What’s funny is one of the things that comes up a lot when it comes to hiring our agency or when someone is talking about having hired an editor before, they’ll say that they didn’t see a direct increase in their downloads. Today, I want to just, for once and for all, squash this idea that hiring an editor or upleveling the sound of your podcast automatically means more downloads, and what you’re going to want to do instead to get more downloads and more importantly, how that investment and support can pay off on their download side. All right, let’s get into it.
Welcome, welcome to another episode. I’m super stoked today because this is a topic that has been on my mind for quite a while because oftentimes, there is a conflation between the ideas that improving your sound quality will improve the amount of people downloading or listening to your show. The two things are not actually connected. Certainly, improving the sound quality of your show is important and can retain more listeners. It can even maybe help with people feeling better about sharing it, but that’s going to be more about content. Really the only thing that improving your sound will get you is better retention to your listeners, getting listeners to come back again and again. Because obviously, if this experience is not, at least okay, then you’re going to run into some hiccups. You’re going to run into some problems. When we talk about hiring options, the editor option is not ever, ever, ever going to get you more downloads just because you hired an editor, because again, the two things are not directly connected. But there are lots of hiring options. There are lots of ways to get support.
Let’s first talk about the things that will get you more downloads.
Let’s talk about the levers you need to be pulling. If it’s not sound quality, what is it? It’s actually pretty simple. It’s content that is speaking to the problem they have and doing the marketing steps to get your show in front of those people. Now, the marketing, most frequently, is considered Tweets, Instagram posts, Instagram Stories, LinkedIn posts, Facebook posts, and spamming Facebook groups with your new episodes. That is certainly an option. It’s in play but it’s not maybe the best one.
I do think the social media strategy is absolutely important. I also think an email strategy can be really important, even if, and I put a big asterisk next to this every time because I have talked to enough podcasters, even podcasters who are email marketing pros, it’s what they do, they sell those services. Podcast emails, anecdotally at least, are the worst performers as far as clicks. This is 100% backed by data on my side. I can send you a Tuesday email with a podcast and get a handful of clicks. I can send a Thursday email that’s a straight promo and I will get more clicks than I got to the podcast episodes, and even more clicks if I send to an older piece of content or content somewhere else, maybe a guest spot I’ve done but it’s not always a one-for-one in emails but it will get them to go, “Oh yeah, when I plug into the car later, I want to make sure I listen to that episode.” Or they’ll pull it up on their computer or whatever.
Those things certainly work.
One that I don’t think we talk about enough and you’re going to hear me talking about more because it’s something we’ve been working on for a while, and something that I’m quadrupling down on right now in my own education and training of myself and my team here at Uncommonly More, is SEO. If you’re not paying attention to the Search Engine Optimization of your podcast yet, we’re going to run into some issues. It’s one of the reasons that we have show notes on our websites. Certainly, it’s about getting someone to listen in our infrastructure but the fact of the matter is most of our listings are coming from the podcast apps but we still want to pay attention to those show notes because we want to be able to be searchable on Google. Guess what, those podcast platforms are also all search engines, so you’ve got to be paying attention to the keywords all over your show, in your description, in your title, even in your name, make sure it’s spelled in alignment with however it is you present yourself on the internet.
For a long time, my name on our podcast feed was The Stacey Harris because that’s frequently how people refer to me, almost one word. Now, it’s Stacey Harris because I don’t use the “The” as much but it’s important to make sure that those things are discoverable and accurate because now, all of that is SEO. These are the levers that are going to get you more downloads. Hiring an editor isn’t going to impact any of those things. If those things are what create more downloads, how do we implement those? Hiring an editor can, by extension, help because if you have an editor doing your actual editing, you have more time to do the other production things, you have more time to do things, like prepare your show notes and create or optimize transcripts or create graphics or audiograms or other marketing materials from the show, and of course, be marketing the show. Whether that’s by being a guest on other people’s podcasts to drive traffic back to your own, sitting in for other kind of interviews, repurposing podcast content, and to other sites as guest posts etc., maybe sharing it on social, maybe it’s doing some of that optimization for SEO of past episodes. Whatever the case may be, you have more time to do those traffic driving tasks if you have someone doing your editing.
Also though, there are potentially more impactful hires you could make than a standalone editor, although it is a really common first investment for podcasters, working with someone who specifically helps you with your show notes, working with someone who handles SEO optimizations of shows, working with someone who can schedule or create your social media, those things can all be hires you could make that would improve the downloads and results you’re getting from your show. There’s also, surprise, surprise, podcast production agencies, like Uncommonly More where we handled the editing, the show notes, and creating those graphics and those audiograms for you so that all you have to do is write, and share the social media. You have the materials to go with it.
The biggest thing you’re buying when you hire an agency or any one of these support pieces, regardless of the lever you’re pulling, the biggest thing you’re buying is time and brain space.
I always, always, always encourage clients to use that time and brain space to do the things that create clients. In some cases, that means doing the things that create more downloads, doing those things like I mentioned earlier—being a guest on other people’s show, showing up in your Instagram stories, doing Instagram lives, being a featured guest in people’s classes and programs—all of those visibility actions that we do to market our business.
Remember that we’re also promoting our show. That’s a great place to put these people who are maybe meeting you for the first time. For example, when I go on a podcast, I’m not really looking for someone to write from that podcast, “Go to the Uncommonly More website and book a conversation with me for production services.” That’s not where we’re going to go but what I am doing is I’m pointing them to the Podcast Newsroom where we can build a deeper relationship and they can see what we’re talking about right now, what podcasters need to know right now. I can lead them to this podcast and increase my downloads, and how I have a more qualified listener listening. Do you see what I’m saying here? We are doing some of that front-end stuff.
Yes, when we hire, we absolutely hope to create better results with our show. Depending on the lever we pull, in different ways, that can happen. Ultimately though, what we do is we buy back time so that we can show up for our show in a different way. We have some great examples of this inside of our clients. We have clients who now use the time they used to use to produce their show when they were DIYing to create another content. We have one client who really wanted to start utilizing Youtube and doing videos. Guess what, she handed over her podcast to us, so she got to go play with this new medium. Frequently, what she’s doing is she’s taking those videos and she’s embedding them on show notes pages we’re creating. She’s making these assets even better and she’s making these assets work together. She has the capacity to do this because she’s let go of some tasks—the podcast stuff—to make space for something that allows her to drive even more traffic to the things she’s created that she knows already work.
Before you sit down and hire anybody to offer you support with your show—it could be an editor, it could be a VA, it could be someone doing show notes, it could be a strategist, it could be a social media marketer or a graphic designer, I don’t care who it is—I want you to be really clear with how you’re going to spend the time you’re buying back because that way you’re going to spend the time you’re buying back, I guarantee you, that’s what generates more downloads, generates more sales because you now have purchased some capacity.
Another great way, I use the brain space, the time, and the capacity I bought back, having my team produce this show. I’m an audio engineer by training. I can edit. No problem. I am a social media marketer by trade. I’ve done that for the last 10 years. I have no problem prepping social. I have templates that were created by a designer, so I have no problem creating my graphics. I can quickly pull and create my own audiograms. I can produce the show DIYed faster than just about anybody. I guarantee it. But guess what I buy back when I don’t do it myself? The brain space to create a quality show to run through that process. I buy the capacity to really think about how I use this time that we share. I buy the capacity to make sure that this gets shared and used in as many cool ways as possible. I buy back the capacity to show up from the right energy, from the right mindset, from the right intention when I sit down and I talk into this microphone in front of my computer for 15, 20 minutes at a time, and I tell you this stuff. That’s what I buy back. That’s what our clients buy back. I want you to consider that when you look at whoever it is you’re going to hire.
How much time do you want to buy back?
It’s one of the reasons I like working with my team. It’s one of the reasons our clients like working with our team because we do so much in one space, the edit, the show notes, the graphics, the audiograms. All of that stuff is prepped and ready for you. It’s on your website, it’s in your host, it’s ready to go. All you have to think about is the recording and the sharing. You’ve got assets to jumpstart the sharing. You’ve also got a transcript and show notes written out for you. Frequently, those are used as part of social media and emails. Think about what you are buying back.
When you decide that you’d really like to buy the amount of time I’m talking about, give me a call, head over to uncommonlymore.com and join us. Let’s sit down, let’s have a conversation about what podcast production looks like for you, and let’s get you that time purchase this year because it is now September. We are looking at Q4. I already have on my calendar the Q4 calls for our clients. If you would like to be on that list, if you would like to do that Q4 planning with me, if you would like to make this change and create this space before we wrap up this year, let’s have that conversation now because we’re running out of runway this year. I want you to run out of this year with so much more space. I think we’ve all earned a little extra space. Head over to uncommonlymore.com to get all of the details. I will, of course, see you there and back here for another great episode next week. Talk soon.