Podcasting for Small Businesses
With a background in radio, it was only natural for Christy Smallwood to be drawn towards podcasting. “I could do things that made me feel like I was still in radio as well as providing a great marketing tool for my business,” Smallwood said.
Her business? Eagle Eye Strategies, a B2B company designed to help other businesses grow. Smallwood relaunched her podcast, Small Business, Small Talk, in 2018 after spending time planning and staging her episodes. When starting out, Smallwood used a basic headset with a microphone, and Audacity, free audio editing software. Once she learned how to properly edit, she deliberated on whether or not she would have a video component as well. “I was constantly learning,” she said.
To promote the podcast, Smallwood made sure to touch on nearly every social media channel. From uploading episodes to YouTube and Facebook to singling out audio snippets to quote on Instagram, she spread the message far and wide.. “Share it [the episode] on every online channel that you have, share that you’ve been on this episode. That way, you are getting that exposure. Searchability increases, because your name needs to come up somewhere.” Smallwood recently launched a new website where you can find episodes and information about her business. She also repurposes her audio content as a blog.
Small Business, Small Talk mainly highlights small businesses. Smallwood has three levels of guest: a client, a strategic alliance, and a fan. Clients are easier to get on the podcast, as she already has a working relationship with them. Strategic alliances are a little harder, and often come from referrals. “I’m a member of my local chamber [of commerce], which helps a lot,” Smallwood said of her networking strategy.
Smallwood’s fan guests usually don’t have experience with podcasting, so there’s a level of “coolness” that prompts them to accept the invitation.. As a pre-existing fan, they also are excited to share their episode on social media, which helps Smallwood gain new listeners. She encourages her guests to use the episode to spark their own content and outreach.
Smallwood doesn’t do this all herself, though. She has an assistant to help her run social media accounts, edit audio, and generate ideas. “It helps to have an outside ear on what would be a great clip to put out to the audience to entice them to listen to the whole thing.”
All in all, Smallwood appreciates the unique conversations a podcast episode brings. “It comes out so much easier to be able to talk about it [the topic],” Smallwood said. “You’re getting me, raw and authentic, and you’re getting my personality. I know that ultimately, in business, people want to do business with somebody they like and want to be around. Well, this is the fastest way to get that out there.”
Her advice to new podcasters is to start small. “You don’t have to go with all the bells and whistles, so start small to get used to what you want to say and do.” Once you’ve figured that out, Smallwood advised, “then get some professional help.”
Listen to Christy's interview on Engage Your Tribe: https://youtu.be/bCmFWpfjaYs
Watch a video version of Christy's interview: https://youtu.be/bCmFWpfjaYs