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As video becomes more and more popular online, it's easy to overlook audio and how it can make your content more engaging ... and help your audience get a sense of the voice (literally) behind the words.
If you are wary about the whole video appearance thing, then audio is a good choice.
Audio is also much easier than video to produce well. I still see too many business people degrading their professionalism by posting poor video - badly framed, performed and produced. You have to be pretty well set up to do it yourself and achieve quality output - or hire someone who knows what they're doing.
By contrast, straight audio is relatively easy to produce well yourself. You can use free software like Audacity and with a good headset can practice to your heart's content at your PC or laptop. And you can also record conversations using Skype and Pamela call recorder for PC or the equivalent for Mac.
As well as uploading audio to play within your website, you can also share files easily enough as digital downloads (for free or a fee). Many people like to take copies around with them, listening while doing the ironing or when in the car - so you're giving them more opportunities to "consume" you.
Here are some content ideas that work well as audio:
- Short mini lessons or extracts to support written guides
- Longer training sessions (though these have to be very well structured)
- Case studies where a client explains specific benefits and outcomes of working with you
- Conversations with clients where you explore experiences and learning around specific topics
- Interviews with other specialists, bringing added value to your listeners
- Telling stories - where you share examples within your field of expertise
- Q&A updates - where you pick 3 or 4 questions around a theme, read out the questions and then answer them
- Previews and tasters of what it would be like to hear you speak or have you as a guest on a radio show
- Anything where we will hear the emotion in your voice - such as communicating what you stand for, why you are doing what you are doing (rather than just what you do)
- Anything that falls under the heading of "explanation" - you can talk in an natural way, just as you would talk face-to-face to get your message across clearly
As a writer, I know you can project a lot of your personality in the tone and style in which you write. But you may find this hard and, after all, not everyone wants to be a writer or learn how to be one.
With audio, you just have to be yourself - without worrying about how you look on camera.
I think audio content is a really good way for "strangers" to get to know you, experience you and check out if you are on their wavelength ... and also helps to remind people of the warmth of your personality later on.
And if you're thinking of producing your own information product and doing more professional work in a studio, the ideas above are a good way of testing things out in advance.
In this post I've listed some of the ways I've experienced and enjoyed audio content. What else have you come across and does it work for you?
The power of storytelling - three of the best posts plus a touch of magic
Much is written about the art of storytelling and how effective it is as a technique or framework