grow your podcast

3 Ways to Grow Your Podcast in theNext 90 Days

Welcome to episode 502. I want to talk about three ways you can grow your podcast in the next 90 days. As you’re listening to this episode, assuming you listen to it when it comes out and not later, we’re in Q4 and I originally intended to mark this episode as how to increase your podcast listenership in Q4. And the more I outlined the episode and the more I sat with this stuff, I realized that I really want to get through the wash and repeatedness of this because I think oftentimes we’re looking for the next thing. “Okay. We tried a now B and now C and now D and all the way to Z or Zed.” Which sounds way cooler, but that’s a show for another day. But we forget about the other side of this, which is the importance of repeating those actions.

I’m really trying to avoid just saying over and over again, “Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.”

But it is this piece of use and improve instead of use and replace.

I want you to be thinking about the three things we talk about today as pieces you will use over and over and over again as you start to map out strategically how your podcast and your content supports the growth of your business, supports the growth of your revenue, and supports the growth of your sales. You’re going to look at, “Great. I got this much growth from doing this this way. How do I tweak that tactic instead of replacing that tactic?”

That’s really where we get to, in my opinion, the difference between tactic and strategy. When we’re talking about tactics, we’re talking about a tool. It’s mostly useless without context. When we start talking about a strategy, that’s where we talk about the context. And, so I want you to be looking at, “Great. Tactic A works. Let me look at that strategically to see how to make tactic A-1, tactic A-2, tactic A-3.”

Does that make sense? I feel like I’m really beating this and I want it to make sense. But of course, I won’t know for a couple of weeks till you hear this and you email me and you say, “No, Stacy, that makes no sense. You sounded like a crazy person,” but hopefully my team would stop you before then. Right? No. I hope it makes sense if it doesn’t let me know. And we will for sure talk about this ad nauseam, or at least until it makes sense and/or you get sick of me and want to punch me in the face. Cool.

So, let’s first hop into the very, very, very, most important first piece, which is the conversation around evaluating where you are now.

So, often we get emails, I get DMS, I have conversations with friends, and they want to know how to grow their podcast. And I go, “Cool. Where’s your show at right now?”

“I don’t know.”

If you don’t know where you are now, how do you measure it? How do you know if you got better? The number one thing you can be doing to grow your podcast is paying attention to the size of your audience. This does not mean you start becoming obsessively engaged with checking your metrics. This does not mean that I need you to check your stats 14 times a day. Don’t do that.

What I want you to be looking at is where there is a place where you can be looking at how shows are doing day one, day seven, day 14, and day 30.

This is something actually that we’re rolling out to clients right now and I’ve been using it for my show that we’ve built into our dashboard, our project management dashboard.

So, you can see where all of our podcasts are out on the production side, but also where are your shows at that have already been scheduled and released? Where are those numbers to give you some context of what’s happening with your show? Build it into your dashboard, build it in an Excel spreadsheet, be checking on Libsyn or Anchor or Blubrry or wherever you host your show once a month, a couple of times a month, whatever it is that feels comfortable to you.

The number one thing you can do to increase your show’s audience at literally any point in your show is start paying attention to where your show actually is. This is one of those things that’s quite frankly, universally true.

I come back to the mindset and woo woo side of things, that statement that I’ve heard so many times, “What you watch grows.” So, the number you’re paying attention to will grow. And personally, I think it’s a little more than just watching it. But I think that’s a nice way to put it. Be paying attention to that number, be clear on where you are now and where you have been. If you’ve not looked at your numbers in a while, I really encourage you to take half a day and say, “I’m going to document, in whatever system I’m going to build out, all of these numbers.”

And this is not something you have to do personally. This is a great task to give somebody on your team. That way they collect the data in a very … Not cold, because they care about your business and your businesses growth, but in a very detached way. Whereas if this feels something that feels a little confrontational to you, a little like you’re going to sit there in judgment of those numbers, then hand this off to somebody else.

Again, this is something we’re doing for our clients. This is something we’re building in.

So, if you have a podcast production team that’s not building in that data and delivering that data to you, ask them how you can make that work.

Reach out to me and this is absolutely something we can be working on as a project to get you started. You just got to reach out. Get help if you need help. But look at where your numbers have been for the last 90 days, six months. If you’re feeling real ambitious, 12 months. That’ll start giving you some growth trajectory. I like 12 months because that’ll tell me year over year growth for your podcast.

That’ll tell me on average per year, I increase my show by 5%, 10%, 15%, 30%, 100%, whatever it is. Knowing that your podcast will grow the most the earlier it is. It’s a real thing. I often have clients who reach out, and they’re like, “Hey, we used to see numbers. Our show would be doubling every month.” And I’m like, yeah, that’s because you launched it a year ago. And so you were literally presenting brand-new content to people that already liked you. Now we’re finding new people to like you.

It’s hard to maintain doubling.

If you’ve been in business a while, the same is true for revenue, right? It’s a whole lot easier to double those numbers when those numbers are small. One last soap boxy rant I want to put in this conversation is something I actually shared in our LinkedIn group a couple of months ago now. It was either late August or early September, but I shared an article out of the podcast business journal, and they were sort summarizing an episode from the Feed, which is Libsyn’s podcast.

And the host, Rob, was giving some context on some numbers. And so I want to share this with you. I’ve jotted them down. And I want to share some with you. In June and July of this year, so June and July 2020, 6.4% of every show hosted with Libsyn was averaging 5,000 downloads. 6%.

In fact, if you’re getting more than 121 downloads per episode after 30 days, so you released a show November 1st on December 1st, you have 122 downloads, you are doing better than half the shows on Libsyn. I’m willing to bet how well your show is doing just really increased in your brain.

Because, we inflate what this number should be, which is wholly not true. The numbers are not really hundreds of thousands for every show. And a lot of that goes back to a conversation we had a few weeks ago about your podcast model. If you’re like me and this podcast is a way to nurture leads and support sales and development in your business, you don’t need 5,000 downloads an episode in 30 days. Not if you’re producing a show that’s built strategically to convert.

The only time you should be concerned with hitting massive numbers of downloads is if you’re looking to scale a show that you’re going to be generating revenue through sponsorships, but for the bulk of people who listen to the show, and I’m thinking the same is probably true of you, you’re a lot like me and you’re looking to bring on two, three, five, maybe 10 clients a month.

If I can convert 1% of the people who listen to my show, I still don’t need 5,000 downloads to hit that number.

So, be looking at that context as you look at where your numbers are. It’s going to do one of two things. One, you’re going to go, “Oh, okay. I don’t have a growth problem. I have a conversion problem. This is not going to be about getting more people to listen. It’s going to be about getting the people who listen to do something. To opt in, to buy, to book a conversation, to whatever it is you need them to do.”

Then we can look at your podcast growth. Or you’re going to go, “Huh, yeah. I just don’t have enough people listening. Let me spend the next 90 days working on these strategies, and we’ll go from there.”

But we see this a lot. I see this a lot with my marketing clients. I see it a lot with podcast clients. Oftentimes we think that it is a lead problem. We think that it is a podcast listenership problem. We don’t have enough people who know about us, when the reality is we’re not converting the people who are already here. And so get really clear.

Do you need to better be converting the people who are currently listening to your show or do you actually need to be focusing on the growth of your podcast and getting more people to listen?

Because when you know the answer to that, everything else becomes easier. And again, that comes from knowing where you’re at. All six of those soap boxes that I just rolled out, we can put away. And let’s get into some ways we can be doing more with our show. Getting more people to listen.

Number one, don’t release any brand-new episodes. Instead, I want you to go look at your best performing episodes and I want you to look at ways to either re-release them or record more episodes like them.

This is one of the reasons that our first step was to get clear on where we are. There is a whole slew of data in those numbers that give us a ton of mother loving insight. That is the answer to so many of our questions. And so, sit down and look at what are your best performing episodes? Does it make sense to throw a new intro in there and re-release them? This is something we have done. We’ve done it here. We’ve done it on other shows for our clients.

This is a tactic we use a lot for our clients when they need some space from creation. Maybe they’re going to be stepping into a vacation, before 2020. Or maybe they were going to be stepping into a vacation during 2020. Maybe they just needed some space. They just needed to not have an output of energy. They needed to put that output of energy somewhere else. Hello, 2020.

But also it’s a great way to look at what are other episodes that I could be doing around these same topics.

If you’re looking at the numbers and you’re seeing you’re getting a ton of traction around one specific conversation, one specific topic, do more of that because it’s working and you will see growth.

You’ll see growth in engagement. You’ll see growth in conversion. You will see growth in listenership. You’re delivering them what they want.

All right? If you’re going to re-release an episode, this is a twofer here. If you’re going to re-release an episode, great. Double down on marketing your show. Use those re-release episodes to give you time to spend your energy instead of in the endless tasks of production. Recording, editing, creating audio grams, creating graphics, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, outlining, scripting, whatever it is.

And just market your show. Just tell people about it. Just be sharing on social and in your email and in conversations and in your groups and with your network about your show.

That’s where we start to see a real difference happen, is when we start talking about our show, instead of just producing it, instead of just recording and being in that hamster wheel of podcast to-do’s and forgetting to tell anybody to listen. And so again, we’re going to look at those numbers, and we’re going to, one, look at what we can recreate and share more of and two, where we can repurpose, so we can make time for marketing the show.

As we wrap up the show, I want to say this third one is admittedly the most difficult because you need someone to help. Potentially lots of someone else’s.

But this is one of those things that you should be doing regularly, which is getting on other people’s podcasts.

So often I talk to business leaders and brands and entrepreneurs and whatever you want to call us, who are like, “If I could just get in Forbes, if I could just get on MSNBC, if I could just get on CNN, if I could just get on my local news, if I could just get in Ink magazine, if I could just get in Oprah magazine, whatever the thing is, my business would change.”

And it’s mostly not true. I absolutely think that big media opportunities are valuable, and they can be real game changers for a lot of businesses. But it’s not universally true, especially not as a magic bullet to solve all the other problems. However, if you do the little things, get on podcasts, not just big podcasts, little podcasts. But if you can regularly be going on and sharing value with other people’s audiences, and I do this in a couple of ways.

I do this on podcasts. I do this by going into groups and doing training on Q and A’s. That will grow not only your listenership of your podcast, but it will grow your revenue.

And so when I say go be on other shows, I don’t mean go hire a $30,000 press person to book you in 15 amazing media outlets and get you all sorts of massive coverage. That could be helpful. I certainly know people who it’s been helpful for. I also know people who spent a lot of money on it without a lot of return because yes, it got them some logos and it got them some cool stories, but it didn’t convert to business and it didn’t convert to growth in their show. However, spending some time, maybe hiring someone to book you on podcasts that are going to put you in front of your target market works every time.

We go back to those questions, who are we talking to? Go be on the shows where who you are talking to is already listening. That will mean growth.

But that growth is a lot easier to see. And even the growth in some of those big media packages, it’s a lot easier to see and really only at all possible to see if you’ve done that first step of checking in on where you are now and making sure that you have a baseline, that you have some data that tells you when there’s growth. Right? All right, all right, all right? All right.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. I want to encourage you to come on over to the LinkedIn group, but more than that, I want to encourage you to join us in our podcast production services, because we are gearing up for the end of the year. This is our last episode of October.

We’re rolling into November. That means our ability to take on clients is going to slow down a little bit because Uncommonly More actually closes. We close down. We shut down for two weeks at the end of the year so the whole team can have some time off. That means we can’t really onboard anybody in December.

So if you want to work with us, you’re going to need to start in at least November.

That way we can get you done and ahead and into January before we take our rest. And hopefully you take yours as well.

Otherwise, it’s going to be January at the earliest that we’ll be taking on any launch or new production clients. So, if you’re interested in getting that done before now, and by the way, if you want to launch your show in January, we need to talk about it now, let us know. Head on over to and you can find out all the information you need to get clear on exactly how we support you. All right? All right. I’ll talk to you soon.

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