In general, when people think of faith, they tend to think of churches, preachers, bibles, and brimstone. Religion, along with money and politics is one of those “American taboos” that are generally forbidden to speak of around the dinner table. However, with the popularity of films like War Room, which leapt to #1 at the North American box office, dethroning Straight Outta’ Compton, and trouncing Guy Ritchie’s ‘A Man from U.N.C.L.E.’, stories of faith are striking a chord with audiences looking for inspiration in troubled times.
The strength of podcasting lies in the hosts’ ability to develop a relationship with their audiences; devoted listeners form a sort of kinship with the host. They start to feel like they “know” them. They travel with them on planes, commute with them to work, and listen to them throughout the day. Marcus Sheridan, author of The Power of Transparent Marketing to Rock Your Business in 2012 writes, “transparency demonstrates expertise, ultimately leading to trusting relationships.”
As such, faith casting can be a powerful way to draw audiences closer. Sharing moments where you had to “believe bigger” than your circumstances, your negative bank balance, or a bevy of naysayers will inspire listeners and potentially turn them into “brand evangelists”, who will share the impact of your story with their friends and followers.
Here are 4 Ways to Bring Faith Casting into Your Podcast:
Started from the Bottom, Now We Here
There’s nothing like a good old testimony. Testimonies are a form of storytelling that have stood the test of time. Testimony is the classic “hero’s journey” where the hero sets out on a quest, encounters a villainous foe in the form of a personal challenge, finds the courage, strength, and wherewithal to overcome, and lives happily ever after. This is oversimplifying it quite a bit, but all of us have had moments where our faith has been tested. Sharing these moments with your audience and how you found strength beyond yourself can be a powerful way to draw them in.
Over the weekend, I flew a mastermind colleague from DC to Chicago to help me develop a strategic business plan for 2016. As I eagerly dove into facts, figures, offers and opt-ins, she pumped the brakes and asked me, “Besides money, how do you define success?” Cue the crickets. I have a faith based podcast, where I marry scripture with actionable brand strategies and yet, I was momentarily stumped.
The financial success of popular podcasters has many hosts measuring success solely by their bank balances and clamoring to give audiences “get rich quick” solutions. Even if your podcast is about money, wealth, marketing, and branding, consider opening your audience up to a definition of success that includes happy marriages, healthy parenting relationships, self-care, meditation, and prayer. Michael Hyatt does this brilliantly on his podcast, “This is Your Life”.
Share Your Lifestyle
If you’re an avid churchgoer, does your audience know it? During your show, do you include casual mentions of how you spent your weekend in service, or the impact youth revival had on your kids, or how you went on a mission trip to serve others? You don’t have to preach a sermon to let your audience know that you have a regular worship regimen. Have you been praying for something or someone and finally received an answer? Share it with your listeners.
Bowing your head before a meal in public doesn’t mean you’re about to launch into dispensational theology. It’s just a subtle indicator that offering a prayer of thanks is a part of your life. The same rule applies in podcasting. No harm. No foul.
Dave Ramsey is probably the king of weaving bible-based strategies into his platform. Ramsey grounds his work on financial planning in biblical principles on stewardship, debt, and wealth. He has a massive following on his podcast/radio show, and an international best-seller many times over. He’s able to take his platform, beyond the show, and directly into live audience experiences across the country. Not only does this build his audience, but his bottom line.
Faith casting is an effective way to ground your content in your beliefs, while sharing valuable, relevant, consistent information with your audience. If you want to engage your audience in further study, include scriptures or inspirational quotes in the show notes or a downloadable opt-in. Faith casting is a way to grow your audience through transparent interactions that connect you to your listeners beyond your regular content.