You need to get on the radar of a VIP. Maybe it is someone who could be a client. Or perhaps an investor. The person is very busy. An email pitch would not resonate and is unlikely to even be opened, and this person is not accessible by phone. Surely this is a dilemma that you as an entrepreneur face from time to time. 

Here is a door opener for you: invite this individual to be a guest on your podcast. It is a way to bring mutual value. Who doesn’t want to be considered an expert on a topic and benefit from some additional visibility? The interview serves as the starting point and a conversation builder. It is a means to demonstrate your professionalism and expertise through the quality of your questions and responses. 
Both authors of this post (myself and Victor Jimenez) are entrepreneurs who have used our respective podcasts to open such doors to individuals that were on our radars, but who otherwise would have been inaccessible. Most all of us can all benefit from new business development avenues! This is one reason why start-up founders and small business owners should consider podcasting. Here are four other reasons: 

1) Build an audience 

Podcasting is a great way to build up an audience. Maybe it will be large (Victor’s Cycling 360 podcast has generated over two million downloads). Maybe it will be smaller, but niche and focused. 
Podcasting is very much on the rise. The reputable Edison Research group has been analyzing the state of podcasting for many years. In its most recent survey unveiled earlier this year, 21% surveyed noted that they listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. This is well more than double since 2008 when just 9% reported listening to a podcast monthly. 
There is so much content out there, yet podcasting remains the only medium that can be consumed while multitasking. Commuters listen to podcasts; they can’t —at least safely—watch videos or read blog posts!
If there is a market for your business, there is a podcast audience out there for your niche. 

2) Building deeper connections with partners and customers 

As you know, relationships are fundamental to building and growing a business. Whether you are solopreneur, an early stage startup, even a maturing company, building new connections and nurturing your existing network plays a pivotal role in your success. Email, blog posts and videos are all great but few things build strong connections better than podcasts. Where else get you get your colleagues and customers to spend 30-40 minutes with you literally in their ear? 
Something else amazing happens as well. If the listener connects with your content, he or she will listen to the same episode over and over. (Victor receives emails from listeners saying they listened to a particular show multiple times.) 
Read this comment from a listener: 

“I have listened to each of your podcasts 2-3 times each. I value your advice and appreciate what you have given all of us seeking to learn…….” 

To give you some context, this person is saying she’s listened to over 200 hours of our content! That is amazing if you think about it. In today’s distracted world, it’s a challenge to get anyone to consume even the smallest pieces of content. 
Podcasts engage. 

3) Personal learning and access 

As small business owners and startup founders, most of us don’t have access to the learning and development budgets of many of our friends who work for corporations. At the same time, we are constantly facing new challenges and questions as we seek to grow our businesses. We can try to find answers to these questions by identifying an expert and asking to “pick their brain”. But let’s face it—that is quite awkward. As an alternative, invite that person onto your podcast and tap into that guest’s knowledge, both for the benefit of your guest expert, yourself and those who listen to your podcast. 

Both of us have used our respective podcasts to reap such benefits. In the case of Kevin, I had on a guest who normally charges in the $25,000 range to conduct a keynote. This person gladly accepted my request to come on to my podcast and basically allow me to ask many of the same questions he would be asked during a keynote Q&A session. The reason is that he saw benefit in connecting to a niche audience (higher education). 

4) Promote your products 

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Podcasts are one way to build those relationship traits. Both of us have used our respective podcasts to promote our products and services. At times it is subtle, and at other times more overt. The expenditure to do this is relatively small. The results have far exceeded the investment. Imagine building up an audience for your niche that wants to consume your content, and then using that trust and confidence to share your offerings with them. That is all a real possibility with podcasting. 

Getting Set Up 

Let’s just say that anybody can set up their own podcast with a very modest financial investment of a microphone and a monthly subscription to the podcast hosting website Libsyn. A podcast’s success depends on: 
  • Thinking through the goals and strategies. 
  • The ability to create niche and focused content to a targeted listener. 
  • A basic understanding of the technical aspects of podcasting. 
  • The ability to market and promote your podcast. 
  • Confidence! 

Consider taking the steps to benefit from podcasting to overcome these different hurdles.

Kevin is founder and principal of Experiential Communications. He is the host of the For Immediate Release on Higher Education podcast. The interview show—published twice per month since 2013 —provides communications insights for stakeholders within higher education. 

Victor has been a trusted advisor and enabler, helping people have fun and do what they love for nearly 30 years. A consummate entrepreneur, Victor has founded many small businesses focused around his passions of fitness, cycling, business, marketing and conversation. Victor has been podcasting since 2010. He currently hosts the Flywheel Podcast, a show that helps entrepreneurs and business owners build a business and life around their passions, as well as the Cycling 360 Podcast, which has generated 30k – 50k downloads per month (over 2 million lifetime downloads). 
Kevin and Victor are teaming together to teach you the strategies and tools to succeed with a podcast during the Experiential Podcast Workshop, sponsored by American Underground. The event takes place on November 15th. Register now for the early bird special. American Underground members and ExitEvent readers get an extra 20% off. Use discount code: “AUEEPodcast”.