Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7 Ironclad Reasons to Podcast (Even If You Hate the Sound of Your Own Voice)

Look, I get it…

You hate the sound of your own voice. You’re unfamiliar with the tech. And you feel much more comfortable typing than you do talking into a mic.

So you may feel hesitant to start your own podcast. Maybe you even feel intimidated by the prospect.

But you should do it anyway.

Because podcasting can pay major dividends for you, your blog, and your business.

Podcasting has been on a steady increase over the years both in the quantity of shows produced and in the volume of listeners.

It reaches people across genres, languages, and economic status, and if you strategically bake podcasting into your content plan, you can reap its many dividends.

Here are seven ways podcasting can help you boost your blog and business.

#1. You Build a Network Your Competitors Will Envy


When you run a podcast, you can invite influencers as guests and interview them one on one. It’s an excellent way to build connections.

Most people like the idea of gaining free publicity for their work, so they’ll often agree to spend 30+ minutes with you to get exposed to your audience.

And when you spend time cultivating the relationship before, during, and after the interview, you can build a powerful network of people who can help you grow your business and blog.

Over the last two and a half years, I’ve interviewed more than 100 guests for my own podcast. While I’m not best friends with every person who’s come on the show, I have kept in touch with people with whom I had a strong connection.

And some cool business opportunities have come out of those, which wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t established the initial relationship through my podcast.

#2. You Can Bask in the Spillover of Other People’s Star Power


Some time ago, I had Tucker Max on my podcast. (In case you don’t know, he’s a three-time New York Times best-selling author.)

His team reached out to me and pitched Tucker as a guest to promote his new business, Book in a Box.

Once the episode went live, I got this message from a friend in my network:

build influence and social proof

Leveraging the authority of those you associate with is a smart way to build influence and social proof.

When you interview people for your podcast, particularly folks with larger followings than you, it boosts your credibility. Your audience will think, “If she has so-and-so on her show, she must know what she’s talking about!”

And you don’t have to wait for your dream guests to come to you. You can reach out to them and explain why coming on your show would benefit them.

Don’t know how? Here’s a great resource on how to land big guests for your show, even if you’re a newbie.

#3. Your Ideas Reach a Brand-New, Highly Engaged Audience


Through blogging, you can spread your ideas to a wide audience. But through podcasting, you can put those ideas in front of a new audience that your blog might never reach.

While there are some people who read blogs and listen to podcasts on a regular basis, many people do just one or the other.

And listenership continues to grow for podcasts — at more than 20% year after year.

Even better, data reveals podcast audiences are super-engaged. A whopping 85% of listeners hear all or most of a show and the average listener consumes five hours and seven minutes worth of podcasts each week.

People aren’t quick to turn off a podcast once they start listening, and they can listen to a podcast while doing something else, like cooking, driving or walking the dog. It’s an ideal medium for busy people.

So repurposing ideas you’ve shared on your blog for a podcast is well worth your time — especially the ideas that have already proven popular.

For example, here’s an article I published on my Inc. column that showed the results of research I’d done with entrepreneurs:

repurpose blogs for podcast material

When I saw the message resonated, I switched up the headline, added a few additional points, and published it as a podcast episode.

repurpose blogs for podcast material - 2

With this one article and podcast episode, I was able to double the amount of people who were exposed to my message.

#4. Your Unfiltered Voice Builds an Even Deeper Bond with Your Audience


You can build a connection with readers on your blog, no doubt. But with podcasting, your audience hears your voice and personality, your inflections and emotions, as well as your laughter.

They’ll feel like they know you much more intimately, which bonds them to you more strongly.

A few years ago, researchers conducted a study where they asked participants to rate their degree of connectedness and bonding after having participated in in-person, video, audio, or written communication with a friend.

As you might’ve guessed, the greatest level of bonding occurred through in-person interactions, followed by video chats, followed by audio.

Instant messaging came in last among the options.

When you consider how the brain processes information, this phenomenon isn’t surprising. Researchers, educators, and consultants Louisa Moats and Carol Tolman explained it in more detail on Reading Rockets:

Spoken language is “hard-wired inside the human brain. Language capacity in humans evolved about 100,000 years ago, and the human brain is fully adapted for language processing… A related fact should be self-evident: Reading and writing are acquired skills for which the human brain is not yet fully evolved.” (Liberman, Shankweiler, & Liberman, 1989) Human brains are naturally wired to speak; they are not naturally wired to read and write.
 
Reading and writing are skills we may take for granted today, but these skills have only recently become prevalent among the human population. By contrast, we’ve been speaking and listening for ages.

It’s no surprise that hearing someone’s voice makes us feel more connected to them than just reading their words.

#5. Your Bank Account Will Get More Direct Deposits


Adding a podcast to your content marketing can directly increase the revenues for your blog and business.

The most common way people monetize their podcasts is through selling sponsorships, or commercial spots that are read before and during an episode.

John Lee Dumas is host of the hit podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. Every month he publishes an income report for the business he’s built around the show. For December alone, his sponsorship revenue for his daily podcast was more than $64,000.

podcasts can increase your revenue

The larger the audience is for your show, the better you position yourself to earn a decent income from third-party sponsors.

But getting sponsors for your show isn’t the only way to monetize your podcast. Many hosts promote their own products and services to their listeners through designated ad spots.

You could highlight your online course, your coaching packages, or even relevant affiliate offers.

My friend Vernon Foster is a podcast coach at PodParrot. He says many of his clients make a ton of money with their podcast by highlighting their own products. He recommends podcasters with audiences of all sizes do the same:

You don’t have to be Tim Ferriss, Lewis Howes or Gary Vee either. There’s [sic] a lot of real estate podcasts you’ve never heard of that are quietly making a small fortune selling high-ticket [offers].
 
Side note: I met Vernon through my podcast, which goes to show how it can help you build your network!

#6. You Give Google More Reason to Notice You


Bloggers have long been on the hunt for ways to drive traffic to their blogs through SEO. The good news is that podcasting can help you with that as well.

Whenever you publish a new episode, you can add relevant written content to the “show notes” page on your website, which is indexable by search engines. Transcripts and detailed notes with time stamps are smart ways to add content to your site that might rank for long-tail keywords and draw more traffic.

Not only that, podcasting can also help you get links, which can boost your site’s authority in the eyes of Google. Whenever you have a guest on for an interview, you have a good chance they’ll link back to it from their site.

Lastly, publishing podcasts on your blog can also increase the average amount of time people stay on your site. Google likes to see this as well.

Here’s what SEO expert Phil Singleton of Kansas City Web Design said on the subject:

To the extent that you can, adding rich media in, like a podcast audio or a video, is super important because one of the hottest topics in terms of on page SEO is increasing the amount of dwell time on the site. [. . .] If you can get people to land on the page and click the audio file on your website, they stay a lot longer. Your dwell time goes through the roof, even if it is only a few people because a 15-20 minute podcast has a lot more people listening through longer.
 

#7. You’ll Be Prepared When Oprah Calls


Podcasting will you get you ready for future speaking opportunities that can expand your reach.

Imagine your blog getting so popular that you get called for a talk show interview, a TEDx talk, or to be a featured speaker at a conference. You want to be ready, right?

Having experience speaking in both scripted and off-the-cuff formats will prepare you for when those calls come.

When you step up to the mic on a consistent basis, you will discover your most relevant messages, refine your voice, and overcome any fears of public speaking that might otherwise hold you back.

Through podcasting, you’ll build your speaking confidence until it feels natural.

A few months ago, I was a featured expert on a program with an NPR radio affiliate. The show’s producer read an article I published, and he invited me to speak more in-depth on the topic and to answer questions from listeners who called in.

My experiences in podcasting, both as a guest and a host, prepared me to be comfortable speaking without a script.  As a result, I am ready to seize bigger opportunities that come my way.

It’s Time for You to Step Up to the Mic

Give your expertise an even bigger stage. A stage that enables you to transform the lives of even more people who crave your solutions.

Sure, it’ll take some practice.

But don’t most things that are worth it?

You don’t have to produce the next Serial, This American Life, or Smart Passive Income to reap the benefits of podcasting.

You’ve simply got to create a show that speaks to your ideal audience in a meaningful way.

You’ve already got the knowledge. And you’ve already got the ideas.

Now all you need is the mic.

About the Author: Sonia Thompson is a marketing strategist, consultant, and author focused on helping you create remarkable customer experiences that help you win more customers and keep them coming back for more. Grab your Podcast Launch Resource Sheet, so you know exactly what you need (and what you don’t) to start your podcast.


from
https://smartblogger.com/why-podcast/

Saturday, February 10, 2018

#SocialSkim: Snapchat Intros Live Video; Facebook Courts Creators: 10 Stories This Week

Snapchat's live video (but don't get excited), e-commerce store, and rising stock; access to Facebook Watch opens up; brand winners and losers of Super Bowl LII; Instagram's new carousel ad unit; Facebook tech determines user socioeconomic status; more. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

from
https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2018/33603/socialskim-snapchat-intros-live-video-facebook-courts-creators-10-stories-this-week

Friday, February 9, 2018

How Color Impacts Fashion Brands' Instagram Engagement

Do images from fashion brands that feature certain colors tend to garner more engagement on Instagram? To find out, Corra examined more than 200,000 images posted to Instagram by 200 popular fashion brands. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

from
https://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2018/33544/how-color-impacts-fashion-brands-instagram-engagement

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Social Video Marketing Tips for Small Businesses [Infographic]

Videos can be a smart way to build brand awareness, drive traffic, and convert visitors. Understanding how each social platform displays video can help you make your efforts more targeted and effective. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

from
https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2028/33411/social-video-marketing-tips-for-small-businesses-infographic

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Why All Bloggers Should Offer Coaching (Yes, Even You)

You started your blog because you want people to read it.

You want your blog to connect with people. You want your content to reach a wide audience. You want to build a base of fans that gobble up your every word.

And yes, at some point, you also want to make money from your blog.  

Because let’s face it … as much as you love to write, you didn’t start your blog as a journaling project. (If you did, this article isn’t for you.)

But here’s the thing … if you want your writing to connect with people, you need to connect with them first.

And the best way to connect with anyone is to talk to them — as in, one-on-one.

That’s why every blogger should offer coaching.

Yes, even you. Even if you don’t think you can.

“But… My Niche Really Isn’t Coaching-Compatible…”

You sure about that?

Okay, I won’t lie — some niches do lend themselves to coaching more than others. Everyone’s heard of business coaches, dating coaches, and fitness coaches. And if you blog on those topics, coaching people will feel like a natural step.

On the other hand, nobody’s ever heard of a web design coach, an anxiety coach, or a travel coach. Those niches aren’t quite as compatible with coaching as the previous ones.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t offer a coaching-like service.

You don’t have to label it “coaching” if it doesn’t feel natural, but you can offer something that gets you one-on-one time with your audience.

For example:

  • If you blog about web design, you could offer website reviews and feedback sessions.
  • If you blog about anxiety, you could offer guided meditations or in-person teaching of techniques to calm down.
  • If you blog about travel, you could offer sessions where they tell you their dream trip, and you help them create the ultimate money-saving itinerary.

So let’s be clear: You don’t have to be a coach in the traditional sense of the word. The important thing is that you get to talk to (and help!) your audience in a one-on-one setting.

You do not have to be a coach in the traditional sense of the word.

“But… But… I’m Not Ready to Be a Coach!”

Let’s be real. Your first coaching sessions will always feel scary, and you’re not going to feel ready the first few times you do it.

But you shouldn’t wait to start coaching until you feel ready, because you won’t feel ready until you start coaching.

Jeff Goins started coaching early in his blogging career, and even he admits he was mostly winging it at first:

Early on in my blogging career, people started asking me to coach them. I had no idea what this meant or how to do this. So, of course, I said yes. I began meeting with people in person and on the phone and seeing how I could help them. When we met, I realized what Derek Sivers says — ”what’s obvious to you is amazing to others” — is true.
 
Yes, you read that right. One of the world’s most popular writing coaches had little clue what he was doing when he started coaching. He was just confident he could help people get results, so he said yes.

And that’s the point: Coaching clients don’t expect you to be perfect. They just want you to help them get results.

If you have enough knowledge to run a blog on a certain topic, you have enough knowledge to get people results on that same topic. Right? Right. (Otherwise, I doubt you’d have started your blog in the first place.)

If you’re uncomfortable charging people at first, that’s totally understandable. (And even honorable that you don’t want to take money without first proving your value.)

To get past this, go ahead and offer your first 5–10 coaching calls for free. You’ll not only gain experience running a coaching call, you’ll also gain the confidence to charge people for a session when the time comes.

3 Critical Reasons You Should Offer Coaching to Your Audience

Are you feeling convinced that you can offer coaching on your blog?

Good, then we can talk about why you should.

The truth is, coaching can be a godsend for your blogging business.

I’ve been blogging for almost four years now, and it’s only been in the last year or so that I got the readership, engagement, and profitability I’ve wanted all along. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I also started coaching about a year and a half ago.

Here are three ways coaching will benefit you as a blogger:

#1. You Gain New Insights and Create More Engaging Content


One of the coolest things about coaching is that clients will tell you their own specific struggles without you having to guess. I know that sounds uber-simplistic, but how many hours do you spend scouring the web for information on your audience instead of just asking them directly?

Coaching clients are incredibly forthcoming with what they need your help with, which means you’ll gather a ton of valuable insights for your content strategy.

Take Jacob McMillen, who noticed some tangible data differences after running his first coaching/mentorship program. He’d reached the six-figure mark as a writer, and wanted to know how he could help other people do the same.

I decided to mentor 10 writers for 3 months and see what would happen. I priced it at $200 per month to make it accessible and all 10 spots were filled within a few days. My hope was that, even if I wasn’t successful, I would get a more intimate understanding of what was really holding people back.
 
From mentoring only ten people, he already got a wealth of information and results. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the long run.

After the group mentoring experiment, he realigned his content marketing based on the information he collected, and saw the following results:

  • Average article views increased from 1,218 to 3,802
  • Average time on page increased from 3:38 to 6:21
  • Average shares increased from 72 to 99

After his coaching experiment, the insights he gathered helped him develop more compelling content for his particular audience, and as you can see, his engagement shot way up.

#2. You Can Start Earning Cash Right Away


One of the best parts of coaching is that you can make money right away.

As we saw above, Jacob mentored ten students at $200 a pop, which means he brought in $2,000 he wouldn’t have otherwise.

In my own business, I let people book one-off sessions ranging in price from $125 to $200, and sometimes I even book month-long programs for corporate teams for thousands of dollars.

It’s relatively quick and easy money, and you don’t even have to spend time creating a product. Coaching is something you can start to offer as soon as you get readers. (Or even sooner, if you explore other ways to score your first coaching clients.)

Even if you don’t start out charging $100+ per session, and even if you’re only getting the occasional client at first, it’s still cash in your bank.

Yes, even if you only book one session per week and only charge $30 to $50 for it, that’s still money coming in. (And it means you’re officially “in business” as a professional blogger.)

#3. You Can Validate and Refine Your Product Ideas


As Pat Flynn put it: “If you truly want to know whether or not a product will sell or not, you’ve got to get people to pull out their wallets and actually pay you for it.”

He’s right. You’ll never know if you’ve got something worth paying for until someone pays for it.

One of the most popular ways to make money as a blogger is through product development — but with the amount of time that takes, it can be a risky venture if you don’t validate your product idea beforehand.

And you can validate your product idea by selling coaching sessions aimed at helping people reach the same goal. You’ll already know people are willing to pay for it, so you’ll reduce most of the risk up front.

Not only that, but the insights you get from coaching will help you refine your product and maximize its effectiveness.

James Johnson based his entire first course on the results he got from coaching:

I was looking to find my first product to run through Freelance Writers School. I needed to find out what people needed, and what I could deliver to them in a small space of time.

So I asked around some freelance friends on Facebook, explained to them what I was doing, and offered to coach them for free on some of the problems they were having in their business.

 
James got one friend on board and asked him what his problems were. James then offered his solutions, and when they worked, he’d add them to his course as modules. When they didn’t work, he’d cut them and try something new.

When James was done, he’d helped his friend grow his freelancing business, and he’d assembled 90% of a course.

He then continued to test his solutions on paid coaching clients, noting where they hit roadblocks or had further questions. This helped him refine his course further, making it even more helpful and easier to navigate.

Start Coaching Right Now and Reap the Many Benefits

Your first coaching offer doesn’t have to be perfect, especially if you’re at the first stages of using it as a method of market research and a simple stream of revenue.

You’ll refine your offer(s) over time, and only experience with coaching can teach you how to become a better coach for your audience.

You’ll learn so much about your audience, build a better blog, earn some money, and gather the information you need to make your blog more profitable in the long term. (Plus, you’ll be helping people with your knowledge, which is rewarding in and of itself.)

It’s a win-win-win situation, and the world is waiting for your expertise.

So give it to them.

About the Author: Chelsea Baldwin is the founder of Copy Power, where she teaches copywriting and helps entrepreneurs make the kind of bang-bang impression that gets remembered. (Even days after people leave your site.) Use her free 3-part email course to learn how to write astonishingly memorable copy for yourself, even if you’re not a writer.
 

from
https://smartblogger.com/why-offer-coaching/

10 Steps to Launch a Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign

Don't be fooled by viral social campaigns: They look deceptively simple, but successful social campaigns require thought and strategy. Check out these simple steps to build effective social campaigns. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

from
https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2018/33538/10-steps-to-launch-a-successful-social-media-marketing-campaign

Saturday, February 3, 2018

#SocialSkim: Facebook Loses Users for First Time Ever; Twitter Preps Snapchat Feature: 11 Stories This Week

How and why Facebook (willingly) lost users for the first time ever; Twitter's Snapchat-like video feature; Instagram post-scheduling, maybe video-calling; Facebook, Google fight over news; Facebook Lead Ads; WhatsApp's massive new milestone; more! Read the full article at MarketingProfs

from
https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2018/33561/socialskim-facebook-loses-users-for-first-time-ever-twitter-preps-snapchat-feature-11-stories-this-week