Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Getting 100 listeners will be the first key milestone your podcast achieves.
It is, however, easier said than done. But by no means impossible! In fact, in this blog we’re going to be mapping out exactly how you can get there.
Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Define your audience
Before you even begin making your podcast, you should have had a long, hard think about who its audience is. Sports-loving men between the ages of 18-34? Stay-at-home mums? You really need to know this (as we recently discussed in this blog post).
But the thing is, it doesn’t stop there. You see, it’s all very well knowing who your audience is, but you need to actually do something with this information.
In other words, you need to engage. Your audience isn’t just going to flock to you. You need to go to them.
One way of achieving this is by interacting with your audience on social media. You can learn more about that in this blog here.
However, when it comes to podcasts and social media, there is a line to consider. A line between building relationships with your audience, and simply annoying them. You want to tell people about your podcast and encourage them to listen, but you don’t want to come across as a naggy hard-seller. Shoving “Listen via the link in my bio!!!!” and “New episode out now! Don’t you dare miss it!!!” down the throats of anyone within a mile radius is not the way to increase your listeners.
Instead, what you should be doing is finding a balance between promoting your show and producing relatable content that will hook your audience (if any of your content ticks both of these boxes, then that’s a double whammy!).
This is where adjacent content comes in. Give back to your audience in the form of useful tips, relatable stories, interactive memes… whatever you think your audience would actually enjoy seeing. If you have a tennis podcast, share some serving tips in a TikTok video, and encourage other tennis lovers to share their thoughts. If you have a food podcast, share a recipe on Instagram. If you have an economics podcast, write a Twitter thread full of money-saving tips.
These posts might not directly link through to your podcast, but that isn’t the point – they’re helping you to grow your audience. They’re drawing people in with content that they will value.
TOP TIP: Think about shareability. Create content that you genuinely think your audience would share on their Instagram story, retweet on Twitter etc. Would they be more likely to share a clip from your latest podcast episode, or a relatable video that they want to tag their friends in? If they share your content, they’re essentially promoting your podcast for you (free advertising!) and expanding your reach. This also helps to build a community around your podcast, which leads to more committed listeners.
2. Utilise your contacts
Word of mouth is a powerful thing. In fact, last year Edison Research found that almost a fifth of avid podcast listeners find new shows through recommendations from family and friends. So, make sure you’re telling those close to you about your podcast.
The problem here though is that your family and friends probably aren’t your target audience. But they might recommend your show to somebody who is, so it’s worth kicking off this chain reaction.
And don’t stop there. Think outside the box. If you have a genuine interest in something – enough interest to make a podcast about it – then chances are you are going to know others who share this interest too.
If your show is about basketball, and you play on a local team, let them know about your podcast. If you have a parenting podcast, do you attend a toddler group? Could you put a poster up for your podcast on a noticeboard? Or chat about it in a parenting Facebook group?
Remember, you don’t always have to be thinking big – promoting your podcast to a small group of people is just as valuable if they align perfectly with your key demographic. And if they then recommend your show to 1 or 2 more people? And they recommend it to 2 more? You’ll be hitting that 100 mark in no time.
TOP TIP: Add your podcast to your email signature. It’s a simple, low-effort way of spreading awareness of your podcast.
3. Gain feedback
Podcasters often get too fixated on the people who aren’t listening to their podcast that they forget to utilise the ones who already are.
Even if you’ve only got 5 people tuning into your podcast every single week, that’s 5 committed listeners. And that’s 5 people who can review your podcast.
Building up a bank of good reviews can really accelerate your show’s growth (you can find out more about that in this blog). So, do consider ending your podcasts with a little note to your listeners asking them to rate the show.
Alternatively, you could reach out to those following you on social media and kindly ask for their feedback. What do they like about the show? What do they think could be improved? If they have lots of positive comments, ask them if they would mind leaving a review. Or if they don’t have anything nice to say, well, this is still valuable. Take a note of their comments and make tweaks to your show accordingly. And as the quality of it improves, you should accumulate more listeners.
4. Branch out
If you want to grow your podcast’s audience you need to make sure it’s accessible. People won’t jump through lots of hoops to check out your latest episode, so you need to be on all the main podcast players (you can find out more about this in this blog post).
TOP TIP: Don’t forget YouTube. While the platform is unlikely to bring you mountains of listeners (not at first, anyway) it is worth posting your podcast here as it’s a great tool for discoverability.
5. Learn from the best
If you really want to go far in podcasting, you have got to actively engage with the podcast community. That means following other creators on social media. It means signing up to podcast industry newsletters. It means going to webinars. Attending podcast events. There are plenty of resources out there – many of which are free – so take advantage of them.
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That’s 5 tips that you can start implementing today. What are you waiting for?
Once you’ve hit 100 podcast listeners, be sure to give yourself a huge pat on the back. You’ve worked very hard to get here. And when you’re ready, you can start working towards getting 1,000 listeners, which we cover in this blog here.
If you would like some help growing your show, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.