I started the private beta for my software company, Scheduling Ace in November of 2013. I launched the first episodes of a podcast for the industry in August, Golf In the Life of…
9 months later I had developed a steady source of leads and an active and engaged audience. I didn’t have to do any cold emailing or calling. I’m able to work on warm leads and converting those into customers.
Simply put – Podcasting matters for software companies.
So how and why did this happen?
I was sick of sending out emails to people, hoping to hear back. (maybe 5% of the time.. if I was lucky) And the worst part was I felt like crap doing it. So I decided I needed to attract people to me. No more gut wrenching phone calls. I just wanted to stop the painful process of getting up the courage to hit “send” on an email to somebody I’d never met before. I wanted the easy road… Don’t we all.
I tried to find some places to advertise or write a guest post. But there was nothing out there for my vertical. (Golf instructors… Around 5000-8000 total people in the audience) If there isn’t a platform out there what do you have to do? Build your own. Now there are more benefits than just creating leads for a product. You really get to know your audience and are actually building a community of people who you’ve helped.
You’re creating an asset that has long term value. Back when IBM was first launching they had a company magazine called Think that salesman offered to customers who purchased products as well as prospects that said no. It had articles and interviews that didn’t necessarily scream IBM (no large logos on every page) Pretty soon their list was over 100,000 people however they only had 3500 customers. It was an asset that helped them grow their influence and become a brand that people trusted and went to as the company expanded.
So I went to some of the people I knew well and had them on for my first interviews. Edited them and put up a WordPress site for the podcast. I was involved in a couple Facebook and LinkedIn groups so my first form of promotion was to post them there. Immediately I got some positive feedback and quite a few people clicking through, listening to them. I continued finding people who I knew and simply did 45 minute interviews with them. Slowly at first but more frequently as things went along.
So the software and podcast/blog platform started to grow… slowly but surely.
(the software as the sponsor mentioned on the website and in the beginning of most episodes)
As time went along I realized I was making amazing connections and actually succeeding at the goal of creating a great platform for people in my industry. I had created something that people really enjoyed. It was a great feeling. And allowed me to reach out to the industry leaders and make connections I otherwise would have had a tough time doing. For instance when going to the trade show for the industry I was able to meet so many more people because they had been on the podcast or listened. It opened up doors and let me have something of value I was giving away.
here’s one of the most exciting emails I received…
Just wanted to let you know that after listening to two of the episodes I put together a six month learning programme to offer to my students from July to December, I had 15 students sign up, creating £18k of teaching revenue, so thank you for getting the information out there, I owe you a beer!!
Currently we’re doing over 1000 visits and downloads per month which is around 10-15% of the total market which I see as a huge win. I don’t have to go out, calling and emailing people to get 1-2 demos set up per week for the software product.
One of the biggest things I did early on that has had long term effects was adding a survey to my email auto responder from the beginning. I asked questions that not only helped ask the best questions on the interviews but also the development of the software. Here’s what I learned – Who I should interview, what I should ask them about, what the biggest problems they faced are, and what I could do to improve. You can also tell if podcast is even the best format for your audience. I started out doing 40-50 minute interviews but soon learned that people never listened to the entire show. So I took my interviews and chopped them up into 10-15 minutes segments.
So if I was to do it again what would I change?
Build a platform first! I would have made a 2-3 year plan of building a platform and then a product / software off of that. I went at this backwards.
But no matter where you’re at I’d encourage you to start a podcast. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to create great content for you audience. And it doesn’t have to difficult at all.
I should know because I’ve actually started doing this for other people. Why? Because it’s honestly the part of business I enjoy most. Creating awesome content that people love. SO I want to help kickstart your podcast with a free email course.
At justhitpublish.com – We’re taking the pain out of podcasting… Everything from audio editing to show notes. All you have to do is “just hit publish”