Should you start a podcast?
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Two of the sessions I attended at last year’s Social Media Success Summit were quite convincing about the value of podcasting as a marketing strategy. Since both speakers make a living helping others to start a podcast and grow their audience, I wanted to get the scoop from someone who actually uses podcasting to market her organizing business, and Lisa Woodruff was kind enough to answer some questions as part of my current Content Marketing series.
Please tell us a bit about your podcasts: what they’re called, where to find them, and what listeners can expect to learn. Are they audio or video?
I have three separate audio podcasts.
The first one, Successful Direct Sales (no longer online), was recorded in the summer of 2014. This podcast helps people who sell direct sales products utilize online strategies of social media and blogging to reach a larger target audience.
My next podcast is the Organize 365 podcast. These podcasts go along with blog posts on my blog. Every Monday I have a blog post that goes along with the 40 Weeks 1 Whole House Challenge I am completing along with my readers.
In the fall I also recorded a few episodes called Organizing Life Stages & Unexpected Events. For many of us we can maintain the organization in our homes until unexpected events derail our organizational efforts and leave us drowning in disorder.
And starting January 2015 I have added a weekly Friday podcast to the Organize 365 podcast called IDLE. These quick podcasts tackle one specific item of clutter and help us change our mindset around that item.
Also in 2015 I launched my third podcast. Professional Organizer’s Think Tank is a podcast just for professional organizers who want to start and grow their professional organization businesses.
What made you decide to start a podcast?
I discovered podcasts almost on accident on my phone. And I quickly became hooked. There are many podcasters that I couldn’t get enough of and I wanted to listen to day after day.
As my children are getting older and I spend much more time in my car I have less time to read my favorite blogs. But I can consume tons of podcasts when I’m out driving around, or cleaning the house, or walking.
So since my way of consuming Internet content had changed, I naturally assumed that the same would happen to my readers as well. I see podcasting as an extension of my blog not in place of what I’m already doing on my blog.
One of the reasons I really love podcasting is because in a short 12 to 20 minute podcast I’m able to explain in so much more depth the organizational process then I can in a blog post. If I were to put in a blog post how much I share in a podcast each blog post would be a mini e-book.
And so much of the organizational process is the mindset, and the different scenarios that happen in the same space.
After writing over 100 blog posts about closet organization I realize that organization is so much more than the physical planning of a physical space. It is about how you use that space, your personality, your threshold for clutter, and the stage of life that you’re in.
I am able to more easily convey those messages in a short podcast than I ever could in a long blog post.
How did you get started? Did you take a course, hire someone to set things up, or jump in with both feet?
Two of the first podcasts I listened to were John Lee Dumas’ Entrepreneur on Fire, and Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income. Both men shared in detail how to get started podcasting.
At the time I was blogging five days a week, and I have a full-time professional organization business. I have a virtual assistant that helps me with many of the scheduled tasks on my blog. So I knew I would hire someone to help me upload the podcasts.
In growing my business I am always trying to outsource anything that does not require my thought process or my voice. So the only thing I do in my podcasts is actually physically record the podcast.
What’s involved in putting together a podcast? How long does it take you to create/record/etc. each one?
I love writing my blog posts, and writing in general. Over the past decade I have gotten much better at communicating in written form. And it has taken a lot of work, and a full-time editor to make sure that I sound as good on paper as I do in real life.
However when it comes to podcasting, that comes very naturally for me. I am a teacher, and speaker and creating a podcast does not take very much time at all.
I often will get the topic for my podcast in my mind, and think about it as I’m taking a shower and getting the kids ready for school. Then once the house is quiet I turn on my microphone and record my podcast in one take without editing.
In a few minutes I upload it to my Dropbox and my virtual assistant does the rest.
During Social Media Success Summit 2014, Cliff Ravenscraft stated that it’s easier to get noticed as a podcaster than a blogger, simply because you have so much less competition. Do you agree?
I think it is always going to be easier to make a name for yourself in the newest form of media. The latest statistic I heard was that there are 250,000 podcasts but hundreds of millions of blogs.
So yes I do think it is easier to make a name for yourself in podcasting as opposed to starting a blog. However I’m already starting to see the shift away from inexperienced podcasters like myself and towards the professional media companies.
It has just happened recently, but NPR is coming on strong. They have realized the people have moved to podcasting and with their expertise, vast knowledge of talk radio, large bankrolls, and professional equipment the podcasts that they are producing I could never compete against.
Less often are the new podcasts are showing up in new and noteworthy, and more and more it is becoming the NPR spinoffs.
However I don’t think that really matters. People are searching for information and if you have information to share with them on the topic that they need information on they will find you.
Do you have any advice to other organizers who might be interested in starting a podcast?
My advice to anyone who wants to start a podcast or a blog is to go for it! Just start. He will never have all the answers or know how to do everything, part of the learning curve is just doing it.
And we each are uniquely created to reach a certain target market of the population. It really doesn’t matter how many people you reach, but that you reach the people you were created to meet the needs of.
Is there anything else you’d like to know about podcasting?
Lisa Woodruff is a professional organizer in Cincinnati, Ohio who helps overwhelmed women get more organized one day at a time through her blog, podcasts and professional organization services.