You need to reach your target audience and build influence, but how will you stand out? 

By Hollie Kitchens
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a business owner, there’s an undeniable need to reach your  and build influence. But with so many people doing the same thing as you — how will you stand out?  The answer is simple: You need a 

Podcasts are easier than ever to produce, and there are millions of listeners across the globe who will eagerly consume your content. With over two million podcasts and the fact that 75% of the U.S. population is familiar with the term podcasting, it’s no wonder why podcasting is such a successful content strategy. People have their preferences regarding podcasts and they will tell you about their favorite podcasts. Around 25% of the U.S. population listens to podcasts regularly. It is expected that the number of people who will listen to podcasts will only increase because of the growing popularity. Different businesses and organizations have realized this and are trying to use podcasts for the strategic advantage of their businesses. 

After creating my podcast in 2017, I quickly realized how much I benefited from it. I was able to leverage the fact that I was a podcast host immediately. People started to look at me differently knowing that I hosted a podcast interviewing international rock stars. This created curiosity. People were taking notice that people of influence wanted to have conversations with me.

Not only did this give me credibility, but it also gave me confidence in reaching out to those who I wanted to intentionally add to my Rolodex. Having a podcast got me into rooms that I would not have been able to access without the proper credentials.

Here are four reasons why business owners need a podcast:

1. It’s a unique way to reach your audience

Many businesses use radio to advertise and reach their audience. So what’s the difference between podcasting and radio? Radio is one-directional: one person talking to their audience. With podcasting, you get to create content that resonates with your audience on a more personal level. You can create an experience that they can enjoy whenever and wherever they want. The best podcasts are the ones with focused, specific audiences in mind. This is important because no matter who you’re targeting, certain topics will resonate more than others. 

With podcasts, people have the option to choose from a range of topics and from there they choose according to their specificity. The preference of the podcast audience towards specific content indicates that they want themselves to be captivated.  

You can use your podcast to introduce yourself and position what you do, so when the potential client is ready to hire you, they think of you first.

2. Land dream meetings

Podcasts are the new face-to-face. People will avoid phone calls because they want to feel like you’re in the room with them. This is especially true for business owners who are trying to land their next client. 

Your podcast is your VIP ticket. Position yourself as a podcaster interested in hearing someone’s story. If you approach someone asking for a meeting vs. asking to highlight them on a podcast, they will be more accepting of the latter. 

My podcast has allowed me to connect with like-minded professionals who were once strangers, making it much easier for me to share my work and ideas. It’s also helped me build a community that supports what I do. The goal is to not let the relationship stop after you record an episode, the recording is the door to staying connected with high-level guests that become valuable contacts.

3. Build brand awareness and loyalty

Podcasts are perfect for building brand awareness and loyalty. With each episode that goes live, your audience will keep coming back for more because they get to know who you are and what matters most to you. They get the opportunity to ask you questions so they can learn more about what you do. 

After each episode, your audience will engage with you on social media to show how much they enjoyed listening to your company’s message. This increased engagement can help boost an online presence, which is important for any business that wants to be successful today. 

It is reported that most podcast listeners tend to listen to the whole episodes of the podcasts they are listening to. This allows brands and businesses to comprehensively advertise their content, philosophy and aims. In this age of , the proper utilization of podcasts by a business can boost its target audience and make marketing easier. The audience can be easily turned into social media fans and followers, and thus the social media marketing game can be improved as well. 

I have engaged my community in many ways involving them in my show. I take polls on who to have as a guest next, I take questions they have for guests — these simple tactics allow them to feel like part of the show while helping me know exactly what listeners want.

4. Establish authority and position yourself as an expert

We live in a world that values expertise, and having an educational podcast is the perfect way to show your audience how much you know about your specific niche. Don’t get me wrong, the sound quality in your podcasts is important — but it’s not what you should focus on first. You need to have a strong message or compelling story that drives results to influence people.

When you’re leveraging podcasts for marketing, the true benefit is how it positions you as an authority within your market. If people trust and look up to you enough, they will begin to take action. Podcasts are a great way to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

In conclusion

Podcasts are like low-budget infomercials (without the high cost). They help you give your audience exactly what they need to know about you, your company or your products.

Having a podcast allows you to show off your personality, giving potential clients something they can’t find anywhere else. It also makes you more relatable, which is what every business owner wants. Not to mention, it will help you stand out from competitors who are offering similar services.

Podcasting might be new for you, but nothing is stopping you from getting started today. You don’t need an audience right away or a fancy setup. All you need is a good microphone and the will to get started!