With nearly 100 million podcast listeners in the USA, it’s logical for MSPs to wonder if they should join the trend. A recent interview with Chuck Lobert of the Tech Talk Detroit podcast gave us the chance to explore how podcasts can help with SEO, building your network, and potentially bring in new clients. It also allowed us to discuss the realities of hosting a podcast.
First, is starting a podcast a good idea? It is for many people! Podcasts are predicted to grow to 132 million American listeners by 2022. The question isn’t whether you should start a podcast. Any content you can add to your site and link on your social media helps you be more visible. But how do you ensure that your podcast has value and that listeners keep tuning in?
Chuck keeps Tech Talk Detroit fun. His episodes always include helpful content, but he takes a few moments in each episode fo discuss current or local events that might be interesting to his listeners. An emphasis on fun isn’t just entertaining for the listener. Regardless of a podcast’s topic, it takes time to build an audience and find your voice, and fun makes it worth it. Of course, it only takes that one person to find and appreciate your content to bring in more listeners.
During those early episodes, your podcast may not be polished; it takes a while to get used to speaking on a microphone. You may have to edit out filler words in the beginning; although, it should become easier to avoid these words and having to edit them out as you become experienced. Working from a script or an outline can ensure that your discussion moves smoothly. You won’t have to gather all your thoughts from scratch if you already know what you’re going to say, and there will be fewer awkward pauses.
Of course, it’s okay and even beneficial to sound like a real person. Plenty of podcasters and other speakers use a natural flow, and you’ll come across as personable. MSPs can have a tendency to be closed off, and hosting or appearing on a podcast forces you to be a bit more extroverted. Don’t worry about striving for perfection during your first few shows; your audience will be small, anyway.
One area where you do not want to skimp is equipment. Proper equipment is sometimes all that stands between a podcast sound professional and polished and one that sounds amateur, and if you want your listeners to trust that you’re an authority in your field, your audio should sound as professional as your words. While Chuck’s experience in IT gave him a leg up when it came to setting up his own podcast and transitioning from tech to marketing, anyone can create a professional-sounding podcast with the right gear. A studio is usually equipped for microphones and a mixer. When working from home, choose a wired microphone and try to minimize noise from your home. If your home is noisy and you’re only recording audio, seek out quiet spaces, even if that means recording from the closet.
When it comes to podcasts, clients can make great guests. Look outside of your company for guests, too. If you’re struggling to come up with guests, pick a topic or theme for a show. Then, brainstorm the people who are experts on the topic and reach out to them to speak about these issues on your podcast. Not only do these people add another point of view for your listeners, but if they share the episode they appeared on to their own followers, your potential list of connections and clients can grow.
A podcast is a great forum to engage in a little friendly competition. Chuck describes a desire to meet all of his client’s needs, even if his company doesn’t provide a specific service. He refers clients to those partners who can meet their needs, and inviting those partners onto your podcast is one way to foster those relationships.
Following this advice can net you a quality podcast, but a podcast won’t necessarily deliver new clients in droves. Podcasts are just one part of the toolbox to promotes your company. Stellar customer service gets people talking, so consider every interaction with your clients an opportunity to grow your client base. If your customers are happy, they’ll let other people know. Make sure your clients get exactly what they expect from your personnel and technology, including your website. That way, if your podcast does attract new clients, they’ll be able to see that you’re a good fit right away.
Remember: you never know where your next opportunity will come from, which is why a podcast can be worth it for MSPs.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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