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A Beginners Guide to Podcasts

Enter in my obsession (yes, it’s officially an obsession) to save the day – podcasts.

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If you’re not sure what a podcast is, think of them as recorded radio shows without the commercials every five minutes and unlike traditional radio, you get to choose the topic to listen too. With over 350,000 different podcasts to choose from on iTunes, there is at least one or two podcasts to help you with your business.

So how does one go about podcasting?

Step #1: On your iPhone (not sure what it is on an Android) there is a “podcasts app” that was put there by Apple and is one of those apps that you can’t delete…you’re welcome. Other applications you can use to listen to podcasts are Stitcher and Soundcloud. Search your app store to find either and you’ll be able to start listening to the podcasts almost instantly.

Step #2: Tap on the search icon at the bottom left once you’re in Soundcloud or Stitcher and enter in a topic or specific podcast you’d like to listen to. You will then be returned with a list at the top of all the podcasts containing these keywords (i.e. baking, photography). These results are what are known as individual podcast episodes. Underneath that list are the podcast themselves that you can then subscribe to (like you would a TV station). When you click on subscribe, every time the author of the podcast uploads a new episode, it will automatically download to your phone. Podcasts are usually free, and only use up data when you download them. Listening to them without downloading does not use any cellular data!

Now that you know how to download a podcast, here are my Top 5 podcasts that every small business owners should subscribe to, in no particular order, and one that’s not business related, just for fun:

1. Social Media Examiner As a social media marketer I love this podcast for several reasons. Firstly, the host Michael Stelzner talks with industry leaders in very specific fields, for example, a gentleman who is the industry leader in Pinterest. That’s his niche and that’s all he talks about. Many of the topics are not high level social media content, in fact some of it is very basic knowledge. Michael will often ask the guest of the week to “unpack” concepts for beginners. Even if you’re a social media pro, it’s never a bad idea to go back to basics and re-learn what you know, and keep up with trends.

2. How I Built This Another NPR hit! Can NPR do any wrong with their podcasts?? "How I Built This" interviews American entrepreneurs such as the founder of Air BnB, Dermalogica, and my favourite episode to date, Yvon Chouinard from Patagonia. How I built this is more of a conversation with host Guy Raz, than a small business how to. Even if you have no interest in small business, the stories around these really interesting people, transend the business talk.

3. Amy Porterfield Amy Porterfield is to podcasts what Meryl Streep is to movies. Everyone loves Amy. She’s famous in the podcasting world (yes, that’s a thing) and she does an incredible job. Sometimes the podcasts can be a little “salesy” (I may have to go into hiding now! Sorry Amy), but the topics are really great and relevant to small business owners.

4. Freakanomics While not directly about small business, I LOOOOOVE this podcast. Freakanomics (yep, like the book) looks at everything from an economics point of view. I listened to one about how to become good at anything (which was taken out of the book) and the economics of sleep. It is one of the most fascinating podcasts and as someone that isn’t really into economics (macro…micro…I don’t know) I’m never bored, and am always, constantly, talking back to the host Stephen Dubnar. This one should be a “must” for every human on the planet.

5. This American Life This podcast isn’t directly related to business but every Sunday, I watch my podcast app to see if it’s been uploaded yet. Each week there’s a theme, and there are three to four acts to the theme telling a different story in relation to the theme. Recent episodes have been “In Defense of Ignorance” with three stories from three writers and where ignorance has been, well a blessing.

6. Revisionist History - Malcolm Gladwell Very similar to Freakanomics, but, it's Malcolm Gladwell, so it's inherintly amazing. Only downside is there are two episodes that are the same as two episodes as Freakanomics which was a bit of a 👎. Listen to episode 5,6 8!

This is only a small sampling of the podcasts I listen too, but should get you started. Now about being a busy woman and not having a lot of time, when are you going to find the time to listen to these? Driving. I listen to all of my podcasts while driving the kids around or on my errands. You may never listen to the radio in your car again!