This week I’m bringing you back one of our earliest guests from series one, Anna Parker-Naples. In series one we talked about imposter syndrome and that fear of getting yourself out there and being visible. Anna’s progress in her business has been incredibly inspiring to watch, and I’m delighted to have her back this week to talk about the power of podcasting and how you can get more visible through podcasting.
Having run a podcast myself now for just over a year I’ve really recognised not just the marketing impact that a podcast can bring to your business, but also from a confidence perspective. I would 100% say that now I would call myself a confident content creator, yet 12 months ago I was fiercely fearful of it. But I showed up every week and continued to produce regular content, and it actually becomes incredibly habitual. If I have 10 minutes spare in my day now, I just want to go and create more content. And that proves to me that with consistency with your message and purpose in terms of what you want to create in the world, you can also achieve this for yourself. Podcasting is a huge opportunity to get your message and purpose into the world with the work that you do.
Anna Parker-Naples is a best-selling author, host of the top ranking podcast called Entrepreneurs Get Visible, an award-winning business coach, and a master NLP practitioner. She helps ambitious entrepreneurs and creatives to really stand out as an authority in their field. She now shares her knowledge to help others spread their message far and wide through the power of podcasts.
Great to have you back Anna! I’d love to start by talking about the last 12 months for you. The growth in your visibility has been astonishing!
I would say my growth has been over approximately the last 15 months. I decided that my work was no longer for mums – I had been very much in that mum space – but I decided that my mission was to help people get out there, do more with their success, and do more with their lives and their own feeling having a mission or a purpose. I was most interested in working with people who are ambitious and perhaps leaders or emerging leaders. I took things from working under a brand to working under my own name, and everything being about my journey and my story.
Part of that decision came from thinking about my book, which I launched in November last year, called Get Visible: How to Have More Impact, Influence, and Income. When I started writing that book it was much more about my personal journey, and it was only through writing it that I thought the messages here are about business, success, successful thinking, and successful business behaviours. All of which are actually connected deeply with your emotional response and feeling about yourself. So very much about your sense of deservedness and how you can create your own credibility. As I was writing the book, I realised that many of the actions I was describing I had taken within the voice and audio industry, which was my previous background, but were steps I was actually shying away from within this new space of coaching and entrepreneurship. The reason I was holding back was because I hadn’t really figured out what was my ‘thing’.
So it was literally as I was writing the content to teach people about visibility, I suddenly had that lightbulb moment that I was not doing all the things I’m telling people to do! I realised that the key for me was helping people be heard and remembered in whatever field they’re in. And so for me, that then is about being visible, and that’s where the imposter syndrome comes in; very often people don’t want to be visible because they’re scared they don’t deserve it. But once you decide and are ready to go for it, there are strategies to go about that, and one of them is podcasting. Both you and I, Catherne, know how valuable a successful podcast can be in your business, but you’ve got to know how to start it right.
Over the last year I have launched my second podcast which has been tremendously successful. I host Entrepreneurs Get Visible, which is about teaching the things you really need to have a successful business outwardly, and how you feel inwardly as well. Ultimately if you don’t feel congruent with what you’re doing, then it’s not going to work for you.
So, yeah, as a result I’ve massively changed my business model, completely transformed the income that I’m able to bring to myself both passively and actively, and really raised my profile within the coaching industry.
It’s been incredible to watch your progress. You talked there about being seen and heard, and getting out there is extremely difficult for many female entrepreneurs. Often we’re fearful of physically being visible on camera, and podcasting is a genius was to raise your visibility without having to be physically visible if you don’t want to be. What do you see as the opportunity for podcasting as a marketing tool for entrepreneurs?
Podcasting is massive and it is set to explode. Over the course of the next 18 months Spotify and Google will be going head to head with iTunes to dominate the space. At the moment iTunes still owns 95% of the market, and it’s expected that over the next 18 months podcast listenership is going to double. That is incredible. In the UK right now we have the lowest level of listeners in the Western world, with only 18% of the population listening to podcasts. In other parts of the world it’s as much as 54%, and what’s amazing about these stats is when you look at how engaged listeners tend to be on podcasts vs video. On video watchers tend to drop off before the 25% mark, but with podcasts 80% of people listen to 100% or 80% of the material.
What this means is that people are loyal, they are engaged, and they are wanting to consume more. The reasons that people drop off tends to be that their commute has ended, or the job or task they were doing while listening has finished. So they have to drop off as opposed to wanting to.
Because we can take audio with us no matter where we are or what we’re doing, it’s very mobile. That statistic that fascinates me is the fact that as a listener we are 76% more likely to take action to purchase from a recommendation or advert within a podcast than any other medium right now. That is staggering. What that means is that host has real power. Lots of people want affiliations and sponsorships with podcasts right now because they understand that the audiences are loyal, engaged, and ready to buy.
Generally podcast listeners are affluent, loyal, and educated. This means that they potentially have the money to spend, and they are coming to podcasts not only to be entertained, but to be educated, inspired, and have that sense of community and belonging. That’s really important for business owners to understand because it gives you lots of clues as to how you can drive more money and more business your way.
When you become a fan of a podcast, you binge listen! Or you wait eagerly for that next episode, you know when it will come out. And that patterning is important, and that need to consume more from your favourite people. It’s powerful stuff, and right now is the time to get on it.
I think in 2 years time people may have missed that opportunity. We’re going to go from a situation where right now in the UK there are only 580 shows approximately released each week. That’s across all categories, so when you break that down into business, entrepreneurship, or whatever your field is, then actually there’s not that much competition. So if you want to really stand out, be visible, and put your mark on an industry now is the time to do it.
I’ve experienced this for myself. So for anyone wanting to know, Anna, how would you go about getting started with a podcast?
First of all you’ve got to stop and think what do you want a podcast to do for you and for your business. For me that is positioning and authority. What do you want it to do for your business; so right from conception, how is this going to funnel clients your way. You’ve got to be strategically minded about it otherwise it is just another thing you have to do. And then you’ve got to know what your podcast will do for your listeners. When you have an idea of who you are targeting then it’s much easier to create a podcast that’s impactful.
For me, my first podcast was doing really well, but it wasn’t hitting the right demographics. That was because I hadn’t built it that way; it hadn’t been built with the right title, the right keywords, the right descriptions, I hadn’t been savvy with SEO. I knew that I wanted to teach people about podcasting, but in order to feel that I had the right to do that (even with 15 years experience as a multi-award winning audio producer) I felt that I really had to walk the walk.
When I launched Entrepreneurs Get Visible, as a result of putting into practise everything I’d learned the podcast had an astonishing launch. It reached #3 in iTunes across all the categories, #9 in business globally, and as a result my book launch was then very successful.
In terms of getting started, it’s also about thinking – when people have problems or need answers, where do you want them to turn to? The content you create needs to be answering that question. One of the common problems that people say to me is that they’re worried about starting a podcast because they don’t think they have enough to say. But actually if you can strategically bring on other guest who can add value to your audience, then you can position your podcast really powerfully.
iTunes and Spotify work like powerful search engines in themselves, so every time you’re a guest on a podcast the other shows you’ve appeared on will appear as recommended listens. That’s really powerful for positioning you and your business.
I think content creation is a really interesting subject. If you’re a planner you can sit and work out 12 weeks of podcast content in a day, and even batch record those. The beauty of that is that once you have the content you can repurpose it. It can be a blog, social media quotes, sound bites, even video content. The other challenge I faced when starting was equipment. So for those looking to get started, Anna, how much in terms of financially would you need to set aside to get started podcasting?
This is a big question. Many audio producers love their equipment and could tell you to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds. In fact I’m sitting next to two microphones as I speak, one of which is worth over £1500 and one which was about £150.
But actually I’m a big believer that you can start a podcast for under £100, and that would include a microphone, a good pair of headphones, and a pop shield which is something that goes in front of your microphone. It protects your microphone from explosive air as you’re speaking and improves the audio. You can even record onto your phone. Sometimes I’ll attach a good quality clip-on microphone when I’m doing Facebook lives and that can then be repurposed. There are lots and lots of options, but as far as I’m concerned you need some basic, good quality, equipment but it doesn’t have to be that expensive or complicated.
If you speak to the right people and get the right advice, you can get started podcasting much easier than you think. The most important thing actually is to have a good room to record in. Generally I’d say you want to be in a carpeted room and that isn’t massive so that you get a good room tone.
One of the other aspects is editing. Would you suggest that people learn how to edit their audio themselves, or to outsource that?
It depends on your budget and your time. If you do it yourself it won’t cost a penny, and if you outsource it means that you can focus on your content creation. I’m a big believer that you do need to know the fundamentals of editing so that your recording skills are better, and so that you know if your outsource has done a good job or not.
If you take even just an hour to learn the fundamentals, which is what I teach people to do, then you are going to be much clearer when you’re recording your audio in the first place. You’ll have a better, cleaner audio all round, which means when you do outsource you’ll pay less because they’ll have less work to do.
Great tips. I think with anything in business it’s great to do things yourself first so that when you do outsource it you know they’ve done a good job, and if they can’t complete the task for some reason you’re able to pick it up easily.
Yes, and you talk about money leaks a lot Catherine too, so I think if you’re not ready to build an outsourcing team in your business then you can create a podcast for yourself with just a little bit of knowledge, and it really isn’t that hard to learn. I’m passionate about showing people that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Tell us a little more about how you teach people to do this, Anna?
I have just launched The Podcast Membership which is teaching everybody what they need to know to start and grow their podcast, and later on this year we will be having various new phases about how to monetise and how to be a great guest. So this is for people who maybe host their own show but want to get out onto others shows more, or for people who are not ready to host their own show but want to make the most of this amazing platform.
I think it’s really important with podcasting to be very clear right from conception what it’s for and who it’s for. If you get those things right you’ll have a successful launch. The most effective way to have an impactful podcast is to have effective launches, and the best time to do that is when you start your podcast. You can relaunch from time to time, but your results will never be quite as good as they would have been if you knew what you were doing in the first place.
How important are things like imagery and logos when you get started?
I think it’s really important. That is how people will make that snap decision as to whether they’re going to listen or not. Once they’ve got through the branding and imagery, then it’s the first 20 seconds where people are deciding if they’re staying or going. So you want to make sure not only that your artwork works for you, that your descriptions work, but also that your first 20 seconds is really appealing to the kind of listener that you want.
People are making initial decisions on what they see, and then they stick around if the audio is good quality and the energy and vibe sounds like something they’ll like.
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