10 Podcasts to Take Your Small Business from Average to Amazing
Never stop learning, especially if you own a business.
Any business owner who has a penchant for learning will stay on top of their industry and ahead of the competitors. Your management methods and the work culture you help create for your employees won’t go stale.
Yes, a little learning can go a long way.
Where do you go to learn? Conferences, training, reading…and listening.
That’s where podcasts come in: choose your interest, your topic, and listen at your own schedule. Listen while driving to work or while in your office. Podcasts are portable, downloadable, and free. Over 22% of internet users listen to podcasts, with 85% clocking on at least once a month, making it an ever-growing way to learn something on the go.
And, where the audience goes, so does the content. The more popular podcasts become, the better they get, because a crowd attracts the best.
Ready to get started? We have ten podcasts that should make a good jumping off point for you.
1. Dose Of Leadership Podcast
Like the idea of a drill sergeant running a podcast?
Rest easy. Even though former U.S. Marine Richard Rierson heads up the Dose of Leadership Podcast, it’s anything but a drill.
Rierson’s focus is leadership, but he doesn’t specifically limit his guests to business leaders. Instead, he takes the approach that it is worth learning from all leaders in a variety of fields. So, when you tune into the podcast, expect to hear about how to develop your leadership skills and ethics from a broad range of people. Rierson also relies on his background in the military to infuse podcasts with some of the core values he learned there. Confidence, for example, and courage.
While this podcast doesn’t come out on a perfectly regular schedule, there are usually one or two a month.
2. Online Marketing Made Easy
If online marketing seems fussy and difficult, you’re probably thrilled at the title of this podcast.
You can expect a good dose of advice with Amy Porterfield’s podcast as she delves into marketing topics that matter to small business owners. A quick glance at this podcast’s episode titles reads like marketing blog post headlines. This makes it a perfect fit if you enjoy reading those types of blog posts but would find it convenient to listen to such topics instead. Porterfield specializes in social media, list building, course creation, and webinars, which seems like standard fare. The difference is that Porterfield makes a point of turning all of the information you hear during the podcast into specific action that each listener can take when the podcast is over.
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3. Office Hours
The good news? This podcast is run by author and television personality Daniel Pink, who has a unique way of not only finding great guests, but intuitively prodding them to reveal incredible insight. Not every interviewer is created equal; Pink does a good job.
Pink’s guests range from the founder of Twitter and entrepreneurs of similar nature, and other authors. Pink’s own writing and research focuses on human behavior and motivation, giving him a unique understanding of marketing and some of the hidden forces that drive consumers. Pink’s TED talk, which is one of the ten most watched talks, deals with the science of motivation. So, if you want to know what motivates your customers (and your employees), you’ll find this podcast fascinating.
The bad news? There’s only one podcast per month.
4. Entrepreneur On Fire
If you’re an entrepreneur or want to remember those early days back when you were starting up your business—which might be helpful if you feel like things have gone stagnant–the Entrepreneur On Fire podcast is ideal. This daily podcast, run by John Lee Dumas, features an interview of successful entrepreneurs through interviews, letting them tell their stories and share tips and tricks that made their business tick.
Dumas’ award-winning podcast isn’t shy about what it demands of entrepreneurs. You’ll hear about the lows as well as the highs. Dumas has interviewed some seriously well-known entrepreneurs, including Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk. Along with the podcast, Dumas offers a variety of books and other helpful tools so any listener can implement what they’re hearing in the podcast.
5. Live Inspired
John O’Leary is an inspirational speaker and author. If you grow weary of constant business talk, the Live Inspired podcast is a great breather that helps listeners live intentionally. Business leaders need that, too.
This isn’t a podcast of all success all the time, but a chance for ultimately successful people to share the (often) rocky path it took to get there. O’Leary’s goal is to leave listeners inspired by hearing what the full picture of success looks like.
Whether you’re simply interested in hearing real stories or need encouragement where you’re at in your own business, O’Leary’s podcast can help.
6. Social Media Marketing Podcast
The Social Media Examiner is a website you’ve probably wandered onto at least once if not many times. It’s known for its in-depth marketing advice and consistent content, and the podcast is no different. Michael Stelzner, from the Social Media Examiner, leads the interviews, picking the brains of other marketing pros.
It’s not just a gabfest, of course. The goal is to give small business owners specific tools and actionable advice that they can take and use right away. If you like the Social Media Examiner website or are keen to know how to be a better social media marketer, you will want to tune into this podcast.
7. The Introvert Entrepreneur
Not much of a people person?
That probably makes it tough to run a business, since people are what business is all about. It might seem like the entrepreneur (and podcasting) world are full of extroverts, which can make topics seem skewed in a way you don’t connect with. Both of these might seem like two strikes against introverts.
Don’t despair. If you find yourself with introvert leanings, you’ll appreciate Beth Buelow’s podcast, which is dedicated to likeminded business owners.
Podcast topics range from business to life, with a mix of interviews and discussion. Buelow ultimately is trying to create a path and plan for introverts to succeed and even create an environment to further that path. Whether you’re the introvert, or someone on your team is, this podcast can help shed new light on typical topics.
8. Beyond The To Do List
Is procrastination a problem? Tired of swinging (and missing) at your endless to-do list? Feel almost addicted to productivity hacks but seem to get very little done?
Host Erik Fisher’s podcast is more than simply another litany of productivity hacks; it is also about goal setting to keep all of those “to dos” more manageable in the first place. Productivity is crucial, but Fisher mixes it with a proper life balance. In a world that seems almost too fixated on productivity and efficiency, Fisher is all about bringing a healthier balance into the mix. Where technology and the rat race intersect with a balanced life, Fisher’s podcast is there.
9. What Great Bosses Know
The title of Jill Geisler’s podcast is a bit tricky. Either the listener already knows, or doesn’t, and the latter seems embarrassing.
No worries. This podcast is all about building up business owners, not making them feel out of place. Geisler, who teaches at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication, emphasizes practical information in her podcast. She shares lessons for managers and leaders who want to be, as the title suggests, great bosses. What’s useful is that Geisler identifies common problems managers experience in real-world situations and sets about providing solutions. This is very much a practical podcast, with tangible, instead of abstract, solutions.
If it’s something managers have to consider, Geisler covers it. Her expertise in leadership and news media help provide a unique foundation for how she approaches her podcasts.
Think of this podcast as audible autobiography.
People read the biographies of successful (and, frankly, not successful) people for a peek into their lives to see what made them tick. Podcaster Andrew Warner has done more than one thousand interviews of people who are thought leaders in business and industry. Warner is no slouch when it comes to finding great guests. Even if you’re not in upper management in Pixar (yep, Pixar is represented on the guest list), there is something to learn and to consider from the lives of these people.
Mixergy also offers courses and other ways to put what you learn from the podcast to work in your own business life.
Bonus: Be An Engaging Leader
We said ten podcasts, but how about an eleventh? Since our opening suggestion was a leadership podcast, it’s fitting to close out our list with something similar. Leadership is always a valuable topic for business owners, but sometimes that gets lost in all of the marketing and other nitty gritty many podcasts focus on.
Jesse Lahey, who is an author and a human resources consultant, uses stories and humor to broach the difficult topic of leadership in this podcast. The goal of the podcast is to make leadership accessible and bearable, achieved through interviews with top human resource and leadership experts who range from authors to those actually putting their methods into use in the business world.
This thirty-minute podcast is broadcast twice a month.
As a small business owner, there are so many podcasts to choose from. You could focus on human resource topics, find out more information on hiring employees, worker’s compensation—in fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a topic that had no podcast to back it up.
Do you have a favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other small business owners? Why do you listen to it? Let us know in the comments below.