If you’re looking for a shortcut to get your consumer to buy, it might be through their ear. Auditory response is one of the strongest senses we possess. Have you Podcast your PowerPoint Presentations why you can remember the tune of a song like “It’s a small world” but can’t remember an article you read in the paper just this morning? That’s the power of audio. Sound is invasive, intrusive and irresistible. That’s one reason why I’m always telling authors about the power of speaking engagements: sound sells. Many of us incorporate sound into our marketing plans through radio, but there’s something even more powerful for you to consider and it’s called podcasting.
If you’ve always dreamed of having your own radio show, your dream is about to become a reality. It seems only yesterday we were telling you about the power of blogging, but today we’re looking at something equally, if not more, powerful. In its simplest term, podcasting is an audio blog and it’s another exceptionally powerful way to spread the word about your book and message. Several years ago when Internet Radio came on the scene authors were vying for airwaves on the Net. But while Internet radio is still going strong, it’s also very expensive. Most shows cost upwards of $800 a month, plus show hosts need to obtain their own program sponsors. Podcasting, on the other hand, is a fraction of the cost. Here’s how it works.
Podcasting, just like blogs, sits on the internet but instead of sitting in a written file, it’s saved in an MP3 format that can be transferred to any mobile music device like an iPod. A podcast can also be subscribed to through RSS or syndication feeds. If this seems complicated, it’s not, the entire process will take you about an hour to set up, if that, and once you do, you’re off and running.
Most podcasts require an external mic on your computer, but I’ve started using a system through Audio Acrobat that will allow you to call into a pre-assigned number and record your podcast from anywhere: your office, your car or while on a trip! Then the audio file is saved into the system and sent via their publication tools out to a variety of “feeds,” which in essence sends the audio blog out onto the internet. Now you might wonder how someone will find you and your podcast.
Well, you might be surprised. While your first recording might go unnoticed, your second and third will not. Here are some tips for getting the right podcast for you and then getting the world to beat a path to your audio blog door! Topic: First, you want to find a niche and ideally one that ties into your book or message. While topics on religion and gambling are two of the hottest podcasts right now, if your topic doesn’t tie into these it’s best to stay away from them. Go online to iTunes, iPodder, Podcast and see who’s talking about your topic and what they’re saying, then plan to be different!
Structure: So how will your podcast be structured and how much time should you plan to spend on a podcast? Truthfully, I’d recommend only 10 to 15 minutes. Unless your podcast is truly compelling or in an interview type format, listeners don’t usually have the attention span to listen longer. Don’t force people to listen to long-winded audios, cut right to the chase, share your information in tip-like, informative nuggets and you’ll find listeners subscribing to your podcast like crazy!
Make a plan: If you decide to do this, try mapping out a few podcasts in advance and plan to offer your information on a daily or, at the very least, a weekly basis.
Setting up your podcast page: When you utilize Audio Acrobat for your podcast, you’ll be able to include a link to your web site. Remember the idea behind the podcast is promotion, so the URL you send them to should reflect this. Ideally you won’t want to send them to your home page but rather a page just for your podcasts. You can include a listing of prior “shows” as well as a way for them to sign up for future updates, your newsletter or perhaps a link to your book or store.
Chicklets and other geek terms: So what’s a “chicklet?” Well, it’s that little orange square that has the letters XML on it. You will click on that to subscribe to a feed. If you obtained your podcast through Audio Acrobat, these chicklets are created for you and you can just cut and paste the HTML into your web site or have your web designer do it for you. I copied the HTML language into my blog and let visitors subscribe that way. If you use another podcasting service, they should supply you with the language to create this on your own.