Laura L Bernhard
14 Ways to Grow your Podcast Audience
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
This is a comprehensive list of how to grow your podcast audience. It is recommended not to pursue every single recommendation at once. Instead, consider your resources and choose two of them. Once you got that rolling then keep trying new ones. Without further ado, here are 14 ways to grow your podcast audience.
1. Talk About It
This may seem strange but it's often overlooked. A good way of getting the word out is by talking about your podcast. As the driving force behind the podcast, you're the best person to promote it. And in person, you're there to answer any questions, provide additional details and get people excited to listen. It even gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the individual's podcast preferences. They may give you ideas on how to improve your methods. The next time someone asks you what's new, remember to tell them about your podcast!
2. Get your Family and Friends Involved
Now that you're talking about your podcast, it's time to get everyone you know to talk about it too. Make sure they know the name of your podcast, who it's for and what makes it unique. That way, when they meet someone who meets the profile it will trigger them to mention your show.
3. Distribute on More Platforms
It is highly recommended to build a loyal following on one platform. Building an audience in one place is more valuable than having small groups of fans dispersed across nine platforms.
However, consider your audience. What if your target audience prefers one platform to another. For example, the majority of my audience listens via Spotify and Apple Podcasts. When The No Formula Podcast was not on Apple Podcasts, ideal listeners were asking why. I had no choice but to make sure I was at least on those two platforms.
Being on several channels makes it more difficult to promote. For example, which link do you reference when promoting the podcast? Some people opt to reference a website like Anchor where people can access multiple podcast links. Personally, I use my website. People can access Spotify or Apple Podcasts from there.
I read that podcasters should spend just as much time promoting their podcast as it takes to create the episode. That's a lot of promotion. But it's true. Without an audience from the get-go, you need to build your audience from scratch. That takes time. One way to reach your audience is promoting in social media groups- Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Subreddits. Find the groups with your target audience, become a member and promote your episode there. Note: Not all groups allow promotion. Pay attention to the rules of each group.
Forums are a little bit different than groups. You still need to join the right forums with your target audience. However, their goal is for discussion. So, a simple promotion of your podcast will usually not work in these communities. You really need to be part of the conversations. As a result, build relationships and credibility with people in the forums. Eventually, they will want to listen to your podcast.
Yes, it takes time, but it can be worth it.
6. Leverage the network you already have
Your personal social media accounts have been growing for years. Even if your grandmother follows you on Facebook, her like or share helps spread awareness of YOUR podcast. Plus, many new podcasters choose to use their personal accounts to promote their podcast as opposed to starting new accounts.
My recommendation is to do what you think will get you the best results. However, secure the handles on every social media platform regardless of what you choose.
And remember, even if you only have 26 followers on Twitter, that's better than zero.
(At the time of writing this blog, I do have 26 amazing Twitter Followers <3)
Also, optimize your pages to promote the podcast. That way, when people like what you say in comments or groups, they're more likely to visit your profile and see your podcast.
I mean partnerships with anyone - another podcast, a forum, a leader in your industry. Aim for an exchange in value so you can build your network and your reach. For example, I partnered up with Entrepreneur's Network. A global community of entrepreneurs that help out one another. You can check it out here. David Wagstaff, the founder of the community, reached out to me with an interest in providing his members with exclusive content from my podcast. Now, he gets exclusive material from The No Formula Podcast and the podcast is accessible by his members. Always aim for a win-win.
8. Leverage the network of your guests
If you interview guests, make it easy for them to share their episode. Its not enough to just send them the link. Create tweets, graphics, and snippets for them to share. Send them summaries, key takeaways and your social media handles to follow you. And don't be scared to remind them to share the episode, even if it's a few weeks after the initial release of their episode.
9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Another way to expand the reach of your podcast is through SEO. Create a website for blogs and/or show notes. By creating written content, you are reaching people who may be interested in your material but prefer to consume it through a different medium.
10. Youtube, Soundcloud
If your podcast has a visual element then definitely leverage YouTube. Even if your podcast is just audio, YouTube's SEO value is worth putting your podcast on the platform.
YouTube transcribes every video uploaded on the platform. This helps them understand the content of the video and helps the algorithm place it in front of the right people. To top it all off, it's easier to rank on YouTube than it is on Google. As for Soundcloud, it has a large user base. It can be worth being on a platform with a lot of users. You are most likely going to pay a fee but it does make it very easy to share podcasts on Twitter.
One way to reach your target audience is by networking with your target audience at events. For readers who already attend events, this will be easier to do. However, consider LinkedIn as a digital place to network. This is a good platform to look for partnerships.
12. Link in an email signature
Add the link to your podcast in your email signature. It is the easiest recommendation on this list. It takes the least amount of time and has the potential to reach many people. Especially, if you have clients.
13. Build an email list
Whether it's before or after launching your podcast, building an email list helps generate a list of your most loyal fans. Having their email addresses is worth a lot more than an anonymous subscriber. You can contact them directly about anything related to your podcast.
14. Be a guest on other podcasts
Appearing on other podcasts is the most recommended way to grow your audience. I've heard people say that people being on podcasts that weren't even related to their industry was helpful.
And here is why.
The one thing all our audiences have in common is that they listen to podcasts. No matter who you are targeting, you have to make sure they also listen to podcasts. So when you are a guest on other podcasts, you are reaching podcast listeners. If they think you're interesting, they are likely to check out your podcast, regardless of the podcast topic.
Round-Up The suggestions above add a lot of extra work to what you're already doing. Start by choosing one recommendation that is the most feasible for your schedule and that is aligned with your skills. Once you are able to fit that in your schedule consistently, move on to another suggestion! Do you have any other recommendations? Leave a suggestion below.
And don't forget to share the blog!
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