Practical Podcasting for Professionals with David Pisarra
In my experience, most coaches hate marketing themselves,
They don’t know how to do it and have a hard time finding clients which is why the “rainmakers” get so much freedom in this world. For the new coach who is spending time and money at the chamber of commerce mixers, you’ve done what I call the “Grip and Grin dance.”
You introduce yourself to someone, shake hands, smile and make some small talk about the canapes before asking the question… ‘So what do you do?’ Most of us politely nod our heads and make a note of our new friend, who is a Reiki Master, or one of the 14 types of yoga instructors. Each of us will chat for about 5 minutes, exchange business cards and then disengage and move on to the next target.
This process of meeting, introduce and move on, has deep roots in society and has been a slow but effective way to build a clientele for generations. Today though we have a new tool in the entrepreneur’s toolbox the podcast. It’s an amazing lead generator, that will help you close those big clients faster and easier.
When you want to find more clients and spend less time converting them the answer is a podcast. I reach men who are facing divorce or child custody cases and educate them, empower them and occasionally even entertain them with my Men’s Family Law podcast. As a professional,
I use the podcast as a means to answer my future client’s questions so that they are ready to hire me before they even speak to me. For my listeners who have spent a few hours with me in their head, they already know, like and trust me. They have bought my books, watched my videos and have a gut feeling about who I am.
As a professional who needs to do client development podcasting is one of the most productive, time-saving, and cost-effective marketing tools you can create. I’m a big evangelist of the power of podcasting because not only does it allow you to reach your target audience, it also allows you to reach your target guests for networking.
A podcast is ‘On-Demand Radio’ for the listener.
A host records a show and then uploads it to either their website or a media hosting company. Once a show is online, a notice can be distributed to subscribed listeners through iTunes or what is called an RSS feed. RSS means ‘really simple syndication.’
My first episode in December of 2013 was recorded on a MacBook Pro, using GarageBand the music and audio editing software that it came with, and a $79 Blue Snowball USB microphone I bought at Guitar Center. I don’t have a soundproofed studio. I record in a portion of my office, usually early mornings when no one is around, and the phones are quiet.
I have recorded on location with my phone using VoiceRecord Pro, one time I was even under the blankets in a hotel room that was just too echoey otherwise. Creating a podcast can be as basic as hitting the Record button, and talk until you’re done, and hit the stop button. On the other end of the spectrum, podcasts can be professionally produced with intro music, outro music, commercials for your books, services or complementary companies.
My podcast is in the middle of the production spectrum. I wrote out what I wanted as an introduction, and exit message and three commercials for my firm. By hiring a professional voiceover actor, I put a professional polish on my podcast. Each episode then I just insert my educational piece, and an interview if I have one.
Once I’m done with the recording, I save it as an MP3, upload it to my media streaming account on LibSyn.com. I use an outside service to stream the media for two reasons, 1) when someone is listening to my podcast they don’t have those starts and stutters they might have from my MensFamilyLaw.com website which is a WordPress based site and not optimized for serving up media files. Second, LibSyn keeps track of the downloads, so I have information about what episode topics are popular, where people are finding me and my overall distribution.
Some people want to do an episode a week. I did that for a while, and then I burned out. Then I did some more episodes, and what I realized was that my show’s topic was really very timely only to an audience when they are in a crisis. My listeners find me, once they have been served with papers – so my show is designed to be very evergreen in content. Other people do more weekly reviews of their topic area, or their industry and they have to keep up with changes and news cycles constantly. It all depends on what the audience is that you are looking to reach.
The costs of producing a podcast are small compared to most of the advertising and marketing dollars spent by lawyers. My equipment costs were minimal, as I had a computer already, didn’t need new software and started with an inexpensive but good quality microphone. Today I have an editor who compiles my actual episodes to save me time – his hourly rate is much less than mine. LibSyn has basic accounts that start at $5.00 a month for a small amount of media storage which is usually more than enough for the beginner podcaster.
No matter what your area of coaching expertise, there is a way for you to develop a podcast and use it to market your services, promote a book (even if it’s just a pdf) and meet the movers and shakers in your area if you want to increase your celebrity and open doors. My podcast has a commercial for my services, and in about one-third of the episodes, I mention the books I have for sale on my website.
Beginner podcasters often are concerned that they will not have enough content that is interesting to talk about. I suggest that people start with a content calendar that lists the subject matter. Here’s a Podcasting Ninja Trick – Use the outlines from your subject matter guides as a starting point – all those entries are the potential question and answer episodes.
If you are concerned that you won’t be able to talk for 20 or 40 minutes by yourself, make a list of potential guests. The guests are experts in the field, complementary areas, even celebrities who have dealt with your specialty – who wouldn’t want to listen to a podcast on leadership with a celebrity that built their business from the ground up!
The other huge reason for a podcast is that it opens the door to those companies you want to be coaching. Rather than go through the Human Relations/Training Department, along with 5,000 other applicants, go through the Publicity/Marketing department to interview the CEO and make a new friend. The type of friend who can Greenlight your training.
I post my new podcast episodes on my website, in my Facebook feed and Pages, in my Twitter timeline and on LinkedIn – these are all the areas that I want exposure to potential clients. Depending on your practice you may want to do some or none of those and use the podcast as an entirely different tool.
My Men’s Family Law podcast is distributed through iTunes, Spreaker, IHeartRadio and many other databases that promote and share the episodes. Considering that there are well over 500 million handheld devices, and that doesn’t include desktop computers, in the United States alone that can be used to listen to a podcast – why aren’t you reaching a wider audience with your message? If you have an international practice – there are over 1 billion handheld devices in use today.
If you want more help understanding the power of podcasting, are looking for a way to increase your reach beyond the chamber of commerce, and want to carry your message to what is literally a worldwide audience, then I suggest you check out the possibilities of podcasting or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
About David Pisarra
David Pisarra is a Speaker, Podcaster, Columnist, Author, and Lawyer. His audiences are Empowered, Educated and Entertained to lead happier, more successful, more fulfilling lives.