set Adnan Syed free. For many of us who listened to the first season of the podcast Serial way back in 2014 and learned of the tale of Adnan’s odd murder conviction, it seemed like justice was finally served.
Serial was fascinating for another reason as well: The show launched podcasting into the stratosphere.
Certainly the lone advertiser at the beginning of that season, MailChimp, never expected to be part of a cultural phenomenon, but undoubtedly it was happy it was. To date, the first two seasons of Serial have been downloaded – wait for it – 340 million times.
And that just got things started. To say podcasts are hot now would be an understatement. Consider these stats from Edison Research:
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Bottom line: Podcasting works, is popular and is only getting more so. It gets your name, business and brand out there and it does so in a way that is unique and memorable, which is very difficult to do in this media-saturated world.
For the small business, this is great news because podcasting is a powerful and affordable way to attract new clients and customers. Specifically, there are two ways to use podcasts to grow your business.
Let’s look at both.
There are plenty of good reasons to do so:
Let’s start with the latter first. This is how I did my old podcast. I had a great podcast producer who booked guests and did all the tech stuff. We record the show and interviews in his studio, he edited it and then uploaded it to iTunes, my site, Stitcher and so on.
The other way to go is DIY. Here, you need to choose the right app that works for you, invest in some basic sound equipment (like a great mic) and start recording. Your options are:
I love this option too, in fact, almost more, because it is just so potent. If the good news of podcasting is that it is so popular, the bad news is that it is so popular. Launching your own show and getting noticed is doable, yes, but it takes time and effort.
In the alternative, you can simply find a show that caters to your audience and advertise there. That show has already done all the heavy lifting, and yet, because it is such a niche audience, the fees should be very reasonable.
So no, you will likely not become the next MailChimp on the next Serial, but who cares? Podcasting is the future.
Steve Strauss is a popular speaker, attorney, and the bestselling author of 18 books, including his latest, “Your Small Business Boom.” Recently named by SCORE as the top small-business champion in the country, you can learn more about Steve and the Strauss Group at MrAllBiz.com, get more tips at Planet Small Business and connect with him on Twitter at @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at PlanetSmallBusiness.