Podcasting has exploded in popularity recently, with over 100 million US listeners tuning in monthly. For businesses, podcasting represents an underutilized opportunity to reach audiences in a uniquely intimate and engaging format.
Sensing the opportunity, plenty of accounting firms have started podcasts. Yet most of them fail. Why? Because most firms aren’t doing it as part of an overarching growth strategy or lack the accountability to maintain consistency. This causes them to focus on the wrong metrics, such as downloads or generating sales. Yet most podcasts will never get a lot of downloads or directly generate sales.
However, this doesn’t mean that firms shouldn’t be podcasting. It just means they should have different goals for their podcast. Podcasts are valuable marketing tools if you use them as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy – helping nurture each prospect further along the buyer’s journey.
Firms should use podcasts to:
- Nurture prospect, vendor, partner, and customer relationships,
- Develop and showcase talent,
- Power the firm’s content marketing machine, and
- Establish expertise in niches/industries.
In the long run, firms focusing on these objectives will see their podcast and profits grow.
This article will explore the opportunities and advantages of podcasting for accounting firms. We’ll bust some myths around production needs and audience size, provide real examples of accounting podcast success, and offer tips to launch your show. Let’s dive into how podcasting can provide accounting firms with a valuable channel for content and client connection.
Interested in hearing a sample of an accounting podcast? Tune in as we discuss accounting firm marketing in the era of generative AI:
Benefits of Podcasting for Accounting Firms
Starting a podcast offers accounting firms benefits that make the investment in time and resources worthwhile.
Content Marketing Engine
Podcasting is an efficient way for accounting firms to create and distribute content.
It allows firms to tap into the expertise of their employees to create unique and valuable marketing content without requiring a significant time commitment.
For example, a partner could spend days writing a blog post, but they could record a podcast episode in 30 minutes. The transcript of the podcast episode could then be repurposed into multiple blog posts, and the recording could be edited into short video clips for social media.
Thought Leadership and Branding
With a podcast, your team can share their expertise and insights on topics important to your clients, establishing your firm as a trusted advisor.
Podcasting can also help humanize a firm’s brand as listeners get to know the hosts. Over time, this exposure can build familiarity and goodwill with clients and prospects.
A good podcast can even attract new employees to your firm.
Social Media Marketing
Podcasts provide a treasure trove of content accounting firms can repurpose for social media. Short clips from podcast episodes can be turned into video content for platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
Accounting firms can highlight podcast guests on social media to grow relationships with partners, clients, and influential figures. Sharing this third-party content builds credibility.
By interviewing them as guests, accounting firms can use their podcasts to build better relationships with current and prospective clients.
Guest appearances on other shows help to expand the firm’s reach. When collaborating with other organizations, you can tap into their audience and followers, adding additional visibility to the content.
The relationships developed through podcasting lead to important word-of-mouth marketing and referrals.
Related Article: The Value of Creating Original Content
Challenges to Consider
Hopefully, you’re sold on the benefits of podcasting now. But you should know that podcasting requires a significant time investment and has a steep learning curve.
The main challenges to be aware of include:
Podcasting needs consistency to be effective. While episodes can be as short as 15 minutes, firms must record, edit, and publish on a regular cadence — at least every two weeks. Weekly is better.
This requires dedicating weekly staff time to booking guests, recording, editing, and post-production tasks such as writing show notes and promoting new episodes.
If you’re doing everything yourself, plan on spending a day a week to start. When you get more comfortable, that could go down to half a day. With an effective marketing team handling the production and post-production, you could dedicate as little as an hour a week to your podcast.
To launch a podcast, you’ll need to acquire some basic technical abilities, such as proper recording equipment and proficiency with audio editing software. If you don’t want to spend weeks learning how to use the hardware and software, one option is to outsource the production.
A common mistake is overestimating potential audience size, especially early on. While some business podcasts have large followings, generating thousands of downloads per episode, most B2B shows have a modest listenership. Plan to earn fewer than 100 downloads per episode for the first year.
The focus should be on creating marketing content and building relationships, not vanity metrics. Patience is required to grow an audience.
Case Study: Summit CPA’s Successful Podcasts
Jody Grunden founded Summit CPA Group in 2002. In 2019, they launched two podcasts:
- The Modern CPA Success Show: Covers strategies to improve accounting firm profitability. Hosted by Tom Wadelton.
- The Virtual CPA Success Show: Focused on helping creative agencies scale. Hosted by Joey Kinney and Jamie Nau.
They recently added:
- The Young CPA Success Show: Providing career advice for young accounting professionals.
In 2022, Summit CPA Group merged with Anders CPAs + Advisors. Jody had multiple firms competing to acquire Summit CPAs thanks to their brand recognition, which Jody says is in no small part due to their podcasts.
Jody says, “Podcasting has allowed us to consistently showcase our expertise and build deeper relationships with clients and prospects. These conversations give Summit a unique way to demonstrate thought leadership and strengthen relationships. Over time, we’ve seen how those interactions drive business growth through referrals, increased visibility, and expanded credibility with our target markets. So, I’d say podcasting has really helped elevate Summit CPA’s brand and connect with our clients.”
Summit’s example reinforces that niche, consistent podcasts – even with modest downloads – can drive growth by strengthening expertise, relationships, and marketing. Their expanding podcast network spotlights this impact.
Tips for Starting and Growing a Podcast
If you’re convinced of the opportunities for accounting firms in podcasting, here are some tips for launching and expanding your show successfully:
Know Your Audience
Resist the temptation to make your show broad. Identify a specific audience (typically aligning with an industry or niche) and cover topics tailored to their needs. For example, Summit CPA made one of their podcasts geared exclusively to creative agencies looking to grow.
Schedule time every week or two to record episodes, even if it’s just 30 minutes. Batch record multiple episodes simultaneously and build an inventory to maintain a consistent publishing calendar.
Recruit a Co-Host
Conversations flow better with a co-host. Identify someone from your firm with complementary skills to bounce off of. This makes recording easier and more dynamic. For instance, Blake Oliver and David Leary have recorded their show, The Accounting Podcast, every week for the past five years. It’s unlikely they would have kept up that streak without each to hold the other accountable.
Promote Your Show
Discuss your podcast on social media, email newsletters, and other materials. Have firm members guest on relevant shows to cross-promote.
Choose The Right KPIs
Judge success by the connections and opportunities your podcast creates, not vanity metrics. Be patient as your audience grows organically. Nurture the platform for relationship-building.
Repurpose Episodes as Articles
Provide your transcript to a writer to create an article based on the episode. If you cover multiple topics in a single episode, you can get more than one blog post out of it. Share your blog posts via email with prospects.
Share Clips on Social Media
Capture video when recording episodes. This allows repurposing short segments for YouTube, LinkedIn, and other platforms. Turn video clips into Reels for Instagram and Shorts for YouTube. Repurpose content everywhere.
Leverage Artificial Intelligence
Use AI tools like ChatGPT and Claude to help generate show ideas, outlines, and scripts. This kickstarts the content process efficiently. Once your episode is recorded, have it transcribed and feed it to AI to create social media content and articles to power your content marketing machine.
Hire A Production Team
For firms that want to outsource production, services like Earmark Media specialize in launching and operating accounting podcasts. They handle tasks like booking guests, recording, editing, distribution, and promotion. This frees up time for firms to focus on content and interviews.
The Value of Committing to Podcasting
Accounting firms can leverage podcasting to enhance their content marketing and relationship building. As we’ve found, maintaining a consistent and strategic podcast presence reaps numerous benefits:
- Efficient and consistent production of engaging marketing content
- Thought leadership and humanized brand building
- Customer and prospect relationship nurturing
- Developing and showcasing internal talent
Launching a quality podcast requires effort and skill development, but the payoff can be immense. Real-world examples like Summit CPA Group show that niche podcasts can drive business growth even with modest audience sizes.
Podcasting requires patience but offers accountants an unparalleled channel to demonstrate expertise and build trust. To maximize the return, repurposing content is crucial. For firms seeking to elevate their marketing, podcasting can generate the content to power it all.
But do know that it’s not for everyone, so if your firm is prepared to invest in this strategy, then ensure you have the right people as part of the production. Consistent recording, effective promotion, and realistic expectations are key to maximizing results.
When handled strategically, an accounting podcast produces a value that justifies the investment. The opportunity is there for the taking.