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(By Dave Jackson) So many people say there is a discovery problem with podcasting. There isn’t. There is a quality control problem with podcasting. ANYONE can create a podcast, and that is both a good and a bad thing.
But before we talk about being discovered, I need to bring you on my mission to rid the world of boring podcasts.
I listened to a podcast the other day with two famous comedians. They had known each other for a long time, and they talked about being on the road, and different clubs that had gone out of business due to the pandemic. As I’m not a comic, this didn’t really hold my attention. In looking at this content, the only thing that made it “different” was it was two famous people talking.
This reminds me of those stories people tell when they come back from their Vegas vacation: if you take the location out of the story, it’s boring. In this case, if these two people weren’t famous, it was boring. Rule number one for being discovered: Don’t be boring.
So how do you get discovered?
In 2019 Jacobs Media put out a report that said 70% of podcast discovery happens via word of mouth. So let’s see what we can do to fan the flames and get discovered.
1. Tell People to Share the Show At the end of the show, people BUTCHER the call to action. It sounds like this: “Hey, if you kinda, like, you know, well, I mean, you don’t have to, but maybe, it would be cool, you know, if you feel like it, like, tell a friend about the show?” Then they take a breath, and as fast as they can, they say, “Our website is…” — so fast that nobody can understannd it. It sounds like “ourwebsiteis brekagonyishbondopoppa.” Sure, I got that. Remind your audience of the VALUE you gave them. The takeaways you were so happy to deliver.
Then: Slowly Confidently Specifically Purposefully
…ask them to share your show with a friend. If I were to do it for this article, it might sound like this: “Today I showed you five different ways to get your show out there and get shared and discovered. If you know any other podcasters who would find value in it as you did, could you do me a favor? If you’re reading this on your phone, there is a share button there for you to use. Can you press that and share this with at least one person for me? I’d really appreciate it. If you liked this article, there are more at podcastbusinessjournal.com”
People always say, “I wish I had a team to help promote my show.” You do. They are called “your audience.” When you deliver value, they feel indebted to you. Let them pay you back by sharing the show.
2. Be Down with O.P.P. O.P.P. is other people’s podcasts. Do your homework and find other podcasts where you can deliver value to the audience. You must LISTEN to the show, and when you ask to come on the show, be sure to say something that PROVES you listen to the show. And explain — not how you invented sliced bread and the rest of your LinkedIn profile — but how you will bring value to their audience.
3. Apply to Speak At All Events While COVID is taking its time retiring, you can start looking for in-person events to speak at and attend. Speaking at an online event is helpful as well. If you get approved as a speaker, don’t wait until the night before to write your presentation. This is an opportunity — don’t blow it. I recently spoke at an event in Texas. When we got to the question-and-answer part, I ask the audience how many people had never seen me speak before. I would guess that 80% of the hands went up. I thought to myself, “This is how you grow your audience.”
4. Always Be Promoting I am in the process of launching a local show for my hometown. Whenever I go to a place or event that has groups of people (baseball games, the airport, malls), I always wear a shirt that has my website on it. My license plate is “Podcast” and my car’s back window has my website address across the bottom of it. I always have business cards in my wallet.
5. Paid Advertising Where Podcast Listeners Reside If you have a budget, you can pay to advertise your show in podcast apps. Overcast.fm, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Podbean, Podbay, and Player.fm are some podcasting platforms that allow you to buy advertising in the app.
Keep in mind that you should never pay for promotion if you haven’t yet received feedback (both good and bad) from someone who is not related to you. Otherwise, you may find you have paid money to let the world know your show needs work.
Keep in mind, it takes nine months to make a human. It takes years to build an audience of thousands. If you’re doing what you love, it will go quickly.
Dave Jackson is the founder of the School of Podcasting (2005) and a 2018 inductee into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame. In 2020 he published the book Profit From Your Podcast. Find him at www.schoolofpodcasting.com.