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Want 5 quick ways to improve as a podcast host or guest?

Top 1 Percent Podcast

How to Get Your Podcast Into The Top 1% Of All Podcasts And Why It Matters

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How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

In this post, Melanie Benson shares 5 strategic steps for how her podcast has been able to reach the top 1% of all podcasts on Apple. Melanie explains why getting your show into the top 1% matters as an authority builder and how it helps you break “the best-kept secret” syndrome that so many of us get trapped in. By following Melanie’s system, you’ll immediately begin seeing your show grow and reach the top 1% before you know it!

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What does it take for your show to be in the top 1%? Why does it even matter? In this post, I talk about what I have learned on my own journey as host of the Amplify Your Success podcast 

This is an excerpt from a recent episode of Podpro’s Quarterly Virtual Event. Learn more about this amazing event here. 

I am honored to be in the top 1.5% of the nearly 4 million podcasts out there.

I’ll tell you what worked and how we got the show there.

Be Very Intentional

I have been very deliberate in my approach. This is my second show and we already have over 300 episodes. I have been podcasting for nine years now. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to have a top podcast. I think that was a very important piece of the puzzle 

In my podcast, I show people how to amplify their authority and use that authority as part of their credibility, brand positioning, and sales strategy. That’s one of the things that really eliminates that “best-kept secret” syndrome. 

So I knew I really wanted a podcast that would stand out in the marketplace and that people would love to share with others.

In the process, I discovered that if you have a show with top ratings, you get a lot of natural, organic algorithm boosts that help you attract more listeners. We have seen that happen, especially with Listen Notes, where things are going very well for us.

If you do an interview-like show, as I do – combining interviews with tip-oriented, shorter solo broadcasts – you attract high-profile guest experts. A well-rated show means you get more downloads. It also means you know what you are doing when you are able to get traction for your show. This is very attractive to high-quality guests.

If you go down the monetization route, a top-rated podcast is much easier to monetize. The quality of your customer appeal will increase 

Another benefit that I think is largely untapped in the podcast space is that a top-rated show gives you valuable positioning for additional types of speaking engagements, new collaborations, and partnerships.

When our podcast Amplify Your Success hit the charts, it opened up some new opportunities for us. One day I was approached by a podcasting platform called Vurbl to become their marketing ambassador.

They pitched me, “Hey, congratulations on your top 1% show” At the time, we were in the top 1.1% of the charts on Listen Notes. That’s when I realized there’s this whole tracking system that you can really see where you stand in listener behavior!

Not long after that, Goodpods reached out to us, “Hey, congrats. You are on three of our top 20 lists this week.” That was the moment I set my eyes on the prize and things really started to kick in.

Soon other podcasters were coming forward and asking, “Spill. What are you doing?” Can you help me create a podcast that does not just eat up my time and money?” They were tired of going into the pod fade prematurely, which we know happens so often.

Before I tell you how we helped them, I should say that my podcast approach is part of a very strategic seven-step approach that I use to really expand the reach of my work in the world.

It’s the same thing I teach. I call it my authority positioning strategy.

1.) Focused On The Audience

We knew that the audience determines the success or failure of a show. There are a few things we did strategically to reach new audiences. To keep this blog from getting too long, I’ll just unpack a few of them today.

I did not go by the motto ‘build and they will come’ I knew I had to market my podcast and I made the effort to get the podcast in front of the audience we wanted to target.

I decided to do an interview-style show with the right guest strategy. I knew if I had the right guest who would A) be attractive to listeners and B) collaborate with me to get the show in front of their audience, my podcast would grow further and faster than if I tried to do everything on my own.

That means I’ll have to sacrifice a bit of lead generation. But I believe in collaboration and want to present the best possible guest to my listeners. I consider this a strategic decision that has paid off in a big way.

2.) Build Your Staying power.

To hold the audience, you need to ask better questions. One of the reasons I feel so honored is that I can channel my inner Oprah. Part of me always wanted to be a paid TV host, and I was like, “Okay, maybe that’s not my path in this life, but I am going to channel that into my podcast.”

So I am always trying to figure out, “What are the questions that these people do not get asked all the time?” Or “What’s the question that my listeners are dying to ask when they listen to the show?” I want to convey what they want to hear from the guest. So I strive to put my guests on the spot and make them look like superstars, which most of them are.

Sometimes that’s a little bit of a stretch, but I want to make the conversation engaging and interesting enough that people share it and come back to hear the next guest.

3.) Make it Uber Easy for the Guests to Share the Podcast

99% of the time, the reason why someone does not share an episode in which they are introduced is that it is too difficult. The host does not make it easy for them 

They do not know what to say, so they do not say anything. If you have a show page that is not inviting, many will say, “I do not feel like sharing that.” I think it’s scary how many really great podcasts there are that do not have great content to share. That’s a big reason why their shows are not growing.

I am a guest on a lot of shows and often I am like, “Is this really all you guys are giving me? Why are you making me do all this work?” We teach this as part of my toolkit for podcasters. A lot of people write back and say, “That was the best content package we ever got.”

It makes it much easier for your guests to share the content.

4.) Ask People for Ratings and Reviews

If you come on the show as a guest, nine times out of ten you do not pay to be on, do you? I know some shows sell their air time, but asking for a rating and review is one of the ways you can express some payment and goodwill toward the show. So as a host, do not be afraid to ask for those ratings and reviews. They really give a lot of boost and traction to the quality and the listener experience.

I think there’s a lot of value in thinking about how you can bring the podcast to new audiences. If you always put the listeners first and reverse engineer the most powerful piece of that show, you are nine times more likely to move the show up the ratings.

5.) The Quality of Your Production

And then there are little things like the quality of your recordings, the quality of your voice, and the quality of the way you structure the show. Those are all things that can be restructured.

That’s an important part of what I teach my clients now because if people hear the same thing over and over again in every show they listen to, they are going to get bored.

They want a little bit of a pattern to break up the quality of the show.

6.) Market Your Show Aggressively

The last little tip is that you should not just rely on your own list. Market the heck out of your show. Leverage all your social channels to collaborate with other people. Do whatever it takes to get your show in the top 20 lists. Find ways to showcase who you are as a podcaster.

I have to give a big shout-out to all my podcast friends, Alex being one of them. We really go a long way to support each other, and that’s a big part of what attracts listeners. Get creative and find new ways to get the word out about your show.

These are just some of the steps you should take.

I am happy to answer any questions that come up, and if you’d like to dig a little deeper into my overall approach and really understand how you can create an authority-branded podcast that will generate six- to seven-figure revenue for your business, I am happy to give you my seven-step framework. You can download it for free at melaniebenson.com/podpros.

About Melanie Benson

Melanie Benson, Authority Brand Amplifier for Expert-preneurs, shows you how to stand out in a crowded market and attract high-paying clients and opportunities. Melanie has a proven track record of accelerating results for her clients (it’s not uncommon to see 3-5x revenue increases in the first 6 months.) She’s the host of Amplify Your Success Podcast, is author of Rewired for Wealth, co-author of the best-selling Voices of the 21st Century and Entrepreneur.com’s Start-Up Guide to Starting an Information Marketing Business, and has been featured in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Woman’s Day, and Parenting. Melanie is a founding executive team member of the Women Speaker’s Association.