With a 21% increase of people listening to podcasts in 2016 (an estimated 57 million people according to Edison) coupled with growing evidence that “a podcast can drive engagement, build brand loyalty and fuel purchasing decisions”[*] – it’s no wonder that more businesses are now including a podcast in their content creation and marketing strategy.
Are you communicating your brand in the most effective way?
In fact in Hubspot’s report: ‘The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing’ showed that companies who used blogging as part of their marketing not only gained brand exposure, they also generated leads that later converted into clients.
Hubspot’s report also confirmed that companies who tended to blog more frequently increased their customer acquisition numbers. [You can get a copy of their report here].
While blogging is fantastic for brand exposure, leads and customer acquisition (and should be part of your Brand Communications Wheel) it’s important to realise that if you’re ONLY relying on writing articles to get your message out you could be leaving money on the table. Especially if some of your ideal clients don’t enjoy reading.
If their preferred representational system (i.e. visual, auditory, kinesthetic, internal dialogue) is NOT visual and you are only using articles/blog posts as the way you share your information, you could potentially be missing out on numerous opportunities to build relationships and your credibility with these people.
So what the heck is a representational system?
Representational Systems – how we code events, experiences and information:
Many years ago I completed studies in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and learned there were four Representational Systems:
- Visual = sight
- Auditory = sound
- Kinesthetic = feelings and touch
- Self-talk = internal dialogue
Representational systems are how we code events, experiences and information, and our preferred representational system (or primary representational system) is the one we tend to favour over others.
I discovered that my Preferred Representational System was visual, followed closely by kinesthetic and auditory (internal dialogue).
Leveraging multiple ways to communicate, build rapport and strengthen relationships:
So what does this have to do with you and your business, you may ask?
Being able to recognise other people’s communication styles and preferred representational systems can enable you to build rapport and strengthen relationships with your community faster and in a far deeper, more meaningful way.
And, I’m sure you’ll agree – in business (and life in general) being able to build strong relationships and communicate your message so that it is understood with the meaning you intended, is important.
While my preferred representational system was visual, Keith’s preferred representational system was auditory (i.e. sound). In fact, his preference for audio was very strong and he really disliked reading.
I quickly learned that sending him long emails and written instructions just didn’t resonate with him.
Shorter paragraphs and sentences were better.
And, if I really wanted to make sure important messages didn’t lose their meaning, I’d ring or leave a message so he could listen to the content.
Thankfully those years of training on representational systems and being able to recognise and adapt to different communication styles certainly came in handy – and still do, for that matter.
Your lesson and takeaway:
So what can you learn from this?
To be mindful that not all of your clients (or prospective clients) will have the same preferred representational systems and that you should integrate different communication methods to build brand awareness.
That way you don’t miss out on connecting with an ideal client because you’re not delivering your information in a way that enables them to absorb it.
Through making sure your Brand Communication Wheel incorporates a number of different ways to get your message out.
- Podcasting and audios
- Graphics and pictures
- Or a combination of all of these
Here’s an example of my Brand Communications Wheel and how I’m currently building awareness about my business:
I recognised podcasting was increasing in popularity so started the Ambitious Entrepreneur Show – a weekly podcast focusing on business to bring my message (and that of my guests) to people. Through doing this regularly I have now created an audience who enjoy listening to the weekly podcasts.
I also enjoy recording and sharing audio biz tips, such a this one:
I’ve incorporated video (both talking head where I am speaking to camera and by recording my screen) allowing me to combine both audio and video together so people can see and hear me – a powerful combination.
[While I haven’t been actively creating videos lately, I have set an intention to do more soon and will be dusting off the lights and camera in the coming months.]
Because I love speaking I’m always looking out for opportunities to get involved in telesummits, teleseminars and other speaking events. I’m now regularly being asked to be a keynote speaker and participate in telesummits
My weekly newsletter is sent out to my database; and I’m regularly posting and communicating with people on various social media platforms.
So, what about you? Does your Brand Communications Wheel integrate other methods so that people can absorb your message in a way they prefer?
If not, why don’t you commit to adding one different method to your wheel over the next month to see what kind of response you get from your audience.
For those of your who love to write, here are a few tips on how to present your blog posts/articles so that people who don’t like to read can still benefit from your wisdom.
- Use headlines to separate paragraphs
- Write smaller paragraphs
- Get to the point – quickly
- Write in a conversational style
- Add lots of white space
And, some advice from my colleague Keith Keller to help him read your article should he stumble upon it:
- Use bullet points
- Incorporate images that convey the message
- Use lots of graphics
- Add a video
Are you already using different methods of communicating your message? If not, have I inspired you to try out a new method? Which do you prefer? Do you have an idea what your preferred representational system is? Let me know below – it’s always great to hear from you.
As a small service-based business owner you know the importance of building your reputation and credibility as a specialist in your field. Your business’s survival depends on it.
Getting your brand message out in front of your target market should be part of your daily list of activities.
You may already be writing articles and blog posts or even incorporating video as part of your brand communications.
However, if you find writing difficult or you’re not quite ready to get in front of the camera, a great way to get your message out to your audience is through the use of audio.
I’ve been using audio for many years now and love it.
Besides my podcasts, here are some of the other ways that I have used (and currently use) audio to build my brand. See how many of these you could adopt in your business to build awareness about you and your brand:
- Reading blog posts/articles;
- A coaching tip as part of my coaching packages/programs;
- A brief audio tip in my newsletter; or
- An audio introduction to my website/newsletter to welcome new site visitors/subscribers;
- Use audio to get in touch with your clients/prospects instead of writing an email;
- An audio tip that’s shared on your social media networks.
As you can see, you can leverage audio in all aspects of your business to get your message out there into the hands of your ideal client. You just need to decide which fits best into your brand communications wheel.
Here are some basic tips and tools to help you get started on recording your own on-brand audio/podcast:
1. Plan out your content
Before you start to record your audio, it’s important to plan out what you’re going to say.
Your audio should also include an introduction; your content, and then your call to action specific to your target audience’s needs and interests.
The Introduction: should include your hook, which is the reason why your listener should listen to the rest of the call. People are busy and need to know why they should invest their time to listen to you. It needs to identify ‘what’s in it for them’. What will they walk away with?
For instance in my Business Success Podcast interview I did with Roz Merry, she shared some great tips on how she has managed to get a closing rate of 80-90%, which is just incredible. So here’s what I wrote in my introduction:
“Roz Merry joins me today and Roz is an expert in Network Marketing. She’s going to talk about vital business building tips that all business owners should be aware of when it comes to selling. These are the exact same strategies that Roz used that enabled her to get a close rate of 80-90%, which is extremely impressive – so stick around.”
Click play to hear the recording of the Introduction.
Your Content: should provide listeners with a tip, strategy or information that is useful and valuable and something that they can implement within their lives and/or business.
By providing helpful information you’ll confirm your knowledge and expertise in your field. You’ll also encourage your listeners to return to your website as you become a reliable and helpful source!
And of course, as you continue to build your reputation as a credible expert, you’ll be top of mind when they’re ready to invest.
The Call to Action: should inform and encourage listeners to take the next step – whatever that step may be.
Do you want them to leave a comment? Or Like/Share your audio with their community? You may be using your audio as a lead generation tool and therefore want your listener to take the next step and sign up to access your free e-report or other offer.
Whatever action you want your listener to take – tell them at the end of your audio.
For instance, at the end of each of my Business Success Podcast interviews, I encourage my listeners to sign-up for my 7-step Charge What You’re Worth Audio series. Here’s an example of my call-to-action script:
“If you’re struggling to set yourself apart from your competitors or charging what you’re worth for the awesome services you’re providing your client, I invite you to access our 7-step audio series ‘How to Get Noticed, Hired and Charge What You’re Worth INSTANTLY, at http://bit.ly/ChargeYourWorth.”
Click play to hear the recording of the Call to Action.
2. Recording Tools
This is a great tool if you are only recording yourself. If you have two microphones you can record a guest as long as you are in the same location.
I use Skype to record all my interviews with guests who are located nationally and internationally.
If I am recording on my MAC – I use Call Recorder [There is a small fee for this software, however it is certainly worth the investment].
If I am recording via Skype on my PC – I use Pamela [There is a free version of Pamela, which allows up to 15 minutes of recording. There’s also a paid version].
3. Editing & Mixing Tools
Thankfully I now have an audio production team that manage this for me, however when I was mixing and editing myself, I would use Audacity.
To convert Audacity files to MP3 files you’ll also need to add on the LAME plugin.
4. Hosting Tools
I don’t recommend you host audio on your own website as this can eat up a lot of your bandwidth, especially once you get to the stage where many people are listening to your audios. A great problem to have!
I use AudioAcrobat, which allows you to embed a streaming audio as well as provide your listeners the capacity to download and save the audio file to their computer. The Introduction and Call To Action audios above have been embedded into this post directly from AudioAcrobat. It’s very simple to do!
[Note: this is an affiliate link and I would NOT recommend a product that I was not using myself or completely happy with.]
5. Other Tools
Want to create your own internet radio show? This was how I started out – cohosting Career Success Radio. Blogtalkradio offers free and paid versions – and is a great option when just starting out.
This is a great little tool that I have just discovered. You can also download this application to your iPhone and iPad and you can record and publish audio tips on-the-go to your Twitter and Facebook feeds.
Click above to hear one of my Audio Boo Audio Posts.
When done correctly, using audio is a great way to build your credibility and reputation as a specialist in your field, while connect with and continue to build your relationship with existing and prospective clients.
I hope you found these tips useful in helping you get started whether you want to start a broadcasting career and run your own podcast, or whether you just want to use audio as a way of sharing information with your community.
If you Liked this post, please share it with your friends and colleagues by pressing the Like and Share button. Let me know how you plan on using audio by leaving your comment below. It’s always great to see what you’re up to!!
And, of course – once you upload your audio, let me know. I’d love to have a listen!
Till next time – I look forward to welcoming you to the airwaves.