This article was written by Lynn Joseph on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
Have you ever thought about adding a podcast component to expand the brand of your business? Do you want to get the ball rolling on bringing this dream to a reality but don’t know where to start or if you even should start? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into a handful of the pros and cons of starting a podcast so that you’re equipped to make the right decision on if the podcasting life is for you.
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THE CON: If you do not have a clear vision for your brand, promotion and marketing mean absolutely nothing. A muddled brand or business that is not clear about its mission will not serve you well. You must have clarity in the purpose of your business and its plan for success. Whether that’s a 5 year, 10 year, or 30 year business plan, even if you don’t have investors or plan on having any, you need to think with your business hat on. If someone who would want to invest in your business (and invests for a living) has more questions about your business than the podcast, that’s a problem. That means that you need to focus more on building up your business before adding to your plate with a podcast. Take your time and build up the business first. Or, if you really can’t wait, build an audience with the brand in mind but do not announce the business on your podcast until you are absolutely ready to do so.
THE CON: Quality Content Can Be Costly – There is a financial cost to podcasting and that includes recording and editing equipment (which can vary, depending on if you are in a studio and/or traveling with the equipment and if your guests/staff will be in the studio or not), a website domain and/or hosting, brand design, original music, marketing, a producer and/or editor if you will not be producing/editing your podcast, an optional transcriptionist, and a budget to pay staff, guests hosts, and possibly guests to appear on the podcast. If you will be producing and editing the show on your own time, that time away from your business, which is providing revenue, must be weighed while your podcast is not making revenue. Anyone can start a podcast. They could even start one for free if they didn’t care about their mic quality and investing time and energy into other areas and through it up on YouTube or Apple. But if you are doing this seriously, for your brand, for your business, a podcast with high quality sound and editing as well as (depending on the podcast type), a podcast with an experienced team (research assistant, cast members, etc) will cost you something. Be prepared to invest into the production of your podcast.
THE CON: If you are not consistently doing the research and being in the know about what your audience is and is not into, you will lose the very listeners who could have been around forever. Whether or not you take advantage of trends or timely news items, your audience trusts you. So not having the most up to date studies from professionals in the field that you are research in for example could possibly do more harm than good if outdated studies and information are shared with your audience. It’s also easy to overlook research when we think that something doesn’t affect us but your listeners come from all backgrounds all over the globe. Forgetting about them and their experiences may alienate them. Stay on top of who are audience is, where they are, and what they are dealing with in their parts of the world in addition to their likes and dislikes. This includes listening to other podcasts that could be seen as your competition in the field. Listen to podcasts that have been around for over a decade and listen to newer podcasts. See what they are offering and compare that to what you are offering. Research, research, research. Otherwise, you won’t be able to serve your audience to the fullest.
THE CON: The problem is, most podcasts made before Serial were not made with the intention to make money. They were made because people were genuinely interested in talking about the things that they were passionate about with a community of like-minded people. Nowadays, the market is extremely crowded with people who only want to make a podcast with the sole intention of making a buck and they do not realize that this will not happen overnight, if it even happens at all. So the bottom line is, if you are not passionate about what you are talking about and nurturing the community that you will be creating with your podcast, you should not be podcasting. The listeners will hear right through the gimmick and they won’t stick around long term. Not enough listeners = not enough sponsors. So really think about if your reasons for starting a podcast are genuine or not.
These are just a handful of essentials to ponder as you consider whether or not starting a podcast is the absolute best thing for your brand. Everybody doesn’t need a podcast. Everybody is not host material, a great interviewer, etc… That’s perfectly okay. Maybe your brand would be better suited for YouTube, Instagram, and/or TikTok. Maybe it’s a mix of both. It’s up to you to know where your audience is, what you are able to deliver well, how much you are willing to invest in making the best podcast possible, and what you actually want to do vs. what you think you have to do.
Remember. Businesses and brands have been around long before podcasting has been around so there is no need to make a podcast and no pressure to podcast if podcasting is not the best fit for you. If podcasting is a great fit for you, buckle up for the ride and remember, have fun with the community you create!
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