It’s no secret that podcasting has surged in popularity in recent years. If you run a business, you’ve probably been advised to start a podcast (maybe you already have!).
There are still skeptics, but podcasting has established itself as a mainstream medium, and there’s no reason why it won’t be here in the long term.
The business reasons for starting a podcast don’t really need repeating here, but you probably know that it can raise your profile, help you form deeper relationships with your customers, connect with thought leaders in your niche…the list goes on.
It’s certainly valid to start a podcast purely from a business perspective, after all, you should always consider the ROI.
At the same time, starting a podcast purely for business reasons is a bad idea.
Because your podcast will lack authenticity and passion, two things that are difficult to fake.
And, if you try to fake them, your audience will smell it a mile away.
Before you start your podcast, picture your dream guest.
Who, out of all the people in the world, would you love to sit down and chat with the most? Who could teach you the most about your niche? Who would tell the funniest stories?
When I started my podcast, my dream guest was Jay Abraham.
Now, Jay is highly sought after. He is the highest paid marketing consultant in the world, and he has made billions of dollars for his clients.
He doesn’t need to go on a podcast to get exposure. Approaching him to take an hour out of his day to do an interview is a big ask.
But that’s exactly what I did…
And, it paid off… Big time.
Jay agreed to appear on the eighth episode of my Marketing Speak podcast, and it’s still one of the best episodes I’ve done.
I’d say that’s due at least in part to my deep personal connection to Jay’s work.
Since then, I’ve interviewed Jay for my other podcast, Get Yourself Optimized, and Jay has interviewed me, and I even interviewed Jay on his podcast!
He’s no longer just an author and speaker I admire: he’s part of my community. And the knowledge I’ve gained from that relationship has been immense.
Of course Jay wasn’t the only person on my list of ideal guests.
Since starting podcasting in 2015, I have interviewed dozens of fascinating people, including Seth Godin, Cameron Herold, Jay Baer, Tim Ferriss… and many more.
I sought out these people because I was passionate about their work. And, in turn, my podcast attracted others who were passionate about the same issues: SEO, marketing, productivity, self-development, and business growth.
Starting a podcast gave me an incentive to seek out the people I most admired and allowed me to create my very own community of innovative thinkers, people I could tap into when I needed advice, guidance, or a fresh perspective on an issue.
You could say running a podcast was like creating my own personal mastermind.
They say that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with—so why not use your podcast to spend time with truly remarkable people?
I understand that for some people, their business doesn’t necessarily align directly with their personal passions. But that’s just an excuse to get creative.
Say you’re an accountant who is also a huge music fan. Maybe you could interview musicians about the business side of being a rock star. You might be able to get interviews with some of your favorite bands, while also generating a reputation as a “musician’s accountant.”
You can also spice things up by coming up with unusual hooks for your podcast episodes. Using the accountant example again, you might do an episode on the most bizarre taxes in history where you interview an economic historian.
Whatever your podcast is about, you should avoid just going through the motions. The things that ignite your passion will also ignite passion in the audience.
Another thing to consider is that podcasts take time, money, and hard work.
People say that podcasting is easier than blogging. That may be true, but there’s still a ton of research, editing, and promotion that goes into a successful podcast.
If you’re doing weekly episodes, that’s a big chunk of your time right there.
It’s also notoriously difficult to monetize podcasts. If you’re catering to a particular niche because you think it will be more lucrative, think again.
Do you really want to make a huge investment in a topic you’re personally not that interested in?
I doubt it.
Instead, use your podcast to seek out your tribe.
Forming genuine relationships with people you respect is a far better way to go about bettering yourself and building your network than chasing surface level connections with people you feel obligated to talk to.
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