While professional opinions may vary, it takes approximately 10,000 hours to become a master of something. It may be easy to log hours if your target is to improve your tennis backhand. But if your goal is to be trusted by potential clients, it may be harder to track your progress. Getting a complete stranger to trust you isn’t a simple task. But knowing how to position yourself as an expert in your field will help fast-track that process.
Whether you realize it or not, you have knowledge that people want to hear. Your experience and approach is unique in your field, and only you can deliver that to clients. Speaking about what you know might not be something you have considered before. But if you are passionate and experienced about topics in your domain, all of your expertise can be compacted into the episodic form of podcasts.
Podcasting is a medium on the rise; given that half of Americans listen to podcasts monthly, using your voice to prove yourself as an expert in your field is an innovative way to generate interest in your brand.
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Know What You Know
First of all, let’s take a look at what it means to be an expert. Is an expert someone who has worked in a particular field, gaining first-hand experience? Is it someone with a degree who is paid to speak at conferences? Or a person who has written multiple books on a certain subject?
Being considered knowledgeable is a lot less complicated than most think. For example, let’s go back to that tennis backhand. Let’s say you know absolutely nothing about the sport but have a friend who plays casually. Ask them to tag along to their next practice. Your friend probably isn’t Roger Federer, nor have they coached on a national level. But they certainly know more than you do about the game, and that makes them an expert over you.
The word “expert” can be intimidating. It can cause people to seize up with imposter syndrome, but try reframing the way you look at it. Imagine we asked you to improvise a ten-minute lesson on a topic you know and are passionate about.
Write down the first topics that come to mind. These are the things that you may have more expertise on than the average person. It doesn’t mean that you are the grandmaster of them. But you still know something that can be useful to someone with less experience than you.
For the sake of generalization, let’s assume that there are three levels of knowledge: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. If advanced is reserved for people who have been published in fancy journals or attained celebrity status with their skillset, then intermediate is anyone who falls below that, including people with a fair amount of knowledge and passion about their field. To a beginner who knows nothing, someone with intermediate knowledge will look like an expert.
Let’s get Socratic about it for a minute: no matter your level, a wise [businessperson] knows that they know nothing. Even if you don’t think you are an “expert” enough to be teaching others, everyone has room to learn something new. Whether you are trying to grow your customer base or audience, passion translates well over audio.
If you are excited to enhance your skills and share knowledge with others, people will admire that in you and look towards you as someone reliable.
Establish Your Podcast Niche
Considering that anyone can self-publish a book now, having certain accolades behind your name to prove yourself as an expert in your field won’t necessarily lend you extra credibility. Distinguish yourself from the pack. Forge new relationships and establish trust between you and your potential clients.
There are currently 850,000 active podcasts in the United States, many of whom have reached millions of listeners, and some only a handful. Building your podcast audience will take time. One way to stand out as an expert amongst the sea of podcasts in your industry is by narrowing in on a specific niche that fewer people are doing. While it still requires hard work and determination, the smaller your niche is, the easier it will be to use your podcast to rise as an expert in your field.
For example, if you identified food culture as your improvised ten-minute lesson, you’ll likely have many other competitors that fall under that broad umbrella. Think about something specific you could focus on; maybe you know a lot about rising feminine chefs changing the dining scene in Texas. With a niche topic like this, you’re hitting the intersections of feminism, food, fine dining, and a bit of US history, allowing yourself to forge new uncharted territory.
As a trailblazer, it will be much easier to position yourself as an expert in your field as opposed to joining the bigger pool of a saturated industry. That’s the beauty of running your own podcast; with nobody to answer to, you’re free to create content that speaks to you and the type of clients you want to create bonds with.
Benefits of Using Podcasts to Grow Your Brand
As an entrepreneur, podcasting might not be the first thing on your mind. But it’s an incredibly useful tool to leverage your business. There’s a relatively low learning curve to starting a podcast. Hence why so many people you know have launched their own. You won’t have to toil around for days figuring out new software. And once you get your episodes rolling and gain followers, it’s a fairly cost-effective form of marketing compared to buying advertising space.
We won’t lie to you: gathering a huge podcast following could be a long road upward. But the key to effective podcasting for small business owners comes from putting out reliable and consistent content. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you’ll be in the perfect position as the master of your niche market. Not to mention, there are plenty of benefits of using podcasts to gather interest in your business. Without further ado, let’s take a look at a few of them.
Reach new audiences
Unless you are offering up content that requires extreme concentration, people generally listen to podcasts on the go. Podcasting allows you to appeal to auditory learners, who make up approximately 25% of the population. By varying the types of content you offer, you can reach potential clients who might not want to sit and read a blog post or scroll through social media. Having a podcast in addition to your existing content will prove your status as an expert in your field as it showcases your versatility, allowing people to see that you are capable of sharing your passion and knowledge through more than one medium.
Generate interest among potential clients
Podcast audiences tend to be young and educated, and 45% of people who listen to podcasts have an annual household income of more than $250,000. These statistics mean that a podcast audience would be of much interest to your business or brand, who could soon become your potential clients. And if you are interested in starting a branded podcast, then we would recommend that you read The Ultimate Guide to Branded Podcasts.
How can you get your audience to see you as an expert in your field? Establish a relationship of trust. Converting a listener into a client will happen if you come across as someone your potential clients can relate to and rely on. Podcasts allow you to position yourself as someone worth listening to. This establishes trust and loyalty between you and your audience. The draw of podcasting is its intimacy; by speaking, you are connecting with people on a more human level. This allows potential clients to hear your voice and personality, which may not translate as strongly as through text.
Connect with other experts in your field
You know that person in your industry whose career you have always admired with wide starry eyes? This is your chance to connect personally by inviting them to collaborate on an episode with you. Aligning yourself with someone already respected in your industry by hosting an interview or conversation with them will lend credibility to your status as an expert in your field. Plus, if your guest is speaking on your podcast they will likely share it with their following. This gives your brand more exposure. If you are hosting a Q&A-styleQ&A style chat, ask your listeners to send in questions via social media and answer them live.
Don’t get starstruck over sending the invite, either; the worst someone will say to you is no. Even if they decline an invite to be on your show, that’s still a new connection you have made with another professional in your industry. While the episode may not have been for them, that connection could still generate leads for potential business or collaborations in the future.
While your main goal with podcasting may be to leverage your business and rise as an expert in your field, it’s never too early to start thinking about how to monetize your podcast. The road to growing your podcast audience will require patience. But once you have a sizable listenership the sponsored ad requests can start rolling in. Podcasts have become very effective forms of digital marketing, and are now seeing between a 24-79% lift in brand awareness. Depending on their length, ads can go from $15-40 CPM, which will add up once you have the numbers to show. Having ads on your show doesn’t mean that people will instantly trust you more. But it does add a little oomph to see that there are brands backing up your value.
Learn new things
Using your podcast to position yourself as an expert in your field doesn’t mean that you have to act like you know everything. The reality is that nobody knows exactly what they’re doing all the time. Even people who have made it to the top. The point of podcasting isn’t to convince your clients that you’re better than everybody. But rather to show that you are constantly learning new things and opening yourself up to innovative ideas.
A business owner who keeps up with trending discussions and new practices will seem more trustworthy than one who does not engage at all with their community, guarding the same ideas while the industry constantly changes. By hosting different guests on your podcast, you can learn from your peers. You can also use their ideas in your own practice.
Showing Your Expertise on Your Podcast
An expert is someone who keeps up to date with trending topics in their community. If you have created a specific niche, knowing what your audience wants to hear will allow them to place more confidence in you. Staying up to date with current topics in your industry is a good way to demonstrate expertise in your field. Using Twitter or Instagram, search for hashtags or phrases that are relevant to the type of content you want to be putting out. Using specific examples or case studies will make stronger points for any arguments and spice up your conversations, which could also be used as the basis for structuring your episodes.
If you are inviting guests onto your podcast, ask them about their experiences but also bring up topics that are happening right now. It goes without saying that you should have a good idea of who your guest is. This allows you to pose the right questions to instigate an interesting chat.
Don’t be afraid to speak about your personal experience either. It won’t come across as bragging about what you’ve done because your intention is to educate others, not boast. The tone is important when talking about yourself on your podcast. You might be an expert in your field, but you still need to seem accessible. Infusing stories about yourself with humor is a good way to avoid coming across as full of yourself. Reading off a list of all the successful business moves you’ve made isn’t very appealing. But adding that extra bit of personal experience will show your clients that you are a real person. Not just someone behind a screen trying to sell you something.
It’s easier than it looks to integrate a podcast with your business website or social media. Remember, variety is your friend and can help you look versatile. Use any existing media you have to promote your podcast for your business, including any social media accounts or email newsletters. Want more info? Read this article about 25 podcasts founders should listen to.
Since it’s something to be proud of, your podcast shouldn’t remain strictly an audio format. You can turn podcast episodes into blog posts, or transcribe interviews with guest experts. Take any interesting quotes from your episodes and turn them into appealing graphics using Canva or Readwise which can be posted to your site or social media. Your audience and potential clients should be able to find your podcast easily from your site or social media. If you have content available on a variety of different platforms, having a neat landing page on your website where users can click through everything might be a good idea.
In the end, your potential clients and podcast audience will only believe that you are an expert in your field if you have the confidence to believe in yourself. Putting faith in your own brand involves posting quality content on the regular. Even when you aren’t immediately seeing the numbers you want. Patience and passion are key to growing both your podcast audience and client base. And soon the rest will follow suit.