When I talk about building a home base for your platform, people naturally assume I’m referencing a blog. But this is only one possibility. Your home base could just as easily be a podcast or vlog (i.e., a video blog).
As I explain in my book, Platform, the key attribute of a home base is that it is a place in cyberspace that you own and control. This is different than an “embassy” (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or Pinterest), which is place you don’t own but where you have a presence. On a home base you have 100 percent control of your messaging and brand.
I never considered doing a podcast as part of my platform until my friend Dan Miller mentioned it. He said it was the single most important part of his home base, even more than his blog or newsletter.
That was back on January 6th of this year. Following that conversation with Dan, I launched my podcast, This Is Your Life, on February 14th and have released fifteen episodes so far. It has consistently been in the top ten in the iTunes Business category. I couldn’t be happier with the results.
Frankly, it’s been a lot of work—more than I anticipated. But I am starting to “find my voice” and get the workflow down. I am finally producing each episode now in about half the time it initially took me. I am hoping I can cut it in half again in the next few months.
You might want to consider podcasting too. It could be either your primary platform or a secondary one. Either way, I think a podcast offers several benefits, especially if you are already a blogger.
- A podcast provides an alternative media channel. There are some people who prefer reading blogs. Others prefer listening to podcasts. Often, these are very different audiences. This has been my experience. Certainly, there is overlap, but, based on the comments and e-mails I have received, it has brought in a whole new audience for my content.
- A podcast provides another way for people to discover you. A podcast gives you visibility in a completely different world—primarily iTunes. I have had scores of new people say they had never heard of me until they stumbled onto me in iTunes or at the recommendation of another podcaster.
- A podcast provides a more intimate way for your fans to engage with you. Most people listen to podcasts using headphones or earbuds. It doesn’t get more intimate than talking directly into someone’s ear! Moreover, you can communicate with greater nuance than print offers alone. People can experience your voice, your enthusiasm, and your warmth.
- A podcast provides another way to repurpose your content. I am not suggesting you can simply read your blog posts into a recorder and call it a podcast. But if you are a blogger, you probably have content that can serve as the foundation for your podcasts. This is precisely what I am doing. Podcasting gives me the opportunity to expand on posts I have written and answer questions from my readers and listeners.
Podcasting is certainly not for everyone. It requires a good deal of work. But as you build out your platform, it is one of the options you should consider. It may, in fact, be the best way for you to deliver your message to your intended market. (You might even consider doing a podcast with someone else.)
If you want to learn more about podcasting, I highly recommend my friend Cliff Ravenscraft’s course, “Podcasting A-Z.” It’s not cheap, but it will save you far more than it costs if you are serious about podcasting. I have bought several of Cliff’s courses and they were jam-packed with practical, step-by-step advice.
Believe me, this course covers EVERYTHING you need to know to create a successful audio podcast. It’s four weeks in length and will launch on July 9th. In addition to all the course materials—which are considerable—you will have unlimited access to Cliff (via an online forum) during this time. In my opinion, this alone is worth the price of the course.
If you use the discount code “hyatt,” you will get $100.00 off the registration price. Check out the course description and see if it’s right for you.
Update: If you want to learn more about the state of podcasting, check out the new special report from Edison Research and Arbitron: The Podcast Consumer 2012 (May 2012).