As a Podcast Producer, I, of course, listen to a ton of podcasts. I like everything from crime drama to getting my daily motivation. Some are fantastic, some are good and the rest are just plain ‘meh. But, what is it that separate great podcasts from the others? Well, here are my top 5 tips that all of the best podcasts I know do on a regular basis.
- Stick to the script!
There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts. The ones that excel are those with a specific niche. They concentrate on one subject. They are not all over place; talking about unrelated subjects. When people look for your podcast, typically they searched for a subject area or category. Don’t lure them in on one episode and then, the next episode talk about something totally different. For example, I was a subscriber to a podcast that used to provide weekly motivation. All of a sudden, the format changed to more of an interview-style with people unrelated to my original intent. I was no longer getting what I signed up for. So, I had to hit the unsubscribe button.
- Know your audience
Catering to an audience is much easier now that you have one subject area. Knowing your audience means knowing where they consume content, what their hobbies are and what makes them tick. For example, you may have a podcast that shares your expertise as a gamer. You may want to follow hashtags within the gaming community. You may also want to consider joining Meetup or Facebook groups associated with your subject area. But, DON’T join just to promote your podcast. Don’t be that person. Instead, participate in discussions and become part of the community. Once you are part of a community, you will be able to learn firsthand what your audience wants and how to reach them. Score!
- Visibility is key
How would it make you feel if you only heard from a friend when they needed something? You would probably feel like you’re being used and not appreciated. That’s how your listeners feel when they only hear from you when you want them to listen to your latest episode. You can ensure this doesn’t happen by interacting with your audience on a regular basis. You can share useful information in a newsletter related to your podcast. Or, you can share your expertise in a Facebook group. I know the ABC’s of marketing is always-be-closing but, try a better approach by presenting yourself as an expert in your field. This could lead to potential speaking opportunities, participating in other podcasts and interacting more with your audience – all leading to greater visibility.
- Think Globally
It’s easy to forget that our World is small. With technology, your listeners can be from across the Globe. The same goes for potential guests. Don’t limit your guests to people you know. Be bold enough to reach out to notable experts and thought leaders. You may never get a response. Or, you may land a huge name leading to an elevated discussion and instant credibility. Remember that everyone is looking to share their perspective. If you don’t know where to start; search member organizations for people related to your podcast subject area.
- Know Your Equipment
Equipment is crucial in the podcasting world. Since the listener only has audio to rely on; the sound quality has to be on point. That doesn’t mean you need to go into debt purchasing a full suite of equipment though. There are a multitude of microphones, mixers and editing software to fit every budget. If you’re unsure of where to start; poll other podcasters to see what has worked for them.
My main advice is always to be yourself. Your podcast should reflect who you are, how you speak and what you’re passionate about – not what you think listeners want. Believe me, people can spot a phony and your greatest asset in making your podcast shine is within you.
Are you using podcasting to make a change in your community? Tweet me at @RobinKinnie or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to know about it!