How to Identify the Right Growth Tactics for Your Podcast Strategy

It’s crucial to align your podcast tactics with your overall strategy to attract, nurture, and eventually convert the right clients. The first step to that… understanding the nuances of these tactics so that you can choose the right tools for your strategy. 

Too often, the tactics we discuss today are sold as strategies, and they’re simply not. That’s why in this episode of The More Profitable Podcast, I’m breaking down six popular podcast tactics. Two for attract, two for nurture, and two for convert, and sharing why they will AND why they won’t help get a podcaster to their goals depending on their goals.

Let’s go into these next 12 weeks being intentional with our tactics, it becomes easier to understand why things work (or don’t) when we fully understand why and how we’re using them. That’s why I urge you to focus on strategic planning this quarter. This isn’t just about making a better podcast—it’s about making a podcast that works for you and your business. 

4:30 – The MOST common tactic to grow your show – feature guests.

13:11 – The impact of being a guest on relevant shows to attract the right audience for the podcast.

17:45 – The impact of how-to episodes based on the types of services being offered.

22:48 – It’s critical we’re aware of moving forward and not keeping the audience stuck in the mud.

25:00 – The effectiveness and relevance of case studies in different contexts.

26:00 – The timing of when we use assets like audio sales pages strategically for effective conversion.

27:25 – The need to integrate tactics into the overall strategy for successful outcomes vs using tactics as if they’re complete strategies.

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It's time we get really clear. We're going to talk about some tactics today and talk about how they might or might not be helping you attract, nurture, and sell with your podcast.

When we talk about using your show to generate, educate, and convert, these are some of the tactics you can plug and play into those three places, but not each of them is going to be right for your show's strategy. That's the distinction I want you to start making.

Welcome to The More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey. This is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team, because your show should be built to generate and convert leads. So let's get into it.

When we talk about podcasting here, we talk about using your show to generate, educate, and convert right-fit clients. Put another way, attract, nurture, sell. This is where, in my opinion, the tactic meets the strategy because having a podcast is at best a tactic, but it only works if you put a bunch of other tactics in with it.

You can't just field of dream it and build it and they will come. I want to talk today about two tactics that fit under each of these umbrellas of attract, nurture, sell, or put our way, generate, educate, and convert.

I want to talk about these tactics because they're often sold as the one thing, the magic button, the easy button if you have seen those at Staples. In reality, they're all just puzzle pieces that you can plug in if they fit into your puzzle.

I want to talk about how they do and don't work depending on what your goals are, because I think that this is a really important and under-discussed thing, is that all of these things will work, but also none of them will work because they really only work in the right puzzle. They have to have the right other side and that right other side is your goals. The end result you want. We're going to break these down piece by piece.

Before we get into that, I am a little nervous but super excited to share something new we're going to be testing out over the summer. I want to encourage you to go right now or very soon to uncommonlymore.com/AMA and submit a question. Yeah, AMA (Ask Me Anything).

We are going to be running a series of question-based AMA episodes here. You will also see these AMAs up on my Instagram Stories throughout this month because my goal is to batch a bunch of these and start sharing them as we move through the rest of the year because I think oftentimes it can be most interesting to hear what other people's questions are in these contexts.

I will be sharing the questions. You can 100% submit them anonymously if you would like. I would prefer you submit them with your name and as much information as you can give me. Because if I know what your show is and what you are trying to do with it, it will be easier for me to answer if such and such is a good idea, which is often what these questions end up looking like.

If you want to send me all the information, but let me know that you want to remain anonymous on the show, that's allowed too. You will see all of those options on the form. Just again, head over to uncommonlymore.com/AMA to fill out the form, and submit your question, and we will be rolling these episodes out later this year. I'm really excited.

If we get a really good bunch of them, we may put these all together as a series on the private podcast over at The Podcast Newsroom. Stay tuned, and get your questions submitted. I'm stoked. I always get a little nervous that no one's going to submit questions. So, submit questions for me, okay? I don't know why. People always submit questions, but I'm always getting nervous when I ask you to. See, we're all human here.

All right, let us dig into this right now. Starting with generate attract. How does your show attract? I want to be clear, we're looking to attract the right fit clients, not just an audience, that's an important distinction.

The two things we often see here are having guests on our show and being a guest on other people's show. Now, these are both tactics that I have used and have worked to varying degrees. Frankly, you need a whole lot more nuance in any of the tactics I'm going to share today.

But you know me, nuance is like my favorite word when it comes to this stuff. Again, that's the difference between strategy and tactic. Let's start with talking about having guests on your show.

We often think that is—we're often sold, I don't know that anyone actually thinks this—but we're often sold that having guests on your show can be a really good way to attract new listeners to your show because they go and they share with their audience and then their audience comes and listens to the person they like on your show and then inevitably fall in love with you when you only really say eight words.

I'm going to really try to keep this sarcasm-free, but it's going to be tough. We all know my thoughts on guests. Then they're going to find the show and fall in love with you and it's going to be great. They're going to be listeners forever and then they'll probably start buying stuff from you because they think you're awesome.

This does actually happen sometimes, it can, and it's possible, but rarely. Also, the bigger the guests, the less likely they are to share. Getting that big guest can be great because it can feel really fun, but don't expect it to move the needle immediately on your show because it won't.

Because honestly, their audience has heard the story they told you on the show because they've listened to it on whatever other content they consume from that person. It's not universally a way to grow your show.

However, it can be a really good tactic to use to attract right-fit clients. When you start using your guests as an opportunity to network, extend a relationship, or get to know someone better, it can be a really powerful attraction tool, because now we've changed the energy.

Again, notice that this tactic, the same tactic, used two different ways, one, not really going to work for us, the other, totally going to work for us. But that changes based on the goals of your show and I'm starting here because, in complete disclosure, I think this one is the most obvious.

If you're trying to grow an audience, you just want as many people to listen as possible, then getting guests on your show who are big names that have an audience can absolutely be beneficial as long as you strategically use that conversation to point those listeners to other episodes, to share things with that audience that maybe they haven't heard from that guest on nine other podcasts.

This used to drive me crazy when I would be listening to a podcast or a set of podcasts and I for sure know somebody had launched a book because they were on every single show having verbatim the same interview because their PR team sent the host the questions and the host is just basically providing them a PR opportunity which is not bad but not going to grow your show.

You've got to be really clear, “This is what I'm trying to do. This is how I'm using this guest. This is how I want to leverage them to get to their audience. So these are the things I need to do.”

On the flip side, if you're not using your show to sell your audience, meaning sponsorship, the audience is not for sale, you're instead selling to the audience—which is the format of our show here, and very likely your show, if you listen to this show—we're using it to generate, educate, and convert right-fit clients.

You're much better off using guests as a way to extend a relationship. This could mean you bring people on and do some sort of audit or on-air mini-coaching session. This could mean you have somebody who, maybe you're a speaker, and there's somebody else on the speaker circuit speaking at a lot of the places you want to speak at.

In an effort to extend that relationship, get to know them a little better, get access to their network, et cetera, et cetera, you offer them the opportunity to be on your show and you feature that conversation and you get to know them better over the course of that hour.

You extend that relationship, and that's going to be a much better use of your guests to attract right-fit clients. Because now, A, we're centering our expertise, and B, we're not showing up for the immediate sale, we're showing up for the relationship extension that gets us potentially a larger sale.

There are two ways we can use guests in a way that makes sense inside of our show, and inside of our strategy. We took this tactic and we added a bunch of nuance and then we got clear on how to make this work for us. I would also argue that you have to be clear about how much of this tactic you want to add in.

This is why we're talking about more than one tactic. Do you want this to become a show where it's all guests all the time? If your purpose is to sell the audience, meaning you have a sponsorship, so the audience's attention is what's for sale, you're bringing in ad revenue or whatever, yeah, sure, guests every week is great, or every episode, rather, is great because you're constantly wanting to attract those new eyes because that's what you're looking for.

You're looking to have the same kind of conversations with different people over and over again so the people who like those kinds of conversations with those kinds of people keep listening that's how you're using that to attract a larger audience. Now let's go where we're selling to the audience.

It's self-sponsored. We're selling them products. We're selling them services, but it's stuff from our business. Probably not. Because if I'm constantly bringing in other people, you're not, as the listener, actually building a relationship with me.

Even if you're using this tactic in the way we just talked about, where you are featuring your expertise because you're doing audits or you're doing these mini coaching sessions, or you are having a conversation versus an interview with somebody you're looking to extend a relationship with, yeah, absolutely.

But you're still not going to get the direct relationship build, certainly as quickly at the same rate as you will in this format where I'm just talking to you. You're not flying on the wall listening to me talk to someone else. I'm talking to you. And based on the DMs I get sometimes you talk back to me.

I like that. I like it when I hear people mess with me, they're like, "You said this today and I couldn't help it." Like I just answered your question. It delights me. So send me DMs when you do that.

But yeah, that tactic is used more aggressively or more sparingly depending on the goal, depending on the strategy we're putting it in. Let's talk about this in another context, being on other people's show.

Now, this is one that I like a lot. It can be really great, but it's kind of the opposite of everything I just said. If you're looking to go be on other people's shows to attract an audience to your podcast, but you're going and being on other people's shows and talking about absolutely nothing that relates to your podcast, this is not going to work.

If I went on the Jane Doe show—there's some nice rhythm there—the Jane Doe show to get an audit of my astrological chart—I think that would be called a reading—but anyway, I have my chart done, that's probably not going to drive traffic to this podcast.

If it does, it's not going to be people who want to work with me. It's not going to be people who want to stay. Regardless of whether you're building a podcast with sponsors and you need solid audience numbers, or we're building to convert that audience into our own products and services, we've got to make sure this is relevant.

It's got to be run through the filter of, “How does this fit into my strategy?” On the flip side, I need to be on podcasts that my audience is listening to. This is maybe more than any other tactic I see, one of those things where you've really got to be watching the quality versus quantity conversation because a high number of interviews is likely not going to give you the visibility you want and is a lot more exhausting than a handful of well-placed interviews.

Meaning interviews in front of your right-fit audience, people you want to come and listen to your show because you want them to buy from you. Also, where can I have the conversations I need to have to attract the listener? How do I come ready to drive traffic from that show to my show? How am I using that show to sell?

If you're uncomfortable doing calls to action on your own podcast, you're going to have a really hard time doing it on somebody else's. When I do an interview, I always come ready with three, or five episodes that I can point to in the course of our conversation. These are the ones that come up a lot or I have got an idea, I obviously have an idea of what we're going to talk about so I have an idea of what my answers will be because I'm an expert in this space.

I have the episodes at the top of my mind and I know we talk about this a lot. We did an episode on pod fade. I don't even know what episode number it is. I'll put it in the show notes. That one comes up a lot because I’ll use the term “pod fade” at some point because what often causes that is a lack of strategy and a lack of process.

I'll say briefly, “This is what it is or this is what it causes it. Actually, I did a whole episode about this because it's so important and it's over at blah, blah, blah. Well, I'll send you a link for the show notes.”

Now I've got these touchpoints to hear something to listen to, here's what's next. That's what makes this work is by layering in the strategy. The tactic doesn't work without that. All it does is exhaust us. This is the loop we end up in when we're buying tactics instead of strategy.

This is the loop we end up in when we focus only on the task of it all instead of spending a beat in that intention piece. That intention piece is your planning. That's your strategy.

If you're not doing new things, you're not being intentional with these actions. These are expensive actions to not be intentional about. I'm not even talking about money. Let's set the financial piece aside.

What is your capacity worth these days? I don't know about you, but mine's got really expensive. There's only so much real estate in this brain. The older I get, the smaller it gets. I'm willing to bet the same feels true for you.

The most expensive thing is my capacity and my time, and I'm wasting both if I'm focusing on the tactic and the to-do, especially in this attract piece, instead of the intention. There are two pieces. Let's dig into the nurture or the educate as we talk about it.

The tactic here that I want to talk about is how-to episodes. The nuance here, and they're both how-to. They're both how-to episodes, but they're different kinds of how-to episodes.

One works for one kind of podcaster, and one is going to work for another kind of podcaster. We're actually going to talk about these both in the context of your selling services, your selling coaching, consulting, done-for-you services, you're using your show to sell. You're not looking for sponsorships.

When you put on the tactic of how to do what you do, it is going to have different ramifications depending on what you sell. If you're somebody selling entry-level programs, how-to guides, templates, and I've got a whole show full of, “Here's how to do what I do,” especially because people rarely take action from a podcast, why would I invest with you to do something I'm already not actioning when you give it to me for free?

It puts me as the listener in the position of, “Oh, I'm totally going to buy that after I do the six things I learned from her on the podcast.” That gets rough when you're selling a $97, $197, even $1997, even when we're looking at courses that we're looking at upwards of $2,000 investment.

If I've got a whole list of episodes on, “How to do this and that,” why would you buy it? Let's put this in the context of this business, just because I think it's the easiest example.

If I had a $2,000 course that taught you how to do everything I do, “Here's how to be your own producer,” then I started doing a bunch of episodes that were, “Here's how to record your show. Here's how to select your mic. Here's how to level your sound. Here's how to optimize show notes,” why would you buy the course if you're living through all of these free how-to episodes?

Again, the scarier outcome here is that I don't take action because you gave it to me for free. I'm not trying to prove I made a good investment. I'm accountable to nothing. It's clearly not that urgent because I'm not investing in it. But none of this is going to be my fault. It's going to be that didn't work. Or you're leaving me to go, "Well, that just doesn't work for me." Because I'm going to either ineffectively or not at all implement it. That's just the way it is.

However, if you are somebody who sells high touch done-for-you services, giving little bits about how you do what you do can be really helpful because it gives those people making a pretty sizable investment some clarity that you know what you're talking about, that you understand this.

Also, you can give it to them in a way that helps them identify what they need for you to be able to do the job for them because you're talking them through, “When we do this, we've got this, this, and this piece and we can do X, Y, and Z with it.”

Now it becomes less of a how-to and more of an ownership of your expertise. Let's talk about the other kind of how-to content, the other side of this educate. This is how to get ready for the work they're going to do with you.

This is what I want to see most often when you're selling a membership, a group program, a course, or a masterclass. A great example of this is our Podcast Housekeeping Series where we talk about formatting your show, the cover art, and the intro and outro.

Those are all really valuable pieces to have clarity on before we sit down for the Profitable Podcaster Mastermind, which spoiler alert is why it runs in August because that is also when the door is open for the September, October, and November cohort of the Profitable Podcaster Mastermind. You see how the strategy met the tactic there?

Now I will say in my opinion, this is maybe the outlier in our example here, where I think everybody who is using their podcast to sell should have assets in there that help their customer get ready to work with them, but it becomes less and less relevant when we talk about selling things like products, when we talk about selling things like templates, it's going to be more about how do you use the template.

That's how we implement this. That's where there's the nuance in how-to episodes. That's where there's the nuance in these tactics is an understanding of when do I use each? In this case, and between these tactics, for me, it's less about I use one or the other, but when do I use this and when do I do that?

What does the content need to be? What does the context need to be for me to do a how to do what I do versus a how to get ready for this work? That's got to get layered in. That's the work of your content planning. That's the work of these strategy sessions that you're having where you're sitting down and you're planning out episodes for your next 12 weeks. Does this kind of episode make sense in the larger context of what's happening around it?

What I want you to remember when it comes to any tactic that sits in this nurture category is that it's got to be about moving them forward. It can't be just about allowing them to spin their wheels where they are. Because that's uncomfortable. No one wants that. We want to be moving forward. We want to be moving to the next place.

If we overwhelm them by firehosing them with value and calling it nurturing, we are keeping them spinning their wheels. It's like their tires are stuck in the mud and we just keep adding more mud. That's not going to get them out. We've got to help them get out of the mud.

That's got to be the filter you're running the how-to question. Am I giving them information that moves them forward? Or am I giving them information that keeps them stuck?

The last element I want to talk about is the sell piece, this convert piece. I want to talk about two tactics we talk about on this show, because these are two of the asset types I love the most, but when I talk about them, I want to be really clear. I'm talking about tactics.

You have to figure out where they fit in your strategy. We can do that together. Our production clients do it with me. Our Podcast Strategy Intensive clients do it with me. We do it together inside the Profitable Podcaster Mastermind. We can do this together.

But you know your business better than I do. You have to know which is going to fit where. Much like in the nurture element of this, it becomes much more about when and how much instead of yes or no.

The first one of these is case studies. Where are my case studies going to be most effective? Where are they going to be the most valuable? You're not going to see me run a lot of case studies with production clients when we're selling the Mastermind. You're not going to see me do a lot of case studies for intensives when I don't have room on my calendar for intensives.

It won't make sense. You're not going to see me run a case study for the Mastermind when I don't have a cohort of the Mastermind starting for three months. It would be really silly for me, our next cohort as of recording and releasing this is going to be in September, October, and November. That's the three months it's going to run through so the doors will be open in August. You can get on the waitlist now at uncommonlymore.com/mastermind, just as a heads up.

But it would make no sense for me to share case studies from that in this week in June. It would make no sense strategically. So I have to understand that that case study is not going to help my conversions when it's placed poorly. The tactic doesn't work without the strategy.

It won't convert if it's not positioned to convert. The same is absolutely true of your audio sales pages. If we released six audio sales pages just right in a row, bam, bam, bam, none of them are going to convert because we're just firehosing sales information at someone.

That's not a super effective way to actually drive sales. We have to partner these things with other pieces. That's why I wanted to have this conversation because when we talk about it in attract, I think it's dangerous because we need different things in different places, in different kinds of shows, and in different sets of goals.

But even when we start to talk about nurture and convert, we talk just about one kind of show, the kind of show you and I have, where we're using our show to drive sales as our marketing engine, however you want to phrase that.

When we self-sponsor our show, we still have to make sure that we're taking these tactics, even though they're great tactics, we still have to be layering them into our strategy. We still have to be running them through the filter of our goals for that period of time.

I want to challenge you as we close out this episode to look at your next 12 weeks. Look at your strategy. Do you have a list of tactics or do you actually have a strategy? Because just a list of episodes is not your strategy. You need to know why they're there. What is their purpose? What is the intention with each of these assets before you even build it? Because it's going to help you build it better.

A great way to do this is Podcast Strategy Intensives. We've got spots open now for this summer. Head over to uncommonlymore.com/intensive. Book a conversation with me. We will find the right time for you. We will find the right fit for you. We will then build our focus for your Podcast Strategy Intensive.

I'm so excited. Head over to uncommonlymore.com/intensive to book that call. I'll see you right back here next week. Bye.

Thanks so much for listening to this show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about. Maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about Podcast Strategy Intensives or what podcast production looks like with our team. All of that is over at uncommonlymore.com.

If you haven't yet signed up for The Podcast Newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step. If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes. That's over at podcastnewsroom.com. The last favor I will ask, because social proof is endlessly important for sure, is to leave a rating and review for the show. If you go to ratethispodcast.com/more, that's the easiest way to do it. But I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and if the show has been helpful for you. I can't wait to chat with you. This is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep it going. Talk soon.

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