How many podcasts do you listen to?
If the answer is "zero," you're missing out. Podcasts are a goldmine for business-building tips, fitness hacks, and straight-up entertainment.
(Seriously, if you're not listening to any right now, start Googling. Here's one of my all-time favourites. to help get you started.)
But, what about hosting your own podcast? Have you ever considered being the content creator, not just the content consumer?
I know you're probably thinking, "Sure, hosting a podcast is just what I need... another thing to add to my to-do list. Thanks, but no thanks."
I get it. From the outside, becoming a podcaster sure sounds like a lot of work and technical expertise. I thought so too. Then I dove in, and saw my business PROFIT more than double in 6 months!
Are you interested now?
4 Reasons Why You Need to Start a Fitness Podcast
Before we dive into the reasons why you need to at least consider becoming a podcaster, I want to dispel the myth that it's hard to get started.
I'm not going to go into the nitty-gritty details because Pat Flynn has done it for you. In fact, this is the very tutorial I followed to start my podcast a couple of years ago.
FYI - I built my podcast, including the first 3 episodes, from scratch in a single weekend. It's the best two-day investment of time I've ever spent on my business. Here's why:
1. Expand Your Audience
Grow an audience that is larger than a pop star's concert
Do this quick exercise with me:
- List all of the marketing tactics you currently use
- Beside each, write down the cost
- Beside the cost, write down the best case scenario in terms of potential reach. That is, how many people could you reasonably expect to connect with through this marketing channel?
For example, say you take out an ad in your local newspaper for $300. If the circulation is 10,000 people, it might be reasonable to expect that 1,000 of them see your ad.
Now, take your cost and divide it by your potential reach. In our example we get $300 / 1,000 = $0.30 per person reached (i.e. $0.30 per impression).
Look at your list. Which of your marketing tactics seems to offer the most upside?
And keep in mind that it's not all about cost. Some marketing ideas are free, but would have horrible results in terms of generating profit. You could run down the street naked yelling, "Let me be your personal trainer!" and you'd definitely get some attention (for free), but I doubt you're getting any customers!
What about podcasts?
There are literally millions of active listeners searching for new content each day. In the case of my Make Your Body Work podcast, I grew an audience of over 1,000 listeners per day within just 3 months!
No newspaper ad, billboard, or CPC banner is going to match that. You reduce costs and increase profitability when you use podcasting to grow your audience.
2. Grow Your Authority
Perhaps even more important than audience size, however, is the perception you are creating about yourself and your authority.
Who hosts podcasts?
Listen, I'm all for blogging. I love it. I still do it myself. But, anyone can (and does) write a blog. Hosting a podcast separates you from the millions of other fitness professionals who are trying to establish their credibility.
Just imagine you were planning a trip to India, but you knew nothing about the country. Who would you trust more: Someone who writes a travel blog OR someone who hosts a podcast all about traveling the world?
For me, and I think I speak for consumers everywhere, the travel podcaster holds a lot more authority simply because he is using a more elite form of media to spread his message.
I have seen this proven over and over by my own podcast. People from all over the world email me each week with questions about health and fitness. Is it because they read an article on my blog? Nope - it's because they hear my voice each week when they tune into my podcast.
3. Skyrocket Your Stickiness
Keep clients close. Really close!
Building your authority will certainly lead you to getting more clients, especially if you have an online business that transcends geographic boundaries.
But even more than that, your podcast is the ultimate customer retention machine. Why?
There's something magical about a podcast. People literally have your voice and your message plugged into their ears. It's an intimate experience.
I often receive emails from people I've never met who recite stories I've told on my podcast. They feel like they know me. It's as if we are friends. Would you quit doing business with one of your friends? (Me neither)
Stickiness refers to the barrier that exists for a consumer to switch to another service or product provider. If it's easy for Sally to switch from Gym A to Gym B, then Gym A has low stickiness.
As you develop a deep relationship with your podcast listeners, your stickiness will grow and grow. This translates directly into profitability for your business because:
- When you're sticky, customers never leave
- When you're sticky, customers buy more from you
- When you're sticky, customers tell others about you
Many of my long-term podcast listeners are my best clients. They buy every single product or service I launch. Does that ever make my job easier!
4. Build Your Network
Connect with the first-class stars of the fitness world
When I started my podcast, I had no idea that I was creating a powerful networking vehicle. Now I realize that this is the #1 most powerful benefit of hosting a podcast.
Before podcasting, when I wanted to connect with a "star" in the online fitness world, it took a LOT of work. I'd retweet them. I'd like their content on Facebook. I'd comment on their blog posts. I'd share their videos. I'd work and work and work to build a "relationship" before sending them a single email.
Maybe this sounds like a waste of time, but people like Mark Sisson aren't going to respond to any Joe Blow who writes in to ask for a favour. You have to earn that response and it takes time and effort.
A podcast allows you to eliminate all of that work. Here's what I do when I want to connect with someone who I admire:
Hey Mark, I'm the host of the Make Your Body Work fitness podcast. The show has become quite popular with women in Canada and the US and I know my audience would love to hear your expert opinion on the show. Would you like to be my guest sometime?
See what I did there?
- The show is popular
- It targets the same demographic that you target
- YOU will be the expert when you come on the show
Who's going to refuse an offer like that?
Hosting a podcast has not only given me a dead simple way to connect with other authorities in the health world, but it has also created a reciprocal effect. I now get asked to be the guest on loads of other podcasts, summits, and online events. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Podcasting does take commitment and ongoing effort. But, I am not exaggerating when I say it's the single best marketing move I've ever done for my business.
If you're looking to expand your fitness business, especially if you have an online business or want to grow one, podcasting is for you. Commit to creating just 10 episodes - that's how I began. I bet you won't turn back once you see the results.