Consistency, patience, and putting out an excellent product are the foundation of a successful podcast. But it’s not always as simple as “build something great and the audience will follow.” The following five techniques can help you build your audience more quickly while leading to a great relationship with listeners.
- Educate your would-be listeners. If you have another platform, whether it’s a blog, social media following or YouTube channel, make sure your followers there know about your podcast and – more importantly – how, when, and where to listen. Remember that your audience may not be as tech-savvy as you. Write a blog post or email instructing them on what podcasts are and why they need to know about it. And be sure to detail exactly where to find your show and how to listen to it.
- Engage your audience. Your listeners love being recognized, and interacting with you will encourage them to keep the conversation going. When you have a two-way conversation going, your listeners are much more likely to take action when you ask for comments, reviews…and most importantly, shares.
- Be everywhere. Yes, iTunes is important, but it’s no longer the only game in town. Be sure your podcast is listed in as many apps and directories as possible.
- Collaborate with other podcasters. People who already listen to podcasts are more likely to listen to yours than someone who’s new to the idea. Take advantage of a built-in almost-audience by inviting other podcasters to appear on your show, and also offering to be interviewed on theirs. Promote fellow podcasters when possible and be generous with advice and tips.
- Look for listeners in new, but relevant, places. Consider your niche and where your would-be listeners already hang out and get their media. “One thing I’ve done is associate with a popular trade organization,” explains Barry Kantz, CFO at Blubrry and host of the Home Based Travel Agent podcast. “The trade organization helps promote my show to their members.” Spamming isn’t cool, but if there is a relevant newsletter, Facebook group, or website that relates to the audience you’re trying to reach, get in touch with an administrator and see if they’d be willing to plug you as a service of their members. Likely you can work out some kind of barter, where you cross-promote their organization, group, or site on your podcast, website, or social media.