http://www.flickr.com/photos/wstryder/5767988014/ Okay, so podcasting for the average business is still a relatively new trend, but the print and audio industries have made the shift online. Many websites; news networks, online radio channels, now require you to subscribe and pay user fees. We all realize that most of what we consume on an average day is fed to us through the big, bad internet. Personally, I read the news via TweetDeck on my cell phone. To bring my point into focus: we all need to become producers of good content. And we need to do it through the latest, most effective mediums. The more ways we can engage our audience/clients/partners or whoever we’re trying to reach, the better.

Most of us wake with tired eyes. With this medium, it doesn't matter. We engage the senses through the act of listening.

SoundCloud is a user-friendly, versatile, and captivating application. It was originally created in Sweden for the purpose of sharing music among artists. It’s now recognized as a dynamic social tool among communities of people everywhere.

Why SoundCloud? Audio has a unique effect on us. As a journalism graduate who specialized in radio, I came to realize a few things. When we’re forced to listen, we tune out everything else. There are no visuals to distract us. The human voice, when used in a way that’s compelling, has an incredibly powerful and humbling effect.

Step 1: Sign Up

It’s very easy. All you need is a valid e-mail address. Once you set up a password and confirm your login information you can start uploading tracks. I uploaded a 5 minute piece in a matter of seconds. And what’s better: it’s completely free.

Step 2: Start Thinking in Terms of Sound

Maybe you were at a conference and someone said something moving that you just can’t remember. Or you went to a launch and heard an important tip for a new application you’re using in the office. Whatever it was, you didn’t have time to take notes.

A digital recorder isn’t something a lot of people think to have on-hand (or even realize they have in their possession.) Most cell phones today have audio recording capability. You don’t need a fancy recorder to document the interesting things happening around you.

Think of what you’re trying to sell: whether it’s a product, a brand or an idea, and then start thinking in terms of sound. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can piece together bits of your experiences and share them with your audience through a new and exciting medium. If you’re really keen, you can tap into editing software and create podcasts, incorporate music.

Step 3: Start a Friends List

You can search for people and groups that peak your interest. Slowly you’ll build a community of podcasters who are producing content that you relate to, or could even draw advice from. You can sync SoundCloud with your Facebook list and see who in your friend’s list is engaging with the application on a daily basis.

Step 4: Tag, Tag, Tag

If you’ve read anything about SEO you know that tagging is important. Focus your posts, and tag them to your heart’s content. Make yourself easily searchable by using keywords that relate to your business goals and the message you are trying to send within the post. It’s the beauty of inbound marketing: people are able to locate and contact you.

Step 5: Share Like Crazy

Your SoundCloud tracks are easily shared through applications; Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress and Tumblr to name a few. You can easily link to your SoundCloud page. What’s even better is that you can actually embed the SoundCloud widget to your personal blog or website by copying a generated HTML code. Not many applications seem to allow you to do this. SoundCloud makes your audio creations easily accessible to anyone, anywhere. The idea that I could be listening to your podcast on my cell phone from your Twitter feed while riding the bus (and it all links back to one application) is really cool, and kind of a brain-twist.

It’s time to hop on board. It’s fun, it’s social, and it’s a great way to get people talking about your brand. Have you interacted via SoundCloud?

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