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Podcasts can help small-business owners build their brands and win new customers. Here’s how.

 

Olivia Dreizen Howell and Jenny DreizenOlivia Dreizen Howell and Jenny Dreizen, cofounders of Fresh Starts Registry.

Olivia Dreizen Howell and Jenny Dreizen

  • Insider talked to small business owners who say brand podcasting has helped them build trust and credibility with customers.
  • Podcasts can also help connect with potential investors.
  • The channel is a cost-friendly way to connect with prospective customers, as well as other industry leaders.
  • This article is part of “Marketing for Small Business,” a series exploring the basics of marketing strategy for SBOs to earn new customers and grow their business.

In November, Olivia Dreizen Howell and Jenny Dreizen were looking for investors for their growing company, Fresh Starts Registry, a platform built to support people going through major life changes. Around the same time, they launched their brand podcast, “A Fresh Story,” with each episode featuring a guest sharing their story of starting a new life chapter.

Dreizen and Dreizen Howell said the podcast earned them so much exposure that they stepped back from pursuing investors to focus on organic growth through this channel. The website Listen Notes has ranked the podcast in the top 3% of podcasts globally.

Sally ZimneySally Zimney founder of
BeMoved.

Courtesy of Sally Zimney

“I don’t understand why more brands don’t have podcasts — it is a tool that gets you in front of people in a way that you never would have believed,” Dreizen Howell told Insider. 

Sally Zimney, the founder of the speaking-coaching company BeMoved, said her business grew as a direct result of her podcast, where she interviews some of the top communicators. She told Insider that within six months of launching the podcast in 2014, she had enough speaking and coaching work coming in to pursue the business full time.

“The reason I’ve kept up with this podcast for so many years isn’t because I have the dream of being a famous podcast host or because I get thousands of downloads every episode. I have stuck with it because it has been such a critical part of marketing my business,” Zimney said. “It gives me a lane through which I can share my expertise and build my own authority, and many of my clients tell me they found me — and built trust in me — by listening to the weekly show.”

Dreizen Howell and Zimney are among seven of small-business owners who spoke with Insider about how their brand podcasts support their marketing and business development.

Podcasts make it easier to establish partnerships and get promoted

Interview podcasts in particular can help establish relationships with other leaders in a certain field and get in front of their audiences — without paying hefty fees. 

Zimney described asking someone to be on her podcast as “one of the easiest asks and easiest yeses.” She said it sets up a collaboration that naturally leads to partnerships and opportunities.

Dreizen Howell said prospective guests “genuinely do want to share their stories, so they’re excited to come onto the podcast,” adding, “If we just reached out to these people to ask them to share about Fresh Starts, it probably wouldn’t have happened, or they would have asked for money.”

Mike SpanenbergMike Spangenberg, cofounder of apparel brand, State Forty Eight.

Courtesy of Mike Spanenberg

Mike Spangenberg, a cofounder of the apparel brand State Forty Eight, said his strategy for maximizing the reach of the Arizona leaders his company interviews on its podcast involves social media. “We post a clip of every episode to our social feeds and will typically add our guest or their organization as a collaborator,” he said. “A lot of them choose to accept, so it goes on their feed.” This gets State Forty Eight in front of new audiences.

Taja DockendorfTaja Dockendorf, founder of brand agency Pulp + Wire.

Courtesy of Taja Dockendorf

Taja Dockendorf, the founder of the brand agency Pulp and Wire, intentionally interviews brands she hasn’t worked with on her podcast. “I have this whole new Rolodex of contacts and experts and friends and people in the field,” she said. “It allows us to build relationships that hopefully will lead to doing business together.”

Podcasts can help you scale your business

Many small-business owners see podcasts as an important way to acquire loyal customers.

Stella GuanStella Guan, founder of online design school Path Unbound.

Courtesy of Stella Guan

“The customers who came from our podcast tend to be more serious and ready to buy compared to customers who inquire about our courses from other channels simply because they are already persuaded and invested,” said Stella Guan, the founder of an online design school called Path Unbound. She added that roughly 60% to 70% of her inquiries said they came from the podcast or from YouTube, where she posts video recordings of her podcast.

Tania Bhattacharyya, the founder of Lumos Marketing, a thought-leadership and brand-messaging consultancy, said that since launching her podcast in 2021 her referrals have generally increased and improved in quality, with nearly all referrals coming in with a better understanding of her philosophy and approach.

Jordan Schanda King, the founder of Easy Scaling, an agency that offers chief-operating-officer services, said that while she relies largely on ads for getting in front of new people, her podcast can help turn them into paying customers. She emails prospective clients some of the company’s top episodes and then follows up about new episodes weekly. “It’s probably not something that people would list as how they found us, but it’s a big part of how they actually trust and want to work with us,” she told Insider.

Tania BhattacharyyaTania Bhattacharyya, founder of Lumos Marketing.

Courtesy of Tania Bhattacharyya

Bhattacharyya added that she uses her podcast episodes to help guide prospective customers through the sales process. For instance, she said she recently had a call with someone who was hesitant about what people would think when she started sharing her thoughts — Bhattacharyya described that as a common concern among prospective customers. Bhattacharyya had a podcast episode on the subject that she was able to send her. She said this approach has helped her assure and persuade clients without having to go over the same information one-on-one with them. 

Podcasts can seed content for other channels

Several founders said they decided to start a podcast after struggling to create content for their other social channels.

“I finally realized that the easy way to create content for me is to have conversations,” Schanda King said. “Now the podcast becomes our big long-form piece of content and gets chunked out into smaller pieces of content, like our newsletter and social media posts.”

Jordan SchandaJordan Schanda King, founder Easy Scaling.

Courtesy of Jordan Schanda

While Schanda King started her podcast as an interview-only format, she’s been adding 10- to 20-minute solo episodes where she talks about topics related to her work that she feels energized by. She said she’s found this easier to do than writing out the information. 

Bhattacharyya said her podcast has become the first step in her content-planning process, and she encouraged other founders to repurpose a podcast in as many ways as possible. 

“I could take each episode, transcribe it, and turn it into a 2,000-word blog post that’s valuable for SEO. I can take each episode and repurpose it into multiple pieces of LinkedIn content. I can email it to my list. I can stick up the audio on YouTube,” she said. “It’s one of the most powerful tools that I have in my marketing arsenal to provide value on a really deep scale.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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