How to promote your podcast before it’s live



Promoting your podcast before it's live | PodSchool Podcast

Thanks to Laura for inspiring today’s episode with her question: “Should I start posting on social media before my show is live?”

If you’ve got a question you want answered on the podcast, send me an email.

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

So your idea is in your head, or maybe you’ve recorded your first episode but you’re still a little while away from dropping it.

How do you let people know about your show ahead of time and should you be posting on social media about a show that doesn’t exist?

The short answer is yes, but first there are some things to think about…

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Do you really need brand new social pages?

Let’s be honest, posting on social media is a pain in the butt and if you want to do it properly it’s a huuuuuge time suck.  So do you really want to create new social pages for your show or can you use your existing accounts?

If you can consolidate everything under one umbrella it’s going to make things a heck of a lot easier.

Not only will you reduce the amount of content you’ve got to come up with but you can also aggregate all your folllowers so you don’t have one acount with 15 people and another one with 3.

Putting all your followers under the one roof will give you much more bang for your buck and help you grow followers quicker.

If you decide that creating a new social profile is a must my advice would be to stick to one and do it really well.

So, how can you promote your show ahead of time?

Record as far in advance as possible

This will only be possible if your content is evergreen i.e. it doesn’t date.

The further ahead of time you can record your episodes the more content you’ll have before the show goes live, so use that content to get people excited.

Don’t just tell people it’s going to be great, prove it by cutting up some of the best bits of audio and creating episodes to tease what’s on the way.

Create a “Coming Soon” episode

To create a feed in iTunes or anywhere else, you have to upload an episode.

By creating a “Coming Soon” episode (also known as “Episode 0”) you’ll have a live feed where people will be able to subscribe before the show is released.

This also gives you the opportunity to use that feed to build buzz by creating additional episodes that feature content that’s on the way e.g. some of the best bits from upcoming interviews or some behind the scenes audio that tells the story of how the show was created.

Be as creative as you like!  It’s a great way to get listeners invested in your show before it officially begins.

Share audio promos on social media

If you’ve recorded ahead of time you’ll have lots of little snippets of audio you can cut into promos and share on social media.

You can do this simply using Soundcloud…

Or, you can use an online tool I use called Wavve.co which allows you to create awesome video cards using whatever image you want.

Not only do these allow you to share snippets of the show they also stand out in people’s social feed because they’re not a static picture.

Just make sure you include information on where people can find the show.

Use all the hashtags

Uploading content with the appropriate hashtags can help people find you if they’re searching for content in your niche.

This can be a nice way to organically grow followers before you drop your first episode.

How to choose a niche for your blog or podcast


Create your “content universe”

When you’re building up your social pages before launch you don’t always need to be sharing audio from the show.  In fact, you can start to build up a suite of content that relates to the topics you’ll be covering in the show.

Consider sharing articles by people you trust or write your own blog posts and link to the show so people can subscribe.

Share videos, podcasts and any other content that relates to or supports what you’ll be covering in the show.

If you’re creating new social pages try and populate them before the show starts

If you’ve decided that starting from scratch is the way to go try and populate those social feeds 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 your twitter account or instagram page on the first day of your show only to be greeted with one lone post.

It will seem a bit ridiculous to be sharing content with zero followers but it’ll just make you look like a more professional outfit when people do eventually find you (don’t forget to beg your family and friends to follow you).

Be creative…

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

Got a burning question you’d like answered on the podcast? Send me an email.

Need some help getting started or setting up your home studio?  Download my free podcasting guide.

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

[00:00:00] 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!"

[00:00:57] 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.

[00:01:38] 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 to pick one platform. The one that perfectly suits your show.

[00:02:56] 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 hashtaging. I do see a bit of audience come in through 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.

[00:04:05] 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.

[00:04:12] 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.

[00:04:45] 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 pointe 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.

[00:06:05] 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.

[00:07:07] 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.

[00:08:24] 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.

[00:09:07] 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 do arrive because you'll look like a professional organisation.

[00:09:48] 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 that you it can be pointing people to your show a month before it drops .

[00:10:08] You can also share some behind the scenes audio, because once you get into the actual show you don't really feature that studd 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. EnterAlso 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.

[00:13:04] 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.


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