Growing your podcast audience is one of the many daunting challenges that a podcast host can face. In the 12th episode of The Nootka Sound Podcast we talk to Niklas Hildebrand, the founder of Audry, where we discuss the best ways of growing your podcast network and increasing the number of listeners.
Many people who decide to start a podcast aren’t just here for the ride. They have a clear goal. It may be more leads, specific KPI’s, an x amount of sales or anything else for that matter, but whatever your goal is, it is directly impacted by the number of listeners your show has.
Growing Your Audience Through Social Media
Some of the easiest ways to grow your podcast audience is through the use of social media. Twitter is the most common tool when it comes to growing your follower base, then Instagram and then Facebook. Be sure to post regularly, engage your followers and don’t be shy to ask them to share the podcast with their friends.
When it comes to using paid ads, make sure you target people who are already listening to podcasts. It’s more difficult to reach people who aren’t avid podcast listeners. However, in my experience, paid ads isn’t really a great way to boost your audience, especially if your budget is rather modest. If you’re considering using this method of promotion, I’d highly advise to hire an expert – a social media marketer to help you set up the ads.
And remember, it doesn’t matter how many people you reach if you’re not providing them with quality content. Make sure your audio is crisp and clean and make sure you invest some money into a proper recording set-up. Today, audio equipment is very user-friendly, accessible and cheap. Then focus on the content and improving yourself as a host and make sure your fan base is able to get at least a decent amount of entertainment value out of your show.
Improving as a Show Host
Speaking of which, there are some things you can do to make sure you get the best out of your host (or yourself, if you’re the host);
- Be prepared:
The most important thing is to prepare for the interview. That’s obvious, right? But what does that exactly entail? Well, first of all, do a lot of research beforehand. If you’re the host, make sure you pick the theme of your podcast so it’s something you’re very comfortable with and you’re interested in learning more about. And if you’re looking to hire someone else as a host, make sure they are an expert in the area, because experts are good at passing on knowledge onto the audience members which helps keep them engaged throughout the episode.
The second thing is, do a lot of research about each guest you have on your show. Explore their professional history, job titles, interests and whatever you can get your hands on. Listen to them talk, listen to their interviews, maybe even communicate a little bit upfront so they get comfortable talking to you. This will ensure you know what questions to ask and it will make for an amazing interview.
- Be clear and engaging;
People usually think this is something you’re born with and if you’re not good at communicating that’s something that’s hard to get around. That’s not true! Communication, as all things, takes practice and patience. Whenever you’re out with friends, or talking to your partner or parents, keep this in the back of your mind. Think about how to say something in the most clear, concise and succinct way possible. If you do this a lot in your normal day communication, it will become a part of your vocabulary and soon you won’t be even thinking about it. You’ll be just spewing out words like you’re having a rap battle! Oh, singing and rapping (improvising) does help as well, funny as it may sound.
- Practice active listening
This is a big one as well. Unfortunately, most people today are very good at speaking, but they’re kind of bad at listening. If you’re one of those people, that’s okay, just make sure to focus on what the people around you are saying. Don’t just wait for them to finish so you can tell them your own story, but let whatever they’ve just told you sit with you and try to really understand what they were trying to communicate to you. Writing things down helps a lot with this, actually. During the interview, keep a notepad and a pen next to you and write down the most interesting stuff your guest has mentioned. The best interviews are not the interviews where you’re just firing off questions at your guests, but rather you’re listening to what they’re saying and changing up questions in regards to their answers. This will make the conversations feel not only a lot more natural, but interesting and engaging as well.
Monetizing Your Podcast
There’s a couple of ways to monetize your podcast and to start making money. However, in order to do that, you need a solid audience base. And that takes time, especially if you’re not ready to funnel tens of thousands of dollars into promotion. So make sure you do the best you can, create the best possible content, reach out to people on social media and wait. Podcasting is a waiting game. Reaching a point where you are able to turn a profit from podcasting does take a lot of time. Some people do it in a couple of months, but for most it takes years, so my advice is to focus on your job and do it in the best way possible and then you will reach the point where you’re able to monetize your podcast at some point. Here’s a couple of options you have when it comes to making an income from podcasting:
– Brand partners / sponsors
One of the ways you could make money from your podcast is finding a brand partner. Start reaching out to companies and find a way to show them your podcast is worth investing into. You could mention their business at some point in the episode (usually at the start) and get paid according to the number of people reached. You can also help your brand partners by mentioning their landing page in the episode descriptions or by sharing it on social media.
Another way you can get reliable financial support is by offering subscription options to your listeners through Patreon, for example. You can set up a monthly fee or just one time donations. This is probably the most effective way, especially when the show is still growing. Just make sure to optimize your Patreon campaign so it matches the needs of your audience.
– Cross promotions
You can reach out to other podcasts and shows and set-up cross promotion ads. This is a great way to boost your reach and increase your listener base. Audry.io is a great platform for this, actually. I’d recommend you start there.
Selling merch can also be reliable, especially if the brand is strong, so make sure you work on that. Coming up with your merchandize is a great way to get your creative juices flowing and to motivate yourself to keep pushing and it can be especially worthwhile if you have an audience that has a strong sense of support for your show.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our own podcast or continue reading our blog posts. If you have any questions about the work we do here at Nootka Sound or you just want to say hi, be sure to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.