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If someone told you that they could fill Madison Square Garden ten times on a marketing budget of just five bucks, how fast would you dismiss them? Well, don’t be too hasty. That pretty much sizes up what we’ve done.

This Business Podcast Filled a Famous Arena Ten Times Over on a $5 Marketing Budget

Pavan Bahl, Marc Raco and Rob Sanchez (L to R), the hosts of “Fashion Is Your Business” — Photo by Takako

I’m one of the producers and hosts of “Fashion Is Your Business,” a business podcast at the intersection of fashion, technology and commerce. In less than 15 months and 90 episodes, we’ve amassed more than 180,000 downloads, which equates to filling the infamous Madison Square Garden. Ten times over.

So You Want to Start a Podcast For Your Business. Are You Crazy?
It depends.

How much do you actually know about podcasting?

Let’s get this out of the way: podcasts can be a fantastic marketing vehicle delivered in an easily accessed, widely distributed and inexpensive manner, with unavoidably powerful data to back this up. According to Edison Research1, more than one-third of Americans have listened to a podcast, and more than 15% of Americans listen to podcasts in the last month. Also, podcast listeners score high on social networking behavior.  Therefore, many business owners are quite smartly adding a podcast to their marketing plan.

And they are failing.

I’m sitting in a hospital room taking care of my dad. He’s doing great so there’s not much for me to do but think. Of course my mind goes to the thing that occupies most of my day — Podcasting.

For some time now, I’ve had this vision of creating a super high quality podcast to tell stories. Something along the lines of the great shows that come out of Gimlet Media or WNYC. Shows like RadioLab, Startup, or This American Life. But it’s just me. Shows like this require multiple hosts/reporters, producers, and a team to help with scheduling, fact checking, script writing, etc.

If you want a good idea about what it takes to put together one of these shows, take a listen to the Startup episode, The Secret Formula.