We were honored to have the privilege to talk to Liz Strauss, the CEO and founder of SOBCon, a think tank for experts and users of social media to present new ideas and discuss experiences, as well as the author of the popular Successful-Blog.com. She has become one of the most influential bloggers on the Internet, and is the person to turn to when it comes to building your community.
Do you mind introducing yourself?
I’m Liz Strauss. I founded a business strategy summit called SOBCon. I speak about creating and leveraging opportunity and show businesses how to do that.
So how can businesses use podcasts to become more successful?
In kit of new media options, podcasts are hugely versatile. A simple clear MP3 recording of a conversation, interview, or presentation on a single topic can be shared on a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, or most any social site where our customers spend their time. The content in that podcast can be around an industry issue, a solution to a common problem that customers face, or information on new techniques that make their lives easier, faster, or more meaningful. Customers can listen live as they might a radio show and comment in a chat room or listen later to a previously recorded version. They can download the podcast and listen in their car or via their MP3 device wherever they might want.
You have an eBook out called The Secret to Writing a Successful and Outstanding Blog. What secrets also apply to podcasting?
All 6+1 traits of effective writing apply to podcasting …
Ideas – Ideas are the stuff of which messages are made. We look for them . . . wish for them. They are not good or bad. They are memorable, strong, and effective, or they are not.
Organization – Ordering ideas logically is how get them to make sense to others. (I know, I know. We know this. — It’s ground work.)
Voice – Voice is tone and style that is consciously chosen to suit the intended audience.
Word Choice – Word choice is finding the perfect word to convey a message in an authentic, rich, and precise fashion.
Sentence Fluency – Sentence fluency is understanding how to make the reading move with pacing, flow, and rhythm.
Writing Conventions – Writing conventions, in this case speaking conventions, are the rules agreed upon as signs of good speaking, such as speaking clearly, with expression, articulation that adds meaning to the words..
Presentation – Presentation is the preparation of the message in a way that draws listeners to connect with the message on a personal level even before they begin to listen. In podcasting, this might be how the podcast is introduced and packaged.
Great points! Do you think that a podcast can be more effective over a blog, or vice versa?
What is more effective truly depends on the audience. An audience of sales reps who spend significant time in their cars would surely find downloading and listening to podcasts easier than finding time to read blogs.
Very true. How can podcasters use social media to their advantage?
Connect with other podcasters where they hang out. Connect with people who talk about what you talk about. Share things that your listeners would be interested in reading, seeing, hearing and you’ll attract more listeners like them. Talk to your best listeners to find out what they’re wishing you would podcast about.
What about narrow niche podcasts? Do you think that they have potentially more difficulty building a community?
The narrow your niche the WIDER your opportunity. When you narrow your focus, you can make your site, your content, and your every offer tailored to the group that you serve. From the first word, they’ll recognize you as talking to them — not every group and every person on the planet. You can see the same problems as they occur in different situations for different people so you become an expert on those problems and because the group is smaller and more focused too, they see that more quickly and spread your name faster.
Are there any drawbacks to over-sharing?
What is over-sharing? One person’s enthusiasm and passion is another person’s intrusive broadcasting. I approach that with two thoughts:
1. The best promotion is to promote other people. If you’re sharing the great things that other folks are doing, you’re showing what you value and that you’re not all about “getting” for yourself.
2. If you wouldn’t do say it to a stranger at a networking party or into a microphone in front of an audience of millions, don’t do it on a social network. It’s just as rude or inappropriate.
Can good content and communication save a business?
Sure … if they’re driven by great strategy and a dedication to service.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Whenever you see a problem, remember it’s how you’re looking at that makes it a problem. Every problem is an opportunity, if you reframe what think of as a weakness to see it as a strength.