Putting a podcast together is a lot of hard work.
It takes a lot of investment to get your podcast off the ground. Coming up with content, recording, editing, and then publishing. Not to mention buying all the equipment, paying for hosting, and trying to promote it. By the time we get to that last step, we're pretty much all out of energy.
It also doesn't help that most of us suck at self-promotion.
Not to worry, though. This list is gonna help you out. I'm about to reveal 7 ways that I've been able to successfully promote my own, and many of my client's podcasts. Some of these have worked so well that their shows turned into nationally syndicated radio shows.
So, without any further ado, here are the 7 simple ways to grow the size of your podcast audience.
1. Be Consistent
If you want your listenership to consistently grow, you need to consistently deliver.
This means, drop an episode on the same day, every week. Keep your episodes about the same size in length. Cover the same subject matter.
If you're listener tunes in on their Monday commute, and you fail to deliver, they'll find something else to listen to. Then you have to work twice as hard to earn them back. Better not to lose them in the first place.
If they give you an hour out of their week, that's what they'll want you to fill. If you release a 20-minute episode followed by a 4-hour long episode, they might think twice the next time they hit that play button.
Same thing goes for subject matter. If one week is a comedy show, and the next is a show about investment, chances are, they won't tune in to find out what the 3rd show will be about. So be consistent.
2. Share Where People Care
Sharing your podcast to your social media is a no-brainer. That's where your friends, fans, and family are. They care about what you're doing, and it makes sense to share it with them. But is that enough?
If you really wanna reach a wider audience, then, no, that's not enough.
So, where else should you share your podcast?
Well, where people who might care will be, of course.
One of the oldest lessons in business is, never try to sell steak at a vegan restaurant. It doesn't matter how prime the cut is. The people there just don't care. So if you're' gonna try to sell steak, go to where there's a hungry crowd of meat eaters.
Same goes for sharing your podcast.
Seek out forums, blogs and facebook groups dedicated to what your podcast is all about. Join those groups and start being a part of the conversation. Once you've become a part of the community, let people know you have a podcast that they might enjoy. Invite them to check it out.
If you've given enough in advance, this will come off as more value given, rather than shameless self-promotion.If you're looking for some ways to share, without coming off as spammy, here are a few simple rules to help you do it.
3. Mail Your List Every Week
Not every podcast has a mailing list, but they should.
Invite your listeners to sign up for your newsletter, and send them a reminder, every time a new episode drops.
If they're like me, they probably subscribe to a lot of different podcasts. New episodes can get lost in the mix. If I get 4 new podcasts added to my playlist in the morning, one of them is likely to get passed on.
Let's say I happen to miss an episode on the refresh. But then I get an email, reminding me of your latest episode; you just got pushed to the top of the list.
If you have an email list, inform them of every new episode, the day it drops.
4. Invite the Right Guests onto Your Podcast
Podcasting is the new media.
When a celebrity wants to get some publicity, podcasts are becoming the most viable option. Mainstream media keeps losing viewers. But podcasts keep gaining new listeners. Even elected officials in the highest office of the land have been guests on podcasts.
Celebrities need the promotion a podcast can offer. And you have a podcast.
Invite people who your listeners would want to hear from to be a guest your podcast. You might be surprised by who say's yes.
Having big names in your niche will definitely bring in new listeners. So don't let your fear of rejection keep you from inviting them on. To help you out, I put together an invitation template that I use to get big named guests on my own podcast.
Use it, and watch your network start to grow.
5. Get Yourself Booked as a Guest on Other Podcasts
This is probably the best way to get new listeners. But it's also one of the hardest to pull off.
Every time I go on someone else's podcast, I see a huge spike in downloads of my own. So, even though it takes some work, it's well worth the energy.
Keep this in mind; like you, other podcasters need guests for their shows as well. The easiest way to reach out to them is through social media or email. But, just like when reaching out to a potential guest, your email or private message needs to be personalized. DO NOT copy and paste a generic message to other podcasters, asking them if you can come pitch yourself to their listeners. They will refuse you.
Instead, pick out some podcasts that you know you'd be a good fit for. You can find these by searching iTunes for the category of podcast that you do, yourself. Remember, podcasts with the most ratings and reviews also have the most engaged audiences. Pick five, and then move on to the next step.
Download and listen to at least 3 episodes of each podcast you picked out. This gives you a good idea of what their show is like, what you could add, as far as value goes, and if they even do interviews.
Once you're sure you'd be a good fit for their show, reach out to them. Tell them how much you like their podcast, and make mention of something only a true listener would know about. Then, introduce yourself, and ask them if they'd be down to have you on as a guest on their show.
Make your pitch in terms of why how it would benefit their listeners and you'll face a lot less resistance. "I'd love to teach your audience about..." or "since I'm already a listener, I'm betting your other listeners would love to hear us talk about..."
If this is too bold, you could always try a soft pitch.
Ask them to come on your show, and in exchange, you come on theirs. That way you can cross promote each other. This type of arrangement almost always works out great for both parties involved.
6. Don't Forget Your CTA
At the end of every episode, include a Call To Action.
You just poured your heart into providing something of value. Your listener wept, they cheered, they laughed and they learned. It's not unfair for you to ask for a little something-something in return.
Ask them to subscribe on iTunes. Ask them to rate and review the show. Ask them to join your newsletter. Ask them to share the show with someone they know who would enjoy it.
Never end an episode without asking your listener to do something that will help grow the size of your audience. But don't go overboard.
Don't ask them to do all the things I just mentioned. Pick one. You can change it up each week, or hammer home on the most important, but only ask for one thing as your call to action.
Then thank them for listening, and tell them you'll talk to them again, next week.
7. Patience and Dedication
And lastly, we have patience and dedication.
Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither was any great podcast. These things take time.
Most podcasters give up before they even have a chance to succeed. This is the biggest reason many of them fail; because they didn't give it time to take root.
If you show up and do the things listed above, your podcast will have steady growth. If you have patience and let your podcast take its course, you will hit a stride.
There's no saying what the one thing will be that works for you, but when it happens, you'll know it. One day, you'll check your downloads, and see a huge jump in downloads.
And when that happens, it starts to snowball. So be ready.