Figuring out the answer to “Should I do it now or later” means start podcasting now or miss the opportunity for people to listen to you as soon as possible. Doing the right things in the right order isn’t always apparent if you don’t know why you want to podcast in the first place or are unsure what your brand represents. Listen in to Tom and Tracy as they reveal how to overcome a road block every potential podcaster faces.
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What Everybody Ought to Know About Establishing Your Brand and Starting a Podcast Now
We’re going to address a subject for all of you out there listening to this podcast who have not started your podcast yet. You’ve been considering it, thinking it’s something you may want to do but you really have this dilemma. It could also be for anyone who’s just got this idea of what they want to start. Even if you’re a podcaster but you have this project that you’re like, “Do I do it now or do I wait until later in my business?” or “I have my podcast and it’s so successful at this point but do I wait until I hit 100,000 plays?” This now or later comes up a lot as to the right order to do things. The proper order, the right order, any term that you want to use in that way, might be the mistake. I don’t know if there is an actual proper order that’s universal for people.
There are a lot of overlying or overlaying issues which are coming up that are causing this delay, this “What do I start on? Where do I start first?” That’s what I get. I speak in a lot of events and I do mentorship. What I get a lot of is people will say, “I need to do this first and then” or “I don’t know where to start. I’ve got all of these things, where do I start?” Of course, if you ask the people who are giving you quotes on them, they’ll all tell you, “Start with me.” Everybody, whether it’s the marketing person, the branding person, there’s all different aspects of consultants vying for an entrepreneur’s budget. They’re all going to say, “You’ve got to start with me.”
I think that’s not the case at all. For the most part, you do things in the wrong order and still get an okay result. A good friend of ours, Dave Phillips, who I adore, is a funny guy. He tells this story all the time of, you’re baking a cake and you’ve got all these top great ingredients. You’ve got the best chocolate and you’ve got the really good butter and you’ve got all this stuff and you spend all this time on it and it’s really great. You just throw it all in the pan and you throw it in the oven and you cook it. You come out and it doesn’t come out chocolate cake. It comes out weird chocolate mess.
There is a proper order to things but it doesn’t mean that it’s so restrictive. Sometimes I will not do it in quite the right order and like, “I forgot to include the butter and the sugar. I’ll just do that separately over here.” As long as you still do it and then you get it back in the pot, you’re still doing okay. What you are doing is wasting a lot of time though. When you do things out of order, you waste a lot of time along the way and you’re at higher risk for it not working and making a mistake along the way. Tom made that recently when he was baking some banana bread and it seems it may have been light on butter or something. He didn’t have enough of the mashed over ripe bananas. He didn’t have the write wet-to-dry ratio in there. There was nothing wrong with it, it just was a little bit dry.
If I have all the right ingredients though, it is a good analogy because it doesn’t matter if I put the sugar and the butter in first or I put the sour cream and the eggs in first and then put the sugar and the butter. Still, there’s a lot of the steps that it doesn’t matter the order. There are a couple of critical ones that do matter. For instance, creaming butter and sugar together, you don’t do that, you don’t get the fluffiness. You get a lot of bad texture and sometimes bad flavor. There are things and there are reasons to do it in the right order if you can. If you can’t, it’s just going to take you a lot longer. That’s something that I hate to do. I hate to waste time. It is my biggest pet peeve. When there’s a plan to follow and an order that can be made and it consistently works, why do it wrong? Also, why delay? Unless you really just don’t have the funds, if you’re financially restricted and that’s the reality of it, then I can understand that.
A lot of us use that as an excuse. There are people out there who bootstrap it in the most amazing ways and you do favors and you get it done. People run a podcast on our network for free. They actually do get the production for free because they’re referring people that become customers and then we credit them episodes to produce in kind, so they get it for free. That’s true. It’s possible that you can do things like that. We have to separate out, and this is a good lesson to separate out, whether or not figuring out what the right order of things are, what should come first, whether I should do this now, is a situation at which you’re procrastinating or a situation where you really just don’t know the right order, you really just don’t know what comes first.
If they’re an existing podcaster, because we get a lot of people who are existing podcasters that come to us but they’re not doing everything we do. They’re not converting their episodes into blog posts. They think, “Maybe I should just come over here and start producing my audio show now and then I’ll worry about the blog post or these 30 episodes that I’ve already done that are audio shows but I don’t have a blog post for them. I don’t have that comprehensive Google power going for me. I won’t pay for doing that now. We’ll do that in the future.” I’m always of the opinion that if you don’t convert all those back episodes, that is money you’ve left on the table. You’re not getting the return of what you invested in creating all that content to begin with. The longer they wait, the longer they’re just delaying getting the benefit of all the rich Google organic keyword ranking that is going to help market their business.
People are searching on Google today for the things that you’ve talked about in your podcasts. If you have that just out there as an audio show, all Google’s indexed that for is the title and maybe a couple of tags if there are any associated with that episode. There are hundreds of keyword phrases people are searching in Google for everyday and they’re not finding your website, they’re not finding your post, they’re not finding your show because you haven’t converted that content. Waiting, it just delays and really it’s a missed opportunity.
Let’s outline a few of the misses we see and few of the good reasons to delay. Let’s start there, a couple of the good reasons why you should wait. If you do not know why you want to podcast, why you’re doing this, then you better wait. There’s a ton of reasons why, there’s a whole lot of great reasons. It’s great marketing, it’s great networking, it’s great Google power for your website, there’s a whole ton of reasons to do it. If you don’t understand why you want to do it, that makes a big difference in how your show should be structured. Getting that wrong from the get-go, not thinking that all through, not understanding why you want to do it.
We have podcasters of all kinds. We have some who the podcast is literally ego boost. Every time they do a show and they hear from their audience, it gives their ego a boost and they’re able to keep their business going. They really revel in the crowd approving of them. It’s about that. That’s okay. If they know that, then the show needs to be structured about them in that way.
If your purpose is to sell a product or software or system or your show is to get sponsors, you want to make advertising or affiliate income, there are different types of shows that we structure them differently. We make different suggestions and different recommendations about how you record and who you have on your show and how things happen in it based on that.
Making that choice upfront, understanding that upfront is actually a critical factor. We do this on the product side of our business as well. In the product business, we don’t take anyone who doesn’t want to be a business. In other words, if they have an idea and they want to invent it and they want to sell it and just make money off the idea licensing or whatever, they’re not the right client for us because they don’t want to build a brand, they don’t want to build a business, they don’t want to be in what we do. It helps us understand the match. That’s why you need to understand it. How far are you willing to take this? Where is the show going to go? Is it an integral part of my business? Is it the marketing part of my business? Is it building a brand for me? Is it a subset of that? It can be.
Similarly with this business, with Brandcasters and Brandcasting You, the reality is if somebody comes to us and they just want us to produce their audio show and they don’t want us to do the whole blog post conversion thing, we really don’t get into that because that doesn’t take advantage of what we do really well and the unique thing we bring to this industry. The audio show is about 20% of what we do. There’s so much other stuff that’s so powerful for business beyond that. If you really just want a good audio show produced, someone to edit your audio and syndicate you on iTunes, there are dozens and dozens of people out there that can do that for you really well. They’re looking for that work and need it. We have a different focus.
Understanding who you are makes understanding who you need to hire actually easier too. That’s another thing. Understanding your why and understanding who you are and what your goals are with that, those things make a very, very big difference. I always like to say, “Know your brand.” That’s where it sums up to me because we always say that. Know what your brand is about, know your brand, know what your mission is, know who you are, what you stand for. Brand is way more than what you put out there. It’s also how it’s perceived. That’s really the perfect time for you to start a podcast. When you have this idea of what your brand is, who you are, what you stand for, but you don’t have enough feedback yet, that’s the perfect time to get it, before you’ve developed a course and wrote a book and done all of those other things and it’s too late to find out that nobody wants to buy it.
Creating that platform with your podcast among other things to really start connecting with the audiences out there, that is a great time to do that. You have to know. You have to know who you are and what you’re about. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a podcast or not, but we see that your platform is foundational. Every single business, every single entrepreneur needs a platform. It’s what you stand for but it’s also what you stand on to be heard. That might be a podcast. That definitely needs to be a website, there’s no question about it. You have to have a website and it needs to have a social channel. What we say is that minimum, it has to have one social channel, probably two. You should always start with two is where I sit because you’ll find out some differences about them and you’ll find maybe an audience nuance difference between it. If you want to do all of them, we try but we won’t do them well.
We concentrate on two at a time and we put the others on autopilot so that you have an address and you exist. We did air Tracy’s Facebook Live as an episode on Social Media Master Class. Go back and listen to that because she talked about that because you do want to have an address everywhere. You want to be in every directory. You can be, which is why you want to be on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and Google Play. That’s why we do all of that for our clients because you’ve got to be on all those. There’s no reason not to be listed when it doesn’t cost you any money.
You want your social and your website to be taken care of then you have to power them. You have to have something that produces content consistently and constantly and provides a feedback loop through that platform with your clients or with your listeners or with your watchers if you’ve got videos, with your viewers. Whatever that is, your potential, who you are wanting to reach, your potential who’s, you’ve got to have that run through the platform to reach them, but you’ve got to have that content input.
We have done this enough. I’m a writer. I write six articles a month, plus some. We podcast. Now we’re on our third podcast that we’re going to be launching, so we record a lot of episodes. We’re recording somewhere 30 episodes a month. We’ve done videos, multiple videos. My son-in-law is a videographer and a really good one. Out of all the things that we’ve done, we cannot keep up with video and written. It’s too hard. It takes too much time. The audio is the fastest. We still try to do the video and we definitely try to do the writing and we have them fit in when we can, but it’s hard to be consistent and constant about it. The one thing that helps your platform grow, gets you a bigger audience in whatever area you want, is the best marketing tool for you, is to have that content go out consistent and constant. If you can’t do that then it’s not a right fit for you. If you’re capable, if you’re comfortable speaking, it’s the easiest way to make sure that you’re filling your pipeline and you’re using it. While we say a website does have to come first, you physically need a website, but it does not have to be an advanced, complicated website.
In fact, when you make the decision, “I’m going to be a podcaster,” certainly with us you can be a podcaster within four weeks, from pulling the trigger to being launched on iTunes. If you don’t have a website, and we’ve done this for some clients, we can create one within that same period of time and launch them all at once. It’s a starter site. Let’s be really careful about this. We’re talking about a three to four-page website: a homepage, an about us, a podcast page and a blog. That’s really the essential elements of that starter website. It’s a WordPress site that then any WordPress developer, if you’re going to do a membership site or you’re going to do a resource site or you’re going to have a shopping cart and sell things, whatever you’re going to do can be built off of that. All of the author equity for all the content can start under that domain and it’s still there no matter what you do with that site in the future.
This is another reason. Those that wait, when you wait to start your website, it is a huge mistake. Every day that website isn’t live is a day that Google isn’t indexing it and you’re going to be in the Google Sandbox for months. It’s going to happen. When you start a new site, a new domain, they used to say four to six months but I’ve been seeing it trending more in the three to four-month range lately with new sites. Google just won’t trust your site initially. It doesn’t know who you are. It doesn’t know if your site is any good. It doesn’t know if you’re going to create content on a regular basis until it can have a little experience with you. That takes three to four months. If you do, if that site is operated and performs consistently over that period of time, you will come out of their penalty box, the Sandbox they call it, sooner. There’s no time to wait. Do that sooner. Why put a ton of effort into your site, why build it all out and do all of that work initially when it’s not even going to rank? It just matters that it’s live and it’s got some content on it.
If you needed to completely overhaul the design of a website and the structure of it behind the scenes and eventually, that ends up replacing the current site. That’s okay too. It’s just that the domain is the same and all that written content is still there within that domain. That’s all that matters. Being able to have a site that you can fill with content is really the starting point. Fill it with content is the key. You’ve got to fill it with stuff so it gets ranked.
The second thing that I see as a mistake out there is not starting your social fast enough too. We get a lot of people who are, “I’m about to do a book launch or I’m about to do a product launch.” We get a lot of people who come to us with that. As they’re launching or a week or two in advance of the launching, start up their social pages, and it’s such a mistake. You need to establish those early. The other thing that’s going to come up with this, people think, “Don’t I have to build? I need a lot of likes on my Facebook like page and isn’t that going to take ages to build organically?” To build organically, maybe it will take some time, but you can get 10,000 likes in three days to just populate that Facebook like page in short order on as low as $150 or $200 worth of expense on some simple ads that are going to do that for you. It gives your like page more credibility, so then when people find it, it’s like, “There are 10,000 people that liked this page.” They don’t know where they are in the world and it doesn’t really matter. You have an inherent credibility there that also is foundational, helping you build that platform.
I don’t love that process. The more time you can give it, the more you can do a better job at it. You could still spend a couple hundred bucks but it might take you two months. If you’re willing to be patient and to do it that way, it’s going to serve you better in the long run because it’ll serve you with a better organic traffic later. It’s not scamming the system, those are legitimate likes. It’s just that they’re not necessarily useful to your business in your target country or really necessarily in your particular target customer. You don’t know as much about them but you can get them just so that the like page has that baseline credibility that when someone comes to it and sees, “Only 33 people have liked this page,” they don’t move on and say next. That’s what I’m trying to avoid with that process. We differ on the value of that. I’m saying, “$150, $200, not that big a deal. It’s not going to hurt.” That’s my opinion. Tracy would rather have more organic, genuine, focused likes and I respect that.
The point is to start now. To do three things right away. Get a website, make sure you get it launched. It does not matter how basic it is, get it launched. Get your social pages launched and get your content creation machine running. Whatever that is going to be for you, if it’s going to be writing, if it’s going to be podcasting, if it’s going to be videocasting, whatever it is, doesn’t matter but get it running. Do those three things as fast as possible. The only two reasons to delay is if you don’t know who you are, why you’re doing this. Figure those things out. Those are the only prerequisites. That’s my now or later, and obviously, the emphasis on now.
The reality is all the other things that we need to do on our business, we’ve been able to test market, confirm that it’s valid. Doing a course, writing a book, speaking events, all of those things came from great content being posted constantly and consistently through our platform. For us, from podcasting specifically because that was our method of choice. You can live stream every day on Facebook and use that video to create your content. Just proliferate your platform with everything else. Use the content everywhere.
I like it because I can be in my pajamas at 10:30 at night and we can record something and just when we want to do it. I don’t have to be pretty in front of the camera. That was why we chose podcasting. That was what made it in, because I didn’t have to have my hair done every single time I got on camera.
We hope this helps you get off the fence. Just get going because there are things that are not helping your business run. There are things that could be doing so much power for you, determining things that you don’t know, laying in front of you the right order of things. By reaching out there, by starting this, by talking about it, by getting into your thing, into your brand, into who you are, by doing all of that, you’re going to be able to find out what your next step is. Do they want a course? Do they want a book? Do they want a product? What is it that I need to make next? You have people you can ask. You have beta testers, such a great way to make that happen for you. Way better than spending all that money and all that time building something and no one comes.
If you have additional thoughts or questions on this subject or this podcast, please reach out to us on social media @FeedYourBrand on Facebook or go to BrandcastingYou.com and leave us a comment. We would love to continue this discussion with you. If we get enough questions, we’ll make another podcast out of that coming up soon. Thanks again for listening. This has been Tracy and Tom on Feed Your Brand.
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