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How to launch a podcast when you’ve got no following

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How to launch a podcast when you’re starting from scratch

Don’t have a following online or on social media and you’re wondering if your podcast can still be a success?  I’ve got good news…it absolutely can.

If you look at the podcast charts the top ten shows aren’t dominated by celebrities and having a profile isn’t a pre-requisite for podcasting success.

Factors that have more impact are whether you’ve got a great idea that appeals to an audience and whether you’re delivering your show consistently.  Do that and you can build a successful podcast even if you have zero followers.

So how do you do it?

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Think long and hard about your idea

When you’re starting from scratch it becomes even more important to have a clearly defined idea that provides value to an audience.

I see a lot of shows fail because they’ve been made with someone’s ego in mind rather than an audience so make sure you’re thinking of your listeners first.

Think about what would appeal to an audience because, ideally, you want to create a show people are searching for rather than trying to force people to listen to a show they’re not interested in.

How to come up with a great podcast idea

Read

Choose the right niche

When you don’t have a following you can’t cash in on the fact there’s an audience ready to listen to what you create so you have to give your show the greatest chance of standing out.

If your show is in a competitive category think about how you can adjust your content so it feels different from what’s out there already.

If your podcast fits into a couple of different categories, choose the one that’s less competitive so you’ve got the greatest chance of featuring in the charts for that category.

How do the Apple Podcasts charts work?

Read

Be creative with your podcast promotion

Promotion is essential for any podcast but becomes even more important when you’re launching a show with no following.

You want your show to be seen by as many different people as possible.  So to achieve that you have to share your show in a bunch of different ways.

If you’re batch recording your episodes (which is a great idea) you can use the content you’ve got in the bank to build social media posts that will give people a taste of your show before it’s live.  This can help build momentum which is really important when you’re launching a new show.

After your podcast is live you want to break up each episode into multiple pieces of content so you’re sharing your podcast in different ways e.g. audiograms, pull quotes and blog posts.

Once you’ve got your content make sure you’re using hashtags for your niche so your podcast turns up when people are searching for it.

How to get multiple pieces of content out of one podcast episode

Read

Make sure you’re on the same social media platforms as your audience

Social media management takes a lot of time so it’s better to do one or two platforms well rather than trying to be everywhere.

When you’re thinking about what platforms to focus on think about where your audience is most likely to be.  If your audience is into visual content stick to Pinterest and/or Instagram.  If your show is more political or news-based you’re probably going to want to focus on Twitter.

Also, think about whether you can use your own personal accounts or whether you’ll need to start a new profile for your show.

Merging profiles might not be possible if when there’s a clash between your personal content and the brand of your show.  But if it works to combine the two it’s a good idea to do it because you won’t be building your profile from zero.

Do you need social media accounts for your podcast?

Read

Tap into your network of family and friends

In the early days, the people who’ll be easiest to convince to listen to your show are the ones who know you already.

So tweet, facebook, email…whatever it takes to get people involved because getting them to subscribe to your show in the early days can help bump you into the charts and build the momentum you need to grow your audience.

How do you grow your podcast audience?

Read

Submit your show to all the podcast directories

This might seem like a no brainer but some people don’t realise you have to submit your show to directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

If you want to grow your audience it’s essential your show is in all the places people are listening to podcasts so make sure you’re submitting your show to as many podcast apps as possible.

What directories should you submit your podcast to?

Read

Pay attention to your podcast SEO

Optimising your podcast for search is really important for discovery especially since Google stepped into the podcasting space.

Now when people are searching for keywords in your niche, if your content is optimised properly Google can turn up playable search results even if the person searching has no idea what a podcast is or who you are.

SEO is also important for people searching inside podcast apps so if you want to get your show in front of as many different people as possible, getting this right is really important.

A beginner’s guide to podcast SEO

Read

Share your show using a universal link

If you’re sharing your show using only the Apple Podcasts link you’re excluding a huge number of potential listeners because anyone who clicks on that link on an Android phone will be sent to internet purgatory.

Since there are more Android users in the world than iPhone users that’s a huge potential audience you’re missing out on so you want to make sure you’re sharing your show using a link that works for everyone.

How to share your podcast to iPhone AND Android with one link

Read

Turn up for the listeners you’ve got

Even if you don’t have a lot of them you want to make sure you’re showing up for the people who are showing up for you because word of mouth is still one of the most powerful ways to grow a podcast.

I know it can be hard to stick with something that’s taking a lot of time to gain traction but that’s why having a passion for your podcast is essential if you want it to succeed.

That passion is what’s going to keep you delivering high-quality content consistently even when you’ve only got a handful of listeners.

It’s that commitment that’s essential to grow your audience and that will eventually make your show a success.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

1 Comment
  1. Lynn Anderson says:

    thanks interesting and informative

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