Vanilla marketing, or the sorts of things every REALTOR® does, is popular—but does it always work? Not as much as a podcast can, Seattle-based broker Phil Greely says.
Greely and colleague Tyler Jones started their own podcast, Rise Seattle, two years ago. The goal? To boost their marketing and bring something fresh and new to their business. They were surprised at the impact the podcast show had. Greely now sells $20 million a year in total volume, and is the producer and co-host of Rise Seattle Podcast (@theRiseSeattle).
A family man and father of three, Greely encourages agents to start their own podcasts. It might sound intimidating, but all it takes to create a podcast is to “capture your audio and host it somewhere where interested listeners can find it,” he says. “You don’t need a lot of gear to get started, either. Don’t overthink it—you don’t need to go into a sound studio…all you really need is to go into a quiet room somewhere with your cell phone, hit record and start talking into a recording app, and you have a file for a podcast.” Then, just get a sound engineer to “clean it up,” or remove the static and background noise and handle technical aspects, like adding intro music, he suggests.
Greely started in real estate in 2004. By 2014, he realized his marketing was “pretty vanilla, and pretty much the same stuff everyone in real estate has been taught to do.” That’s when he decided to start his own podcasts.
“I just wanted to reach a different audience,” he says.
He and Jones have been doing their podcast for the last two years and are already seeing the fruits of their efforts. Startup costs for a podcast are less expensive than you’d think, he says; roughly $1,000. Greely and Jones bootstrapped their podcast:
- Greely’s per-episode cost was only $150 for a sound engineer.
- He paid a friend $300 to set up his podcast website.
- Show notes were $40-$60 per episode for a copywriter.
- Logo and graphic design were $100 to a friend.
- His music for the show’s “bumper” music (music leading into and out of the podcast) cost him $250.
- He turned to an online course and split the $1,500 cost with his co-host.
Tips for Starting Your Own Podcast
- “Understand who you are,” he says. “If you work well with other people and you are willing to work through challenges with a partner, then do it.”
- If you work better alone, then work alone.
- Expect to encounter a learning curve with where to host your podcast and how to get started.
- Learn how to tell your guest’s story so the guest is the hero, not you.
Where Greely Uploads His Podcasts
Greely uploads his podcasts to www.libsyn.com. The website points your podcast to the different podcast sites like Apple, Spotify, etc., he explains. The site starts at $5 a month, but Greely says he pays $10-$15 a month for the services they receive.
What, or who, do you put on your podcast?
If you’re not sure what to talk about on your podcast, think about taking a course on storytelling. Listen to other podcasts for ideas. Greely and Jones took a class at www.StoryBrand.com to learn how to spot, write and tell a story. Just talking about yourself and your business gets old, but topics around what’s happening in your city or neighborhood, from the serious—like homelessness—to the fun events and happenings, make the podcast diverse, interesting and relevant to listeners.
Greely and Jones chose to focus on their community, areas of expertise and real estate. For others, that expertise can also be real estate, or your community, or some other aspect of what you know, from finances to local business to school topics. Go interview a new chef, banker or store owner. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with real estate, but it positions you as a local expert in your community, he explains.
What podcasting really does, Greely points out, is put you in front of people of influence who might not otherwise give you their time. For instance, a former Seattle mayor who happened to be on Twitter when President Trump’s travel ban came down was tweeting about the impact of the ban on the city. Greely saw that and invited him to come on the podcast and speak about it, and the former mayor came down to the studio the next day to appear on their podcast.
“He sat down for a couple of hours with us to talk about the ban,” Greely says. That interview about the travel ban turned into another, different idea for a podcast about a sports arena with a member of the Seahawks team. That interview hasn’t happened yet, but it’s on the horizon.
“That was my podcasting ‘a-ha’ moment,” Greely says. “That conversation was something that never would have happened if we hadn’t been willing to share our platform and be engaged with our community.”
Where do you promote your podcasts?
Promote your podcasts the same way you promote anything: through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and wherever your audience is. Create a story around the subject; use a short video or photo. Tag the guests and give them the assets to share, especially if you have a big guest who is promoting the podcast to their audience.
How does a podcast help you and your business?
The more you put out into the world media-wise, the more people are going to be aware of who you are and what you do. Those connections lead to referrals and business. Positioning yourself and your expertise can mean being seen as the expert by other REALTORS®, as well.
To hear more of Greely’s media-savvy secrets, including a new vlogging project, listen to the complete webinar here.
Patty McNease is director of Marketing for Homes.com. For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.
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