One of the biggest challenges new and emerging entrepreneurs face is getting positive exposure for the goods or services they plan to market. Advertising costs money. Rather than focusing all of your efforts on print, broadcast, or digital ads, a great option to consider is sharing your expertise and knowledge of your firm by participating as a guest on a podcast.

Unlike television infomercials of the past, people today seek knowledge from podcasts that meet their needs. They do not change the “channel” in mid-sentence. By doing a little research and reaching out to podcasters in your focus area who may want you as a guest, you have the potential to reach a large and enthusiastic audience, enhance your credibility, and improve search engine optimization (SEO) for the things you sell.

The first step involves research. Determine which podcasts have impact in the area that will attract consumers of what you plan to sell. Do your homework, determining the reach podcasters have through followers on their social media sites and other metrics. Contact the podcaster after you have researched them. Since top podcasters are overwhelmed with requests from prospective guests, offer something that makes you stand out as a guest. Be sure to look at the Definitive Podcast Directory List.

Prepare before contacting the podcaster. Sell them on your ability to connect with their audience. They thrive on positive reviews from their listeners and how their audience values the advice of their guests. If an interview opportunity is offered, be sure to understand their expectations. Will the program be structured or do they prefer a free-form conversation? Do they create show notes or transcripts in post-production? If not, can you perform these tasks and share them with the podcaster’s audience or on your own site? Knowing answers to these questions help you prepare your presentation before it actually occurs.

Shine like a star and do self-promotion. Most podcasts are pre-recorded so that associated content such as show notes can be created and edited before the podcast becomes available. By the time you have appeared on the podcast, you should have a clear understanding of how the podcaster plans to promote the expertise you share, what you can do with the content, and any limitations placed on either party by their agreement. For example, determine if you have permission to share audio snippets on your site before the broadcast and which of your social media links and websites the podcaster plans to include.

Prepare for traffic. Anticipate an uptick in site visits after the podcast, and plan accordingly to maintain your response time. Create a transcript or summary of your guest appearance for your site if the podcaster does not plan to add those to their site. Each of these steps will enhance SEO, increase your network, and create new opportunities for you to market yourself and your firm.