Don't Just Grow One Podcast Audience, Grow 6
You might think that if you grow your podcast listeners than all your other followers will pick up too. That's often not the case. To grow your podcast listener audience it's smart to grow other audiences instead.
The 6 Audiences
- Your podcast listeners.
- Your website visitors.
- Your newsletter subscribers.
- Your Facebook followers.
- Your Twitter followers.
- Your Instagram followers.
Each of these audiences are unique, separate, and different from each other. You might think they all are your listeners, but they aren't. They are however, potential listeners, and that's very important.
Your Podcast Listeners
These are the people who listen to your show. This is what it's all about for a podcaster, having people listen. You might be struggling to get people to this point. How can you find people to listen to your show? The absolute easiest way to get more people to listen to your podcast is by tapping into all your existing audiences.
Your Website Visitors
What if I told you, that people are sometimes coming to your website having no idea that your website is a podcast and have no idea who you are? How do you treat someone who's visiting your website having no clue about your podcast, but arrived because they are interested in one of the topics you mentioned on the show?
By having a well crafted website, that has great shows notes, and ranks well in Google SEO ranking, you can attract people simply trying to learn more about a topic. For instance if you Google "podcast RSS feed", the top result is for a website called theaudacitytopodcast.com, which is a podcast. Anyone who's researching how to start a podcast will certainly arrive on that website in no time. They pick up a ton of new subscribers simply because of people visiting the website looking for help on how to start a podcast.
Here are some tips for creating a great podcast website.
In short, to get more visitors to your website, you want great show notes and detailed explanations of your show to be written all of your website. The more you write the more chances of Google picking up on the text and displaying it in search results for people looking for that information.
Once you attract new visitors to your site, you want to convert them into listeners. You want to be clear that visitors can listen to your show to learn more. This means having a big play button somewhere on the page. Make it as easy and obvious as possible to play your show, right there on the page, without having to download any extra app or anything.
Your Newsletter Audience
Having a big email list of listeners and potential listeners has huge potential. Sites like Vine and MySpace died. This really hurt the people who had large followings there. By having a list of emails, you own that, and it can't die or go away. You can lose everything else but if you keep your email list, you can tell people about your next project and get new followers instantly. It's important to grow your email list!
How do you grow an email list? There are two big ways to do it. First is to put a simple opt in form on your website and tell them why they should subscribe to your newsletter. Listen to how Tim Ferriss urges his listeners to subscribe to his newsletter. It's no wonder he has 2 million subscribers to his email list. To speed up growing your email list, offer people something they want but they have to subscribe to get it. This is called a lead magnet or freemium. Perhaps it's a bonus episode, a cheat sheet, an ebook, or a video course. Make it attractive and valuable and people will be happy to give their email address just to get the freebie. And if you do this, you will likely get people giving you their email who don't listen to your podcast!
Things to send out to your email list:
- Tell them about new episodes / get them to listen to the show. Perhaps they never heard it before or stopped listening. Give them a real solid reason why this episode is a great episode.
- Get them to help you. Such as voting for you in a contest, leaving a review, funding you on Patreon.
- Give them something useful. Give them links to cool things, or send them funny images, or anything the audience would love.
- Ask them questions. Get to know your audience by asking them things you want to know about them. The more you know your audience the better you can supply value to their lives and then they'll appreciate you more.
- Tell them about your other projects! Maybe you wrote a book, video course, or are going on tour. This is a great way to leverage your existing audience.
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram Followers
In today's world, it's hard to lead with "listen to my podcast". People don't have time to listen to it right then. They want something funny, or the news, or just a quick second of entertainment while on a break. So they check their phone, their social media feed for anything good. People are addicted to their social media feeds. If you don't get in their circle, you don't exist to them. So it's important to be on social media, and infiltrate the social circles where your friends are.
Don't expect that because you have a podcast, that you're social media followers will magically grow. I recommend the opposite. Grow your social media audience first, then convert them to listen to your show. It's so much easier to get a Twitter follower, than to get to a new podcast listener. So take the easy route!
If you have 100 followers on social media and you try to promote your show to them. There's a high probability that 0 of them will listen. But if you promote your show to 10,000 followers, you will get more than 0 who will give it a shot.
Similarly, you can't expect a post of yours to go viral with only 100 followers. The chances of it are very low. But if you have 10,000 followers, you will get retweets, likes, and comments, which gives that post more visibility.
We live in this magical time in history, where we as individual have access to an incredibly loud megaphone known as social media free of charge. Don't pass this opportunity up. Grow your followers and magic can happen.
Benefits to having a large social media audience:
- More people to pitch your show to, who can potentially listen for the first time, or retweet/share with others who haven't heard it.
- Having a larger following improves your social validation and influence. People will more likely think you're someone special with a larger audience and listen closer.
- It connects you with more people, giving you more opportunities for guests, feedback, friendships, assistance, and more.
- It gives you more leverage to negotiate deals. For instance if you want to do a promo swap with a show that is significantly larger than you, you can offer to do numerous shoutouts on social media highlighting your reach. You'd be surprised how flattered you can make someone by Tweeting about them from a large account. And from there, you can ask for favors or help.
When a celebrity creates a new podcast, you better believe that having a large social media audience already, greatly improves their numbers of listeners. Go build a large social media audience!
Read this guide for podcasters to grow their social media audience.
Make Even More Audiences
Don't stop at 6, keep building more audiences. The more you have the easier it will be for you to market your projects such as your podcast.
- Collect phone numbers
- Get on Snap Chat
- Blog on Tumblr
- Post on Pinterst
- Network on LinkedIn
Look at this Tweet from Gary Vaynerchuck:
Text me 1-917-909-4662 to join my new surprise and delight database :-)— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) March 28, 2018
What's he doing? He's collecting people's phone numbers? Why? He's experimenting with engaging people in the way they engage with their close friends and family. A text is a powerful way to get someone's attention. Facebook and Instagram posts go unnoticed. But you will almost always notice a text!
For social media, the top 3 are Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. Definitely be there first. But if you're killing it there and want to be in even more places, try Snap Chat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest. What's nice about all of these is that people can follow you on them. You can build an audience so when you post stuff they immediately see it. This is different than Reddit where you don't really follow people (yet).
Get on Snap Chat if your target audience is teenagers.
Get on LinkedIn if your target audience is professionals.
Get on Pinterest if your doing crafty, foodie, or visual things and have a target audience of women.
People will like you if you add value to their lives. When they like you, they will follow you on social media, visit your website, sign up for your newsletter, and yes, even listen to your podcast. So find ways to add value into people's lives outside of the podcast. Grow numerous audiences at once, and watch how they eventually become listeners.
By having numerous audiences to poll, interact with, ask for help from, and talk to, can really improve your show. By tapping into these audiences to get them to listen to your show also has a huge affect on the growth of your show.