Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In praise of podcasting

A few readers have responded to my call for comments re podcasting. So far, it has attracted more fervent audio-blogging believers than passive non-pod people, which I suppose is normal for non-professional polls such as this.

But there's an intriguing article today on the StartupNation blog called "Podcast – you can do it!"

It starts out explaining why no one should bother getting into podcasting. "The audience is too small & fragmented. Not everyone listens to audio stuff delivered over the internet. You really don’t have anything to say, anyway. As a matter of fact, the competition from bigger companies with bigger budgets is just too tough. Heck, you might as well just throw in the towel completely and go find a job at a big company."

Then, the tone changes. "Now that we’ve gotten rid of the tire-kickers, let’s have a real visionary-like conversation.Small business is always looking for the differentiator that can set it apart from larger competitors. We’re more nimble. We can let our personality shine through easier than bigger companies can. We can make decisions faster and implement new strategies tomorrow.

"All of that fits in pretty well with podcasting. Especially if your business has 1-to-1 contact with your customers. You’ll wind up speaking with them at some point anyway, so why not grease the skids with your voice in advance, or retain them as customers with a valuable reminder of your expertise?"

The author goes on to say why he thinks podcasting is so powerful. "When I listen to podcasts something extremely intimate happens. Especially when I listen using my ipod & headphones. There is a very personal connection that happens when the audio is flowing directly into my ears from the ear buds and no-one else is listening but me. I’m hooked. I am a customer just waiting to happen.

"Tell me about a product or service that you’ve used and enjoyed - I’m there. Educate me on what it is that you are an expert on – you’re the one I’m calling when I’m in the market for whatever you’ve got."

If it's true, that's power.
My experience with podcasting is still too scant to comment on this phenomenon. Anyone out there want to opine on the power of pods?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Rick. Your commenter really makes an excellent point too, about the sense of intimacy that a good podcaster can build with his or her audience. Listeners often feel as though they are part of a genuine community. For example, many people who listen to http://forimmediaterelease.biz (For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report) have identified themselves on a Frappr map at the FIR blog. We've gathered for dinner when hosts Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson visit our locales. People comment frequently on the show because they feel a part of it. Now, you'd have to ask Shel and Neville whether hosting their podcast has helped to expand their businesses. I'd guess they'd say yes.

I have made many contacts because of my own show. Ane some of my listeners have hired me to help them get their own podcasts off the ground.