Dear Business-Without-A-Podcast, Can We Talk?

I know you’re sitting on the fence. I mean, at this point, you’ve got to be. Everyone who’s anyone seems to have a podcast — even lots of no ones have them — and you’re either sitting on the fence leaning away from podcasts or you’re sitting on the fence leaning towards them. Depending on which way you’re leaning, you’re stuck on one of these two sets of questions:

You’re either leaning away from podcasts and asking yourself:

  1. What if I put a bunch of time and effort into a creating a podcast that winds up doing nothing to improve my business?
  2. Why would people listen to a podcast about [what you do here]?

Or you’re leaning towards podcasts and asking yourself:

  1. What if you’re missing out on new revenue opportunities by not having a podcast?
  2. What if the answer is, “a lot”?

Each of these sets of questions have something in common: they’re based in fear. You’re either afraid of wasting time and that no one will care about what you have to say — OR — you’re afraid you’re missing out and that you’re not meeting the expectations of your market by not having a podcast.

The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to get on the podcast train when you finally you realize what a lot of businesses have already realized: Podcasts are the ultimate marketing tools.

If that happens, you’re no longer innovating, you’re reacting. Remember applied physics in high school? What did they say about action vs. reaction?

You’ve got to act now to avoid suffering later.

Let me assuage some fears by offering some transparency into the process of creating a podcast.

Your company will not go broke producing a high quality podcast.

Let’s talk about the investment first, because for a lot of businesses cost is their number one concern.

The Portland Pod charges small businesses $625/month to do the technical bits of podcast production. You just have to show up to our podcast studio, record your audio in our nice comfortable chairs, and then go home. We do the rest of the technical work.

97% of our clients spend less than an hour in our studio per week. We spend that hour with them and then another 3 hours behind the scenes getting that audio ready for publication.

About 70% of our clients spend between 3-hours a week preparing for that recording time with us. They might be lining up guests, formulating interview questions, doing topic research, or writing a script (depends on the podcast format).

That’s 3-hours of our time, 3-hours of your time, and 1-hour of both our time for a whopping 7-hours a week.

Figure out who is going to be doing your end of those hours, value their four hours of their time, then multiply that by four (assuming you’d produce a podcast episode every week), add it to our $625 and that’s what producing a podcast with The Portland Pod would cost you every month.

Now compare that number to what you’re spending on your other marketing efforts. How does it stack up? How much product would you need to move (whatever your “product” is) to break even on the investment?

Your podcast will not be just another podcast in a sea of podcasts. People are already tripping over themselves to listen to the podcast you haven’t even created yet

Do me a favor: head over to and search for “makeup tutorial”. Filter the results so it shows Channels. How many are there?

There are so many makeup tutorial channels! Thousands!

It’s not only that there are a lot of them, it’s that many of them have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. A good portion of them have millions of subscribers. It’s also that the overlap of audiences across all of them is significant. On average, a person who subscribes to one makeup tutorial channel, will subscribe to thirty other makeup tutorial channels.

But why? Why would you need so many makeup tutorial channels?

The answer is simple: while there are only so many ways to makeup your face, there are infinite ways to talk about making up your face. There are infinite personalities to fall in love with. It’s never JUST the content, it’s also the relationship the viewer feels with the creator of the content.

There’s no such thing as a flooded market in the world of free content. Everyone wants more. More videos, more podcasts, more movies, more binge material. It applies to makeup tutorials and it applies to your business as well.

But you’re probably still thinking “but my business is boring!”

Your business might be boring, but there’s no reason your content needs to be.

I’m going to call out a local business here in Portland, Maine, one I use regularly as an example of a business that ought to have a podcast but doesn’t. I’ve never actually approached them about it (though, you can bet they’ll see this article) but I use them as an example because they are a perfect example of untapped opportunity.


If you’re unfamiliar with Seabags, here’s a trailer of their business.

Do you know how much podcast fuel there is here? Let’s say Seabags started a podcast tomorrow, what would it be about?

Maybe you’re thinking “About how Seabags are made!” and you’re partially right. There are definitely standalone episodes there, aren’t there?

  • Stories about their seamstresses
  • Stories about their history
  • Interviews with partners in the community
  • Interviews with the owners
  • Stories about the ships (and their Captains) from which Seabags’ sails come from
  • and more and more and more…

Those things would be great audio resources to make available on their website for customers to learn more about the company…

But those things are just commercials for the brand, a podcast can’t be a commercial for your brand. They ARE commercials for your brand but they can’t be obviously that. They have to provide value to the listener, real value — not just and endless sails-pitch.

So what would it be about?

How about a podcast that released twice a month focused entirely around sailboat racing and general sailing life?

It’s not about creating a podcast that is attracts people interested in Seabags, it’s about creating a product that attracts people within the market Seabags serves. What kind of people do you think are going to want a bag like this?

People interested in sailing, maybe? People interested in sailboat racing, maybe? Loved ones of people who are into those sorts of things and who are looking for a gift idea, maybe?

If I were Seabags I’d create a podcast called Swinging The Jib, a show focused entirely on sailing and sailboat racing, I’d brand it to match Seabags’ current brand, and I’d produce an episode every week from May 1st to November 1st (24-episodes). The episodes would run for 40-minutes, they’d be sponsored by Seabags, and the podcast itself would be advertised on Facebook to the following audience:

35–65 year olds who earn more than $60K a year, are interested in sailing OR water sports, and live within cities located along a coastline US coastline. I’d spend $10 a day on that ad campaign.

That would cost Seabags approximately $6200 to pull off (I’m making some educated guesses there, mostly to do with what they value their own time at, but I think I’m very close) and to break even on the investment they’d need to sell ~250 extra bags over the course of 6-months.

You, whoever you are and whatever you do to make a living, are missing out on money by not having a podcast. Plain and simple.

Marketing conversion rates are down in every industry (darn near) — people just don’t respond to traditional marketing and advertising like they used to. Consumers now want a relationship with your brand, they want to know, like, and trust you before they buy from you and your business is going to die if you don’t invest the time an effort into developing that relationship. Those are the facts.

Podcasting is a great way to develop a relationship and in Seabags’ case, imagining they created the Swinging the Jib podcast, podcasts give the company an opportunity to position itself as likable and knowledgeable within a niche community of highly qualified leads. Anyone listening to Swinging the Jib is going to be predisposed to a good bag of the Seabags variety. You no longer have to find your audience, you just have to create the content and those interested in it will find you.

From a marketing perspective that may as well be magic. Who ever heard of an advertisement that was only delivered to people 100% interested in its pitch? Usually you spend $X, throw your ad out to Y number of people that you’ve qualified as much as possible, and hope for a conversion rate between 1–3%. You are wasting money. Stop relying on the old way of doing things, it’s only going to get harder over the next few years and your sales are going to dwindle.

I’m not pulling your leg here, you need a podcast and you need to invest the time, money, and effort to make it a good one.

Subscribe to this blog, read some of our articles, roll up your sleeves and get to work.

If you’re in need of podcast consulting or professional podcast editing and engineering services, consider reaching out the The Portland Pod at 207.295.6039 to schedule a free 30-minute phone call to talk about your needs and how we might help you meet them. Thanks for reading and take care.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *