Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Podcasting Is An Essential Tool For Self-help Practitioners

The word podcast came about by combining Apple's "iPod" and the word "broadcasting" to create the birth of a new type of downloadable media that is fast becoming the latest craze!

Podcasting is a method of producing a media file (either audio or video) and uploading it to the internet, providing an opportunity for people to subscribe to and receive them automatically as they are uploaded.

What's great about podcasting is not only the fact that anyone who has something to say can now have a voice online, but also that listeners (and perhaps potential clients) can download and listen to your podcast at a time that suits them. No more being tied to having to tune in or watch at the same time each week.

Another advantage comes from listeners only having to subscribe once to your podcast and automatically receiving updates whenever you create them. This provides complete freedom and flexibility for the user.

According to research company The5B4 Diffusion Group 840,000 Americans listened to podcasts in 2004 and this number is forecast to increase to 56 million by 2010. Of course the biggest advantage of podcasts is the fact that it provides a convenient way to listen to unique content from a range of podcasters (people who create podcasts!).

No more having to tune into a radio/TV show, or listen to streaming media from a website, now you can download the show to your iPod, pda, mobile, Zune or other handheld device and listen to it on the train or in your car.

If you run your own business podcasting offers you a number of opportunities not only to stay in the hearts and minds of your current clients, but also to attract new clients and earn revenue from your products and/or service.

The opportunities for practitioners creating podcasts, the opportunity for potential revenue from creating podcasts, and the opportunity to appeal to a wider audience world wide will be ignored at your peril!

Here are 10 reasons why you should seriously consider riding the podcasting wave!

1. Establishing yourself as an expert in your industry - especially the personal development industry - is becoming a challenging prospect with more and more self-help and health related books, training and other services already on the market. A podcast provides the opportunity for people to get to know you and your work. Allowing you to quickly establishing yourself as an expert a5B4s your listeners increase.

2. Podcasts provide you with an opportunity to communicate with your audience on a world wide scale. Once your podcast has been created and submitted to podcast directories, the opportunity for people to download and listen to your information opens up fantastic possibilities.

3. Podcasts have an advantage over articles. You may have written hundreds of articles but the disadvantages are that the reader cannot feel the emotion behind the words. Also, the written word is subjective and open to interpretation from the reader. With podcasts you get to express emotions that can influence, entertain and inspire your listener.

4. There is an opportunity to create additional revenue from your podcast. Two reasons why podcasts may be popular (in my opinion) is the fact that they are free, and many of them contain little or no advertising. Just pure, hopefully informative, unique, entertaining content! You can use your podcast introductions and endings to let listeners know who you are, what you do, your website address/other content, and promote your products and services. Or create podcasts that focus on a particular product, or training method and promote that.

5. You have an opportunity to re-use your written work and create it into a media format. Whether you take that written word and create a video or audio the opportunity is there for you to dust off those old articles, thesis, half wrB68itten book and use them.

6. If you enjoy using metaphors, stories, prose or poems as a way of inspiring people then here is an opportunity for you to really have them come to life through your voice.

7. Podcasts provide an opportunity for you to take your unpublished work and distribute it to subscribers in the hope of it becoming so popular that it leads to a book or show (there are several stories of artists who were signed up after releasing songs from their albums). Imagine ending up with your own TV show because your weekly video podcast became so popular that the networks picked up on it!

8. It's a creative and fun process! Your podcast does not have to contain serious lecture style information. You can provide "fire side chats" where you inform and inspire. If you provide meditation services, this is an excellent way to allow subscribers to download your work and listen to it morning and night. You can interview an expert, or have someone interview you as the expert.

9. You can create "how to" videos for your subscribers, providing them with the ability to watch how to use your product, or how to get the most out of your service.

10. It provides an alternative method of communication for the visually impaired and in the future if "signing" is introduced to videos could also become a valuable source for the deaf and heard of hearing community.

The great thing about podcasting is the public will become your critic! If you know you are as talented and as great as a leading expert in your field but you just need the opportunity to get yourself known, then creating a podcast provides that opportunity.

The number of downloads to your show will be the measuring tool that will tell you if you are a hit or miss! And several podcast directories provide the opportunity for people to comment on and/or vote for their favourite podcasts.

Podcasting is a serious business and keeping up with new technology is important in any field if you are not going to be left behind. It will take a regular investment in time and creativity, and perhaps an initial investment in equipment (although you may already have more than you know!) but it is a fairly inexpensive form of marketing.

Creating a podcast is not an instant income generating marketing tool - but then who am I to place limits on what's possible! I believe it is a medium-term marketing strategy with long term advantages and benefits. Of course if you already have a large list of newsletter/ezine subscribers, you have a strong advantage.

As with anything new a period of learning is recommended, but as with anything new learnt well, it won't be long before you are motivating, inspiring and entertaining the world wide web with your media delights!

Diane Co4D2rriette is a Personal Growth Coach who works with podcasters looking to gain extra visibility by including their self-development podcasts on the Personal Growth Podcast Directory at http://www.personalgrowthpodcastdirectory.com Advertise your online business and submit your audio and video podcasts at http://www.womeninternetmarketers.tv

No comments: