StartupNation Growth Hacks #2: Establish Your Expertise With a Podcast

The second in a series.
With more than 24 years of experience covering startups and small businesses, we’ve built up a knowledge base of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur and we’re eager to share what we’ve learned. We’ve identified easy-to-implement, game-changing tactics to advance your business objectives.

Why podcasts are important

First, we’re not focused on recommending that you host a podcast in the traditional sense intended as a source of entertainment and made available wherever podcasts are discovered and consumed. Rather, we’re recommending that you host a podcast  specifically as a means to establish your expertise to generate more sales. Two of the proven ways small businesses can compete with big business is to forge relationships with customers as well as to provide greater value to those customers. Hosting a podcast of your own that originates from your website is a path to achieving both of these critically important objectives.

Establishing your expertise builds confidence, which leads to sales. A podcast is a powerful way to demonstrate and spotlight your expertise. To establish your expertise, convey who you are and what you’ve achieved and showcase your passion and deep knowledge for what it is that you sell. Then make it clear how your unique knowledge delivers value to your customers, for example, by offering the optimal product or service relevant to the customer’s individual needs or by offering guidance on how to best use the purchase to achieve the best results.

The big box retailer is always going to win on price, but boutique, highly focused smaller businesses have the opportunity to win on value and a podcast gives you a perfect opportunity to achieve this objective.

Strengthen relationships with your customers through storytelling in which you feature not only your own personal backstory and that of your business but also stories about your customers and their experiences with you and your business. Relatability is key. And while this content could be delivered in a blog, for example, hearing it in your own voice comes across as authentic and genuine and therefore the most powerful way to convey the content. Let your voice be heard. People want to do business with people – and companies – they trust. Simply hearing your voice can fortify your connection to and with your customers.


Here’s how to put this week’s growth hack into action now.

To start a podcast that drives results, follow these simple steps:

1. Starting a podcast is pretty simple. Our digital marketing subject matter expert Shay Berman offers an overview of how you can start your own podcast on startupnation.com.

2. Once you’ve started your podcast, it’s crucial that you make it easy for your audience to find, whether it’s in a prominent place on your website, promoted socially, or available on distribution platforms. You’ll want to alert your audience to new episodes via last week’s StartupNation Hack (the newsletter) as well. Get the word out and be consistent with your promotional efforts!

3. Make sure your podcast produces content regularly and clearly emphasizes who you are. Storytelling is a great way to build relationships with your customers. It’ll take time to get into a rhythm, but soon you’ll find it fun and easy to do. Remember: You’re not trying to become the next Joe Rogan podcast success. Authenticity is more important than perfection in this context. If it helps, think of it as having a conversation with your family around the dinner table or your friends over lunch.

4. Leave room for brief (10 seconds or so) commercials. These commercials should be for your company. You’re trying to make money indirectly through the podcast through ads for your business. We’re talking about your own company’s advertisements. These ads are most effective when executed as customer testimonials. They also allow you to promote time-sensitive deals. It’s better to read these ads live rather than as prerecorded audio. It will sound more authentic and take advantage of the power of podcasting.

5. Include a text transcript alongside the audio so you can take full advantage of SEO to help you and your business be discovered, which drives new potential customers to your website. It’s key to use a good transcription service to avoid nonsensical, incorrect or gobbledygook language.

Put this hack to work for you now. There is no time like the present and this multimedia approach is the way to go.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready: A free resource for learning basic business skills, the latest digital technology and more.

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