co Small Businesses, Reach a Broader Audience with Quick and Easy Podcasts |

iPods and other .mp3 devices are quickly becoming people’s most valued possession.
These devices are allowing people to download music, books, and helpful information they can listen to at their convenience–whle jogging, in the car, or working out.
So why not offer them a podcast? You might offer some how-to hints or a great interview about what you and your small business has to offer.

You don’t need fancy equipment to create a podcast, and uploading it to the web, including podcast directories, and to your website is easy and quick.

What exactly is a podcast?

• A podcast is an audio file you can create on your computer that’s in an .mp3 format.
• A podcast is an audio file and is a recording, much like a radio show–in fact, many radio shows use podcasts.
• You can upload a podcast with an RSS file to a server—and place it on your website or other websites.
• Anyone who wants to listen to your file simply has to download a podcast program that will allow them to hear your podcast—any time the like.

“But I don’t have anything to talk about!” You protest.

Sure you do. You own a thriving small business.
You help customers and clients all day.
You offer products, service, advice—people ask you questions, you have to explain instructions…
If you can do this in person, you can do this on a podcast.

Visit and spend some time listening to other people’s podcasts.
Listen and note what you like. Are you drawn to an enthusiastic speaker who opens with a joke?
Or would you rather go with a more “expert-in-the-field/professional tone?
Study a few of them while you’re in the car and then practice your own.

Start practicing your first podcast by making it short. Anywhere from 1-10 minutes, max.

Many podcast shows offer even a one or two minute clip such as Sixty Second Science, a popular downloadable podcast available on iTunes.

Consider starting with a relevant story that poses a problem (for example, a man with a leaky roof that no matter what he patches it with, it still leaks), and then at the end of the podcast, wrap it up by “solving” the guy’s problem with your product or with the help of your service technician going the extra mile. In between, offer a couple of tips.

Start your podcast with a question, a statistic, or even a joke—if it’s a good one, but make sure you’re offering content. Most people either want to learn something or be entertained, so make sure your podcast falls into one of those categories.

Before the details overwhelm you, know that there are how-to-create-a-podcast programs out there that make this so simple. One of the most well known programs for creating podcasts is Audacity.
Audacity is free, and it’s great for beginners—and even offers more advanced levels for those who like a bit of a challenge. Audacity also offers a Mac OS9 or X version as well as a Windows, Linux/Unix version as well as extensive tutorials.

The next obvious step is that you have to purchase a microphone. You can pick one up at a major electronics store or purchase one online. Make sure your microphone is a unidirectional, dynamic-type, and go with a decent mid-range price range just to get started.

Other sites to check out include: Blog Matrix, Podomatic, Podcast, and Podcast All of these sites offer vasts amounts of information about how to create your podcast files, what to feature, and how to market them.

Be sure to mention your podcasts on your social media contacts and in your emails and e-newsletters. There are also many blog radio websites that might consider playing your podcasts, but you’ll need to send a short query email and offer them a sample podcast for them to review.
Your goal is to build an audience, and to do that, you have to let them know when new offerings are available.

With your computer, downloadable software, and a microphone, you can start podcasting.
More and more people are on the go and would rather listen to a short program with earphones or in their car than to stare at a computer screen.

Why not give podcasting a try?