Here is a question from a LinkedIn group:
The answer is staring the questioner in the face: if you have a business-to-business podcast, then LinkedIn is the perfect place to get listeners. Not only is LinkedIn free, can be highly targeted, but it also has tons of members. After all, recent statistics show 690 million users on LinkedIn.
There are three main ways to promote your podcast on LinkedIn without spending a dime.
SEEK other podcasts where you can be a guest; you can ENGAGE in groups to demonstrate expertise; finally, you can OPTIMIZE your profile so you can be discovered by people searching LinkedIn.
Studies show that people who listen to podcasts, on average, listen to six podcasts. This means that if you are a guest on another podcast then you have a shot of attracting listeners to your podcast.
When you search for “podcast” on LinkedIn, you get 240,000 results. Not everybody on the list should be your target. You do not want to approach a podcast that discusses ready mixed concrete when you specialize in air conditioning. Develop a list of fifty potential podcasts related to your field.
Next, go to Apple Podcasts and select the category for your expertise. There are over two dozen categories. You may get the names of hundreds of podcasts. For this discussion, let us say you have a podcast about cybersecurity, so you can select the category “information technology.”
Compare the list from LinkedIn and Apple – you should see a lot of crossovers.
When you find one that fits, go to the “website” button on the Apple Podcast page. This should link to the show notes page. You can normally get the name of the moderator or the people on the marketing team there.
Ok, let us put on our LinkedIn hat. Take each name and go to sites like ViolaNorbert or Hunter.io to get an email address for the contact.
Always send a customized email, the way you get your topics for the email is from their LinkedIn page. For example, one cybersecurity podcast may be involved in compliance or virtual private networks or even mobile device management. Customize your email to include benefits in those categories.
The key is to explicitly state that the audience for the podcast on your list would benefit from the information you provide.
For example, you can start with a fact like,
“Hey Rahul, Internet traffic management experts at Akamai estimate an increase in 25% of traffic in the first half of 2020. Your listeners are keenly interested in the cybersecurity implications of managing dynamic workloads. I would love to be a guest on your podcast to provide details for your listeners”
Another pitch may be,
“Hey Miranda, loved your last podcast titled, ‘Hybrid Cloud Integration.’ My company has been involved in the cybersecurity aspects of using a hybrid cloud since its inception. Your audience needs to be kept up to date on issues like identity governance administration in today’s complex cloud world. Would love to appear on your podcast to address those concerns your listeners have.”
You may want to reassure the podcast producer of your ability with a sample of your voice. Old school radio folks would call this an “aircheck.”
Click on the logo to get a sample of my voice on a podcast.
Once you get the invitation, make sure you have a way to refer to your podcast during the interview.
Make it as easy as possible to reach you during the interview. For example, “Come to my website security.com/list the get a list of system vulnerabilities during the current health care crisis.”
You can hire survey specialists or even contract people like Adele Revella to develop customer profiles for you. Great if you are a multi-billion-dollar company, but not applicable for a small business.
There are an estimated two million groups on LinkedIn. The goal is to engage in specific targeted groups so you can understand the sentiment, get podcast topic ideas, and present yourself as a subject matter expert.
You may be the world’s foremost expert in a specific field, but you can be tone-deaf to what the market thinks is important. Here in mid-2020, the lesson from the COVID crisis is nobody knows anything. The same is true for marketing your podcast.
After 800+ interviews, most of my expertise is in networked computer systems; I realize that my experience has limitations. I am first on the list when it comes to being tone-deaf.
To understand the full range of information technology, I need to hear topics as far-ranging as satellite collisions and data sensors on the bottom of the ocean.
The shortcut to discovering what the target audience is thinking is to monitor questions on forums like Quora, Reddit, or LinkedIn.
This is how I captured the question displayed at the top of this article. Just because the answer is obvious to you does not mean it is obvious to the general reader.
One key to understanding sentiment for listeners to your podcast in a business-to-business world is a LinkedIn group on your specific topic.
The idea is to present yourself as a subject matter expert in one narrow field. You provide answers to the members of that group.
While you are answering questions, you can demonstrate your expertise. When done consistently, readers will know that you are the person with the answers.
The idea is to assist others, blatant self-promotion will normally get you banned.
Now it the time to take the list of keywords you want to be found for and the images for your podcast that tell this story visually and pour them into your LinkedIn profile.
1. It’s a headline, not a job title
If you look at one hundred LinkedIn profiles, you will normally see a job title under a person’s name.
LinkedIn labels this section as a headline, not a job title. Nobody is going to search for “Vice President Marketing” on LinkedIn. People search for answers to specific questions. That is why you want to use a keyword that you want to be found in the headline section.
For example, Chris Hornbecker from Xgility had his title, “President,” in his headline. He changed it to include “Hybrid SharePoint,” and within four days had an investor call him because he was specifically looking for a company that did “Hybrid SharePoint.”
This is not just limited to the world of technology. If you have a podcast about ready mixed concrete, you should put the keywords for that topic in your headline. You may want to say, “Moderator for The Concrete Podcast: Insights on Innovations in Non-plastic Concrete.”
2. Don’t go blue with the hero image
Let’s go back to those one hundred LinkedIn profiles. You will see about 25% with a blue image in the hero section. Blue makes me blue.
The hero image is the opportunity to show people who have been successful because of your podcast. The hero is not you – the hero is the transformation you can make in the lives of the listeners. The hero image is a great, free, way to tell the story of your podcast.
I love recording podcasts at tradeshows because I get to absorb the excitement of the crowd during the interview. The second benefit is a photographer can take shots of the person being interviewed with a crowd listening.
3. Summary section = keyword heaven
Joe Pulizzi is a world-renown expert on content marketing. If he uses keywords in his LinkedIn profile, then it would make sense for you to use your podcast keywords in your summary section as well.
When Joe was running Content Marketing World, I looked at his LinkedIn profile. It had five paragraphs and repeated the word “content” sixteen times.
Learn from Joe and sprinkle your podcast keywords throughout your summary.
4. Activity: Once a day
Post once a day. Does not have to be original content, it can be an article or video that is important for your community. Successful posts include written hooks to grab attention, handles of people on the podcast, and an image of a human.
5. Experience: load it up
Nobody wants to listen to a podcast about open water swimming from a person who cannot swim.
You must include experience that is related to your field of endeavor. Appearances on other podcasts are great. Work experience in a related field adds to your credibility.
6. Education: perceived value of a piece of paper
There is a reason your physician has his degree posted above his desk – it adds to credibility. Please add a complete education history. If your formal education does not reflect your current situation, then it is time to take some courses where you can get credentials in your area of focus.
“A dog with papers is worth more than a dog without papers” Tim Rizer, President of Item Incorporated.
I once interviewed the CTO of a technology company called Red Hat. He had a bachelor’s degree in English but had supplemented his formal education with coursework in his field.
He was in a unique position to be able to articulate the benefits of open source software better than many engineers on the leadership team.
7. Skills: business, not bowling
This is another way to reinforce your expertise. Perhaps you had a course in identity management, that may apply to a technology podcast.
Some will argue that a LinkedIn profile has 13 times more chances to get viewed if you add your skills.
8. Recommendations: be careful
A recommendation here does not carry as much punch as the other areas, but hs value. The reason is that one must approve of a recommendation. This causes people, naturally, to only list outstanding recommendations.
9. Accomplishments: the differentiator
Honors, languages, public speaking invitations, publications, podcasts, videos, place anything that will separate you from your competition. Why not write a 3000-word blog post and place it on Medium as an article and then on LinkedIn as an article as well?
LinkedIn loves articles that they can publish. Every podcast is a treasure trove of topics to write about. Your interviews will have transcripts, and these are a terrific source for an outline for an article. Include keywords in all your articles, especially the titles.
10. Groups: key to understanding your audience
Groups were mentioned above. You may think your field is too restricted or narrow for a LinkedIn group. Not true.
Let us take an esoteric topic like aerospace wire maintenance. You may think this topic is too specialized.
Believe it or not, you can find dozens of groups that are interested in this topic: The Cabletek Interconnect Design Challenge, High-Intensity RF (HIRF) Professionals, Aerospace Systems Engineering Group, Aircraft and Engineering Workgroup, etc.s
So, even if you think you have a small audience, there will be a group for it on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is free and provides a magnificent platform to promote your podcast.
Contact podcasters in your field and list benefits for their listeners. Participate in a wide range of groups in your field. Do not use your presence as a megaphone, use it as a stethoscope. Listening is a great way to get topics for future podcasts.
LinkedIn profile images will attract humans while the keywords will make your profile get found when someone searches on LinkedIn.
Make sure your whole education experience is listed. If it is weak, there are hundreds of online courses to take that can bolster your appearance.
Being broke should not stop you from being creative with the way you use LinkedIn to promote your podcast.
After all, 690 million people can’t be wrong!
1 690m on LinkedIn https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/linkedins-up-to-690-million-members-reports-26-growth-in-user-sessions/577067/
2 six podcasts https://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/podcast-statistics-for-2020-charts-and-data/#:~:text=Weekly%20Podcast%20Listeners%20Tune%20in,to%2011%20or%20more%20podcasts!
3 Number of LinkedIn groups https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/linkedin-business-page-and-group-statistics/5/
If you enjoyed this article, you may want to read “Do you make these five mistakes with Apple Podcasts?
Here is a framework for your LinkedIn profile that shows you where to put images and text to promote your podcast.