It's easy for Joe Rogan to pull in millions of listeners to his podcast. He's a celebrity. But what about for the rest of us?
Follow these 7 best practices and you too can build a large fan base, becoming a celebrity in your own right.
1.) Have Fun
This one might sound simple. But it's profound in its effectiveness. Don't be afraid to cut loose and have a little fun while you're doing your podcast.
If you're not having fun when you record your podcast, listeners won't have fun when they're listening to it. Don't be an uptight perfectionist. Nobody wants to hang around someone like that. Instead, have fun while you're recording your podcast.
Laugh, joke around, be real with your listeners. Give them a good time, and they'll be coming back for more. And they'll even bring some friends.
2.) Be Consistent
Consistency is key to the success of a podcast, both in release timing and subject matter.
If your listener expects a new episode every Monday for their morning commute, you better be there. If not, they'll look for something new. And if they find it, now you'll be competing for air time. Pick a day and time to release your podcast, and stick to it.
This also applies to the content of your podcast. If I tune in one week and hear something that interests me, but next week is something I care nothing about, good luck getting me back for week 3. Make sure you know who your listener is, and what they listen for, and deliver that.
Be consistent in your delivery, and they’ll be consistent in their downloading.
3.) Sharing is Caring
The best way to get the attention of your listeners is to get put your podcast where their attention already is. This means share your podcast on social media, topic-related forums, and wherever else their attention might be.
Find out where your ideal listener hangs out, and start becoming a regular of those communities. This will keep you up to date with what's going on in the community and come up with things to cover on your podcast. It'll also give you some great leads on people to interview, and make your promotion seem like more sharing, rather than spamming.
Best of all, it's free.
4.) Mail Your List
If you have a podcast, you need to be using it to grow your email list. Likewise, if you have an email list, you can use it to grow your listener base.
Every time you release a new episode, make sure you mail your list and let them know about it. Let them know what they'll get from listening, and where they can go to listen.
That way, if they missed you in their iTunes feeds, or simply forgot to check their subscriptions, you're there with a friendly reminder. When someone's as big of a podcast addict as I am, we need all the reminders we can get.
If I see you in my podcast feed, and you remind me in an email, you're more likely to be the one I listen to on my nightly walk.
5.) Invite on Big Name Guests from Within Your Niche
As a podcaster, you are the new media.
Television viewers are tuning out. Newspaper readers are canceling their subscriptions. But podcast downloads are on a steady climb. And that means you are the platform that celebrities need to promote from.
Invite on some of the people you look up to. If they have a new project to promote, they'll be looking for people like you to help them do it. And they'll bring their fans with them.
People searching for them will come across you, and consume your content. It will also have the halo effect of making you look more like a celebrity. After all, you're the one who gets to rub elbows with their heroes.
Just make sure you reach out to these people in the right way. You can learn all about how to do that in this guide to booking guests for your podcast.
6.) Be a Guest on Other Podcasts
Getting exposure on other people's podcast is a great way to grow your own audience. But it has to be done tactfully. You can't just reach out and say "hi, I'd love to put myself in front of your audience." So let's look at some ways that don't seem so outputting to other podcast hosts.
You could always invite them on your show first, and ask if they'd be down to do an interview trade. This gives them a chance to get in front of their audience, and you in front of theirs. As long as they aren't way outside of your league, most podcasters will love this idea.
You can ask your listeners to write their other favorite podcasters and recommend you as a guest. If someone listens to your podcast, it's likely you'd be a good fit as a guest on other podcasts they listen to. And most podcasters take requests from their listeners as cues about who they should have on.
If you do want to just reach out and propose yourself as a guest, do it in a professional manner. Have an assistant, real or imaginary, make initial contact. Let the host know that they were selected because of what makes them uniquely attractive to you. And emphasize what their audience will get out of a conversation between you and them.
Frame your request in how it meets their needs, and the needs of their listeners, and it'll be much better received.
7.) Call Your Listeners to Action
After you've given some value, it's not unreasonable to ask for something in return. Don't be shy about calling your listeners to action. Let them know how they can help you out, and most of them will be happy to do it. This is called the CTA (Call To Action).
End each episode with a call to action.
It doesn't have to be the same CTA at the end of every show. But repetition is the best way to get something done. So, if you want them to do something, ask them. And remember, new listeners might not have heard the last few episodes, so ask again at the end of this one.
What should you ask them to do? Well, I'm glad you asked.
The best CTA's should be easy to do, and help grow your show. For that, Subscribe, Rate and Reviews work best. When your listeners do these things, iTunes gives you a bump in their algorithm. Asking them to share your show with someone they know would like it also helps a lot.
8.) Patience and Dedication
This is the least sexy, but most important practice on the list.
If you show up, episode after episode, so will your listeners. As you build your archive, so too will your fan base grow. But if you give up before you your podcast hits its stride, you'll never reach your true potential.
Growing a podcast is like pushing a train on a slight downward track. It takes a lot of work at first, but once you start picking up momentum, the payoff becomes exponential.
Rome wasn't built in a day. But brick by brick, a great city came into being. The same will be true of your podcast, as long as you let it be so.
And there you have it; 8 proven strategies for growing your podcast audience.
Share your show.
Mail your list.
Appear on other podcasts.
Call your listeners to action.
Have patience and dedication.
Implement these into the way you approach your podcast, and you will see the size of your listener base grow. Stick to it, and who knows, maybe you could be the next Joe Rogan.