Pastor, you will always have critics, and you will always have fans. At the end of the day, you need to have the guts to believe neither, but rather to allow your affirmation to flow only from the truth God has declared about you in His Word.
You know what my problem is? I think too small. Every time I expect big things from God, He surprises me with more, which is both a delight as well as a shame. I need to think bigger!
In a recent ten-minute message I gave at a church planting assessment, I address this very issue of thinking past today, past the visible, and past the possible.[audio:http://www.brandonacox.com/wp-content/uploads/Think-Bigger.mp3|titles=Think Bigger]
Know Your Competition
Are there a large number of other people Podcasting about the same subject matter as you? You should be aware of your competition’s websites and their Podcasting topics. Try to offer something different. Offer your customers something that is relevant, interesting and unique or that puts a unique spin on a familiar topic. Use Podcasting directories to find out who your competitors are.
Who Are Your Listeners?
Research your target audience. Podcasting is still a niche market, but is growing rapidly with the popularity of portable media devices such as the iPod. The average subscribers to Podcasts are educated, employed, well traveled, and looking for interesting content. The average Podcast subscriber is around the age of thirty. However the market is expanding exponentially to the less than 18 and over 50 demographic as potable media becomes more affordable to the masses.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a key marketing technique for the Web. It is the process of writing or editing the content to include key words people might use when searching for a product, service, idea, or entertainment. How do you optimize your Podcast? Write transcripts. Before sitting down and writing your Podcast script use a service like KeyWord Tracker, which helps you improve your ranking in search results. Once you have a list of the top keyword searches for your topic write them into your script and publish it as a transcript along with your Podcast. Including a transcript of your Podcast will attract more visitors to your site then a Podcast alone with a brief header.
There are two reasons people listen to Podcasts, to learn or to be entertained. Podcasting is not the time to use your best sales pitch. Over selling your topic to people in your Podcast is a sure-fire way to send their business elsewhere. People are looking for fun, entertaining, and informative information – for free. If people are visiting your website to listen to your Podcasts you have already accomplished one step in the selling process, building relationships with the public. Once they have listened to your Podcasts they will likely go to your website to check out your products or services because they feel connected to a familiar voice that represents your company persona.
egularly Scheduled Episodes
Your listeners will expect a regular schedule for when they can ‘tune-in’ to your Podcasts. Depending on your business and how much content you can create you may want to Podcast anywhere from daily to once per week. Make sure you can deliver when you say you can. You might have other responsibilities in your organization so keep a realistic time line. When you hire a voice over actor for your Podcast you will ensure regular episodes are done on-time, on budget, and with no interruption in your personal or work schedule.
Spread the Word
Once you have your Podcast recorded and uploaded to your website it’s time to get the word out. If you already have a customer base registered to your website consider emailing them about your websites new feature. There are numerous directories to submit your Podcasts to. Try www.podcast411.com for a list of directories. You may also want to use social networking sites such as Facebook, Digg, and Stumble Upon to promote your Podcast and grow your listener base. You can also write and distribute articles and press releases about your Podcast to help you spread the word.
Make sure you include an RSS Feed and an ‘Email to a Friend’ option for your Podcasts. The RSS Feed allows you to syndicate your Podcasts making it easy for your audience to listen with automatic delivery to their portable media devices or personal computers. Adding the ‘Email to a Friend’ option allows your current audience to spread the word to others who they feel might be interested in your topic, ultimately growing your listener base.
Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Vice President of Marketing and co-founder of Voices.com, the voice over marketplace. A vocal major and graduate from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario, Stephanie is able to translate years of classical music training, theory and performance into practical applications within the voice over industry. Specializing in public relation and copy writing, her presence and persona embody the Voices.com brand through partner sites likePodcastingVoiceTalent.com.
I threw out a few thoughts this morning and captured them on my iphone concerning the culture of your leadership environment. We can’t always control which tasks we’re going to be facing as a team, but we can determine ahead of time the prevailing attitudes. This is a matter of creating the right leadership culture. Listen in…[audio:http://brandonacox.com/wp-content/uploads/CultureofLeadershipEnvironment.mp3|titles=The Culture of Your Leadership Environment]
… and share! And comment!
I recently posted some thoughts about what discipleship looks like and that article was really the product of a recent men’s Bible study at Bethel. Every Tuesday a bunch of men get up and get to church by 6:15 a.m. for a pre-workday Bible study.
We opened the year with an open discussion about the meaning of discipleship and I found it highly encouraging. I wanted to pass along the audio in case you’d missed it, are interested in coming, or just need some inspiration about discipleship and men.
[audio:http://www.bethelbentonville.com/wp-content/uploads/2010-01-19%20Mens%20Bible%20Study%20on%20Discipleship.mp3|titles=Men's Bible Study on Discipleship|artists=Brandon Cox]
We’ve been recording messages and distributing them in mp3 format for quite some time now. Our old site (no longer in use, but holds archives) is BibleJourney.org and we now post sermons at Bethel’s site and distribute them via podcast.
There are a lot of ways to do this, and many may be more efficient or better from a technical standpoint, but this is the method we’ve found to be easy-to-follow and reliable.