Unlike blogging, podcasting takes a bit more work to do if you want to do it right. Podcasting done right will provide you with enhanced marketing content that speaks directly to your target audience while building rapport and trust. However, if you fail to plan appropriately, your podcast could have the opposite reaction with your audience and decrease your value. Since I'm not an expert in podcasting, I reached out to an expert, Elzie Flenard, to learn more about the pitfalls of podcasting. Elzie is the owner of Enterprise NOW!, which is a full-service podcasting agency, assisting podcasters with everything from launching, editing, production, and promotion of podcasts. He is also the Mayor of Podcast Town, a membership-based community of business owners, entrepreneurs, and business professionals that utilize podcasting to grow their brand. Bottom line, he knows a lot about podcasting done right. After talking with Elzie, I compiled a list of the key things business owners must do or understand to ensure their podcast builds their relationships with their target audiences and enhances business value.
1. Have a strategy. Success in podcasting is 75% planning and strategy and 25% execution. Without a strategy for how your podcast helps you achieve your business goals, you'll fail to provide value and run out of content by podcast #7.
2. Treat it like an important part of your business. A podcast isn't a whim. While it can be fun to try, it exposes you and your business to risk. If you don't have an entity set up for your business, you may need to in order to protect your house, car or savings if you get sued. Also, you must understand defamation laws if you are going to talk critically about specific people/businesses, who are not a guest on your podcast.
3. Make sure you own the content in your podcast. You cannot use just any music in your podcast; copyright laws require you have licensed any music that plays as part of your podcast. Additionally, people own the rights to their voice and speech. Without a signed guest agreement, you can't do whatever you want to the recording.
4. Determine the best ways to protect and add value to your podcast. If your podcast becomes popular, it will develop brand recognition. You can protect that value by trademarking your podcast name. Additionally, you can copyright each podcast recording if you have ensured that the have the rights to all of the content contained (see #3). Having a copyright registration entitles you to sue someone for infringement as well as collect statutory damages (i.e., a set amount of money rather than determining actual damages, which can be hard to do) and attorney's fees in infringement lawsuits if someone decides to use some of your recording or content. Having a trademark creates a presumption of ownership with courts and allows enhanced remedies (i.e., more money) in court if you need to sue someone for infringement.
5. Make sure your podcast aligns to your brand. When you listen to your recording, does the content align to what you tell your customers? Are you distracted by the Ummms, Aaahs, and silence? Does it ultimately support your marketing strategy and provide content that can be used in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and email marketing? If no, get an expert to help with strategy, editing, production, and/or promotion.
If you are podcasting or getting ready to and want to better understand these issues, schedule a free consultation with us so you can focus on growing business value, not increasing your risk. Additionally, reach out to Elzie. He was great to talk to and has a ton of experience. Tell him Carolyn sent you.