Ep 146 – Should You Start a Podcast for Your Coaching Business?

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Show Notes

This episode is inspired by YOU. You’ve helped me surpass 100,000 listens of Prosperous Coach Podcast. I’m so grateful to you for binge listening and sharing my podcast with other coaches.

Now, maybe I can help you start your own podcast.

I’ll tell you what podcasting has meant for me and I’ll share some details about what it takes, what it costs plus a few powerful questions to ask yourself about whether podcasting is right for you.

My podcast has revolutionized my business and also given me great joy.

I posted a blog for over 8 years and it was hugely instrumental in attracting ideal clients to my services. But it was never as impactful as my podcast has been.

I think it’s because listeners hear my voice weekly so there’s more of a sense of intimacy. People feel like they get to know me in ways that can’t come across only in words on a page.

And because my episodes are short and I’m consistent about putting out a weekly episode I have a lot of binge listeners. Isn’t that fun!

When I have a Discovery Call with a coach who wants to enroll in my 5 month VIP program, they often say: “You sound just like you do on your podcast!” That’s reassuring to them.

Some of the joy factor is in putting my voice out there. I say what I think and feel.

Your voice is more than just sounds and words. It’s an integral part of who you are. When you speak up and speak out you’re stepping fully into your personal power. It’s almost impossible to be anything but authentic when you show up weekly with your voice on air.

I didn’t expect the satisfaction of putting my voice out there. I can stumble over words, just be myself and my audience is forgiving. I can tell you personal things about myself and know that I’m relating not burdening. It’s connective not self-deprecating.

And I get so much positive feedback. It’s nourishing to know that my philosophy, guidance and truth telling resonates with so many coaches. A few coaching training organizations suggest my podcast to their students.

I know I’m helping people who will never hire me. And that’s gratifying. But I also know that people I’m meant to work with will hire me and we’re likely to start our journey with a deeper understanding between us.

And when people reach out and fill out the application on my Work with Rhonda page of my website, they are 99% ready to enroll. Wow! No other form of messaging or marketing has brought me that kind of ease.

And then there’s the accessibility piece. People in over 100 countries hear my podcast and that’s growing.

So What is a Podcast?

You might have listened but not really known what a podcast is. It’s similar to a radio show but it’s delivered online in episodes that can be experienced on demand rather than by tuning into a specific station at a specific time.

Listeners can subscribe to a podcast through apps they download onto their phone like Apple Podcast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and other directories who, at this point, all offer free listening accounts and downloadable apps. My listeners can also hear my episodes on my website.

When you subscribe to a podcast, the app brings new episodes up first. You can also click SEE ALL and explore the back catalog of a show. There are limited show notes or transcripts that listeners can see on their apps. I put links to other episodes and resources in my transcripts.

People often listen doing a routine task such as commuting, exercising, laundry, walking the dog, chores, cooking, or waiting for appointments. I hear fun anecdotes from my listeners about what they do while they listen. Coaches tell me they’ve put aside time on Tuesday mornings when my episodes first show up.

Podcasters Are a Beautiful Community

Podcasting is a big movement and there’s an amazing community of new, amateur and pro podcasters who engage with each other in Facebook groups and conferences.

I have never met a kinder group of people. Podcasters seem to want everyone to succeed in the format. Where I was asking questions in these groups just a couple of years ago, now I’m answering questions to pass forward the good will.

What Does It Really Take to Podcast?

Podcasting is a commitment with a bit of a learning curve. It’s fairly labor intensive to plan, write show notes, record, edit, distribute and market the episodes.

I’m mostly recording short 7 – 20 minute solo episodes right now. It’s just me. I only occasionally do interviews. It takes me on my own approximately 4 hours per episode from conception to publishing.

Interviews can take roughly twice as long. I batch the work, doing about 4 episodes at a time so I get economies of scale. To do 4 episodes only take about 10 hours.

If you’re thinking that’s a crazy amount of time to put in, consider that most coaches will need to put about 15 hours a week into marketing. So, if it’s not podcasting, you might be blogging, doing videos, public speaking, networking and social media with those hours.

Podcasting is a method of marketing. The way I do it and I’ve taught my clients to do it, it’s generosity marketing, which means providing real value for free. Although some podcasters put their show behind a payment wall or make some money from getting sponsors, I’ve preferred not to burden my listeners that way.

What Does it Cost to Podcast?

Well, it’s pretty affordable, guys. Your financial investment depends on 4 main things:

  • What equipment you already have vs. what you need to purchase
  • How much you do yourself vs. how much you outsource
  • Which 3rd party services you choose and their monthly fees
  • The number of plugins and other web related costs you opt for

I went for low/mid range equipment and I do all the tasks myself. My initial investment was around $150 and monthly expenses for podcast hosting — a necessity — are about $12/month. I use free recording/editing software called Audacity and a free account in Canva to create episode art.

Podcasting hosting services are not the same as a web hosting companies. The files of recording are large and require storage so that’s one service the podcast hosting company provides. But the other service is to legitimize you to distributors and automate some of the distribution for you.

When I post my podcast episode on my hosting company and publish the episode it’s automatically distributed to 12 of the most apps such as Stitcher, Google Podcast, Pandora, Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Should You Start a Podcast?

It depends on several factors:

  1. Have you fully developed the foundation of your coaching business? Do you have a unique narrow audience you’ve targeted that’s full of seekers? Have you identified what they want so much and their big problems that would inspire them to hire you? Have you developed your Signature Program, compelling web copy, a free lead magnet and a client winning website? These are some of the things I help my clients create in my VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program.
  2. Have you cleared time in your calendar to market your business 15 hours a week while also having time to serve current and future clients? You’ll need a minimum of 20 hours a week to build clientele and serve them.
  3. Do you have a location in your home where you could record episodes without noise and distraction? I’ve used a walk in closet full of clothes to record my episodes. It’s quiet and sound is appropriately baffled.
  4. Can you borrow or purchase equipment and make the monthly payments?

If you answer ‘yes’ to all, now all you need is about a 2-month ramp up period before launching your podcast.

I’ve been asked if the podcast realm is too saturated. It’s growing fast. But only a very small percentage of podcasts go beyond 1 year so it’s emptying out as fast as it’s growing. I’m approaching my 3rd year and my show is considered to be in the top 5 percentile mainly for consistency.

People stop their shows for different reasons just like some people drop out of their coaching business. You don’t have to worry about what other people do. Do what you think is right for you. Build the business you want. Do what it takes to make it thrive and enjoy!