Global Business Empowerment for Women
via the Internet.
The second Internet Master Series call of 2007 delved into the world of online empowerment, particularly but not exclusively for women. Lynn Carnes interviewed Jody Colvard, California-based founder of WIRED (Women's Internet Results Experts Development) Right Now, a marketing company devoted to demystifying and harnessing the Internet for viable business activity.
Have Fun. Make Money. Do Good.
Colvard always had passion for the arts. In the mid-90s, as owner of the Satori Galleries and founder of the online art gallery Big Elephant.com., she was at the forefront of exposing
works on the Internet. Around Y2K, the time she met current business partner Declan Dunn, Jody began experimenting with the new blogging and podcasting technologies to create "platforms" to go beyond the usual static websites of the day. Now, her Fun Money Good Blog and Podcasting Network allows artists to come together and succeed.
What is Podcasting, Anyway?
Podcasting (iPod + broadcasting) can be defined as online audio content that is delivered via an RSS feed (see below). Many people liken podcasting to "radio on demand". However, it offers more content and programming options than radio. In addition, podcasting allows listeners to determine time and place, i.e., what programming they want to receive, and when and where they want to listen to it. People can retain audio archives to listen to at their leisure.
While blogs have turned many bloggers into journalists, podcasting has the potential to turn podcasters into radio personalities.
RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) files are formed as XML files and are designed to provide content summaries of news, blogs, forums or website content. Users select the RSS feeds they want to subscribe to. Feeds are generally simple headlines and brief descriptions; if the user is interested they can click to see additional information.
Setting up an RSS feed follows a natural path:
RSS code -> Audio/video file -> Blog for syndication into various devices, readers.
Focus on Your Content, then put it Out There...
Far from eliminating human interaction as predicted by early critics of the Internet, Colvard sees social networking (Web 2.0) as being poised to bring more and more online users together. There is no contradiction between maintaining your individuality and connecting with people for various endeavors. Jody sees well-known sites like Blogger.com and Geocities.com evolving from pure advertising outlets to legitimate, content-rich sites.
Content continues to be king, but if people can't find you, it's like being a tree that falls in a thick forest:
Nobody will see, hear, or care about you!
Podcasting versus e-mail Marketing...
With the explosion of mobile technologies, podcasting is quickly becoming a serious alternative to e-mail marketing. It can be an effective relationship-building tool, and also offers a simplex (one-way) communication option to the recipient. As a result, it arguably gives users more control over their online privacy (e.g. A more secure 'Unsubscribe' than third party e-mail delivery systems).
Potential as a Revenue Generator and Relationship Builder.
Technological advances (e.g. Internet radio, downloadable streaming audio (MP3)) make podcasting a viable and accessible advertising alternative for companies. With 80% of 2007 car models podcast-enabled, drivers as well as joggers and hikers can tune into their favorite content on demand. Colvard claims that brand loyalties are breaking down, being replaced by long-term, relationship marketing. She sees podcasting as a significant breakthrough vis-à-vis leveling the playing field for "smaller" netpreneurs.
Jody recounted the story of two Virginia mothers who started podcasting in 2005, and built a subscriber base of over 100,000. As a result, an advertiser recently bought a 20 second spot on their show for $100k! This year, blog and podcasting advertising are projected to rise 700% over 2006. Of course, it can serve as a traffic generation tool to increase your profile.
Jody's advice for Internet newcomers is:
- Find out what your passion is first.
- Develop a professional profile with all the tools at your disposal.
- Seriously consider blogging and podcasting as an interactive alternative to a personal website.
- Start a podcasting series, or create your own talk show that can be directly downloaded to electronic devices.
- Be aware of emerging technological trends (e.g. Cellphones with full A/V capability, WiFi, Wi-Mac). Will people jog while carrying a boom box or an iPod?
- Build your audience, then generate revenue.
Like fellow podcasting experts Paul Colligan and Declan Dunn, Jody Colvard is helping to make podcasting, blogging, and social networking mainstream - especially for women. She has built a solid base of small and Fortune 500 clients who testify to her system's effectiveness.
Lynn attended a 3-day seminar with Jody in February, and has her own special project in the works. Does podcasting offer Internet marketers a legitimate chance to bypass traditional skills like list-building, traffic generation, and copywriting? The jury is still out. However, there is no denying it's appeal and flexibility.
http://www.integrityring.com/learn [record MP3]
To learn more about Jody and her WIRED network, please visit: http://www.wiredrightnow.com/who.html
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