Do you have a podcast that you’ve been working hard on, that you feel confident and excited about, yet your audience numbers aren’t where you hoped they would be? Podcasts have become all the rage with everyone from novices to celebrities seeming to have one nowadays. With all the available options, it’s only natural that the competition makes it difficult to build and grow a loyal audience, especially for unknowns getting into the business for the first time.
The good news is that there are several steps podcasters can take to grow their audience. Chances are it won’t happen overnight, but dedication and hard work will certainly pay off and start to garner results. So, let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take.
Have You Chosen the Right Name?
When you first started your podcast, you probably picked a name that you thought was perfect at the time, but now it’s time to re-evaluate. The name of your podcast can go far in grabbing the attention of would-be listeners, so it needs to convey what the podcast is about and represents. It should also be memorable, catchy, and unique – making sure no other podcasts have that name.
Learn About Your Audience
Because you want to connect with your audience and deliver content they want to hear, it’s also important to learn about who your audience is. Connect with them on social media either by answering their questions or posing questions to them. You want to show your audience that they are a priority, you want their input, and you want to deliver the content they seek. You can even poll your audience by asking questions and then discussing the results/answers on the podcast. This makes the show feel more personal and as though it’s truly designed to connect with each listener.
It’s also a good practice to call out your audience each show, thank them for their support and listening, invite them to connect with you on social media and acknowledge they are out there.
In terms of constructive criticism, it’s important to accept that it will happen. There will be negative responses and replies, and that’s okay. These shouldn’t be taken personally; instead, use it as a learning experience and ask yourself how you can use that criticism to improve your podcast.
Is the Sound Quality Professional?
Part of growing your audience is to provide your listeners with a professional sounding experience, and that means excellent sound quality. While you may think that recording your podcast in your home is good enough, without professional-grade equipment, listeners will notice a difference negatively. Poor sound quality is often enough to turn listeners off and seek another podcast.
Rather than investing in all the expensive equipment yourself, a good solution is to rent a professional podcast studio space. You can make sure the podcast studio has all the necessary items for you to record with ease, and listeners will notice a huge improvement. Many of these spaces have great hours, with some even being open 24/7 so you can easily work it into your schedule.
If you plan on interviewing guests or having guests on the podcast period, studio space will also come across as more professional.
Bring Guests to Your Podcast
Sometimes it can be helpful to bring guests on – experts or not – that have their audience. This alone can boost your numbers, as they will bring at least a small portion of their audience with them. You’ll want to be sure you give a shout out to new listeners, encourage them to follow you and make sure you’re providing the kind of experience they would be interested in. Choosing guests for your podcast should be based on picking people who have relevant information, insight, commentary or thoughts.
Plan Your Content – Don’t Just Make It Up as You Go
As for content, any professional podcaster will tell you that you don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants – it takes planning. You can create a calendar of upcoming shows so that you have enough time to think about that show, research if needed, book guests, market the upcoming podcast and so forth. At the same time, the schedule doesn’t have to be written in stone. If something comes up, there is a newsworthy item you want to discuss, or even a trend you want to grab onto, there is nothing wrong with straying from the schedule or reworking it.
The Audience Numbers Will Grow
Using all of these tips and staying dedicated to your efforts will bring about results. You’ll start to see your audience numbers grow over time and the key should then be to keep those new listeners and make sure they stay entertained. Creating a successful podcast is a process and doesn’t usually happen overnight, and that’s okay.