You’ve put in a lot of hard work and focus into getting your podcast launched on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, Google, and more. And now that your podcast is live, it’s time to start focusing on the though part: how to promote a podcast.
It’s one of the most common questions we hear from our podcasting community…
My show is live; now what?
Up to this point, you’ve likely heard about the awesome stuff that happens once you launch your podcast:
- Making it into New & Noteworthy
- Reading through ratings and reviews from fans of your podcast
- Receiving emails from your listeners thanking you for producing such amazing content
- Engaging with an active community across all of your social media platforms
- Checking in on the hundreds and hundreds of downloads you’re receiving daily…
After all those months of sweat and hard work you’ve put into launching your podcast, why aren’t all of these things happening for you?
There are two main things you should be focused on immediately following your podcast launch:
- Reaching your target audience with valuable content they want and need
- How to promote a podcast post-launch
Reaching Your Target Audience
All of the awesome stuff I listed above that is supposed to happen once you launch your podcast is directly tied to whether or not you’re actually reaching your target audience.
So if at least a few of those things aren’t happening within a month of your launch, then I can tell you this: you’re not reaching your target audience.
There could be several reasons why, like:
- You don’t really know who your target audience is.
- You’re trying to cover a topic that is too massive, which causes potential listeners to question whether or not your content is really for them.
- People simply don’t know you and your podcast exist.
How to Reach Your Target Audience
Identify Your Avatar
If you don’t know who your avatar is (the perfect listener of your show), then how can you be questioning why no one is listening to your podcast?
Just creating something and publishing it for the world to consume isn’t going to cut it if you don’t have an audience who wants and needs whatever it is you’re providing.
You need to understand who the one perfect listener of your show is – who wants and needs the content you’re producing on your show.
Until you know who that person is, they won’t know your podcast exists.
Define Your Niche
Defining your niche is also an important step in the process of identifying who your audience is.
If you’re not focused and very specific about the content you’re offering, then how will your avatar ever find you?
One of the most common mistakes I see podcasters make it taking on a topic that is way too broad. You’re probably thinking that by taking on a broad topic that you’ll be able to reach more people.
You’re also thinking that by taking on a broad topic you won’t be excluding anyone from tuning in to your podcast.
This is all wrong.
When you try and talk to everyone, you will end up talking to no one.
Niching down allows you to speak directly to your ideal listener, and in doing so you can attract more of them. If you go too broad with your podcast topic, I can guarantee you that you’ll have a very tough time trying to grow your following.
People won’t stick around if you’re not offering them specifically what they want and need.
So instead of creating yet another marketing podcast, niche down. Create a marketing podcast for dog trainers, or a marketing podcast for dentists.
Produce the Best Quality Podcast with the Best Quality Content
Only you know whether or not you’re producing the best quality podcast with the best quality content. Seriously ask yourself: “Am I really spending the time and putting forth the effort that my podcast (and my audience) deserve?“
If your honest answer to yourself is “no”, then figure out what needs to happen in order for you to take the quality and the content of your podcast to next level.
By identifying your avatar and defining your niche you’ll be well on your way to having a much clearer idea of what content is best for your show.
From there, it’s all about testing it. The best way to know whether your podcast and content are quality is to ask your listeners for feedback. Literally open your show up with something like:
“Hey! I’m constantly looking to improve the quality of this podcast and the content, and I’d love your help! Shoot me an email with your #1 recommendation or topic idea for a future episode! I’m always open to suggestions. My email is…”
You can’t expect feedback if you don’t ask for it.
Promote Your Podcast
I remember being SO nervous about launching my first website. I was so paranoid about every single little detail – every color, every word, every image.
I kept thinking to myself, “Once I launch, hundreds of people are going to be visiting my site!”
I quickly realized the reality post-launch: if you don’t already have a following or an online presence, then no one is going to find you out of thin air.
What does this mean?
YOU have to be your biggest advocate – especially in the beginning.
We’re going to dive into the top ways to promote a podcast in just a minute, but before we do that, remember that you have access to support right now – you just have to ask for it.
Emailing your family and friends to tell them about your podcast is a GREAT start!
And if you don’t have a following just yet, then the first thing you should do to set yourself up for success is consider how you can start building one now.
Joining an online community will help you connect with your listeners and learn
You should also consider joining an online community in your industry or niche – like a Facebook Group or LinkedIn Group.
The community you join should be a place where your avatar is hanging out, or that is at least focused on or related to your podcasting topic.
Start off by adding as much value as you possibly can to that community, and then (and only then) share with the members what your mission is with your podcast and what content you’re going to provide.
After you share, listen. What feedback are you getting from the community, and how can you leverage that feedback to make your content more targeted, or more desirable for your target audience?
Be an active member of that community – like your life depends on it – and remember, people need to know why they should listen to your podcast. Just blasting the name of your podcast and the tagline is not enough.
Just because you’ve been obsessing over it for the past few months doesn’t mean that everything about it is obvious to other people.
If I could say this better myself, then I would:
“If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” – Zig Ziglar
Always be looking for ways to provide value to your community and to your audience.
Also, don’t forget about the power of social media. Even if you don’t have a following yet, there’s no better time to start building it than right now!
Choose one (two at the most) platforms where you know your avatar is hanging out and go all-in on learning the best ways to leverage those platforms.
Now you know exactly how to reach your target audience. Next, let’s take a look at how to promote a podcast.
Top 5 Ways to Promote Your Podcast Post-Launch
1. Email your guest with a reminder
This is something I see so many podcasters drop the ball on, but if you just set up a schedule and stick to it, it’s a super simple step that could pay off HUGE over time.
All you have to do is email your guest and remind them the day their episode goes live, and include a direct link to their episode’s show notes page, along with a simple social media sharing link they can use to share their episode.
If you don’t interview others on your show, then reach out to your community and ask them to help share your episode with those they think might enjoy the content. When you do ask for the share, be sure to let people know what they’ll get out of listening to your episode.
Instead of saying: “Hey! I published another episode today here: <link> I’d love it if you shared with your followers!”, try saying something like this: “Hey! I published an episode today on how to request to guest post and get accepted! <link> If you’re looking to grow your reach AND start building relationships with leaders in your industry or niche, then this episode is for you!”
2. Have a strong call to action
Having a strong call to action in your episode will help you help your audience take the next step you want them to take.
Think of it as though you’re leading your listeners on a journey.
They start with listening to your podcast about a specific topic, and the next step for them to take is given to them in your podcast episodes call to action.
Oftentimes your call to action might be to visit your website in order to check out the show notes page or additional resources you’ve created to go along with the episode. Your website is #1 place you should be driving your listeners to.
Driving people to your website to check out your show notes page will not only give them added value because of the links and resources you can provide them there, but it also gives them:
1. The opportunity to share your content (thanks to the social sharing buttons you hopefully have on your site), and
2. The opportunity to see all of the other amazing content you have on your site, including your resources page and your free email opt-in giveaway (great for helping build your email list).
Always be testing out your calls to action to see what works best. Your call to action can be rotating and should always be based on a goal you have set. For example, if your current goal is to grow your email list, then your calls to action on your podcast should be driving listeners to an opt in.
If your current goal is to get feedback and engagement from your listeners, then your calls to action on your podcast might be asking them for their #1 takeaway from an episode, or encouraging them to reach out to your via email.
3. Get social
This is where being an active member of an online community is going to be a huge benefit: by sharing your episodes with your community you’ll be offering up relevant content directly to your target audience.
And because you’re an active member and always helping others out, they will want to help you out as well.
In order to automate the process of posting across several platforms (although remember, I do recommend focusing on just one or two platforms in the beginning), check out tools like Hootsuite and MeetEdgar. Both are online social media schedulers that will help you prepare your posts in advanced.
Remember, don’t just post a link or your podcast name and tagline. Include something compelling about each episode to draw people into your content.
And if you do feature guests on your show, or you gave someone a shout out in one of your episodes, be sure to tag them in the post so they can help you spread the love!
4. Leverage your content across multiple mediums
Being on multiple mediums so people can find your content in several different places will broaden your reach and expand your network potential. For example, if your podcast is only available on Apple Podcasts, then you’re limiting the number of people who might find you elsewhere.
One example of leveraging your content across multiple mediums – otherwise knowns as repurposing – would be to take your audio file and create a YouTube video out of it.
Another idea: create a short video clip of you talking about the top 3 things someone will walk away with after listening to your episode and post it on Facebook or Instagram.
You might also gather up the top 10 resources from all of your podcast episodes and create a guide that you can offer visitors who subscribe to your email newsletter.
Repurposing your content is a powerful way to get in front of a potentially brand new audience who wouldn’t have found you otherwise, and there are many ways to systematize your repurposing so it becomes a very simple process.
5. Ask for support
Ask those who are in your online communities and your friends and family to help support you by subscribing to your podcast and leaving you a rating & review.
Subscriptions and ratings & reviews are two powerful pieces of the equation Apple Podcasts uses to determine your ranking amongst other podcasts.
You can use TextExpander (mac) to create a review request snippet so that you’re not recreating the wheel every time you ask someone to support you and your podcast.
The best way to leverage this? Don’t ask for subscriptions and ratings & reviews as your call to action on your actual podcast episode. Instead, ask on your show notes page, in your email newsletters, and in the convos you’re having with listeners and friends via email or on social media.
For example, using TextExpander you can set up a short key for an entire phrase. So just by typing out the 3 keys jjj, TextExpander will populate the following:
If you have a second, an iTunes review would be VERY appreciated! Click here (link to: http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1493463273)
GetPodcast.Reviews is a great link generator from Simple Podcast Press that will help you create a direct link for someone to leave you a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.
TextExpander plus your review link will make it quick and easy for you to ask others to support your show by leaving a rating & review.
I typically use this request when someone reaches out with kind words about the podcast, and 99.9% of the time people are more than happy to head over and leave a review. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!
Reaching Your Target Audience
In order to experience all of those amazing things I talked about at the beginning of this post, you have to have an audience who wants and needs the content you’re creating for your show.
You also have to be your biggest advocate. You can’t expect that launching a podcast is all the work that needs to be done. Once you’ve launched your podcast – well, that’s when the real work begins!
But launching a podcast is a beautiful thing. It gives you a platform to share your voice, message, and mission with the world, and the incredible opportunity to connect with an audience worldwide to provide free value.
After you’re sure that you’re reaching your target audience, then it’s time to focus on promoting your podcast.
If you follow the 5 recommendations above consistently over time, you will grow filled with listeners who are perfect for your show.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve your podcast, grow your listenership, and generate revenue from your podcast – and do it all while meeting and supporting other podcasters – check out our exclusive community for podcasters: Podcasters’ Paradise!