DrewVOX Talks Episode 3: 10 Ways to Gorw a Podcast

10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast is for beginner to advanced podcasters who want to up their game in their categories. Let us know how useful you find this information, we’s love your comments!

10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast: Show Notes

Welcome back! I’m Drew Nageleisen this is DrewVOX Talks our topic for today is 10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast. Let’s talk about creating.

As the title says, we’ll touch on the 10 important things you can do to grow your podcast’s audience. We’ll talk about scheduling your time, engaging with your audience, organic networking, guests, marketing, and many extras most podcasters just don’t do.

1.   Spend Time with Your Audience

It’s really important to schedule 20-30 minutes a day to engage with your audience on your social media feeds and email. They don’t just listen to you for the content, but also how you present it. When they return for that second episode, they are already developing a relationship with you and see you more as a friend.

Think about that for a minute. They found your podcast, listened to an entire episode, then listened to at least one more. You are now in their “circle”. When they make the effort to reach out and make a comment, like or subscribe, they are telling you that you are “in”.

It is as simple as responding to Instagram and Facebook comments or starting conversations on Twitter. Many successful podcasters make a point of responding to every comment on their social media accounts. Any marketer will tell you that a referral is the best form of advertising. The same goes here.

Unlike the old days of radio, your audience has many ways to interact with you because it’ so easy. Back in the dinosaur days, I ran a request show, “AM109’s All Request Saturday Night with Drew Thomas.” Yeah, I was Drew Thomas then.

The only instant feedback I received on my show were telephone calls. We only had 6 lines, so not may people could actually get a hold of me. They could also send mail – real letters in envelopes or faxes.

Now we are in a completely different world from a technology perspective. That almost instant access gives you valuable feedback. By responding to your audience and interacting, you reinforce that relationship. It helps you keep a loyal listener base, and you will grow organically when your faithful listener tells like-minded people about their experience with you.

2.   Listen

We spoke about this just a few seconds ago, so let’s unpack this one. You are getting valuable feedback when you engage with your audience. Sometimes those comments are going to be hard to hear. The “negative” comments are what you need for growth. A standard statistic (or at least one that my college professor, Gary told me) was that 1-in-10 listeners will give you negative feedback, while 1-in-100 will give positive feedback. We all love to hear how awesome we are, that our listener sees rainbows and unicorns the second our podcast intro hits their ears. We are not as excited when someone tells us we suck.

I want to know why they think I suck.

When you pay attention to what your listener is telling you, there is an opportunity to improve your podcast. A customer in my dive shop once told me that their “negative” comment didn’t require a response from me. They explained their opinion was how things appeared from their perspective. The optics if you will. That was a huge shift in perspective for me (thanks Karen). They went from being a cranky complainer to a source of valuable feedback.

When the “complainer” sees that you have asked what their perspective was, listened to the feedback, then acted on their comments, they will be happy. You may earn a faithful listener for life, and more importantly, a loyal customer. Many podcasters will not do this, this is mostly an artifact of ego or pride.

Remember that this point is one of the best ways to earn loyal listeners. It’s easy to preach to the choir but doesn’t fill seats in the auditorium. It’ one of the more important points in our 10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast list.

3.   Networking

Podcasters are a friendly group for the most part. Like minded individuals with shared interests pre-qualify you, you are one of the “cool kids”. Okay, you are part of a community where being nice and friendly goes a long way. It’s important to realize that other podcasts are not competition to you. They are a fantastic resource. Reach out and start conversations with other like-minded creators.

They are your peers and have been through the same things you have in getting a podcast up and running. Statistics tell us that the average listener will take in 7 different shows per week. There is a lot of room for your podcast in the universe.

Facebook, Reddit, and other platforms are filled with podcasters who are offering advice, tips, and support.

Get out there, dip your toes into a different pool and test the waters. You will find a bunch of friends, mentors and all kinds of great stuff.

4.   Be A Guest

You are creating a podcast because you have something to say, right? Don’t limit yourself to just your show. You are the expert in your topic – other shows are looking for experts, just like you are!

Listen to other podcasts on your hosting platform or use whatever app you like. Search out podcasts that are similar or complimentary to yours. You will find a wealth of information from established podcasters as well as new shows. Support them by liking and subscribing to their podcasts and give them some feedback. Just like with your listeners, that podcaster will treat you as a listener. They will listen and respond – if they don’t no biggie, they still have a podcast worth listening to.

When they do respond (and most will), you can build great relationships. You can ask your colleagues questions, cross promote each other’s shows and even be guests for each other. Now both of you can leverage the other’s audience as well as mutual support and advice.

It’s really important to understand this next point. I will stress that this is not strictly for promotion. If that is your sole reason for podcasting, you will be like that telemarketer calling about duct cleaning. OK, maybe not that bad. Nobody likes to feel used, and that will happen if you are insincere. Remember, you are developing a relationship with other like-minded people who have the same passion for their podcast or podcasting in general.

You want to provide value to the other podcast, and more importantly to their audience. When you help another creator deliver a great show, they may be inclined to do the same for you. A win-win for everyone!

5.   Happy Guests are Good Guests

Remember high school when you were not paying attention in English class and Mr. Jackson surprised you by asking you to read a particularly long passage from MacBeth? Oh wait, that was me.

Still, you know the feeling of being caught off-guard, that awkwardness and not knowing what to say?

Now think back to that time you were able to prepare for your presentation and you knocked it out of the park. OK, good.

Make your guests comfortable by providing them with an outline of the segment or show they will be in. Let them know what to expect. Give them the questions or topics your will be covering so they are not caught off-guard and have fun with them. They are giving up their valuable time to be on your show. Another key point in our 10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast list.

Firstly, you will get some great content for your episode. Secondly, when they have a positive experience, they will tell others. They will share the link to “their” episode and promote the fact they were on your podcast.

You can make it easy for them to share the episode with their friends and followers. Be sure to tag them so they can repost and encourage them to share. Create images, promos and audiograms that meet the current formatting for the individual platforms so it’s easy and engaging for your guest to post.

Your guest will share the episode and say great things about your podcast. This will help build your audience!

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6.   List Everywhere

This is so obvious and simple, yet most podcasters don’t do it. Make it easy for people to find you! Don’t focus solely on Apple Podcasts. There are so many other directories like Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, PodChaser and so many more.

My host is PodBean and it has an extensive and growing list of directories to get you started. Keep your ears and search window open for more. When adding your podcast to new directories, do a quick audit. Make sure it’s easy for your audience to find you. Does your podcast have a landing page or website? Does it have full episode lists or audio trailers? Do you have links on your social media feed to your page or site? While these are simple, common-sense suggestions, many don’t bother. It will take some time, but your podcast will get more listeners faster.

7.   Transcribe

As with marketing a business, SEO is king. To get higher rankings on podcast search lists, include a transcript in your show notes. That will make it easy for Google and other search engines to find all the keywords in your episode. When your potential audience searches for content, you will leap up in the search rankings.

Including keywords in your episode title also makes a big difference.

What exactly does that mean? As a digital marketer, I want all of my content to take people to my website. This is the hub of everything DrewVOX Digital does. Each page is optimized on my website, my keywords and SEO are focused and specific for that page’s content. Your podcast show notes and episode postings should have matching keywords for your topic. Some search engines are now using AI to listen to your audio files and indexing them as well.

This is a mostly ignored attribute of this media with businesses. Podcasting gives you a whole different avenue for getting your message out there. Your search rankings will significantly improve if you do it right, and it’s not hard.

8.   Cross-Post

Our 10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast list continues. Use your social media and cross-post across your channels. I hinted at this before, but you want to promote as much as possible. Plan, put a little more effort when you plan and produce your episodes. This gives you way more content for your social media channels. Its already SEO optimized, full of great information and ready to go. You can chop it to smaller pieces and use portions of the episode for even more posts.

Another great tip is to re-share older episodes – especially if you see conversations in your feeds that relate to past episodes. Your archives are there to be heard! You can also create trailers and promos from old episodes to generate interest and repost.

9.   Paid Advertising

Yup, everyone wants our money! But a little boost often goes a long way. Luckily, paid advertising on social media is not expensive and can help you cut through the noise. Place ads where your potential listener will be lurking and aim for them. Targeted ads – especially something topical focused on specific audiences can deliver lots of attention.

The key word is target.

If you are a podcast with many episodes under their belt, or someone who has an established presence, use metrics from Google Analytics to define your audience. Lookalike audiences are another useful tool to create a target group that has the same attributes as your existing followers. Use your website or newsletter’s email list, or website traffic as a starting point.

New podcasters can use specific keywords or other interests related to your podcast. For example, if you would like to market your podcast about home renovations, search out groups that discuss woodworking, DIY-ers and gardening. There are many free and paid services out there that can help. I use WooRank for my website, it seems to work well. No, I am not affiliated or get any commission from them. It just use it.

Ask around to see what others use.

The point is, don’t just throw money at ads, take the time to be very specific about who you what to target. Your podcast is unique and specialized, so you need to let the people most likely to listen that you exist.

10.  Mix-It-Up

Wrapping up our 10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast list with this final point. Sure, post “New Episode” with your episode number and name. Boring.

By its nature, podcasting is creative medium. Channel that creativity by making your own promotional commercials featuring sound bites. Include behind the scenes photos or videos. Take a photo (or use one that is provided) of your guests and include a quote to promote future episodes.

You can also send audiograms and post all kinds of other content. Again, by having relationships with other podcasters, you can brainstorm to come up with other unique ideas to engage your audience and build on it.

Ensure all of your promotional pieces are specific to the platform you are posting on. An Instagram post is visual – images and videos, and no links in posts as an example. Take the time to define your marketing mix, set a schedule and make sure the content meets all of their optimal posting specifications.

Use that social media scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite, to schedule your promos and posts. A little time invested in planning pays off many times over!

So, there you have it, we have managed to chew through the

10 Ways to Grow Your Podcast list. We discussed scheduling your time, engaging with your audience, organic networking, guests, marketing, and the extras that make a difference.

Join me next time on DrewVOX Talks for Episode 4: Online Presence-Relationships. I’m Drew Nageleisen, let’s go create!

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