Podcasting for Business: What You Need to Know

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Cliff Ravenscraft, podcast producer and founder of Podcast Answer Man.

Cliff explains why businesses need to consider getting into podcasting and the opportunities podcasting offers.  He tells you how to share your expertise on podcasts to bring in more business.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • What podcasting is and how businesses use podcasts
  • Where people listen to podcasts
  • How podcasting can open new business opportunities
  • How podcasting has changed and what this means for your audience
  • How to start audio podcasting
  • What businesses should expect to spend to start podcasting
  • The basic outline and format for your podcast
  • Tips to get people to listen to your podcast

Connect with Cliff on Twitter @gspn and check out his two websites: LearnHowToPodcast.com and PodcastAnswerMan.com.

Do you have a podcast? What tips do you have to share about podcasting? Please leave them below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://hastenhome.com/ Sheila Edeliant

    Thanks for the tips.  I have been seriously considering adding a podcast to my business plans since my teenage son suggested the idea to me several months ago.  I plan to check out those websites!

  • JillzBeanz

    Great Post on Podcasting! I have podcast just started in mid-October. I have learned so much and my website livingmauisocial.com has been a hit!

    Tips: I really like Audacity and it’s free! I also recommend Libsyn.com, it’s a very powerful publishing tool with great statistics. Most all my advise is to have fun and your listeners will to!

    Warmest Aloha,

    JillzBeanz 

  • Gordon Currie

    What a great interview Michael. This interview provided so much value. Quality vs Quantity! I like Cliff’s approach, and I am excited about going to his sites. I started listening to podcasts a few years ago on my ipod and recently start screencasting. I have a BLUE Yeti mic but plan to investigate other tools. I am a big Audacity user. Thanks again for a VALUE PACKED interview! Cheers, Gordon

  • Ken Gullette

    I used to be very interested in using podcasts for marketing, but I’ve had several on websites and blogs and have had very few listens. It has been surprising. It seems that people are much more likely to watch a video with audio, like the interview here with Cliff. Do you know of any studies or surveys that have been done to indicate how many people actually listen to podcasts?

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Sheila – If you want to learn more about Podcasting, Cliff is THE man…

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Shelia, I believe podcasting can be a very powerful tool for business owners.  It provides and amazing way to connect with your customers, clients, etc.  

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Gordon,  Thank you so much for your feedback on the interview.

    I’m a HUGE FAN of ScreenCasting. Don’t know what I would do with out ScreenFlow. :)

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Ken,  I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t find the success that you had hoped for with your previous attempts at audio podcasting.  

    I can assure you that the REAL POWER in podcasting can be found in AUDIO podcasting as compared to video.  Yes, people will consumed 3 minutes to 20 minutes of video with no problem.  However, the real audience out there are those who are commuting to and from work, working out at the gym, taking their dogs for a walk, etc.  You know… All those things that you could do while “listening” to something instead of “watching something.

    I’d encourage you to go to http://podcastanswerman.com/leointerview and watch the video interview there with Leo Laporte.  Then, read all the text I put into that post about all the takeaways.

    Here’s the deal, audio podcasting isn’t for “everyone.”  Not every business should create an audio podcast.  However, when done right, I think it can have a powerful effect.

    A few notes about the “few listens” comment.  Podcasting is not a “build it and they will come” type of medium.  In fact, I’ll go further to say that “podcasting is not a marketing tool.”  Instead, podcasting is an EXTENTION of you, your brand, or your businesses.  If a business creates a podcast, it should expect to “Market It” just as it would market any other “product offering” of the business.  The best part of this is that you are marketing that one thing (one of the things) that your business/brand gives away 100% free.  I also encourage you to check out http://podcastanswerman.com/business for more thoughts on this.

    In the interview, I mention that I like to grow my community (audience) one person at a time.

    I love what Seth Godin wrote in his book, “TRIBES,” when he said…

    “Too many organizations care about numbers, not fans. They care about hits or turnstile clicks or media mentions. What they’re missing is the depth of commitment and interconnection that true fans deliver. Instead of always being on the hunt for one more set of eyeballs, true leaders have figured out that the real win is in turning a casual fan into a true one. Fans, true fans, are hard to find and precious. Just a few can change everything. What they demand, though, is generosity and bravery.”

    Now, I’m not a “fan” of the word “fans.”
    However, I know that the power of podcasting is that those “few (at first)” who do listen, can become so connected to you, your mission, your business, that they do become enthusiastic cheerleaders for you.

    Podcasting, when applied by anyone, especially a business, should be approached with a purpose in mind, with the understanding that this is an investment and those who “few (at first)” who listen to your podcast should come away with the feeling that 1) this is not just a sales pitch platform and 2) that you are committed to this podcast as a means of making their lives better.

    I could go on and on for days.  However, I think this will do for now. 

    Blessings!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for stopping by Cliff!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Jill!

  • Ken Gullette

    Yeah, well, you just made a fan. Very good answer. Thanks. 

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Ken, it is my pleasure!  I hope you have an truly blessed holiday and a very prosperous 2012!

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Jill.  Great Advice! I love Libsyn.com.  Audacity is great for an overwhelming majority of podcasters.  And having fun is such a key ingredient to a wonderful podcast.  Congrats on the launch fo your podcast. 

  • Stplock

    Excellent post! Thanks Michael and Cliff. I’m off to Cliff’s site now to look at the resources. Cheers and best for 2012! Shawn

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Shawn, thanks for checking out my site.  Also, thank you so much for signing up for my mailing lists.  Hope you have a blessed holiday and a prosperous 2012!

  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    Hey Michael and Cliff.
    I’m enjoying your podcast Cliff and you’re so right – I do listen in the car on the way to work. I just need to burn CD’s so I can listen (it’s a long story, don’t ask) so the episode has to be short enough to fit on a CD. There are so many options now that people can use to get started and I know that when people hear the sound quality of a podcast like Cliff’s they get intimidated because there is a huge expense tied to creating professional podcasts like those found on GSPN.TV My approach has been to start off with low budget resources like Spreaker and Audioboo just to get my feet wet and as time goes by work my way up to making a bigger cash investment. That’s why I’m so appreciative of those free YouTube videos you created Cliff.Thanks for all you do and I’ll be leaving some show feedback for Podcast Answer Man soon. Enjoy the holiday and take care!

  • Judith Sharman

    How timely is this Michael and Cliff, thank you!  I have been researching doing audio pod-casting as part of the free offer for our e-campaign. PACCT (Parenting And Consumer Culture Today) aims to provide anyone involved in parenting children and young people and, by parenting, I mean literally anyone from neighbours, businesses, friends as well as family, children and young people with alternatives to the ratrace of consumerism. I have had a number of groups successfully trialling my written posts as discussion points and some of the teenagers have suggested podcasts for exactly the reasons you outline in the interview. I shall be straight on the tutorials and website.  I can’t say thank you enough as I felt I was drowning in lack of knowledge and now I have a way forward!!

  • Judith Sharman

    Put the typos and stream of consciousness above down to excitement please!  I have had quite a bit of experience being interviewed by Sky News and guesting on Radio shows so what I have to say will I hope be fairy coherent but a question before all the shops close for the holiday – I have bought a Blue Yeti microphone on a friend’s recommendation. I am planning to use Audacity and am looking for a signature tune from AudioJungle. Is that good enough to start off with for a newby like me or should I take the mic back and start with more expensive kit? There is a time issue in that the press launch for the materials is mid January!

  • http://www.whoishollypowell.com/ Holly Powell

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. My business partner has been asking me to get this started for our clients. Now I have the tools–thank you again so much.

  • Judith Sharman

    Hi Mike & Cliff, it is me again! Christmas Eve, presents aren’t wrapped, house is a mess and I have been glued to the ‘How To Make A Podcast’ set of videos!  So many questions answered and enthusiasm absolutely fired, so I am dying to get started!  Thanks so much for an amazing Christmas present from Social Media Examiner!  Merry Christmas to you both!

  • http://thetorg.com/ Prof. Torg

    You son listen to podcasts? What does he listen to? 

  • http://thetorg.com/ Prof. Torg

    I was about to write that I don’t listen to business podcasts, but I listen to Slate stuff.  I guess that’s a business.  What are some popular business podcasts?  You all heard Horace Dediu on Apple?  Fantastic. 

    http://www.asymco.com/author/asymco/

  • http://thetorg.com/ Prof. Torg

    Tips for improving the resolution using ScreenFlow?  When I do tutorials for teaching, sometimes the text on the screen is unreadable.  Am I messing up something in the settings?

  • http://thetorg.com/ Prof. Torg

    The iPhone is what unlocked podcasts for me.  Dang.  Running and commuting is when I listen.  My favs: 

    Mac Power Users
    Slate Culture Gabfest
    Asymco

    How about you? 

  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    My favs are mostly podcasts about podcasting and a few are business related :)
    School of Podcasting
    The Audacity to Podcast
    Podcast Answer Man
    TechMonks
    Smart Passive Income
    Small Business Trends
    Ms. Ileane Speaks (shameless plug) :)

  • http://www.PropertyUpdate.com.au/ Michael Yardney

    Thanks for the great Podcast
    Quick question – which is better program to produce a podcast on a Mac – Audacity or Garageband

  • http://twitter.com/buzzquotient buzzquotient

    Thanks for the useful tips on podcasting Cliff and SME! This is another great channel to reach your audience on a regular basis. In my opinion, audio and video files tend to be more viral as compared to text so this is definitely a more engaging channel as well.

  • http://twitter.com/WilsonVA Carla R. Wilson

    Thanks Michael and Cliff for a great post!  After attending a PodCamp Philly and trainings that Cliff conducted, I’m now a podcast co-host and producer.  I started the Online Biz Insiders (@onlinebizinsidr) (www.onlinebizinsiders.com) podcast with my colleague, Mary Motz (@provirtual), with whom I’ve had several joint ventures. We have found that podcasting is the fastest way to create consistent content (which can then be repurposed and posted on other online venues).  And, as Cliff mentioned, when I use my iPod while exercising – it’s podcasts I’m listening to, not music.  Thanks, again for bringing more awareness to podcasting!

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    I’m biased toward some of my own shows at http://gspn.tv/shows
    But my favorites that I don’t produce are:

    Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn
    EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey
    48 Days by Dan Miller
    TWiT – This Week in Tech by Leo Laporte
    The Break by Father Roderick Vonhogen

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Judith.  The Blue Yeti is good enough to get started with.  The important thing is getting started.  I have some thoughts on equipment in my http://LearnHowToPodcast.com tutorial.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Judith, Honestly, this is a gift to me.  I love getting people EXCITED about the world of podcasting.  If you want to hear why I am so fired up about podcasting, check out the videos at http://podcastanswerman.com/235/ and http://podcastanswerman.com/blogworldnyctalk/  

    You’ll learn from those two videos how podcasting “changed my life!!!”

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    There are benefits and drawbacks to each.   I think Audacity is easier to use than GarageBand.  Though, if you use Audacity, I would recommend exporting to .wav format after you are finished, and then using iTunes to convert the wav file to .mp3.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    I couldn’t agree more!  Though I will even go further to say that audio is even more engaging that video and can be consumed in many more places.  (The car, the gym, walking the dog, while mowing the lawn, etc, etc, etc)

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Carla, Good to see you here on the SME site.  Thanks for the awesome comment!

    BTW, I am heading to the hardware store to pick up some things to install a shelf in my daughter’s closet.  Guess what I’ll be listening to while I am driving to the store, walking through the store, and driving back home?  Yep.. You guessed it, an audio podcast. ;)

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft
  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Export at 1280×720 h.264 format

  • Cheryl

    I usually really enjoy reading Social Media Examiner; you offer great tips and insights. However, there’s one thing that drives me crazy: your videos are so long. I frankly never watch them because as soon as I see the minute counter over 3 minutes I know I’ll get bored/don’t have time/don’t want to force the person in the cube next to me to listen to 7 minutes on podcasting.

    I found this particularly ironic today with a post on multimedia. I bet your podcast tips are great but I’ll never know what they are because you didn’t use the medium of video as effectively as you could have.

    I look forward to continuing to read Social Media Examiner in 2012 and hopefully to watching a few short videos chock full of great tips.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Ileane, While I am a self professed audio snob, I didn’t start out with the sound that I have today.  I am happy to tell the world that I started with only $35 invested in equipment and grew it from there. ;)

  • http://www.fansbridge.com/ Faissal Alhaithami

    Cliff you are amazing, I have heard about you and your Lost podcasts before :D

    thanks Michael for interviewing him, I’m just about to start my first podcast.

  • patelanjali

    What podcasting is and how businesses use podcasts.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    So glad that the information was so timely.  I wish you the best in your podcasting journey starting here in 2012!

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/ Cliff Ravenscraft

    Faissal, Thank you so much for the very kind compliment.  I am so excited to hear that you’ll be entering the world of podcasting!  The time is right!  Blessing to you in 2012!

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    This is great! I wanted to Podcast but I was having trouble finishing my Podcast setup. Thank you for the help and the link. Now I can add another valuable asset to my arsenal.

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