Whenever I suggest to a client that they consider adding audio to their marketing and product development projects, they come back with some version of "low class and tacky!"
Truth be told, I used to think so too. Equating audio on the Web, or in my marketing materials as some version of Friendly Henry the Used Car Guy or The Ronco Pitch Man blasting from late night television.
No longer. Using audio for online and off line marketing, or even product development, has enabled many professionals to bypass their own limitations, and serve their market much more effectively. Much can be accomplished with either low-tech tools, or simple online services.
A long-time colleague of mine, Sabrina Braham, readily admits that she just doesn't like to write. However, as a therapist, consultant and coach, speaking comes naturally. Earlier this year, Sabrina developed a new podcast-based websiteas a primary service and marketing strategy. She regularly interviews a successful woman leader, and then posts the interview on the site, and announces the new post. This process is all supported by using a simple online audio service I had shared with her.
Teleseminars have become popular marketing and product production tools. By offering a seminar by phone, listeners all over the country can gain the knowledge they seek, while everyone gets to stay home, have their own favorite snacks, and lounge in their comfortable clothes...even the presenter. Recording the teleseminar takes no fancy equipment. Just use the same service both Sabrina and I use which is inexpensive and always available. It even helps you make the player for posting on the web, or allowing people to download the audio file, or both. (Don't know how to do teleseminars? Check out Jeanette Cates' great "Teleseminar Basics" training program. She has all the tips and tools needed to get you started, at a price you'll appreciate.)
â€˘ -- You may also choose to record your phone coaching sessions as a bonus for your clients. With "Next Step Coaching" the on-demand coaching program I developed recently, each of my clients gets a recording of their session. Since it's a suggestion/action item rich session, a client can download and listen any time they choose. This makes keeping track of and implementing action items so much easier when you can review the original brainstorming session.
â€˘ -- You can use an audio file itself as a product, adding the handouts and support files from a teleseminar, or do what I sometimes doâ€”I offer a copy of my notes for the teleseminarâ€”the notes I use to keep the content on track.
â€˘ -- Or, use the recording as the base for electronic books, workbooks, and special reports by having it transcribed. "You'll be writing at the speed of sound," as Jeanette says.
Just don't wait for a teleseminar. Ask a colleague to interview you about your area of expertise or interview the experts you know. Have the recording transcribed and use all or part of it to produce multiple books and reports.
Special web-based transcription services can return a Word document within 36 hours from a clear recording. Do go to the effort of having it edited and then formatted to make sure your clients and customers see the value of your information as much as you do.
To go even further, consider developing a regular radio show focusing on your market and with the experts you already know. Raven Blair of Women Power Talk Radio has done just that. She has been able to showcase her expertise with the interviews and guests she interviews on her shows. She is now sharing with others how to do what she has done.
==My favorite use of audio==
Use audio to build your mailing list and give a piece of yourself to potential clients and leads. Record one of the marketing presentations you've given to a business group. Then offer to send new contacts a CD of the presentation for only the cost of shipping and handling. (About $5-$6) Because CD's are so inexpensive to produce, the shipping and handling will cover your full costs, including production. You will have a new lead to put into your keep-in-touch marketing program and they get to hear the full story about how you can be helpful. A real Win-Win!
Consider adding audio this next year. It could make a huge difference in profitability and marketing in your business.
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