Good Morning, Podcasters!
Good Morning, Podcasters!

Episode 16 · 6 months ago

5 Free Ways to Grow Your Podcast Audience


There are a number of podcast events, which ones are the right ones for YOU to attend? Why? Today we'll talk about that.


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Good morning podcasters. Today we're going to talk about five freeways to grow your show. That's up next. It's housekeeping time. This podcast is brought to you by podcast studio pro dot com. If you are a podcaster struggling to stay organized, podcast studio Pro Dot Com can help you. I use it. You should use it too, and right now you can get a fourteen day free trial by clicking the link in the show notes or going to podcast studio pro dot com and signing up. I hope you had a great weekend. I know that I did. I had over a hundred and fifty volumes of new books show up at my house. I think as a consequence, my mailman probably hates me now. I'm sure he's thrown out his back after all the books I've been getting. And I'm getting close to starting a new project based around mythology and folklore with my friend, travel partner and sound designer, Quinn Greenhouse. More details on that in the months to come, but if you're into mythology and folklore, then you're going to be happy to hear more when I have more to share. Astley, I want you all to hit me with your hardest podcasting questions this week. So right now, or the moment you're done listening today, shoot me an email, tanner at tanner helps dot com, with your toughest brainbusters as far as podcasting is concerned and give me a challenge for next week. Let's see if I can rise to that challenge. Someone on the spotify discord server asked me about ways to promote their podcast, to grow their show. Essentially, I know that this question is asked by every podcaster whoever podcasted a podcast, and maybe all the answers to it have been given, but I'd like to give you five today that I think are, in particular, the best ones, and by best I mean best tested and best performing, best tested by me and, in my opinion, best performing. None of these will be considered paid methods, although one of them will require you to spend some money, just not in the way that you think. Number One, if you're trying to reach an audience with X, Y Z attributes, you need to be trying your damnedest to...

...appear on shows more popular than yours, which already serve that audience. You need to borrow the audiences of those who are already bigger than you. You show up to serve your listeners, just like me, every day or week or month or whatever it is. So if you can get in front of an audience full of people already qualified to be in need of the sort of service and impact you're providing, that's a no brainer. Number two feed drops and Promo swaps. For the same reason that you want to be a guest on podcast that already serve your target audience, you want to promote your show on podcasts that already serve your target audience. In many cases, this can be free. PODCAST A is willing to Promo podcast be in exchange for podcast B promoing podcast a. There is no reason you couldn't do this kind of thing every episode. You will have to put in some Legwork, you'll have to form some relationships, but you should be doing that already. Feed drops are a little bit more complicated than Promo swaps. Instead of dropping a promo into a show that serves your target audience, you're dropping an entire episode into their feed so that their listeners here a full episode of yours. Last week's guest, Greg from indie drop in, is a great example of someone who runs a network that does this. That facilitates this. Again. That's indie drop in Dot com, if you didn't ever check that out. In my opinion, there are two ways to do feed drops. First, you can send an episode to the podcast you want to do a feed drop on and you can work all that out, you know, do all that Legwork, and that's what most people do. And or you can offer to guest host a podcast for a couple of weeks while the real host takes a break. This isn't exactly a feed drop, but it kind of functions like one, because it puts you and your content right in front of someone else's audience. The latter, most of these two options works really well, though it's not, technically, like I said, a feed drop so much as, you know, like a you drop. Number three right for a website or blog that serves your niche. Blogs need content, and they usually need it desperately,... find one that will allow you to write content for them for free, in exchange for the ability to promote your podcast in those posts, or even to write under the name of your podcast. This accomplishes two important things. One, it creates a textual body of work that is associated with your name, your niche and your podcast, which will of course have S C O benefits. And number two, it makes you known to an audience of people who may enjoy your writing enough to seek out other content from you, like your podcast. And I guess there's a third thing. It actually helps you to stand up a new vertical of influence or impact in a medium other than podcasting. I'll say more on that later in the episode. I'll also provide the other two ways I think you can grow your podcast after today's listener. Question Ed asks which podcast events are intended for which people. How do we know if event a is the right kind of investment for Creator type? Be Great Question Ed. Thanks for submitting it. Ed, by the way, as a member of the good morning podcaster discord, which you can now join for free using the joint link in the show notes. Ed. I think there are three types of creators. Let's start there. The first type are hobbyists. They have no real plan and they're in it for the simple joy of creating something with their friends for people who they think, like the same things that they like and think the things they think are awesome are also awesome. Then there's indies, who I define as podcasters with a desire to grow an audience and somehow create a part time or full time living off the back of that creative output. And third business podcasters who create a podcast as a profit funnel, that is to say, they use the podcast to generate sales, memberships or some other sort of conversion from stranger to customer. I don't think any of the large podcast events present a particularly good value proposition for...

...hobbyists. These events generally have tickets which cost a few hundred dollars. Let's call it three hundred dollars. That's pretty reasonable. They are rarely located in a person's hometown and therefore require airfare in addition to the ticket. Let's call that a five hundred dollar round trip tickets. So we're at like eight hundred bucks. And nearly all of them are going to run from three to five days long, which is going to come out to between five hundred dollars and a thousand dollars in accommodations, whether that's a hotel or an AIRBNB, not to mention food and daily expenses that aren't directly related to the event necessarily, but the kinds of expenses you find yourself making when you're traveling when you're away from home and you're at some kind of event, there seemed to be a bunch of those little costs that sneak in. I personally have never been to an event in the podcasting space that did not cost me at least hundred dollars. So if you're a hobbyist, I don't know how you could justify that sort of investment unless you've got so much money. You don't view it an investment. You view it as a good time that you want to have and you have the disposable income necessary to go and have it. So who cares, let's go, let's do it. If that's you, more power to you. Go to any of them. If that's not you, my suggestion would be to stick to the local, smaller events that are like the Denver podcaster meet up or the Philly podcast hang out or the Boston podcaster conference, because when they're local, and I've just made all those names up, but when they're local, they're far less grand, which makes them far less expensive, and they're local so you don't have to fly anywhere or pay for hotels. Now, if you're an Indie podcaster, as I defined at the outset of this segment, which is what I think most podcasters are. The cost of these things are an investment in your potential success, whatever you are defining your success as, and you should be making that investment. But which one should you go to? Because you can't go to all of them. The local ones are probably too limiting, unless you're a hyper local show, so...

...they're probably out. That leaves us with the national ones. The two big ones are podfest expo and podcast movement. If you want the parties, the mingling meet ups and the best networking opportunities, you want podcast movement. You're not going to get any special attention at podcast movement. You're just gonna be one person in a probably literal sea of people. So you'd better be the kind of person who's okay with that, and you're going to spend a lot too, but you'll get the opportunity to meet almost literally everyone who is anyone in the podcasting space. One downside to podcast movement, whether it's their primary annual offering or their evolutions offering, there's a lot of guru bullshit and selling from the main stages, and I think it's important to be prepared to identify which people at that particular event are full of Shit and which people are there to boost their own revenue by getting you to buy things from them. And Look, I'm not saying it's bad to sell stuff and I'm not saying that you can't both sell stuff and provide value. But in my experience, podcast movement cares a lot more about the prestige of the speakers or the relevancy of the speakers within the context of the Zeitgeist of society, whatever is going on right then, then they do about the content of what's being said. At least this is true of the main stages, the larger stages. In my opinion, if you're looking to go to an event for education from real experts, podcast movement isn't the best choice for you. In fact, I would classify podcast movement as something more of a thought leader kind of event than I would an educational, instructional or practical event. So if you're looking to attendant event for education from real experts, podcast movement isn't going to be the best choice for you. If you're going for networking opportunities, podcast movement is the best choice for you. That's not to say you won't learn anything there, but their foe gus isn't technical. It's all social and maybe even a little...

...pop culture political. If you are looking to learn stuff, you want podfest Expo in Orlando. Their social events are lacking pretty significantly when compared to what podcast movement does, and one of the reasons is that podcast movement is much better funded than podfest expo. There's more money to spend. But regardless of the reason, from a socializing perspective, you're gonna have a way better time at podcast movement than you will at Podfest Expo. And while you may get many networking opportunities among attendees because the event is smaller at podfest, it's very clear what Chris Kremitzos and his crew care about making sure they deliver is technical, actionable information, the stuff that is going to make you a better podcaster. Now that's not to say podfest Expo doesn't care about community, because they do in a really big way. But if you're looking to learn something from someone who really knows what they're talking about and isn't just a smart marketer with a book to sell or a single example of success to gloat about, podfest expo is the event for you. There's a third event I haven't mentioned. It's very small, usually less than two hundred people, and it happens multiple times a year in different places around the country. It's hosted by my friend ever Gonzalez, and it's called the outlier podcast festival, or just outlier. This is, in my estimation, probably the best event of all of them, because it's the least known event of all of them and if I'm being honest, I don't want too many of you to start going to outlier because it will wind up losing the very thing that makes it so goddamn good. But there's one more group of podcasters left, and that's business podcasters, and this, I think, is absolutely the best event for them. And here's why. You will never be in a talk that has more than a couple dozen people in it, and those talks always make space. Sometimes they even...

...create extra space for Q and a sessions with the audience. outlier is intimate, singularly focused in its mission and nobody speaks there who isn't a certified fucking Badass on the topics they cover. If someone is talking at outlier, they are the real deal, and that is because the organizer of that event, ever doesn't give two ships or a fuck if you're culturally relevant or if you've paid to have your name on the stage. He cares that you're not full of Shit and that you're actually going to bring the value. It is no doubt my favorite of the conferences I've been to. I spoke at the most recent one in Austin and I'll be speaking at the one in l a later this year. And that's not the reason I'm saying it's so great, just because I speak there. I've also spoken at Podfest Expo. I'm saying it because ever, is such a focused and purpose forward dude, and the operation is so small that the value provided at these outlier events simply cannot be achieved at the larger events. It's not possible. So there's my answer Ed. I hope it was helpful and thanks again for the question. Way To grow your podcast audience. Number four giveaways, but not like you think. podcasters think the goal of a giveaway is to get as many entrances as possible in the giveaway, but that's wrong. The goal of a giveaway which is intended to grow an audience is to get as many qualified entrance as possible. You don't, for example, want ten thousand people to enter to win an IPAD if only five of them actually give a shit about your content. What help would that be? Instead, you want a thousand people to enter to win something only the most niche ist, niche to person would care about, so that nine hundred and ninety nine of those entrants remain listeners of your podcast after the contest is over. As an example, I'm starting a podcast about mythology and folklore. I've mentioned it once already. Should I give away a kindle? No, everyone who reads wants a fucking kindle. So what should I give away? Well, how about a two first edition printing of an obscure...

...collection of mythology and folklore? Or how about a rare book that isn't necessarily valuable outside of my audience? That's the sort of giveaway prize that is an alignment with my contest goal. To get more listeners. You can use a free tool called King Sumo. I'll put a link in the show notes, to run these contests, and you can even provide additional entries to entrants for sharing podcast episodes, and that, of course, has an extra benefit. In fact, by way of example, I'll tell you what. I'm going to set up a contest right now. I want you to enter to win a free m audio solo audio interface device. I happen to have one. I don't use it anymore. It's practically new. I think I only used it for a month, and there's a link in the description for you to enter that giveaway. At the end of the month I'll announce a winner and I'll show you how many entrants I got and how much of a boost and listenership I did or didn't get as a result of the giveaway. Again, there's a link in the show notes, so you can go enter and do that. And then the last way to grow your audience in this five ways to grow your audience list twitter spaces. You've got to be doing this. It doesn't have to be a huge effort, but if you're not using twitter spaces to host conversations relevant to your content niche, you are missing out big time. The reason this is important is similar to why guest blogging is important. You've got to get in front of other audiences for reasons adjacent to your podcast. If your podcast is about, for example, life as an immigrant in America, then you need to be hosting an immigrant conversation space once a week and you need to be hosting that in order to be building relationships in that community. These relationships don't just connect you with new listeners, they connect you with new opportunities as a creator and potentially also as an advocate. You are a podcaster, that's true, but you shouldn't be imitting your voice or...

...your impact just to the podcasting medium. Hosting twitter spaces and guest blogging are both great ways to expand out from your podcast and increase your influence and impact in your niche. You already know what today is called. Action is it's to send me your hardest hitting podcast questions and you can send them to tanner at Tanner helps dot com so that I can answer them next week. And also, I guess there's another call to action if you'd like to win that m audio audio interface device. Just check the show notes for a link to enter that contest and enter that contest and other than that, that is all I've got for you today. I hope you found this episode useful. I hope you have a great day. I appreciate that you spent some of it with me and until next time, take care of you,.

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