PodSchool Podcast | How to promote your podcast before it’s live


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!

Podcast promotion

How do you get people excited about a show that doesn’t exist?

Getting your head around how to promote your podcast when there’s no podcast to promote can be difficult.

But it can be done and here’s how…

Record episodes in advance so you’ve got plenty of audio to play with

This is usually only possible with shows that focus on evergreen content i.e. content that doesn’t date.  If your show discusses current topics and events this is going to be harder because you need to record close to the date of release to make sure your show is relevant.

However, if you can batch record ahead of time, the more episodes you can get ‘in the can’ the more content you’ll have to promote your show.

You might decide to release a sneak peek of an episode or interview, some behind the scenes content or a montage of a whole heap of different things.

When you’re putting your promotional audio together, think about what would be most interesting for a potential listener and what would make them want to subscribe to your show.

Why you should batch record your podcast


Different ways to promote your podcast

Create a trailer or “Coming Soon” episode

To generate an RSS feed which you need to submit your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, you need to have at least one piece of audio uploaded in the back end of your podcast host.

A “Coming Soon” episode (also called “Episode 0” or a trailer) is a piece of evergreen audio you can upload to your feed and share on social media to get people excited about your show.

It can be a produced piece of audio with a voiceover telling people what to expect or it can feature a montage of audio you’ve already recorded as a tease to what’s on the way.

You can be as creative as you like with your introductory episode because it’s your chance to get people interested in your show before it’s live.

Plus, if you can entice people to subscribe before you drop your first episode when you launch you’ll be more likely to feature in the podcast charts because you’ve already got people there downloading your show from day one.

Why you need a trailer for your podcast


Share audio promos on social media

Again, if you’ve recorded episodes or bits of episodes ahead of time you can use these snippets to promote your podcast on social media.

If you’ve got some great highlights you can write a little voiceover around them, jazz them up with a bit of music and voila you’ve created an audio promo for a show that doesn’t exist.

Once you’ve got the audio you can use a tool like Wavve or Headliner to create a moving graphic for your social media feed…


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rachel Corbett (@_rachelcorbett)

Whichever way you do it, don’t forget to include all your show info so people can find you and subscribe.

How to promote your podcast


Use all the hashtags

Uploading content with the appropriate hashtags can be a great way to promote your podcast because people can find you if they’re searching for content in your niche, even if they’ve never heard of you or your show.

This means you can grow your followers organically before you drop your first episode.

Why choosing a podcast niche helps you grow your audience


Create your ‘content universe’

When building social pages for your show from scratch you don’t always need to share audio to promote your podcast.

Instead, you can start to build a suite of content that relates to the topics or themes you’ll be covering in your show.

This content could be articles written by people you trust or whose opinions you like.

Or you could write some of your own blog posts and point people to where they can subscribe.

If you’re writing blog content this will also help people find you via search so make sure you’ve optimised your posts for SEO.

You can also share behind-the-scenes videos of you putting the show together, infographics, photos or any other content that relates to or supports what you’ll be covering in your podcast.

A beginner’s guide to podcast SEO


Try not to launch with an empty social profile

If you’ve decided to start new social pages for your podcast try to populate them with as much content as possible before the show starts.

You don’t have to go crazy but you don’t want people turning up to a Twitter account or Instagram page on the first day only to be greeted by one lone post.

It might feel ridiculous sharing content to no one but it’ll make you look more professional when people eventually do turn up (and don’t forget to beg your family and friends to follow you).

Before you go down this road consider whether you really need to start a brand new profile for your show or whether you can use your existing social media pages.

Sometimes your own brand and the show might not fit together but if they do you’re always better building a profile you’ve already got than starting one from scratch.

Do you need social media accounts for your podcast?


Be creative…

The show feed and social pages for your podcast are yours to play with so think about different ways you can build buzz to get people excited about your show before it hits their ears.

There are a lot of people promoting their podcast in the same way so look at what others in your niche are doing and try to do things differently so you can stand out from the crowd.

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.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Hello and welcome to the show. Today I'm answering a question from one of my lovely PodSchool students Laura. She emailed me to ask whether she should start posting on her social pages before her first episode is live. So she is currently in the process of creating her first few episodes, her show isn't in iTunes yet and she's not sure whether she should be trying to create a social presence. This is a fab question and I always love it when somebody drops something in my head and I think "Jeez! I bet you're not the only person that thinks that!"
First question - should you create independent social pages for your shows? Sometimes it will be a great idea because it's impossible to mix your personal brand in with your show. So maybe you should open up new accounts.
I had this struggle with my personal brand because I hate social media which is problematic because I understand it is a necessary evil but I just did not want to be managing 25000 pages. I also have a million ideas in my little tiny brain and I want to keep making new shows and the idea of having to populate a new Instagram or Facebook page or Twitter account for every single one of those shows terrified the pants off me. I also had an existing audience on those pages and it seemed so silly to me to start from zero. So, I have kept my personal pages for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And I tend to mix up my posts for PodSchool and You've Got to Start Somewhere there. I also post about a couple of shows that I've created and hosted for the Mamamia Podcast Network. So I tend to put it all under the umbrella of my larger personal brand. This can be a good way to consolidate the assets that you have, rather than trying to spread yourself really thinly over a bunch of different platforms. But if it doesn't suit your show and it makes absolute sense for you to create a new sort of social presence, I would just advise picking one platform. The one that perfectly suits your show.
If there's a lot of visual content, Instagram is probably a good one to choose. If you want to create a little community, maybe a Facebook group might be the best way to do that. Even though Twitter's a bit dead, I still don't mind it for sharing our podcast episodes and hashtagging. I do see a bit of audience come in that way. If you have spread yourself all over the internet, maybe just think about whether or not that is necessary and whether you can actually house everything under the one brand so that you can just aggregate all those followers too. Try and build one solid central audience and then if you create new shows over time you can seed those shows into social feeds and encourage people to listen to that as well. The overarching brand becomes you as a content creator rather than the show or the podcast that you have.
So how do you build hype if your show doesn't exist yet? This can be a bit weird but here is some of my advice.
The first thing is I would highly encourage, unless you are doing a topical weekly show that focuses on current events, is to record as far ahead of time as possible. So before I launched You've Gotta Start Somewhere I was recording for about six to seven months so when it came time to promote the show I already had little snippets of upcoming interviews that I could cut up and share on social media to create a bit of buzz about what was on the way.
I also created a coming soon episode to upload the feed to you can have that live as far ahead of time as you want. Then you can point people to the feed so they can subscribe before the first episode drops. Just make sure in that coming soon episode you tell the audience when they can expect the first show so they don't think it'll be out a week later and then they're waiting a month. Then maybe there are some more little bits and pieces that you can use to create episodes in the lead up to that first episode e.g. where you can talk a bit about who the hosts are or give a bit of a highlights reel for some of the best moments coming up. You can use that feed as a promotional tool to encourage people to get excited about that first episode. That means you also have content you can share on your social pages.
A tool that I use is Wavve.co. Wave is a great way to create little cards that you can post on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, wherever you want and you can actually put a little wav form there that moves when the audio plays so it looks like a video. It's a great way to share content from your show in a more interesting way and catch people's attention as they're scrolling through Instagram. It's just more visually engaging for people and gives something for them to get excited about that isn't just a link to where they can subscribe.
Don't feel however that the only sharing that you can be doing is of audio or of pointing people towards your show in iTunes or wherever you've popped it. You can also be sharing content that is around the show, so you're almost creating a bit of a content universe. If there are articles on the specific niche or the topic that you really like that speaks to the tone of the show that aren't necessarily from you, you can share those out on your social pages especially if you've created a brand new social page. Anything you can do to populate that is going to be a good thing because you don't want people to come on the first day of your episode and see an empty Twitter feed or an empty Instagram page with tumbleweeds rolling through it. You need to create the brand if you are starting from scratch, so when people do start to come there is something that already exists there so it looks like a show.
It can be weird in those early days because sometimes you are literally bleating into the wilderness chatting to zero followers, but while it can be a touch soul-destroying it will be great once people start to come to the page because there will be an existing brand there.
You can also write articles on your own blog if you have one and then share those and put a link to the show so they can subscribe. Anything you can do to flesh out the content universe is going to be really great for when your audience does arrive because you'll look like a professional organisation.
So don't feel like everything starts from the day your first episode drops. Be creative about what you can be dropping in that feed before you actually get to that first episode so you can be pointing people to your show a month before it drops.
You can also share some behind the scenes audio because once you get into the actual show you don't really feature that stuff so it might be a good way to get your audience to feel a little more connected to you and the show. Also, make sure you hashtag the crap out of everything you post to find people who don't know you but are searching for things in your niche. That will help you build up followers (although maybe only a small amount) before you go live. Also, don't be afraid to send out a blanket e-mail begging your friends and family to get on board. You have a network existing in your life that will be supportive. The other thing to remember is that building up a network on social media takes time. You may be one of the select very lucky few who gets a stratospheric rise because of some piece of media attention or because you just hit a nerve at the right time. There are plenty of examples of people who have done very well very quickly but those are absolutely the exception to the rule. If you want a strong show that will have longevity and build really lasting fans it is a case of chipping away at the marble block until something good comes out. Don't feel bad if you haven't got any social followers and your 10 episodes in and you're thinking "Where are all these people?" Sometimes it might take you a year to find those people and that means that it might take them a year to find your social pages and your website but you have to, at the center of everything, be really passionate about the content you're creating because otherwise it will be really hard to be doing those early day slogs when no one's turning up. So make sure you're choosing the right show and the right idea and that you're in it for the right reasons and then the rest will be much easier. I hope that's helped you think about some ways that you can start to share your show before it even exists. Thank you so much to Laura for the question.
If you would like to jump on into PodSchool you can find out how to do that at PodSchool.com.au. It is my online podcasting course that takes you through all the steps in the process. You can find out more about podschoolpodcast.com. If you are finding these episodes useful please head to iTunes or wherever you listen to the show and leave a review. I am always happy to hear from you. I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!