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How to Use Podcasting as a Tool to Build Your Business
Hosts can talk faster than they can type. Followers can listen while doing any number of other tasks. A business that comes with a podcast following of 15,000 is more valuable than one that comes with a 35,000-person email list. Podcasts are pretty hard to get wrong. They can diminish the laborious reading and writing aspects of emails and blogs by automatically offering content within the conversations with guests.
Today we are talking with podcasting expert Craig Hewitt about ways that adding a podcast to your business can be beneficial both for a recent acquisition and a potential sale.
Craig is the owner of Podcast Motor, a company that handles the end to end podcast production process for businesses. He’s an entrepreneur in the podcast space, running two service companies and producing 35 podcasts. He believes, and we here at Quiet Light agree, that a good podcast is a great tool for building your business.
- How podcasts differ from blogs.
- Where podcasters should get started. Whether they need all the “stuff” to get up and running.
- Why podcasters use external services to create their episodes.
- Craig’s solution for launching a podcast quickly and easily.
- Challenges hosts face in getting started and putting themselves out there.
- Why it’s important to find the right guests and create relevant conversations for your business.
- How podcasting can be a fit for different types of businesses.
- Ways starting a podcast with a newly acquired business can help promote ownership.
- Why businesses need fewer followers for a podcast than for a blog.
- How a podcast can create repurposable content.
- Ways a podcast can benefit a business you are getting ready to sell.
- Whether podcasts are transferable.
- The basic technical tools you need to get started.
- How long you should test for success.
Joe: So Mark today’s episode we’re going to talk about why someone should start a podcast. Stutter, stutter, stutter, Chris edit that.
Mark: Chris don’t edit that just keep that in there.
Joe: Yes let’s keep it in because folks this is about podcasting and I was going to ask Mark a question … oh, man, did somebody put something in my coffee this morning [inaudible 00:01:34.2] in my coffee … it’s a Northern thing. Do you have to be well spoken, intelligent, and an expert on the subject matter to start a podcast? Of course, the key is to have a successful podcast to build an audience and a brand and a reputation but what do you think? Do you have to have all of that to really begin?
Mark: No absolutely not. And look at the risk of narrowcasting and just talking about what we’re doing here which is running a podcast, I thought it would be interesting to have Craig Hewitt on the podcast here. Craig owns PodcastMotor. They do the editing for all of the Quiet Light Podcast episodes. He also has a podcast hosting service Castos.com which he’s recently started. He’s an entrepreneur cut of the same cloth that all of us are made of. He likes to start, he likes to buy, he likes to grow businesses and living in France actually. He’s an expat living in France so a pretty cool backstory there which unfortunately we didn’t have time to get into. But I wanted to talk to him about why anyone who’s out there looking to buy or even grow your business and create something really unique and special might want to consider adding podcasting to the mix. And look I get it we’re looking a little bit at our own experience here and how beneficial a podcast … the Quiet Light podcast has been at Quiet Light brokerage, but I asked Craig this question. Joe, I’m going to ask you and put you on the spot here again like I do on a third of these intros I try and ask you a question that we didn’t prep for. If you’re looking at a business for sale and it’s got 30,000 e-mail subscribers, okay and that’s one option and then there’s another business in exact same niche but they have 15,000 podcast downloads per month, where do you put more value in your opinion?
Joe: Oh without a doubt on the 15,000 because those people are listening. They’re hearing your voice and they feel like they know you already. We’ve gone to events where people have come up and said hello and they joke and they say I feel like I know yo. I’ve heard Mike Jackness talk about that as well. But I think the number one thing that this podcast has done for us … and John Corcoran was a guest on the podcast as well where we talked about networking and how important it is to a business. And I think if you’re a business owner, if you’re launching your own products, if you’re a SaaS product owner, you just look to prior examples of huge podcast success like Michael Jackness or Scott Voelker for instance. Scott has got a quarter of a million people that listen to him every month. You network and learn things from the people that you network with to grow your business and grow your brand and I think it’s invaluable and it blows away the e-mail. Although the e-mail is something specific and different because you’re probably trying to sell a product right then and there, I think on a podcast you’re talking about the bigger picture and your brand. If you’re a SaaS business owner I think it’s a great idea because you can talk about what updates you’ve got to your product and the market in general. But I love the podcasting and obviously, I’m not very well spoken or eloquent so if we can do it anybody can.
Mark: That’s right. So this is a bit of an advertisement for starting a podcast and I feel confident in doing this because I know a lot of people out there probably will listen to this and won’t start a podcast. You’ll think about the technical challenges, you’ll think about the fact that your voice has to be out there and Craig and I go over this. There is an element of fear because you’re a little bit more intimate with your audience when you have a podcast. There’s a third dimension that gets added, right? When you are just writing a blog post it’s very two dimensional, you’re words are out there, you can go back and edit it whenever you want, people don’t hear your tone … your voice, they don’t hear you screw up because you get to go and edit it. And of course you can edit a podcast but there’s still … it’s still you, a little bit more real and raw. So I know a lot of people are going to listen to this and not start podcast but I’m going to make a pitch to just say look if you’re trying to build something unique, if you’re trying to build something valuable, if you’re trying to grow your existing business with the [inaudible 00:05:24.7] towards selling it down the road, there is some value to starting up a podcast which is going to make it different if you are able to grow a good sizable audience. And I think in the 11 years we’ve done Quiet Light Brokerage I can’t think of a single business that we have sold that actually came with a podcast attached to it.
Joe: I don’t think I’ve ever had one. And as far as return on investment I would think that the podcast and the cost associated with it, the ROI would be huge and probably not measurable; an invaluable. But one other thing look this is we’ve got Craig from the podcast company that manages ours but we’ve talked to lots of people like Taz from the Amazon Entrepreneur. He launched his podcast, does two a week and he does it all himself. So it’s possible to do it for very little or nothing at all if that’s … if it’s a budgetary problem and you still want to get started.
Mark: All right let’s hear it directly from somebody who’s been in the podcasting niche for a long time. He knows all … a ton of what he’s talking about, Craig Hewitt. Let’s get to it and cover this topic and I’ll hopefully inspire maybe one or two of you guys out there to go ahead and start a podcast with your business.
Mark: Hello Craig welcome to the Quiet Light podcast. Thank you so much for agreeing to come on.
Craig: Hey Mark thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Mark: All right you and I know each other from a ways back at Rhodium; do you remember the … I don’t remember when we met each other at Rhodium, do you?
Craig: Gosh yeah. Like I’m optimistic with my time projections these days I want to say it’s three years but it might be four years ago. It will be four years in April probably yeah.
Mark: All right my wife does this thing I call it Megan math where she’ll … something would be 2 months away and she’ll somehow compress that down to like just two weeks away.
Craig: Yeah [inaudible 00:07:06.4] great exactly.
Mark: Again full disclosure and I’m sure I probably said this in the intro. We always do the intros after … we record the intros after we record the interviews themselves but I’m sure I will say this just out of full disclosure I do pay you professionally. You have been doing the editing … probably it’s your group that has been doing the editing for the Quiet Light podcast so thank you for that.
Craig: No it’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure, yup.
Mark: Awesome, all right so we’re going to talk about podcasting today and whether or not somebody should consider adding it to a business. And I obviously with Quiet Light I want to focus a little bit on does it make sense to add on to an acquisition like if you buy a business, does it make sense to add that on? What’s involved in starting up a podcast? What are the impacts that you might see? And I also want to … if there’s time allowing probably talk about the personalized aspect of podcasts and how that’s going to affect the buying and selling of businesses as well. We can all just talk a little bit about SaaS. I know you have some SaaS work as well which could be an interesting thing to get into as well. But let’s start off real quick with your background and your history and kind of how you came into doing what you’re doing.
Craig: Yeah so we know each other through kind of why my first successful online business and really the way I escaped the rat race of the professional kind of corporate world which is called PodcastMotor. So PodcastMotor is a product tied service that does podcast editing and production, really kind of like end to end everything from Mark records an episode, sticks it in Dropbox and an episode shows up in iTunes a week later. We really try to take care of every aspect of that whole process for our customers. And that business has been going since … it just turned four this year so a couple of months ago. So we’ve been doing it a long time in the podcasting world. And we have about 35 customers that we service on a regular basis. So weekly or every other week that they have a podcast come out. About two years ago I acquired a WordPress plugin also in the podcasting space called seriously simple podcasting. And on top of that, we built a podcast hosting platform that we now call Castos. So I run two different businesses in the podcasting space and it all happened just by chance. To be honest I started a podcast … jeez, four and a half years ago I guess and saw it really quickly like a lot of people that podcasting is really difficult. There’s a lot of nuts and bolts and technical stuff and gear and all this junk that you need to start a podcast as opposed to like a blog where you just get a WordPress site and a keyboard or your iPhone and you could start blogging as good as anybody else. Podcasting there’s a technique and gear and equipment and all this stuff that you have to have to be decent. And then to be really good is a whole other level. So we started offering the PodcastMotor service based on me seeing that pain I guess.
Mark: Yeah and I don’t want to scare people right at the gate but let’s get into that kind of a scary different world of podcasting because it is a little bit different. Let’s start with just the hosting side and you talk about Castos your podcast hosting service. Isn’t it enough to just have a regular website? I mean I think one of the things that was confusing to me with podcasting when we got into it before we started the Quiet Light podcast was well why do I need all this stuff? Why do I need Libsyn? Why do I need all these other things? Why are we … why do podcasters use these extra services? And what are some of things that if somebody is thinking about podcasting what do they need to consider from a technological standpoint outside of the equipment just from the webhosting setup, the technical setup?
Craig: Yeah so the logic around having a dedicated media hosting platform with you know hear, Libsyn, and SoundCloud, and Castos or whatever, the idea there is so you have a hopefully a very popular podcast and you have thousands of people downloading your podcast every Tuesday morning when it comes out right?
Mark: Just like the Quiet Light podcast, thousands and—
Craig: Yeah okay so thousands of people listening to your podcast and downloading this 60, 80 megabyte file every Tuesday morning. If you’re a business like all of your customers are and a lot of ours the last thing you want is this enormous strain on your web server on Tuesday morning when customers are coming to your site and trying to buy your stuff or schedule a meeting or something like that because both the streaming and download of the podcast will be bad. And your website will at least be very slow if not crash. So you separate the resource strain from podcasting and serving up your website and have a dedicated hosting platform just for those audio files and let your website run on you know WP engine or flywheel or wherever it’s running so that the two aren’t using the same resource. That’s kind of the logic around why you needed a dedicated media hosting platform. It’s just like you don’t put your video files under use Wistia or something like that. It’s the same kind of idea.
Mark: All right exactly. Okay so there’s this whole other technological world with podcasting and then there’s also the equipment side of it. And then there’s the editing side of podcasting as well.
Mark: And then there’s the distribution to the different podcast networks. And we’re kind of jumping on the deep end or I guess we’ll swim to the shallow end because I’m going to talk about listing the praises of podcasting here in a little bit. And specifically as kind of a leading tease here for anyone listening why I think it’s a really, really good idea for any acquisition that you do, any business that you’re looking at to potentially acquire to consider adding a podcast and potentially even on the sell side as well. But let’s talk about the setup here a little bit as well and the equipment. Now I’ve got as you can probably see from the video that you can see and we do these podcast over video is just a little more personal.
Mark: I got the road podcaster and I got like three other mics back there as well. [inaudible 00:12:52.1] and everything else. And you, you got I see a pop screen of yours, there’s pop screens, there’s mics, there’s the Vulcan power stuff, it’s a whole different world, isn’t it?
Craig: Yeah I mean so it is totally a different world and this is the bad scary thing about podcasting is that there’s more opinions and resources out there than are necessary honestly. And there’s so much information that so many people get scared and they go and read five or six different articles just about the best podcasting mic and what web … what podcast hosting platform to use and there’s everyone has an opinion about that and you know how long should you’re episodes be and blah, blah, blah. Do you need a pop filter? Do you need a boom mount? Do you need all this stuff and so actually we created a resource to kind of counteract this and we call it launch in a week. And the idea is we’re going to give you like one or two options not like all these million things out there that all these other resources give you is like they create the analysis or paralysis by analysis. So we … so castos.com/launch takes you to launch in a week and we give you like in a week seven day, seven e-mails and videos exactly what you need to launch a podcast to dispel a lot of that over information and misinformation that’s out there a little bit. Like microphones I only recommend two microphones you know it’s like this one that I’m using Audio Technica ATR2100 and another one is called the Shure SM7B. That’s a really really really good mic. This one is $65 that one is about $500. And so it’s like kind of whatever you feel like you want or need. We try to do a lot of that like you can do this or this and don’t overthink any of it because you can get in way over your head. And the unfortunate thing is a lot of people never get started because they just think so much about all this stuff.
Mark: All right let’s talk about that point because I think this is the biggest obstacle to podcasting right? With writing a blog you can put it out there and you can get it up and going. Everybody knows how to write something even if it’s not very good but there doesn’t seem to be as much of a barrier to getting started. Maybe it’s because of the technical challenge but I think there’s also a mental challenge of getting out there. And I know for a podcast standpoint we toss around the idea forever. I actually had a false start at starting the Quiet Light podcast and I think I recorded three episodes, launched two, and then stopped because I didn’t record enough episodes. I think one of the challenges people have is the idea of being out there and trying to get this audio presentation perfect from the get go. But like you said just get out there and start. You have to actually start doing it.
Craig: Yeah I mean I think part of it is with writing you can write a blog post and save it come back two days later and edit it and tweak it and you haven’t even be published by someone else on your team if you want maybe it’s your name it’s not associated with it. But like right now you and I are seeing and talking to each other and like covering a lot of the senses all at one time. And when you’re podcasting your literally in someone’s ear for 45 minutes every week or whatever it is. So I think it’s just the senses that you’re covering and the emotional connection you crave with somebody which is why it’s so great if you can do it and get it right. But it’s also why it’s so scary to just get started and overcome some of this fear of putting yourself out there. You know I think about … I’ve done a little bit of video work and it’s a lot harder because then you have to get the voice and the physical kind of presentation right the first time and there’s no editing. You can’t just edit out a flub in a video it looks horrible. And so I think in a way if you’re already doing video podcasting is so easy because you can just cut it up a million ways from Sunday and it’s no big deal. But it is so much harder than writing.
Mark: Yeah and I think one of the other obstacles that we run into is written content can be repurposed in so many ways right?
Mark: And there’s different focuses that we can really measure written content from an SEO standpoint. So you can definitely say hey I’m going to optimize for this keyword. And I know I’m going to get this keyword density out there and then I can actually turn this into a downloadable white paper. And I can go out and I can maybe use the same sort of topic and write you know 10 different guest posts and get involvings. So there’s that other benefit as well but you actually lead into one of the benefits and maybe this way you could [inaudible 00:17:18.0] to segue into that. And probably the number one reason that we started the Quiet Light podcast and the number one benefit that we’ve received from it is that personal touch that having a podcast creates. I’ll tell you a funny story. You’ll actually like this because you listen to our podcast by default from doing some editing.
Craig: Of course.
Mark: And I know you’re not doing all the editing yourself but-
Craig: No I do listen to the show though, yeah.
Mark: Okay well here we go … thank you for that. That makes me feel better. So obviously Joe and I host the podcast and we were at Brand Builder’s Summit. And somebody came up to our table at Brand Builder’s Summit and said “hey it’s Joe here” I’m like “ah no Joe is [inaudible 00:17:54.7] right now” and they go “oh man I really wanted to meet Joe, I absolutely love his podcast” I’m thinking “wow that’s great you love Joe’s podcast, I’m so glad that you love Joe’s podcast” and he goes “yeah I know I was really hoping to meet Joe”. And Walker was staying right next to me and goes “no this is Mark over here he also does the podcast” he goes “ah is Joe going to be back soon?” I’m like “yeah Joe will be back soon”.
Craig: That’s wonderful, that’s wonderful.
Mark: But you know one of the things that this podcast has been able to do is it gets us in people’s cars. It gets us in people’s ears for a certain amount of time and it really breaks down some of that barrier that I think can happen when you’re writing. Like you said it’s very two dimensional.
Craig: Oh yeah.
Mark: It’s the words on a page, you don’t have the voice of the person in your head. This is … it’s not as full-on as video but it’s a little more personal. And I’m sure you’ve seen that a ton with what you’re doing because I know you work mainly with businesses right?
Craig: Oh yeah I mean for PodcastMotor all of our customers are businesses like yourselves. You know like small, medium size business and entrepreneurs, startups. And I think that the medium of podcasting is unique in two ways. One like we’re having right now it’s a conversation. It’s not you on a video and your YouTube channel talking and everyone else is listening. That’s not so helpful. And it’s not so helpful in a very particular way when it comes to businesses and that is rapport building and networking. And this is like the secret sauce I think when it comes to like B2B podcasting is you have this podcast to reach a broader audience of buyers and sellers … of buyers maybe but really probably to get sellers in the door right? And so like for PodcastMotor we have a podcast. If we’re going to go kind of strategically and think about who we’re having on the podcast it’s thought leaders in the podcasting like B2B podcasting space. So they can say wow you know I had this podcast with Craig last week, we talked for like an hour and he really knows his stuff. Dean my friend over here who runs a coaching business who wants to start a podcast should really talk to Craig because he really knows what he’s doing. He can help him be successful. Like that really like micro networking opportunity that you have in interviewing a thought leader in your space on a podcast is not something you can measure by like download statistics or something like that. But for a lot of people should be the reason they do a podcast. It’s not your listeners that you do the show for it selfishly a little bit is yourself and the networking ability that the podcasting medium allows for.
Mark: Yeah I would agree 100%. And this is one of the main ancillary benefits that we received from the Quiet Light podcast. One of the biggest benefits is that it just keeps us in touch with people in a very personal way. And in some ways it’s a little bit weird when people do come up to you and [inaudible 00:20:44.9].
Mark: But I shouldn’t listen to my voice that’s weird but kind of cool at the same time. But that secondary benefit of that micro networking that you talk about I know we’ve had this happen actually recently we had Ezra Firestone on the podcast. And sure enough I had opened up my e-mail the other day and there’s an e-mail from Ezra promoting his podcast episode with Joe, Joe’s podcast. And I mean just think about that, I mean he’s just one of the biggest Internet marketers out there right now promoting this one episode. And how many extra people are going to be exposed to the business, to us in general just because of that one episode. So this is definitely a benefit and might not be my number one goal but it’s definitely one of those goals of the podcast is to be out there spreading our network for referrals. I think any referral based business that’s out there this is a fantastic medium and probably a must that you should do is having some sort of a podcast if for nothing else to be able to bring in that network and grow that small network.
Craig: So just to pile on there a little bit for folks who might be a little bit outside of the agency or consulting world so like starting from really high dollar and down to more transactional type businesses the other thing I think that podcasting does is it allows you to showcase publicly your knowledge and expertise. So if somebody sees you on another person’s podcast they’re going to say “wow Mark really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to buying and selling businesses”. It automatically boosts your credibility with that person if they’re looking to do this thing down the road. Yeah, I think that’s massive. It’s kind of like your little online CV that you build along with your social media and YouTube and all this kind of stuff but podcasting should be a part of that for a lot of people.
Mark: Well and that actually leads to my next question really well and that is what do you think about podcasting on the more just B2C side as somebody selling baby shoes online.
Mark: I mean how can podcasting fit into that fold … with that type of business?
Craig: Yeah I mean there’s really two … in my mind there’s two ways to go and admittedly this is a bit outside of the wheel house of what we do at PodcastMotor but there’s really two kind of schools of thought or areas that you would run into there. One is just hobbyists, right? And so like you’re a hobbyist you like the Pittsburgh Penguins, you want to have a podcast about that. That’s just a hobby and that’s great but it also does the thing about like building your social proof in the world. And so you want to go do something with that later on. You have this bank of 200 episodes that you want to do something with. If you’re thinking about like a B2C area I think that you can either provide useful content to … you have a show about being a parent, provide useful content to other parents about how to be a good parent, organic parenting and all this kind of stuff. Or you have what’s called like sponsored content and this is where a company would pay a creative agency like I believe it’s Pacific Media is the real big one in this to create a show like Serial. So Serial is the Gimlet Media podcast from a few years ago. They would create a podcast like that and it would just be you know this podcast is brought to you by Huggies Diapers or something like that. And it’s this totally awesome show about parenting and motherhood or whatever but it’s just sponsored by this B2C company. And you see more and more sponsored content out there these days where a business is saying look this is a massive branding opportunity for us. We’re going to create this piece of content that we know our audience will love. It probably doesn’t have a lot of like direct business impact, people are not going to go buy our diapers because of this podcast but they’re going to know our name really well because every week the show they love the most has our name all over it.
Mark: Yeah that makes complete sense. I also think of the episode we did with Mike Jackness from colorit.com and the show is on email marketing. So it had nothing to do with podcasting but we were talking about how often he was sending emails. They were sending emails to their subscribers every single day but the vast majority of what they’re sending is ridiculously useful content that is not selling their clients in any way, their customers in any way. And the result of this is that people end up looking forward to communications from them. So I can imagine that impact as well if you have a B2C company and you’re in this hobby, this niche, or you really have a very unified sort of product that you’re selling. Or it can even be a type of service as well. You’re growing an audience that is kind of a group of raving fans for what you’re doing. And you’re offering so much value that when you do offer that sale when you do go out there and promote something you have this group out there that’s just super excited to hear from you. And that’s a nice problem to have, right?
Mark: Yeah all right let’s talk a little bit about this from an acquisition standpoint. Obviously, we should bring this back into this and I want to talk about from an acquisition standpoint and also selling and we’ll end with the selling question because I think there is a pretty significant question there. But on the acquisition side the one struggle I can see … I did an acquisition recently my guess and that’s almost two years ago now and –
Craig: It’s not funny, math coming back in there.
Mark: Yeah [inaudible 00:25:57.8] absolutely, time flies too. And you and I have actually talked about the starting up a podcast on this acquisition. It’s a little bit weird though you know like Quiet Light Brokerage has started … I own, I’ve kind of grown with it so I feel like I own it. It is a little bit weird to start a podcast with something that you don’t own. But I wonder if there is almost a sense of growing ownership if you start building something on top of that like a podcast with an acquisition.
Mark: Kind of an open ended thought but I don’t know if you’ve had any experience with that or any thoughts on that.
Craig: Yeah I mean I think that … so I had not run into this personally like with some of our customers having acquired businesses that they didn’t want to start a podcast around. But having acquired several businesses the one thing that I think is really important and often times really difficult is for an acquirer to really know the business model and the types of people that kind of live and breathe this product or space that you’re in. And there is nothing better than to say I want to go interview the 50 best people in Instagram for kids whatever … whatever niche it is you know than a podcast.
Mark: Instagram for kids sounds like it should have some predatory laws about it I’m just saying.
Craig: Yeah sure whatever it is right … it’s underwater basket weaving. I mean you interview the 50 best people on underwater basket weaving. You’re going to know basically everything there is to know about the influencers and the things that really matter to people in that business. So for me it’s like someone who is always looking to acquire businesses and kind of dabbling as like a serial entrepreneur if I was going to get into a business I didn’t know a lot about lot about starting a blog or really continuing a blog would be really daunting because I … there’s a lot of opportunity to waste a bunch of time and money there. You can write a bunch of articles about things people don’t care about but it’s really hard to have a podcast that’s bad if you will in a space you don’t know a lot about because you just go interview people and ask them interesting questions. And what they have to say is the content it’s not what you have to say, it’s what the people you have coming on the show. So I’d say for people looking to … who have acquired a business that might be a little out of their wheel house just start a podcast, interview the thought leaders in that space and you have like the nexus of all the really interesting content for your audience. And you as the new owner know exactly what’s so important to everybody in that space.
Mark: Yeah and I’m going to compare this actually to the blogging world because I went from the blogging world pretty heavily into the podcasting world almost exclusively now. Libby has been writing blog posts on every one of our podcast episodes so we can keep up with some blog content. But in the blogging world, you would have to sit down. You would have to come up with your own idea for a blog topic. You would have to research that topic. And then you would have to write on that topic. And the way blogs are going you have to write more and more and more. I was writing 1,500 to 2,500 word blog posts. I was doing four of those per month plus four outside of Quiet Light blog posts per month. So I was doing eight blog posts on average 2,000 words a piece. And then best practices after you publish that blog post you should go out and you should do outreach. So you should reach out to the influencers and say hey take a look at this and how easy is it for an influencer to ignore your e-mail or give it a cursory look. I’d flip this around for this I’m doing my research right now on this interview with you I’m reaching out to you and you’re an influencer on the podcasting world so I already got my influencer locked in as well. We’re getting great content at the same time. It kind of brings all of this into one hopefully easily digestible format. So that’s a huge benefit I think as well. And when you’re looking at getting into a space like you said trying to network and get to know the influencers in a space that you don’t know is one of the biggest challenges. And having a podcast I’ll tell you what when I ask people to be on the podcast I’d get one of two reactions. One is no I’m super shy I don’t want to do it. And two is yeah that sounds great because who doesn’t want to be in front of a big audience and get heard. People like to be on podcasts. They’d like to think that they’re important enough to be interviewed.
Craig: They want to take their Joe Rogan.
Mark: Exactly even though … you know I’m not going to tell them that there’s like three people that listen to the Quiet Light podcast but they’re still excited.
Craig: So you brought up two things I really want to touch on quickly. One is three people listening to the Quiet Light podcast, one is not true right? But in a B2B sense and even a B2C sense in your niche, the number of people listening to your show doesn’t matter at all. So if you have a hundred people listening to your podcast that is great. Those are a hundred really passionate people about what you have to say. As opposed to a hundred people reading a blog post that has almost no impact whatever. You need tens of thousands of people reading a blog post for it to really be impactful in the in the greater sense. But 100 people in your niche listening about your podcast is fantastic. So they’re really high intent people for whatever your business purpose is. The other thing is talking about repurposing content. I think podcasting has the ability to repurpose content really easily right? We’re doing audio, we’re doing video, it will be created in to show notes for a blog post, you have it transcribed, you can syndicate the video to YouTube. Like you can do all of these things with one … what we’re going to talk for 45 minutes today piece of investment and your time and you have a team or someone do all of the extra work to produce all that for you and you have two or three or four pieces of content you can syndicate to everywhere that people consume this media. As opposed to writing a blog post it can ever only ever be in your blog. You can’t go create a podcast out of a blog [inaudible 00:31:29.4] could but that’s just kind of silly.
Mark: Right and you’re absolutely right as far as the repurposing content. Again if people haven’t checked out in a quick plug in the Quiet Light brokerage blog, I think it was last fall we brought on [inaudible 00:31:41.3] and she listens to every one of these podcasts. Hi, Libby thanks for all the work you’re doing. And she’s putting together awesome blog posts like I’ve been reading these myself and she’s taking the information that we’re picking up in the podcasts and then she’s going out and supplementing it with outside research as well by putting together a full on blog post with quotes from the blog post as well but bringing out a slightly different narrative than what we cover in this this conversation. It’s a great way to be able to repurpose this content and give it just a little extra layer and a little extra dimension. And so that is one way to repurpose the content. And again I can’t emphasize this enough the amount of time it takes to do a podcast significantly less time than it takes to do the blogging side. Let’s address the question of a podcast in a business that you hope to sell someday. And I think this is a question that is a little bit more difficult to answer here because we talk a lot … let me ask you this have you seen the Princess Bride?
Craig: Yeah of course. I have an eight year old daughter, yup.
Mark: Well I always like to say that getting a business prepared to sell is you have to follow the Dread Pirate Roberts rule right? You don’t want to be actual Dread Pirate Roberts. It’s the name that counts right? That’s the quote from the movie; it’s the name that counts. The actual Dread Pirate Roberts has been retired and living like a king in Patagonia. That’s what we want to be able to do. We want to pass on the name of our business. We don’t want to actually have to be tied to the business. Well, we just talked about podcasting, it’s being in somebodies ear and being that personality in somebodies ear. And so from a standpoint of selling maybe, it’s a little bit of a disadvantage on that when you go to sell. But I don’t think it has to be a disadvantage but I’m going to put you in the uncomfortable spot here and see first have you thought about this much and what are your thoughts on it?
Craig: Yeah so I guess two things; one, I know that podcast themselves have definitely been bought and sold more and more right? We’re recording this in beginning of 2019, you hear more and more about people selling and buying podcast especially in a space. It’s like buying and selling a blog in a space. If you’re a business and you acquired this blog redirect it and then pour your content into your domain and you already have this audience that’s seeing your brand. The same can be said for podcasting so people want to come in and buy a podcast in a space because it has a built in audience. I think it’s a really good kind of audience and customer acquisition strategy for a business that already kind of exists and has their own podcast to look at selling the business and transferring the podcast to the new owner. I think that a lot of the standard knowledge and business process transfer things apply there. Like if you have a process around Mark how you identify the guests that you want to have and how you invite them and you send them a [inaudible 00:34:23.3] like an as a zoom thing in it and you have an outline you send them three days before and all this kind of stuff and you have a team behind it to edit and produce the podcast. Then someone buying your business that has a podcast in it is not nearly as daunting as just saying like I wing it every week. And the new owner is saying holy crap I can’t imagine doing that. So I think that … I mean the truth is a podcast is not really hard. Like once you do a couple of them it’s not really that hard. So giving the buyer of the business that would acquire this asset but kind of responsibility of a podcast, give them the tools to be successful and I think it’s definitely a net win. The worst thing I can see though is you have a podcast and you have an audience and people that really enjoy and want to connect with you through the podcast and the acquirer comes in and drops the ball, obviously, a big negative. So if people have podcasts and they’re going to be selling their business or business with podcasts I would definitely make sure like the rest of the business like you said with the Dread Pirate Roberts thing it’s like make sure that it’s totally transferable and that the person’s going to be successful. That intimate nature of the podcast I think can transfer from one person to another pretty easily. You know the new person is going to have some level of domain expertise and you’ll love a different spin on the podcast and that’s cool. Yeah, I think it’s definitely a net win as long as the person is set up to be successful.
Mark: Yeah and I would agree. And the other thing I would point to is that when talking about an exit strategy when looking at what you need to do to prepare a business for sale there’s going to be this push and this pull on various factors of the business. And when you’re looking at this, when you’re looking at the business holistically it’s always going to be better for you to build a strong, loyal, happy, faithful audience right?
Mark: That’s way, way more valuable than anything else. And is there maybe a little bit of a demerit when it comes to having something like a podcast which may be tied to your voice. Yeah, okay there’s … I think just being honest yeah I think there’s going to be a little bit of concern about the transferability. But that can be addressed right? That can be addressed pretty easily. You can agree to do the podcast and co-host with the new owner for six months and have a very warm hand off that way. That would be a very natural way to do it. I think the benefits that a podcast adds in building an audience, let’s think about this real quick here what is the value of an online business when we actually look at it and when we do all the tax returns and everything else on it we allocate most of the purchase price towards goodwill. The sort of nebulous who knows what it is that makes this business successful. Successful and having a podcast is really a big part of building that good will. So if you take the time and build a lot of good will through a podcast and that’s a good source and driving avenue for customer acquisition within your business that’s going to be a net plus in the grand scheme of the things. So I think people that are out there thinking about podcasting thinking well I don’t want to start that because it’s going to hurt the transferability of the business. I wouldn’t necessarily say that. I wouldn’t necessarily say don’t do in fact I’ll probably say the opposite especially if you have enough time. If you’re looking at a year, two or three years before selling and you’re able to build that audience I think it actually makes more sense because it’s really hard to replicate that.
Craig: Yeah the value you can get in those two years is so much more than the potential drawback of the new owner flubbing it and your audience being upset which is basically the worst thing that could happen right?
Mark: You’re totally biased in this but I’m going to ask you this question right now. If I could give you a business with 30,000 e-mail subscribers or a business with 15,000 podcast listeners what would you take?
Craig: Yeah I mean the podcast listeners are going to engage with your message a lot more. You probably also would get all of them on an email list so you’re already halfway there to having both. I mean you’re literally … and we say it all the time, you’re literally in someone’s ear creating like some kind of like different neural connection with those people. I get your e-mail; I read your e-mails fine. I hear you on the podcast; I hear you talking about your kids and the Dread Pirate Roberts and all these kind of stuff that like has a different level of meaning. And it is that personal stuff that in a situation where you’re going to be transferring it to a new owner is a little different. But for the time that you have the business or you’re looking in acquiring a business that has a podcast it is a huge benefit. Because a lot of people are scared, right? You didn’t start the podcast for some period of time probably because you’re like … I don’t know this is an onerous task I don’t know if I’m up for it right? I mean maybe I did sure like I didn’t start a podcast because I was like I’m not going to talk into a microphone and then put it out on the Internet for anyone who wants to hear it to hear because I sound like an idiot right? Like a lot of people don’t like the sound of their voice and you just have to get over that stuff because the net is such a huge win.
Craig: Think about like you’re at a conference now and like you know Mark I heard you on the podcast right?
Mark: Right well it was that conference question that actually led us to do the podcast because we’ve been going to so many conferences and conferences are expensive. You have to fly out there for sponsoring and now that the sponsorship fees are ridiculously high and … but the benefit of being there in front of somebody and having those little jokes here and there or just playing… we’ll play it a game. Well, we’ve done golf, we’ve done jenga, we’ve done darts … or something like darts it was actually sharp objects that we’re throwing out our booth but that’d be dangerous they wouldn’t let us do that. But that actual physical presence being there it really relaxed people so much more and allowed us to connect on more of a one on one basis. And that’s why we started the podcast and sure enough, I think that happened. Given that choice between e-mail list and podcast, I would take the podcast audience as well. I think you can mobilize a podcast audience much faster. I think they’re more engaged. I think they’re more likely to quite literally listen to you but be more attentive to what you’re saying. I think there’s … that’s just different [inaudible 00:40:07.3].
Craig: Yeah I would say like that one look at guys like you know Gary Vaynerchuk right or Pat Flynn or whoever that you look up to in the business and marketing world they all have podcasts right? So like that says something I think. The other thing is the volume of information that we are relaying in this episode is massive. Like … you know we transcribe episodes for customers a podcast and a typical you know 45 minute conversation is about 15 pages in a Google doc.
Craig: So you’re like how are you going to relay 15 pages of content to anybody ever? That’s impossible, right? No one is ever going to read that blog post or email but they’ll listen to that podcast every week.
Mark: Yeah absolutely, in fact, I have our director of content marketing now Chris Moore who also listens to the podcast, hey Chris how are you doing? He’s been going back through every one of our podcasts and pulling up quotes. And he was telling me just earlier this week about how much volume is there that we put together in what feels like a very short amount of time of doing this podcast. It is a ton of information.
Craig: Something … a bit of a carrot I think for both the buy and sell side you know of your audience is you can bet your bottom that Google will be indexing audio very soon.
Mark: That’s a really nice tease.
Craig: Oh you know the SEO impact of podcasting ya-da-da-da-da, you’re going to create like show notes that are like 700 words or whatever for an hour long conversation. 100% guarantee that there will be an audio tab in Google whatever soon in the next couple of years.
Mark: Yeah all right so let’s go to this. We’re almost up with our time I want to end up with what does somebody need at a bare minimum if they want to test a podcast for their business? How long … we don’t have to get in the details of the equipment like we don’t … I mean you want to give a couple of recommendations there and what are the basic things they should think about if they want to get and test it out for say two or three months and how long should they test it?
Craig: Yeah so I think that the basics you need a microphone. I mentioned the two microphones before. If you really just want to test use the Apple ear buds they’re actually quite good.
Mark: They are actually. Yes, I’ll second that actually, yeah.
Craig: Get in a quiet place; don’t have your kids running around or the train going by with the window open or something like that. Do some kind of environmental safety measures for the sound quality. You need something to record and edit the audio with. A tool that does both of those is called Audacity. It’s open sourced and free in cross-platform so Windows or Mac. So you can record and edit with Audacity. Something to record with select a microphone or the Apple ear buds perfectly good and then you probably want something to store the files on so like a podcast hosting platform like a Castos or Libsyn, or SoundCloud and then you need to create what’s called an RSS feed. And that is the thing that places like iTunes and Stitcher and Spotify read. And then share information about your podcast like as a whole like the title and description and image and all likely stuff and about each episode. That’s kind of how podcasting works is you submit this RSS feed to these directories and the directories read the meta information about your show as well as information about each episode as it’s published. So that’s kind of a 20,000 foot view of podcasting. How many episodes? I think if you can’t come up with 20 good guest interview or topics to cover or something like that then you have a couple of problems. But you probably shouldn’t get into content generally but you really, really, really need to think about at least having a couple of episodes to launch with. Two, three, four something like that and but you really should have a general idea of what the first 20 episodes is going to look like.
Mark: Yeah and I recommend actually recording probably about two months’ worth just to start. If you’re running a business as well I know like the recent first … my first go with Quiet Light podcast didn’t really happen as I recorded three episodes and then I got busy and three weeks goes by really, really fast. And we do this here at Quiet Light we will get like a nice buffer of about two months but next you know we’re staring down an empty set again of episodes. So get a nice buffer set up for that first trial and see what happens. It’s a great medium and I’m going to do a plug for you just like you don’t have to come across self-promotion. Honestly, your service makes this whole thing dead simple. Like I don’t think about it at all, I don’t think about what I’m doing. The only thing I thought about was what sort of graphic are we going to use for the podcast. Outside of that everything was set up, everything was done, the introduction was done. It makes it really, really simple. And so if you are looking to go this direction don’t add a bunch more to your plate. Go out talk to PodcastMotor I recommend your guys service highly enough.
Craig: Cool. Thanks so much that’s great to hear.
Mark: Hey thanks for coming on. I really appreciate it. If you guys have questions feel free to reach out to [email protected] We’ll put contact information in the show notes and yeah if you have any other questions or suggestions for podcast episodes send me an email [email protected]. Thanks, Craig.
Craig: Thanks, Mark.
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