Originally published on Advisor Perspectives, November 19, 2018
To paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen, “I know professionals who anchor radio programs. Some are friends of mine. You probably don’t have the skill to do what they do.”
Nevertheless, you may be tempted to jump on the podcast bandwagon. If so, consider these issues.
Podcasts are popular
By some accounts, at least 124 million Americans have listened to podcasts. One-third of Americans age 25-54 listen to them monthly. Much of this growth is coming from women.
Most listeners stick around for all or most of each episode.
People listen to podcasts in their car and at home.
Don’t let the popularity of podcasts fool you. It’s tough to stand out in this crowded field. The average number of downloads for a podcast that has been live for 30 days is only 141.
Do it right
A podcast is part of your image. Don’t do one unless you can afford the investment to do it right.
Invest in the right hardware and software, select high-quality music, store your podcast on a commercial server, write a great script and prepare show notes of each episode.
You can find specifics in this excellent blog post.
You can find a list of common podcasting mistakes and fixes here.
Keep it short
Traditional wisdom advises limiting your podcast to 22 minutes. Studies indicate that attention and retention rates crash after 20 minutes.
That’s too long.
Studies show we have an attention span that’s less than a goldfish.
Other studies demonstrate that an audience mentally checks out of a presentation after about 10 minutes, with attention then plummeting to “near zero.”
Why push your luck? Consider more frequent, shorter podcasts with great content in each one.
Keep it interesting
Dryly discussing an investing or financial planning topic won’t hold the interest of your listeners – even for a short period of time.
Here are some suggestions for keeping your podcast interesting:
Co-host: The dynamic between two people is more interesting that just one. The interaction should be unscripted and informal.
Involve others: Interview other experts. This has a double impact. It adds a third person with another perspective and gives the co-hosts an opportunity to both ask questions and interact with each other.
Tell stories: Instead of conveying data unconnected to emotion, weave your message into a compelling story. Give a real-life example of how you positively impacted the life of a client with your advice. Stories stick with us.
Don’t strive for perfection: You should, of course, prepare for each podcast by having a couple of points you want to convey. But don’t have a written script that you read verbatim. It will sound “scripted.”
We don’t relate to perfect people because we’re all imperfect. That’s why “blooper” videos are so popular.
Show vulnerability. Be provocative. Inject some humor. Push the envelope. Don’t be afraid to be different.
Have fun with your podcast and you’ll engage your audience.