Is a podcast the right way to promote your business?

Podcasts can be a great way to reach consumers and build networks, but standing out from the crowd isn’t always easy.

Podcasts are booming. Whatever you’re interested in, chances are you’ll find a dozen productions tackling that topic. For wannabe podcasters, the main appeal is the ease of access. While the market is increasingly dominated by high-end productions from professional studios, all you really need to get started is a half-decent microphone, a basic hosting plan, and something to talk about.

In a recent Straight Talk video, ISSA’s Jeff Cross looked at how the cleaning industry has embraced podcasting as a low-cost means of connecting with consumers. Despite the global reach of the format, they can also be extremely useful on a local level.

Carpet Cleaner Marketing Masters founder and chief executive John Clendenning spoke to Cross about his own experiences using podcasts as an easy tool to build brand recognition. One trick, he said, is  not to think of the podcast as being simple advertising for your business.

“You are becoming a key person of influence,” Clendenning said. “You can do anything around a topic that you’re passionate about and that your ideal clientele is interested in. You might create a podcast about local property, where you’re interviewing the real estate agents, the interior designers, the roofers, the landscapers. You’re just Joe the carpet cleaner but Joe the carpet cleaner is also doing, you know, the Park Property Perfection Podcast of Perth County. You are entering a community, and you’re becoming something very unique.”

This community involves listeners who might keep you and your company in mind next time they need their carpets cleaned, but it also includes people from connected industries — real estate agents, carpet store owners, maid services — who might be able to refer on sales leads.

Podcasts can also be a great way to communicate your company values, in a way that can be more intimate and convincing than straightforward advertising. According to Clendenning, the best way to stand out from the crowd is to just be yourself.

“You’re talking about building a brand around what you are and where you stand in the marketplace. Why do you clean the way you do? Do you have a stand about cleaning for health?”

While the idea of hosting a podcast and conducting interviews with industry figures might be off-putting, Clendenning said it gets easier once you’ve established a structure for your programme.

“When you do these interviews, it’s pretty easy. You ask them about their history, their founder story, why they got into it. You have the same five or six questions, but the conversation will always go in a totally different direction every time and then it just becomes entertaining to the right audience.”

Finding that audience can be an easy and organic process.

“You don’t need to market it out a lot. You just have your guests share it to their audience and you share it out to your customer base. People will start sharing it around and, slowly over time, it will go from crickets to a groundswell.”

Production needn’t add too much pressure to your schedule either. While some podcasts release weekly episodes, many build an audience with monthly programmes. And getting started should be pretty straightforward. Clendenning recommended taking a look at for tips on getting going or simply checking YouTube for tutorials.

“There’s a few steps that might take you about an hour to an hour and a half to set up an actual podcast. Just don’t overthink it. Plan to have a few people that you already know as your first guests and then start asking around. You’ll be surprised how many business owners would love to hop on and tell their story and you’re the one getting branded because of it!”

Photo by Chris Lynch on Unsplash.

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