The Single Most Important Thing Every Podcast Needs to Grow

I talk a lot on this show about there not being one magic lever, one magic button, one magic strategy, tactic, or tool that will instantly grow your podcast. That’s true. However, there is absolutely one thing that every single podcaster who wants to grow their podcast needs, and it’s not necessarily production. Let’s get into it.

A lot of people who do what I do for a living will tell you that it’s improving your sound quality, upgrading your mic, or buying their course, and that will make all the difference. That will be the thing that helps you grow your podcast and finally start getting the results from your show that you imagined when you launched the show. It’s not true.

I love a new microphone as much as the next girl. I’ll be honest. I’m eyeballing an upgrade now. I feel like I’ve had this one for a couple hundred episodes at this point. Absolutely. I’m as guilty as that as anybody, changing your cover art, those kinds of things. None of those things will actually increase the audience on your show. Hiring a production agency or a podcast manager will not necessarily increase the listenership of your show.

What will grow your podcast is marketing your show. 

I could, till the hills come alive, try and find a sexier, more fun way to describe this to you, but there’s not one. The reality of working with an agency, an editor, a show notes writer, or a VA, their work is not about growing your show, hiring them is about buying the time to market your show. Because for every half an hour I sit here outlining episodes, the half hour it takes me to record an episode, the hour it takes me to edit an episode, the time it takes for me to get a transcript and review that transcript, or create the graphics, or even create the audiogram for this episode, all of that time is time I could be telling somebody my show exists.

I could be sharing my show. I could be being interviewed on other shows. I could be handling the sales calls that come in as a result of this show. Notice all of those things are much more profitable, much closer to revenue than the production tasks. Yes, a production support role will help you grow your show in the sense that it helps you buy back time. Hiring an agency to produce your show is a really killer way, depending on who you hire, I’m going to speak for hiring Uncommonly More.

Hiring Uncommonly More will help you have better optimized show notes, which is going to help with discoverability both in traditional search engines and podcast players. We sit down quarterly and build out strategies so that you’re building sales assets that actually drive sales, that nurture leads to make decisions either to buy or leave. Referral assets, so the people who are referring you, which is your most direct path to cash, have something to share with the person they’re referring to you. Absolutely. Those things are incredibly powerful. Those things are game changers.

The audiograms and the social graphics that make having something to share on Instagram or whatever easier, absolutely. We will create those for you. But ultimately, you have to have a plan for how you tell people about the show. You have to send your email out. You have to send out social posts. By the way, a lot of our clients use our show notes to write their social and write their email. Awesome. I love it. Do it. Use the heck out of the materials given to you. But you have to still take that step.

Spoiler alert, this doesn’t have to be you doing the marketing tasks for your podcast, but it does have to be someone. 

There has to be a plan for it. I have sat down with a couple of people in the last few months who were working with a production agency and they’re like, “The show’s not growing though.” I’m like, “Cool. Cool. So what are you doing to grow the show?” They’re like, “I hired this editor. I hired someone to write my show notes. Or I hired a VA to get the episode uploaded and handle it all.” None of those things are going to drive new listeners.

If the content writer has an understanding of the SEO of the platforms, that might help certainly. There’s a reason we do that. It’s absolutely valuable. You have to be marketing your show. In this episode, I want to talk about a couple of ways that you can be marketing your show, a couple of ways to make it easier, and a couple of ways to make it routine. Because I want you to leave this episode fired up and ready to recommit, not to your content, but to the sharing of your content. Let’s start by talking about three examples of how to market your podcast.

One of my favorite ways to market my podcast, go be on other podcasts.

 Sit down with the people you have relationships with and be on their shows. Use that platform to drive traffic back to your show. I love to do this because I go sit in front of people who are already listening to a podcast. It feels like a little bit less of a pull to pull them over to my show, I really love being able to strategically answer a question with, “Oh yeah, I talked about this on my podcast. I think it was episode blah-blah-blah.” I’ll send a link to the host afterwards. They link it up in the show notes, and now I’ve driven traffic back to a specific episode or I’m driving traffic to my opt-in. For me, that’s the Newsroom.

If you enjoyed our conversation here, join the Newsroom. By the way, if you enjoyed our conversation here, you should absolutely sign up for The Podcast Newsroom. See guys, it works even in your own show.

If you want to do this, listen to How to Be A Better Podcast Host and How to Be A Better Podcast Guest. Listen to those episodes because the biggest thing in this space is understanding that yes, your goal can be to drive people to your podcast but that means you have to show up in value to the audience you’re in front of, not just to yourself.

Having built a show that answers the FAQs that you get when you go on podcast episodes makes this an easy way to both be of value to the audience you’re in front of then and giving them a next step that allows them to dig deeper in your relationship and dig deeper into your content. Absolutely, being a guest on other people’s podcasts, one of my favorite ways to market my own show.

The number two way I market my podcast, use the assets I’m already creating. 

Taking the transcript from this episode and creating social posts, driving people back to this episode, writing an email to my existing email contacts, sending them to this episode. I also really love to use transcripts as a way to create blog posts to pitch other places. This is something you could do an easy yes with Medium or LinkedIn where you don’t have to get approved. If you have a relationship with a website that you’ve done writing for before, send it.

I’ve written on some really cool sites. Almost every single one of those blog posts is based on a transcript from this podcast. I hate writing blog posts. I hate it with every fiber of my insides, I hate it, so I turn this into that, which makes it real easy for me to include a link to listen to the podcast.

My number three way to market your podcast, talk to people. 

When you get DMs and people are asking you a question, when you’re on sales calls and people are asking you questions, when you are in networking environments, when you’re speaking from the stage, when you are in other groups answering Q&As or teaching a class, give them a next step to get more information. That should be your podcast.

I love going into other communities and hosting a Q&A, teaching a workshop. Frequently, it’s usually like 60/40, 60% content, 40% Q&A. I actually like it 40% content, 60% Q&A because I find it’s more valuable for the people in the room, but whatever, sometimes it’s straight Q&A. I’m coming in, I’m answering questions.

But because I’ve built assets on my show that are the answers to most of the questions, I have places I can point people to. I’ve got this coming up soon. I love doing these. I try to do these as often as possible. If I could do them once a month, I’d be happy as a clam. I usually do four or five a year.

Where can you be going in and teaching? Where can you be going in and supporting a program that already exists and go into that ready to point them to content, ready to point them to an episode? Because I don’t have 30 minutes to dig into why marketing your podcast is the single most important thing you can do to grow your podcast. Now when somebody asks me a question in a Q&A and I’ve got 50 people in a room or 20 people in a room or 10 people in a room, I don’t have 30 minutes to answer one question, but I do have 5-10 minutes to answer a question and then say, “I talk a lot about this in Episode 562 of the podcast. Here’s a link.”

What I want you to notice in each of these examples, I pointed them to content that existed because I thought about what the questions were before I got there. 

This is true of being in workshops or teaching environments, speaking engagements. This is true of podcast interviews. This is even true of turning blog posts into social posts and content for other sites.

I had to first start with the questions I knew they’d have and that’s what I want to shift to. How can we make it easier to be marketing our podcast? How can you make it easier? Be prepared. Be ready. Be ready for the question. If you know what you’re selling, if you know who you’re selling it to, if you know how you sell it—and if those three questions sound familiar, it’s because you listen to the show regularly and I love you the most—if you can answer those three questions, you can answer the questions they’ll have to make the decision because you know what you’re selling them, you know why they need it, you know who they are, you know their approach to their problem, and so you answer it.

What are some examples inside of this show? This episode. Last week’s episode. Last week’s episode was a question I get on guest workshops and podcast interviews frequently. The idea of choosing podcast or YouTube and so I created an episode, so that now, I will have that asset to point to.

A great example of this is What Working With UM Looks Like. Because frequently, when I’m in podcast interviews, people would ask me what production is like. Can you define podcast production? I’ll say, “I can’t really define it for everybody but I can tell you what it looks like for us,” and I run through a brief synopsis and then I say, “And I dig into it in this podcast episode.” Then I send a link to the host so that they can link it in the show notes. Don’t forget that step.

Make it easy. Make it strategic. 

Start thinking about it before the opportunity to share it shows up. That’s how it gets simpler. Another way to make it easy is to make sure you have these assets already if you’re working with a production team, if you’re working with some support staff, if you’re working with a podcast manager. Are you getting audiograms? Are you getting graphics? Are you getting SEO optimized show notes? If the answer is no, let’s have a conversation because that’s what you get at UM.

See how I did that? Seriously though, if you are not getting assets, you’re adding in extra steps that you haven’t bought back enough time yet. So make it easy. Get a transcript. Make sure you have a transcript. All of our clients get transcripts. In most cases, they go up on their website, not necessarily as the show notes but as a download, or they’re displayed using a transcript box. But they exist. You know why? Because I love pulling that out for social. That’s what I do with this show. We take the transcript and I pull out for social. I take the transcripts and I pull out for email. I take the transcripts and I turn into a blog post.

Make it easy by being strategic about it and building yourself a process. Good news is you don’t have to build the process. Partner with someone who can help you with the process. Partner with someone who understands the kind of show you have and the goals you have for your show.

For example, if your goals for your show are to grow a massive listenership and sell ad space, I’m so excited for you, we’re not the agency for you. It’s not where my expertise is and it’s not the kind of shows we produce. It doesn’t make them wrong, it doesn’t make me wrong. It’s just not the kind of shows we produce. It’s not where my expertise is.

However, if you’re building a show for lead generation and conversion for products or services inside of your own business, let’s chat. Let’s have a conversation because we can make it easier. I want you to look at ways that you can be partnering with people that make this process easier for you.

Where can you be buying back your time? Where can somebody on your team be doing the early research or the follow-up? Where can you partner with someone to get you pitched to the right shows? Where can you be working with a VA, an admin, or a social media manager to be turning those transcripts into social posts, or a content writer to be taking that transcript and turning them into blog posts so that you can be using them for Medium, LinkedIn, or whatever third party site you want to use?

Where can you be partnering so that you can buy back time, so that you can show up for the podcast interview, so that you can record the content that’s going to get repurposed, so you can have the conversation, so you can show up and teach the workshop, you can show up and speak on stage? Make it easier by getting support.

The other way I want you to make it easy is don’t try to do all of them all of the time. I’m not on six, eight, or ten podcasts a month because I gotta first record four episodes of this show and at least one for The Podcast Newsroom. That’s five podcasty times I gotta talk already. I don’t do 18 workshops a month. Hey, I don’t think I could actually do that. It’s not the best use of my time. I try to do one a month because it makes sense. I have a space for it because I have support.

I’m also not trying to do all of those things all of the time. Choose what you want to take action on now. Pick that and then add. Let’s talk about making time for it. How do we make time to market our podcast? A. Calendar it. Seriously. Make sure it sits in your project management tool, your task list, or on your calendar, whatever thing you’re subject to. For me, it’s my Monday. That’s what we use for project management. It’s where all of my tasks sit, that’s where all of my projects sit. I have recurring tasks every other week: pitch three podcasts. Every other week, I pitch three podcasts.

I have time on my calendar to do the marketing I want to be doing for my show. I’m showing up for those conversations because it’s already built into my to-dos. You will never find time, and really I was going to say more but really, I could just put a period there. You will never find the time. It’s not hanging out somewhere, it’s not like in a secret club we don’t know about, it’s not stored in that drawer where you keep the batteries and the plastic forks that they will not stop sending me from takeout. It’s just not.

You have to build it in. You have to make it. You have to prioritize it. I know how hard it is for us to show up for our own business and our own stuff as service providers, especially for those of us who have really high touch relationships with some of our clients. For those of us who really want to prioritize showing up for the people who have invested with us, the people who have chosen to partner with us, I get it. I struggle with this every single day.

The solution to that was to have these things folded into my to-dos right alongside the client work because this show and my business are just as important as my clients’, arguably more because if I don’t keep this boat going, if I don’t keep my energy and my focus on taking care of my business, my business will not be there to support theirs.

When you sit down and you go, “There’s no way I could find the time. It just doesn’t exist in the ether’s days,” lovingly, that’s BS. You and I both know that. I know it and you know it because we both said it, so let’s just squash any idea that somebody else has figured this out because nobody has. All of us struggle with these things so we have to choose. We have to choose to prioritize what will serve everyone.

I hope this episode was helpful. I really want you to be considering and to be thinking about how can I show up for my show this month? If buying back some time is on that list, is getting some support so that you can take advantage of that SEO, so that you can take advantage of buying that time back, so you can take advantage of those assets and that transcript that are provided for you, so you can take advantage of building these strategic episodes that answer the questions that allow you to point to episodes when you’re on podcast interviews and when you’re teaching in workshops, then it is time for us to have a conversation about working with us at Uncommonly More

If it is not right right now, I will tell you. I promise. We will take on two clients in June. We only have one spot in July because we’ve already booked out one spot in July but we do have two in June and one in July, if you would like to sit down with me, I want you to do that soon. Go to to learn more about it. With that, also make sure you check out The Podcast Newsroom because there’s a new June episode out, but I will see you over in The Podcast Newsroom and I will see you next week. Talk soon.

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