Like a blog, you’re always launching a podcast. Every fresh episode, you are getting it out there, looking for new listeners, wanting new tribers to fall in love and start picking up what you’re putting down. It’s easy to get into “promo-rut” when you are going through the motions, putting one podcast step in front of another and no longer getting creative about exposing your show to new listeners.
Many of us start a podcast with aspirations to be the next John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn or Amy Porterfield – big names and big numbers. Hardly any of us end up there, and honestly, numbers are not the most important statistic for you – unless you are planning to turn your podcast into an empire. What matters is quality of your audience, your ability to convert that audience into your tribe and that you’re consistently growing your audience, even if only by a little each episode.
Just like the author is often surprised to discover that the real work starts once their book is published and they need to get promoting, podcasters also need to give equal weighting to the promotional efforts for their show. If a podcast plays in a forest and no one hears it … does it make a sound? While you ponder that, here are some core strategies for growing your podcast audience.
1. Share your podcast on your website.
You can podcast without hosting it on your website. There are third party hosts or you can upload directly into platforms like Soundcloud or LibSyn. If you are starting out, you can easily host your podcast on your WordPress website. The time to move to a third party host comes down to size – if your podcast numbers are big, then it will take up a lot of your space and you’ll either need to upgrade your storage amount or move to a third party host.
There may be other benefits to being hosted by a third party. For example, my podcast The Wellness Entrepreneur is hosted by a third party – thewellnesscouch.com and I get additional marketing and promotional benefit by being part of a larger network that is targeted at many of my target audience.
Whether you host on your website or not, you should definitely have a podcast player on your website – I recommend Blubrry which is a simple plug in – so that people who visit your website can see and hear your podcast.
2. Build your content queue.
Consistency is king when creating content, and podcasting is no exception. Whether you decide to podcast daily, weekly or fortnightly, the key is committing and delivering to that schedule. To feel comfortable in your ability to do that it will be important to build a bank of episodes so that if you don’t get one done one week, you’re not caught short.
If you plan on launching your podcast as a weekly show, you may want to have 6 or 10 episodes already recorded. If you’re a daily show, you will want more.
3. Share on social media
Always have a consistent system of sharing your new episodes on your social media. Share it across all of your platforms, more than once on platforms like Facebook and Twitter where posts will get missed and lost in a feed.
A lot of podcasting conversation and discovery happens on Twitter, so it’s definitely worth investing time to schedule out a number of tweets when an episode goes live.
Make sure to use hashtag keywords and tag your guest so that it has more chance of being discovered.
4. Your guest.
Make it really easy for your guest to share your show. Podcasting guru John Lee Dumas who records a daily show interviewing entrepreneurs says emailing his guest a link to the show is the first thing he does every day. He has relied on this process to access the large audiences of the big name guests he has had on his show to build his audience.
In-real-life events are a great way to find new listeners for your podcast. If you believe in business cards, ensure you include information about your podcast on your business card. When people meet you in real life and find out you have a podcast, they’re much more likely to check it out.
Include a link to your podcast in all of your profiles – particularly places like Linked In, where profile stalking is a popular pastime!
6. Start a community
Starting a community is one of the best things I have done for my podcast and business. I have a private Facebook community which is where I encourage people to come and connect with me on the podcast. The holy grail for all podcasters should be to get people onto your email list and that is certainly my lead goal, however providing your audience a place to come and network and transition what has been a one-way content delivery to a two-way conversation is priceless.
This community can also become a revenue stream for your business. Some podcasters have a paid community around their podcast. Tim Reid of Small Business Big Marketing has a paid forum, John Lee Dumas has a paid podcasting community.
7. Encourage engagement
We are a statistics focused society, and that will never change. But personally I would encourage you to worry more about engagement than the actual podcast numbers. Engagement means that people are coming and joining your email list, or they’re joining your Facebook group or paid membership community, or they’re emailing you personally to give you feedback, or they’re leaving reviews in iTunes for you.
If you’re in the early days of your podcasting and you’re struggling to get this engagement and feedback, definitely ask for it and also demonstrate what feedback looks like – a lot of people won’t leave feedback because they’re unsure what to say. If you give an example this will help get people over the line and engaging with you.
Are you using all of these strategies to get your podcast out there? If not, I’d encourage you to pick just one and implement it consistently over the next few weeks and see what impact it has on your podcast audience and engagement.
Is there another useful strategy that I’ve missed? Please leave a comment and let me know!