Just keep listening, just keep listening (Chapter 11)

Posted on July 11, 2011


If the message wasn’t clear in Chapter 10, Safko dedicates yet another chapter to audio sharing/podcasting.  Aside from the more in-depth history of iTunes and Podbean, this chapter did not seem to have as much to offer.  The bonus chapter on podcasting sparked an idea, though, and I started thinking about what kind of difference podcasting has made for some companies.  I came across an article by Sarah Kessler on Mashable.com.  Kessler identified three small companies that podcasting has made a distinct impression on their business.  One of those businesses was WEBS, a retailer of all things relating to knitting, crocheting and weaving.

WEBS did most of their business online and never had a lot of contact with customers until they were asked to do a weekly podcast about knitting.  208 podcasts and 13,000 viewers later, they can see how traffic picks up after discussing certain things on their show.  (see article at http://mashable.com/2011/02/28/podcast-small-business).  The podcast has given them a channel with which they can connect with their customers.

Kessler wrapped up the entire idea of podcasting by offering four suggestions.   Post consistently, know your audience, advertise your podcast in various places and wait patiently for listeners.  It make take time to reach a large following, but everyone seems to think that podcasting is worth it.  Like so many of the other forms of social media we’ve look at so far, podcasting is virtually free.  At the end of the day, you’ve got to have a pretty good reason NOT to podcast or you are just missing out.

Podbean seems like a great resource if you are ready to start sharing your podcasts with the world.  Their “skins” look very similar to a blog page and allow you to share additional infomration about your company/service/etc.  WordPress charges an additional fee if you want enough storage space to attach an audio file to your blog.  Podbean is free and you can easily attach the url to you website at no additional cost to you.  Podbean seems to be a much better alternative than paying more money on a blog.

Hardware and software aside, message seems to be the message.  If you want people to listen to your podcast, you need to have something interesting to say.  As Safko would say, “What is your WIIFM?”  Your message can’t simply be a sales pitch.  No one would tune in to hear that.  You need to figure out what your audience is interested in and give that to them in a podcast.  Something they want to hear.  Without the WIIFM, you won’t have many listeners.