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The New Stuff

Six Benefits of Podcasting

Podcasting is a powerful way of giving your network a more personal connection. Why should you be using podcasts in your business? Well there are a number of reasons; I'm going to give you six.

1. Relationship marketing
The most important reason for doing podcasting is because it's about relationship marketing. Business is still about creating strong, long-term relationships with your prospects, your customers and your clients. And podcasting is a very effective way of doing that.
Like an e-mail newsletter, because you're publishing it regularly, it's a great way to keep in touch while delivering value to the people in your network, the people who are important to you. You deliver value and you get to promote yourself as well. My rule is always 80/20: That is, at least 80% value in every message that you send out and at most 20% self promotion.

2. Prospecting
That leads to the second point, which is about prospecting.
If somebody visits your Web site and they are not in a position to buy yet, you would like to stay in relationship with them. You can do that with an e-mail newsletter, and you can also do that with a podcast. Invite them to subscribe to your podcast and then you get to stay in touch with them. You keep delivering value to them so that when they're ready to buy, yours is the first name that come to mind.

3. Personal connection
The third reason is that it is audio rather than text, which creates a more personal connection. Your listeners hear your voice - your real voice, not the imaginary voice they hear when they read what you've written. Some writers are good at projecting their voice in their writing, but many aren't. A podcast solves that problem, because people really do hear you.
The personal connection really does make a difference. You engage more with your audience and with your subscribers. Don't under-estimate its power.

. Leading edge technology
The fourth reason for publishing a podcast is because it is (relatively) new technology.
If you're seen as an expert, it's important to be using the latest technology. So if you're a speaker, a trainer, a consultant, a coach, or an author, this is another way of delivering your message. And because it is leading edge, it helps position you in the marketplace as well.

5. Portable devices
The next reason is the iPod - and, more recently, iPhones and other smart phones.
You don't require an iPod to be able to do podcasting, and your listeners don't need an iPod to be able to listen to podcasts. However, the people who do have iPods are able to take their material that they download off their computer and listen to it elsewhere. Podcasting allows you to deliver your message to people not just in their normal work environment, but at the gym, when they're driving, when they're riding a bike, and in other non-work environments.

6. An uncluttered space
The final benefit of podcasting is that although it's very popular, it's still relatively new. So there's an uncluttered space.
In the early days of the Web, there were very few e-mail newsletters. You could go to any Web site that asked for any e-mail address and anybody would give their e-mail address to that Web site. Now, of course, it's the other way around. You have to really work hard to get subscribers to your e-mail newsletter because there is so much spam.

But podcasting is at the stage that e-mail newsletters were a decade ago. You could go to Web sites with podcasts and people will subscribe to podcasts. There are thousands of podcasts on the Internet, so there are certainly far more then any one person would ever subscribe to. However, it's nowhere near as competitive as other things are like e-mail newsletters. So it's still a fairly uncluttered space. You can get a clear competitive advantage by being in that space because you'll still be one of the few.

About the author
Gihan Perera is an Internet coach for speakers, trainers, consultants and other experts. He's the author of "Get Active: Web Sites for Speakers, Trainers, Coaches and Consultants" and "Fast, Flat and Free: What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead in a Connected World". Visit and get your complimentary copies now.

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