In terms of sheer numbers, business podcasts are extreme. Podcasting is already considered a saturated market, and business is probably one of the most saturated genres to date.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't start one, though! When planning your podcast, you just need to look at what you've got, and then ask yourself, “Why would anyone listen to this?”
We've got some tips that will help people get invested (pun fully intended) in your business podcast. It's not as scary or impossible as it may seem.
Do something different
I've listened to a lot of business podcasts, and here's the thing: they pretty much all sound the same.
The host maybe gives a short introduction. Then, they interview a guest who talks about business. Then, there's an outro and they share their social media plugs. There's nothing wrong with this format by itself, but in a sea of podcasts that all sound the same, it's so boring!
So, why would anyone listen to your business podcast? Because you're smart. You're going to do something different.
Think about how you can structure your podcast differently. Listen to podcasts like Flash Forward or The Dream that do something interesting with form. Listen to a ton of podcasts and figure out how they make something unique and distinctive.
You can have interviews. You can, and should, have intros and outros. But think of ways to make your form stand out, too.
Offer up new information
Another thing that makes business podcasts sound the same: they all seem to say the same thing.
Business podcasts, no matter the industry, all seem to give listeners the same basic information. Marketing is good! Working hard is good! Numbers matter! The problem is that none of this is new information. Most of what I hear in business podcasts could have been surmised from a book about business written in the 90's or early 2000's.
What are you giving listeners that's new? What information can you give that others can't?
This will require doing some research. Listen to other podcasts about your industry. See what they're not talking about. Cover the bases they aren't covering.
Your podcast shouldn't be a 101 on how to do business. I promise you, that's already been done thousands of times. Instead, your specific knowledge is what's going to help you stand out.
Let yourself be the focus
Another problem I hear in business podcasts is how much weight they put on their guests' shoulders.
One reason this is a problem is that sometimes, your guests just aren't going to be that compelling. You can't expect every guest to be all killer, no filler. Some guests are going to be more charismatic or riveting than others, and there's only so much editing can help.
Your podcast probably isn't bringing in the most A-list guests, either. People don't listen to WTF with Marc Maron just because they feel like it. They listen because he's Marc Maron, and he can get guests that nobody else can get. You're probably not the Marc Maron of your industry. There's a chance people will only listen to your episodes if they care about the guest that week, unless you offer more.
It's not just about lackluster guests. Human brains love consistency. Banking on your guests to be the reason people keep coming back to your podcast is ignoring the fact that people like coming back to something they can count on week after week.
So what is that something “more”? What is that thing they come back to?
Here's another why listeners of WTF with Marc Maron are so devoted: they love Marc Maron. You have to make sure that you are what makes your podcast interesting. The weight of your podcast should always be on your shoulders.
Tell stories about yourself and your experiences. Be friendly and inviting. Let your personality shine through. Remember that anyone can make a business podcast, but only you can make your business podcast.
Ask yourself, “Why would I listen to my podcast?”
Look at the podcasts you're subscribed to. (Not subscribed to any? Go subscribe to some. Research this medium before you dive in.) Why do you love the podcasts you love? What makes them important to you? Try to answer questions that aren't just about the podcasts' subject.
Do you listen to any business podcasts? Why or why not? Do you listen to any business podcasts that are specific to your field? Why or why not?
Have you ever unsubscribed to a podcast? What made you unsubscribe?
Never make a podcast you wouldn't want to listen to. Not only will making your podcast slowly become unbearable for you, your listeners will know if you're making something you're not passionate about. The voice is one of the most evocative tools of communication humans have. Unless you're an Oscar-worthy performer, you're not going to fool your audience that you care about something you don't.
To make something you truly care about.
You should aspire to be like the podcasts you love. Don't steal concepts, of course, but do emulate practices, structures, and moods you love. There's going to be others who love those podcasts for the same reasons as you.
If you ask yourself, “Why would I listen to my podcast?” and you can come up with more reasons than just, “It's relevant to my field of business,” you're on the right track.
So, want to make a business podcast, but you're not sure why anyone would listen?
To stand out in the world of business podcasts, you'll have to do your research. Think about how you can stand out. Think about what you can do that's different from anyone else.
Think about what makes you love podcasts–both in your field and outside of your field–and consider how you can incorporate facets of those into your own podcast.
But also remember that you are the key to keeping your listeners invested. If it's just about the content, listeners won't have any real reason to stick with your podcast instead of jumping ship.
Next up on your reading list, be sure to take a look at how to make your podcast unique by identifying your USP.
And on top of that, here are some further tips on making a business podcast that really stands out!
Still feeling lost at sea?
If you want more tailored help figuring out how best to create your business podcast, join us in the Podcast Host Academy!
In the Academy, you'll get to brainstorm and test ideas with others. You'll also get access to our live Q&A sessions where you can ask Podcast Host contributors for their ideas and opinions.
If you're having trouble figuring out which decisions to make for your business podcast, there's no better community for you than the Academy!