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(By Troy Price) Over the last 3 weekends I have been to a family reunion, sat near the band section at a high school football game, and attended a Fall Festival that celebrated how their small town used to light their streets by gaslights. I share that not to brag, but to further share that I can’t remember the food I ate at the reunion, I can’t remember the final score of the game, and I can’t remember where all of my money went at that festival. I do remember and fondly reflect upon the time I spent talking with the other people that were at these events.
I follow a few podcasts with hosts I really, really like. I feel giddy when I hear them say my name when I submit a question, or when they reply to an email, I have sent to them. The connection that I, as a fan of the show, have with these podcast hosts is something special. However, I connect with other fans of these shows much more often and talk about deeper topics than I ever would with the hosts. I have developed some real friendships by talking with fellow fans of those podcasts.
Have you, as a podcast host, created a way for fans of your show to talk to each other? If not, look into ways to make that happen, you might consider:
- Creating a special Hashtag for your show.
- Creating a Facebook (or other social media) Group page.
- Setting up a Discord server for your show.
- Establishing a Subreddit and populate it with topics.
- Using Meetup.com to host a virtual meetup for your fans.
- Scheduling a get-together in the real world.
Regardless of the method you use to connect your fans, promote the heck out of it on your show. You should, of course, make joining the community part of your usual call to action. But you can also encourage people to join by pulling some show topics from their group discussions or you can share funny interactions that you notice in the group. Just like your podcast, you will only see real success with your community if you work hard to promote it after you have already worked hard to create it.
You will almost immediately see benefits when your fans talk to each other. They will be more likely to buy your merch, join your Patreon, or come to a meet up if they feel peer pressure from each other to do so. More importantly though, you will have a listener base that is even more committed to your podcast when they connect with other people that also love your show. And who knows, what could start with people just talking about their shared interest in you could form bonds that will last a lifetime.
Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studios in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Listen to his show “Podcasting Tips From The Front Porch” HERE.