Taking time to build a recognisable personal brand is a wise move for any entrepreneur or industry thought leader. And podcasting is one of the best ways to do it. Why?
Because few things are more personal than the sound of the human voice.
Podcasting for personal branding creates a uniquely intimate connection with your audience. Listeners feel like they know you, even if you’ve never met in real life.
Of course, there are other ways to grow your personal brand. Blogs, public speaking, and videos are great too. But we’re going to explore why podcasting stands out from the rest as the most intimate and consumable content medium for personal branding.
What Is a Personal Brand?
Before getting into podcasting for personal branding, first let’s look at what the term “personal brand” actually means. As with many other business buzzwords, it gets thrown around in a vague (and often annoying) way on places like LinkedIn.
But when you cut through the hype, the core concept is simple. John Jantsch, author of Duct Tape Marketing summed it up neatly:
Personal branding is the art of becoming knowable, likeable, and trustable.
Clearly it’s not rocket science. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy either.
Personal Brands Need Quality Content
The most effective way of making yourself more “knowable, likeable, and trustable” is to create great content. The kind that makes people sit up and pay attention. But in our increasingly distracted world, that’s difficult to do.
Social media is now awash with slapdash and forgettable personal branding efforts. You probably know the type. Self-recorded phone footage of an ad-lib monologue that fails to communicate anything of real substance. At best such content is boring, at worst, it’s actively harmful to your brand.
The situation is understandable. People hear personal branding is important and quickly start churning out content for the sake of content. But that’s a bad idea. Truly impactful content needs to be considered and planned. Not rushed out the door.
Even if you’re naturally eloquent and witty you still need to think carefully about the message you want to deliver. What are you going to say? How are you going to say it? Which phrases will best get your point across? These are all important things to consider.
When building your personal brand, content should help highlight the unique things you bring to the table. Ultimately, you need to demonstrate to potential clients why they should choose you as the only solution to their problem. And by concentrating on raising the bar on quality, your content will have a much better chance of standing out from the crowd.
Why Podcasting Is Perfect For Personal Branding
As mentioned before, there are lots of content formats you can use to engage your audience. So why choose podcasting for personal branding? Well, there are two main reasons:
Ease of Consumption
Podcasts are much easier to consume than text-based media and video. To read something, you need to sit still and focus attentively. Watching videos takes less concentration, but you still need to be still. In contrast, podcasts can be easily consumed while multitasking.
Thanks to smartphones, people can listen to podcasts anywhere and everywhere - during their commute, in the gym, while doing housework, or even in bed at night. According to a 2019 survey published by Edison Research, more than half of all podcast listeners multitask while listening.
Ease of consumption is one of the main reasons why podcasting is experiencing a boom right now. Everyone is pressed for time. Most of us don’t have the luxury of setting aside a couple of hours each day to read blogs and watch videos.
By creating your own podcast, you’ll make it easier for your audience to fit you into their schedule and familiarise themselves with who you are and what you’re about.
This is where podcasting for personal branding really shines. If you listen to podcasts yourself, you’ll already be well aware of this. Once you become a regular listener, you start to feel as though you actually know the host. You learn their tastes, their tics, the phrases they overuse.
The simple act of listening on a smartphone further heightens the intimacy. Earbuds transmit the host’s voice directly inside your head, where it rubs shoulders with your own thoughts. No wonder you feel as if you know them!
Audio is the medium humans are most naturally wired for. We were listening for thousands of years before the invention of reading and writing. So for us, listening is effortless, soothing, and comforting. In addition, it gives us access to more nuance and depth than writing ever can.
When we listen to a podcast, subtext and unspoken emotion add layers of understanding which further deepen our relationship with the host. Our favourite podcasts become our favourite because there’s a genuine personal connection there.
In the world of personal branding, that’s pretty much the holy grail. You can’t get anymore “knowable, likable, and trustable” than that.
Growing Your Brand Through Multiple Mediums
Podcasts are great. But that doesn’t mean you should put all your eggs in one basket. It’s still important to create content in other formats too. Each medium has its own set of unique benefits that will help you create a strong and well-rounded personal brand.
Blogs and articles are great for demonstrating your level of knowledge and expertise. They allow you to crystallise your thoughts, opinions, and arguments in a particularly authoritative way. So they’re pretty much essential for establishing yourself as a true thought leader.
Likewise, there’s no denying the power of video. A recent report published by Cisco estimated that by 2022, 82% of all internet traffic will be video. Based on that fact alone, it's definitely worth including somewhere in your personal branding strategy.
Video is great for grabbing attention on social media as it’s less demanding than text. And when used in conjunction with a podcast, it further strengthens your connection to your audience.
Examples of Podcasting For Personal Branding
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, has certainly done his fair share of work promoting the importance and value of personal branding. If you’re on social media, you’ve probably come across him at some point. Love him or hate him, he’s everywhere. In large part because he practices what he preaches.
But his content empire includes more than short video clips and inspirational memes. Gary also hosts his own successful podcast aptly named The GaryVee Audio Experience. Here’s what he had to say on the subject (in typical GaryVee fashion):
I believe that podcasting is grossly undervalued, and I think all of you should start a podcast in the same way that all of you are starting vlogs. Go do it, figure it out. It’s even easier, it’s your voice. You don’t have to be handsome.
It’s not just marketing gurus who are tapping into the power of podcasting for personal branding. Jimmy Jacobs, Professional Wrestler and TV Writer, started his own podcast after overcoming his struggle with drug addiction.
Jimmy Jacobs Doesn't Know is all about trying to answer life's big questions. How can we find our purpose? What gives life meaning? And what's the best way to use the limited time we have on earth? In his ongoing search for answers, Jimmy talks to friends, experts, and other interesting characters he's met along his journey:
The raw openness and honesty of Jimmy's podcast has clearly struck a chord with listeners, attracting thousands of subscribers since its launch in April this year. This points to a key aspect of personal branding. Listeners want realness and authenticity.
You shouldn't pretend to be something you're not on your podcast. People are able to see (or in this case, hear) right through that. Instead, your personal brand should be an accurate representation of your genuine self. Listeners can sense authenticity and podcasting is much easier when you don't have to put on an act!
To take an example closer to home let's look at Create. Reach. Inspire., a podcast hosted by Podcast.co founder, James Mulvany. In each episode, James drew on his 15 years experience running software and media companies to distill clear and concise pieces of advice for current and aspiring entrepreneurs.
In a multimedia approach, each episode came with its own short video teaser. This made it much easier to drum up interest on social media, resulting in more downloads and plays of the episodes themselves.
The first series of Create. Reach. Inspire. not only boosted James’ profile on social media, it also helped raise awareness about the launch of Podcast.co.
This is what good personal branding is all about. Pinpointing the unique value you have to add to the universe, then executing a professional and planned strategy to share it with the world.
Finding a Personal Branding Partner
Even if it’s something you haven’t given much thought to, your personal brand already exists. It resides on your LinkedIn profile or Facebook page - your digital footprint.
If you don’t make an effort to choose your own messaging and your own values, you’re leaving the door open for others to do it for you. So it’s important to use your voice and let people know who you are and what you stand for.
But a note of caution before you hit record on your first podcast - it’s wise to get some help. Those who haven’t done much personal branding before often think “Well, this is something I can manage myself”. Theoretically, yes, you could.
You could also do your own plumbing repairs if you wanted to. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The reality is, it takes a lot of work to grow a personal brand. People like Aubrey Marcus and GaryVee have entire teams of people around them, constantly working to keep the wheels of the content machine turning.
All business owners and thought leaders are extremely busy people. They have value to add to the real people in their lives, not just the online audience who would like to follow along. So dedicating large chunks of time to content creation just isn’t feasible.
This is why having a personal branding partner makes all the difference. It allows you to stay focused on the bigger picture tasks, while they handle the rest, building an online presence that reflects the work you’re doing offline.
At Podcast.co we’ve created a service specifically designed for business and thought leaders who’d like to build their personal brand through podcasts. The process is managed from start to finish, with your own executive producer to oversee the whole campaign.
All you need to do is sit down to record six episodes, which take less than an hour each. We’ll then take your conversations and turn them in 48 pieces of original, quality content including:
- Audio episodes (published on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and more)
- YouTube videos
- Animated audiograms
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
By the end, you’ll be equipped with an entire arsenal of content to share across your social media channels, without a single minute spent writing posts. If you’ve got something to say, we’ll make sure your voice is heard.