is your style of presentation and YOU.
  4. Include anecdotes. Just like in any form of public speaking, from Jesus to the present day, story telling really livens up any aural presentation and captures the listener’s attention.
  5. Don’t read a script. Unless you have a gift for enlivening things written down as a script, it is far better to create a framework and speak from the framework using your own words. Generally I would prefer to hear a few ‘umms,’ ‘likes’ and ‘arghs’ and have a presentation made spontaneously, than a perfectly read but stultifying presentation from a script.
  6. Use a good microphone. I am always amazed at how audibly illiterate some people are when they use an inadequate microphone (or worse a microphone ‘built in’ to their computer or MP3 player) to record a podcast. In the worse cases you have to actually strain your ears to hear the words, in the best, background noise and ambient sound can be clearly heard.
  7. Get to the subject at hand as quickly as possible. There seems to be a trend towards adding all sorts of unnecessary clutter (such as a theme tune) at the beginning of a podcast. This may be okay for podcasts that you are listening to passively (e.g. on a car journey), but for those listening purposefully at their desks, unnecessary content can be an annoyance.
  8. Listen to other people’s podcasts in your subject area. This can be a great eye opener (or ‘ear’ opener!) as to what works and what doesn’t.
  9. Consider asking a colleague or subject mater expert to join you and take part in the podcast. The interchange between two people can make more interesting listening than just one presenter.
  10. Solicit questions and suggestions from the audience. By incorporating information that listeners have shown an interest in will automatically ensure that the podcasts are relevant to the audience.
  11. Publicize the podcast. If no-one downloads the podcast then, however good it is, it will be a waste of time. Make sure that you include a link on your web site. Send existing clients a link and consider issuing a press release. Also, bear in mind that many of your customers may not know what a podcast is. Make sure that you educate them and provide clear instructions as to how they could ‘subscribe’ to the podcast so that they will be assured of getting the next episode.