Don’t Turn Your Podcast Into an Advertisement

There are nearly as many different types of podcasts as there are people. Between the length of shows (anywhere from a few minutes to several hours) and the topics (you name it) there are a lot of ways to make your show stand out. But, in the end, there’s just one thing you need to know when developing your show: make it something someone wants to listen to.

In this post, I’m talking mostly to people producing a series to promote a company or product. With that type of podcast, it’s far too tempting to make the program a series of commercials. The fact that people have been trying to find ways to avoid commercials for many decades should tell you that is a topic that won’t lead to many listeners.

Instead of spending your entire show touting how good your product or organization is, instead think about what expertise you have that people could use. For instance, if you have a plumping supply company, instead of talking about your products directly you could give plumbing advice and occasionally reference the products you sell during an organic conversation. Advice programs are one of the best routes, in fact, because they provide something of value to the listener, and may even be found during Google searches for problems discussed on the show.  Another possible topic for this type of business include weird tales of plumbing disasters, which sounds freakishly interesting.

Speaking of advice podcasts, the debate comes up frequently about giving away tips for free rather than charging for that advice. I’ve talked about it in my own podcast, Startup BizCast, but I’ll say it again: if people have the time and ability to do the work, they will do it whether you give them advice or not. The value of providing some help for free is that they’ll learn that you are an expert in the subject and, if they ever need help, they’ll hopefully remember your name.