Erik Cabral.

Businesses of all kinds are turning to podcasts as a way to connect with customers and network with other businesspeople. “There are so many benefits to creating your own podcast as a business owner,” says Erik Cabral, founder of On Air Brands, a creative agency that specializes in podcasts, social media, and live broadcasting.

On Air Brands is hosting an event where business people will have the opportunity to appear as guests on half a dozen podcasts in one marathon day of recording. The PodMax event will take place Friday, September 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Hive coworking space at 354 South Broad Street in Trenton.

The venue is equipped with its own podcasting studios, and guests will rotate through an array of real estate-focused podcasts. Catering is included. For more information or to sign up, visit onairbrandspodmax.com.

Cabral, who hosts his own entrepreneurship-focused podcast, says the multimedia studios are a key feature of The Hive, and uncommon to find in coworking spaces. “A lot of our members become members for access to the studio,” he says. The space is owned by Trenton-area developer Matt Faircloth, who also is hosting a podcast featured in the Podmax event.

Cabral says one unique aspect of the event is that it gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to promote themselves no matter what their social media or podcasting savvy may be. “It’s plug and play,” he says. “You go through a gauntlet of being on one show after the next after the next.”

But even for the media-indifferent, there is good reason to dive into podcasts, Cabral says. A basic podcast can be created with nothing more than a smartphone and a free app. For one thing, Cabral says, connecting with an audience builds the “know, like, and trust” factors that can lead to successful relationships. “If you have a podcast people get to hear your voice and hear your story and understand who you are at a deep level,” he says. “They are going to trust you automatically after meeting you.”

This effect is even stronger in an interview format because it allows you to invite fellow business people on the show for an interview and possibly form a relationship. “There really is a magical way to harness podcasts,” Cabral says.

Cabral started his own podcast in a basement with his phone … he just started talking. Only later did he invest in microphones and studio space to make it sound more professional. His podcast, the Entrepreneur’s Circle, now has 51 episodes with a new one released every week, usually an interview with a fellow business person.

If you are thinking of starting your own podcasts, Cabral has a few tips:

Promote with Social Media: Cabral says there is no better platform to build an audience for your show. Especially powerful are “videograms,” which are video clips with dynamic text over an image. Videos of the shows and live broadcasts are also good ways to promote. He also recommends mentioning the show when networking.

Cabral says he meets people in person whom he has never seen who know him from the show. “It’s really bizarre and surreal and cool and scary,” he says. “It’s really magical. There have always been amazing people out there, with amazing stories, but they haven’t had a platform until now.”

A Small Audience Is Enough: While it’s great to reach thousands of people, an audience of 100 can make it worthwhile if they are devoted listeners, he says. “If you can get 100 people to love you, that can be a business,” he says. “If you’re a business, you don’t need more than 100 clients.” This is why niche topics such as real estate investment can be successful: it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t reach a mass audience as long as the audience it does reach is relevant.

Put in the Time: Cabral recommends putting in at least an hour a week to a new podcast and shooting for a weekly release schedule. An hour should be enough to record and edit a short 15-minute or half-hour show using basic tools.

Stick with it: It’s easy to get discouraged, but Cabral says it can be rewarding to stick with it. Like any other skill, talking into a microphone takes practice. He advises setting a goal of doing it for six months to a year before deciding whether to keep it going or abandon it.

Tools of the Trade: There are many software tools to make podcasting easier. Cabral endorses a transcription service called descript.com, which creates fairly accurate transcripts of a podcast session that can be useful when creating show notes or videos with subtitles. Another useful program is Zoomconference, he says, which can host and record remote interviews, giving each participant their own audio track, which comes in handy when editing and transcribing.

For podcast editing, he uses Audition, although many podcasters use Audacity because it’s free. When he was starting out, he just used Garage Band, which comes included on iPhones.

Cabral describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” and is chief creative officer of OnAir Brands in addition to participating in various other business ventures. He owns and manages a multifamily apartment building and is a partner in Renault Winery and Resort in Egg Harbor. In addition to his podcast, he hosts a live broadcast called “Live at the Hive” on Facebook every Wednesday at 10 a.m. For more information visit onairbrands.com.

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