Podcasting for your personal brand
Participating in a podcast is an effective way of promoting your brand. Podcasting raises personal brand awareness and publicizes the leader in a one-to-many format raising visibility and establishing credibility in the marketplace.
In fact, 69% of respondents say podcast ads increase their awareness of products, brands, and services (Buzzsprout, 2022).
A high tide rises all boats and while not all podcasts feature paid ads, the more attraction the podcast generates, the greater the leader’s visibility. For business leaders and CEOs with little time, podcasts are an effective way to communicate their brand.
Some leaders are very comfortable attending networking events to help spread their message and communicate their expertise. However, others are not natural networkers—but are still terrific leaders with a brand-worthy message. Some leaders prefer to engage in high-brow conversations about their expertise and other topics of intrinsic interest rather than socializing at a cocktail party or post-conference dinner.
In this scenario, rather than social networking, business leaders showcase their expertise on relevant industry podcasts.
While guesting on podcasts is a good strategy for anyone who is building their personal brand and raising their visibility, it can be the cornerstone of the busy CEO or entrepreneur’s strategic networking strategy and demand generation vehicle. And you can participate from the comfort of your office, home, or hotel room.
The benefits of podcasting are 3-fold:
- To assert your authority as a business leader in your field
- To form relationships with the audience and build community
- To increase your digital presence with a fast-growing, mobile, and easily accessible medium
Finding the right podcast for you
We suggest a concurrent strategy of choosing in-industry shows and out-of-industry shows to amplify your presence.
Research the host, listen to their episodes to date, discover what other guests they have had on the podcast, search for their podcast on Spotify or Apple podcasts (two major platforms), and be sure to check the sound quality.
You want to make sure you are associating yourself with a quality brand. If you are more introverted, it will be important for you to have a connection with the host—this will make the overall experience smoother.
Some podcast opportunities may pay you for your time and others might not, but compensation shouldn’t be the priority for this strategy. Visibility within the targeted audience is paramount, so to ensure the podcaster has effectively built their platform with a designated community.
Refining a topic
In the same way that rewriting your CV can be overwhelming, refining the conversation to discuss only a handful of topics regarding your expertise can feel dizzying.
The average length of a podcast falls between 25 and 35 minutes. While duration is an important consideration, it’s the subject matter and audience that is most important to keep in mind. Many people rely on a lengthier podcast to see them through long commutes or end-of-day walks. Others prefer a shorter commitment due to their busy schedules. The truth is, if you refine your topic to concentrate on a few important elements that pique the interest of your listeners, your audience will make the time and squeeze it in however they’re able.
With this in mind, consider what topics address the most important elements of your brand.
Here are some questions for consideration:
Which direction do I want to take my career in moving forward?
What do I want to be known for?
What topics of discussion do I want to talk about more often?
If my dream mentor or #1 influencer heard me on a podcast, what would I want them to hear me say?
Is there a topic I am familiar with that isn’t discussed often?
Many of our clients prepare a signature talk based on an achievement that illustrates their capabilities, their product, or their business. Signature talks are ideal because they can be repurposed for multiple audiences with slight customization for the audience.
Podcasts for visibility within a corporation
Sometimes, the board or CEO needs to raise corporate visibility externally beyond the industry to pique the interest of investors, customers, suppliers, and other benefactors. Often when a new CEO takes the company public they may benefit from a heightened profile. Doing so can assist in improving the quality of these key external relationships, including joint ventures and unique supplier relationships, as two examples.
Furthermore, the CEO may be well-known industry-wide but may not have the required relationships and visibility to attract, engage, and recruit institutional investors. This is especially relevant when the company has recently merged or re-branded corporately. Westgate’s solution to this problem involves raising visibility and credibility by positioning the CEO for a board appointment in a company outside the industry. A strategy that complements this initiative is speaking on podcasts. Public speaking is also impactful, but podcasts have longevity. Done correctly, they can be evergreen.
One global firm leader discussed his expertise in personal branding, the complexities of corporations, CEOs, and boards, and retired executives re-entering the market. This episode was added to his company website to demonstrate not only his expertise, but the competence of the overall firm.
Using your podcast recording to syndicate your brand
Your brand speaks for you when you’re not in the room.
A podcast speaks for you in many rooms, in the car, at the gym, or on the subway, while someone is stuck at City Hall Station. Your brand speaks for you on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and other syndicators.
In this global market, constructing your brand isn’t as simple as creating a LI profile and a detailed CV. It requires careful planning, precision, and targeted direction. A brand is only worth this level of work if it is as accessible as possible. Think of your brand as a piece of art. You want the art to be seen and enjoyed by as many people as possible.
A vital strategy for targeting a board or CEO role is visibility. Creating demand for your product (you) by speaking on a podcast has one of the best ROI’s because you are speaking to MANY at one time. A resume plastered across the Internet does not produce quality results at your level.
At Westgate, part of helping our clients with their branding means encouraging them to elevate their brand and networking by joining a board, an association, and being a guest on a podcast.
You can use the recorded episode in varying contexts. It might be a leave-behind after an interview (if it is relevant to the problem you can solve for a company), it might be a conversation starter with a decision maker, or it might be a way of building relationships and creating an access point for others to find you.
At Westgate, we have a podcast titled Get Hired Up! The podcast for next-level executives and board appointees. Our guests include thought leaders, CEOs, executive recruiters, industry experts, and other business leaders who generously share their expertise to support our listeners with career growth as a next-level leader. The podcast also serves as a digital media library for our clients and as a public service for individuals seeking career-related insights such as branding, visibility, and strategies for leveraging the hidden job market.
Several of our guests have utilized their episode for their own purposes. One of our guests used the recording to help elevate their new consulting business. Another used their episode to complement the soft release of a new product. We have had guests that have spoken to the expertise they hope to utilize in a new role as a way of marketing themselves directly to a targeted organization and we have had entrepreneurs that have addressed common themes in the work they do with their own clients.
It's an efficient use of your time and in fact, doesn’t take much time at all. Leave the planning, editing, and syndication to the host. Your job is to suggest topics, show up, and have a conversation. How the host markets it is up to them, and how you choose to use it for your own advantages is up to you. Ensure you understand the podcaster’s policy and any rules relating to podcast (who owns the intellectual property, for example).
Podcast listeners as a group have grown 29.5% in the last three years. There are currently 120 million podcast listeners in the U.S., and industry experts predict there will be over 160 million podcast listeners by 2023 (Buzzsprout, 2022).
What to expect
While every podcast generally has its own flavor and brand, a consistent theme across most is the conversational, story-telling delivery.
In advance of the recording, hosts will suggest a short pre-interview off air to discuss general themes and topics that will be discussed. This is also an opportunity for the guest and host to get to know each other before a recorded conversation.
Consider the journey as a 3-part story arc.
The story begins with the introduction of the guest. Be prepared to have a brief bio indicating your background, how you came to be where you are, and why. This is also where the host might acknowledge why you were brought onto the podcast and what the audience will learn by staying tuned.
The crisis is the emotional section about a dramatic event, a need that was left unfulfilled, or an unexpected turn in your journey. This is the section where the audience receives a glimpse of what steps were taken and what efforts were made to overcome certain challenges.
The resolution is when the audience learns how the crises was resolved, how you navigated unchartered territories, or what you learned along the way. It may also include the happy ending that you are currently living due to that journey.
During the conversation, you will be asked open-ended questions like “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, and “how”.
Most hosts will avoid questions that start with “Are you…,” “Did you…,” and “Would you…,”.
Ultimately, you want to give the audience an experience in learning about your journey and expertise and ideally, the host will help you deliver that.
Sometimes, you might be discussing a complicated topic and you will need to simplify the concepts for the audience. This does two things:
It proves your ability to speak to multiple audiences.
It proves the depth of knowledge you have on certain topics.
You may find that using analogies to help explain central concepts are useful in conveying your message.
Finally, you want to finish the conversation on a high note and create some hope and excitement.
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Your brand speaks for you when you’re not in the room. Join us today.