5 Innovative Ways To Grow Your Podcast Like a Pro
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Every podcast host is looking to grow their audience. In this talk, Justin Schenck shares five (free) things podcasters can do right now to ensure their show’s continual growth. These strategies that Justin shares have worked for countless podcast hosts who have seen 2x, 3x, and even 10x audience growth after implementation. The best part? These simple and effective ways to grow your podcast don’t require you to spend money on advertising!
Read The Blog Post: 5 Innovative Ways To Grow Your Podcast Like a Pro
I’m going to share with you five ways to guarantee the growth of your podcast. Before we jump in, there are two things you have to consider.
First, if you’re looking for some sort of “hack the system,” this post isn’t for you.
However, if you’re willing to put in the work, these five steps will deliver on the promise. They have been tested and proven to help podcasters all over the world, double, triple, and even 10 X their audience.
Second, you need to make sure that your branding is on point. I’ve had so many podcasters come to me and say, “Justin, my show isn’t growing.” Yet, when I look at their show’s name, I see it does very little to let their audience know what the show is about. They’ve gotten off to the wrong foot right from the beginning in such instances.
If the title of your book doesn’t tell the people what’s in the book, you’re not going to sell the book. The same goes for your podcast. If the title doesn’t tell people what to expect once they get into the show, your podcast isn’t going to take off.
So ask yourself these questions, Does my title tell individuals what the show is all about? Does it let the audience know what they’re about to hear if they click play?
Here’s a short story to illustrate my point better.
A few years ago, I had a client who hosted a podcast called transformationcoach.me. He chose this name because it was his website URL, and he thought this would drive traffic to the site. But this title didn’t tell anybody what his show was about.
So I asked him what the goal of his show was and what message he was trying to get across. He responded that he had lost 100 pounds, helped his town lose 35,000 pounds, and now wanted to help the world lose a million pounds.
With this in mind, we rebranded the show to Million Pound Mission. Only then did he dive into the five steps that I’m about to share with you.
Remember, unless you’re a celebrity like Tony Robbins, Gary V, or Oprah, it’s best not to name your show after yourself. My show wouldn’t be the Justin Schenck show. Alex’s podcast wouldn’t be the Alex Sanfilippo show! Also, don’t forget about your logo! A show will stand out more when the logo is done professionally.
By the way, my client’s show ended up 10 X in growth!
This post is a transcription of one of the talks from our PodPros Quarterly Virtual Event.
1. Be Consistent
Though this sounds obvious, it’s nevertheless extremely powerful.
My show releases every single Tuesday at 3:00 AM without fail. I do that because I know that podcast listeners are creatures of habit. Every Tuesday, many of them decide to listen to me (I’m honored that they do).
Whether they are at the gym, driving to work, doing laundry, or whatever they’re doing on that day, I always make sure that I’m there for them. If they show up to the gym on a Tuesday morning and my show isn’t there, they’re going to find a different show to listen to—one that might be even better than mine! So I make sure I don’t give them an opportunity to miss me. More than that, I do my best for my show to become part of their routine.
Make sure you are consistent with your show. Now you can vary by adding a second episode every couple of weeks. For instance, I do a short Friday episode, but the no-fail consistency with my show is every Tuesday; I have a guest, and my audience seems to love it, and it works for them.
2. Utilize Your Guests’ Audience.
You’ve probably had a few people with a much bigger audience come onto your show. I bet you were really excited at the thought of them sharing the episode and your show growing immediately as a result. But the issue is a lot of times, they don’t share it!
They might tell you they’re going to share it. Often it might be something like, “Yeah, I’m excited. Let me know when it comes out. I’ll have my team share it out over Twitter”.
However, nine times out of 10, those bigger names or people with large followings either don’t share it out or do a simple Instagram story, which doesn’t get much traction for you.
I’ve come to realize that people who guest on a show have an ego. Not an ego in a bad way, but they’re worried about whether they were good guests on your podcast or not. Often the concern is whether they said something dumb or smart. If they have that doubt in the back of their head, they’re not going to share out the episode.
So, what do you do?
Let me share another story with you. I had a guy named Ed Mylett on my show. If you’re not familiar, he’s a phenomenal human being with millions of followers on social media.
After what was an absolutely incredible interview, he told me, “Hey man, you know, let me know when it comes out, I’ll share it out.” I responded, “Yeah, okay, I will.” So what I did was I stroked his ego on the release day. I sent him an email, and the subject line was: Your episode is live.
Inside of that email, I actually tell the guest that my audience is already loving the show. Often it’s something like, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know, the episode came out this morning. My audience is already in love with the show.”
Pay attention; here’s a huge tip and secret for getting such people to share your episode.
I pull something out of the show that they said, and I mention that my audience is loving that part in particular. In the case of Ed Mylett, he talked about the Blue Honda effect. You buy a blue Honda, you drive off the lot, and suddenly you see a lot of blue Hondas. So in the email, I told him, “They’re loving what you talked about with the blue Hondas and how what we focus on, we get more of. I think the world absolutely needs to hear this message.”
Again, remember this part, “I think the world absolutely needs to hear this message. I’d be honored if you shared it out.” Stroking Ed’s ego and going that step above and beyond led him to take that episode and share it out to his email list of a million people!
Now imagine what that can do for your show if you get one person to email to a million people and say, “Hey, I did this podcast interview. I think you need to listen to it.”
Keep in mind this is not something he regularly does. I was honored that he did that, and the growth I saw with that episode was tremendous.
So make sure you stroke your guest’s ego and get them to share the episode. For sure, that’s going to help you grow your podcast.
3. Break Through The Noise and Get Featured on Other Podcasts
Did you know that only 28% of Americans listen to podcasts on a regular basis? Only 28% vs. the 99% that watch YouTube. You need to make sure you go where they are. That means getting onto the podcasts that fit your demographic.
It’s not surprising that podcasters get pitched so much. I probably get pitched 20 to 25 times a day by people who want to be on my show. I rarely even open most of those emails.
So how do you break through the noise?
Here’s what I do. I reach out to podcasters who I like their show and say, “Hey, I love what you’re doing.” I host a self-development podcast, so I reach out to other self-development podcasts because that’s my niche. These are the people I want to talk to.
So when I reach out to a host, instead of requesting to be on their show, I say, “I absolutely love what you’re doing. I love your message. I would love it if you were a guest on my show”.
I leave it at that. There’s no mention of a pod swap or any of such things.
If the host decides to come onto my show, I build rapport and tell them my story a little bit. Nine times out of 10, they’ll invite me onto their show.
Now, these are shows that at the time are doing more downloads than mine. When I get in front of a larger audience, I share my story and at the end, I say, “Hey, go check out my podcast; wherever you’re listening to this, go check it out.”
That is the only call to action I gave, and it’s helped me build a great audience over time. Every time I’ve been a guest on a show, I get another 10/ 100 downloads, depending on how many people were driven to my show. So make sure you build these relationships.
4. Write Guest Blogposts
There are audible learners and visual learners. Podcast listeners, nine times out of 10, aren’t YouTube Watchers. They might watch YouTube, but not for the same type of content.
On the other hand, I found that audible learners who listen to podcasts also read blogs, books, articles, etc.
That’s why you should consider guest blogging on other people’s websites. And by guest blog, I mean reach out to individuals who write within the same niche as your podcast. Often, these bloggers are looking for people to write for them as it becomes very exhausting to write a new blog post every day.
At the very end, sign off with a short bio. In my case, it would be Justin Schenck Growth Now Movement. This is an excellent way to drive traffic back to your show. So make sure you get everything in writing, send it out, and don’t be afraid to canvas the area in order to grow your podcast.
5. Engage in Social Media Promotion
It seems everybody has a podcast now. But this wasn’t always the case. When I started podcasting over five and a half years ago, I would tell people that I had a podcast, and they would go, “What’s a podcast?” I can’t count the number of times I had to explain to people what a podcast was. Now when I say I have a podcast, people go, “You have a podcast too; everybody’s got one.”
Now more than ever, you have to break through the noise on social media. That starts by looking professional. Whether it is a video promotion, slides, or quote cards, whatever it is, you want to do it the right way.
Keep in mind that every podcast is shouting as they think that their message and their show need to be heard by everybody. When their episode comes out, they post, “Hey, I have a new podcast episode. Go check it out.” However, that’s all they do, and that often does nothing for them because people in that death scroll on social media.
Instead, you want to do something that stops people dead in their tracks. Something that will halt their death scrolling and have them go, “I need this, let me go find this episode.”
This is what I refer to as “the hook”— a way to stop somebody from scrolling, capture their attention and then hopefully reel them in.
Here’s a practical example of “the hook.”
First, you want to ask them a question that piques their interest, and you then answer that question in the episode.
Let’s say you bring a divorce expert on your show. Your hook can be something like:
- Are you going through a divorce?
- Have you been through a nasty divorce?
- Have you thought about divorce?
- Are you trying not to get divorced?
Such types of hooks will get them thinking, “Yeah, that’s me. I’m trying not to get a divorce.”
Then you follow this with something like, “In this episode, I sit down with divorce expert, and we talk about…
What this does is it immediately hits their emotions since you’re asking them a question that goes into their subconscious and makes them think, “This is me. He or she is talking to me. I need more of this.” See how different this is from the generic “We have a new podcast episode, go check it out.”
So you want to make sure you get that social media hook every single week. If you’re early on in your show and don’t yet have the growth you want, I recommend two to three posts for every episode. If you’re a little bit further along and your show has grown to a point where you’re very kind of comfortable, one post is just fine.
Bonus Point: Understand That Your Network is Net Worth
Here’s one bonus tip for reading this far. You need to understand that your network is your net worth. I only began to see real growth in my podcast when I started to surround myself with other driven individuals who also happened to be podcasting. These people understand podcasting as business, not just something fun to do on the side. They know the art of growing an audience and growing a community.
So make sure you find a community to jump into that’s focused on growth, whether it be audience growth or any other aspect of podcasting. Find that community, dive in, and I guarantee you, if you go through these five steps, your podcast will absolutely double, triple, or even 10 X its growth.
P.S. Want more amazing podcasting content like this? Check out our PodPros Quarterly Virtual Event.
About the speaker: Justin Schenck
Justin Schenck is an entrepreneur, speaker, and host of the top-rated podcast the Growth Now Movement. He has been named a Top 8 Podcaster to follow by INC Magazine, featured in Thrive Global, and chosen as an ‘Icon of Influence’ in the new media space. Justin’s podcast has grown to become a podcast that is currently getting played in over 100 countries every single week and he has gone on to help countless people grow their brands and business through podcasting. He is also the host and creator of one of the go-to events for entrepreneurs and forward thinkers; Growth Now Summit LIVE!