How Can You Effectively Grow Your Podcast?

Ready to grow? Let’s dive into three essential strategies for taking your podcast to the next level. 

Before we jump right to growing though, let’s discuss the importance of intentional growth, honing in on the idea that it’s not just about increasing your audience, but converting those listeners into leads. And we’re doing this with real life examples, as I share why now is the time for growth in my own business.

We’re going to dig into social media, podcast guesting, and the importance of integrating your podcast into every touchpoint of your marketing. All of this becomes possible, only when we’re thinning about our business, our marketing, and our content strategically. 

2:16 – Understanding the ‘why’ behind your growth can make all the difference

5:41 – Signs it was time for marketing shifts in my own business, and why now is the time for growth

9:15 – How we can intentionally boost our podcast’s visibility, especially on social media

13:50 – Making social media easier by using smart content repurposing strategies

20:07 – Leveraging our relationships to start showing up on other people’s podcasts

23:22 – Why it’s crucial to focus on quality over quantity, when pitching podcasts (or hiring someone to do it for you)

25:30 – The integration of podcast content into all of my other content, how we use podcast episodes in email sequences, trainings, and everyday conversations

Mentioned In How Can You Effectively Grow Your Podcast?

Podcasting for Profitability Roundtable

Podcast Strategy Intensive

Rate and Review The More Profitable Podcast

Stacey Harris - If you have been in your show for a while and you're seeing the conversions happen and you want to see more happening, it's time to be looking at growth. And let me be clear if you're wanting to grow your show, but you're not yet seeing any conversions, that needs to be your focus. However, you can do that and start implementing some of the tips we're going to talk through today. So let's talk about three ways you can more effectively grow your podcast. Welcome to the more profitable podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey and 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. I want to start today talking a little bit about growth, because I think something that's really dangerous for us as business owners is going after growth for the sake of growth.

Stacey Harris - We recently had the conversation around knowing the type of show that you are, and I think that's a really important conversation to be aware of and to have with yourself before you have a conversation around growth. Because so often we sit down with clients, in podcast strategy intensives who come in really, really focused in on how do I grow my show in the next 12 weeks, in the next 12 months, and the whatever. And oftentimes I start asking questions about. What's happening with their show now to find out that their show's not actually converting. The show was not currently doing what they wanted to do, and the solution they have found for that is getting more people to listen. And the reality is, is more people into a leaky bucket is not going to suddenly create better results. We've got to first fix the bucket, and the bucket is the show. And if the show is not built to support someone through a purchase decision, getting more people to listen to it is just not going to change your output.

Stacey Harris - You will feel better. You know, back in my social media days, I always called these vanity metrics. It's certainly a term out there for the social side of things, but we don't hear that so often with the podcast stuff. And oftentimes for those podcasters like myself who sit in a place where we're using our show to generate, educate and convert right fit clients, downloads are a bit of a vanity metric. They're more reliable than they've ever been before. I will be the first to say that, but there are pieces of the puzzle. They're not the whole picture. There an element of how we know what's working and what's not working. They're not the whole story. And so yes, growth is good. But you need to know why you want to grow. And until you do that, none of what we're going to talk about today is going to be helpful. Before we dig into this, and we are going to spend a little more time talking this through, I've got I've got an example I want to share, sort of in my own business of where we where we're seeing this transition right now internally and uncommonly more.

Stacey Harris - Before we do that, though, I want to remind you we have another podcasting for profitability roundtable coming up soon. Head on over to uncommonly more com slash roundtable to reserve your spot. This is a spot on my calendar that I have carved out to really bring together podcasters who, like you and I, are using their show to generate, educate, and convert right fit clients. If you ever have questions about things you hear on this show, if you ever have questions on something you see me share on social media, or you hear me talking about on somebody else's show. This is a great place to bring those questions, because I get to talk with you about it. Instead of sort of emails or DMs, we get to like sit and have a conversation. And I am a big believer that if you have the question, somebody else does too. So it's a huge value to everybody who joins us in the room. And I most of all, really just like bringing together a group of podcasters who are working towards the same goal with their show, because oftentimes you and I sit in rooms where our show is unique, our show is maybe the exception.

Stacey Harris - It's not the rule. And I wanted to build a room where we are the rule, baby. So that's what this room is for. Again, head over to uncommonly Welcome roundtable. To reserve your seat for our next one. I'd love to see you there. You'll also get with your confirmation and invitation to drop your question in. Now do that. That way I can come to the call ready and we can jump right in. I always prioritize people who have submitted their questions in advance. We always discuss those earliest in the call. And, oftentimes I will email you resources before we get to the call. that's neither here nor there. again, uncommonly to reserve your spot. So let's talk about when it's a good time to look at growth, because this is one of the places we're at right now. our production. Service like our like. Cornerstone offer, if you will, is less available than it's ever been before. And I have found that over the last 4 or 5 years since we launched the agency, I have.

Stacey Harris - Built out my what I call supporting offers. So for a long time and feel free to just like, fast forward five minutes if you don't care about this. But when we launch the agency in 2019, we I really committed to focusing on just selling. The done for you service. Like just selling the thing, filling up production. And I committed to not building other offers until I had done what I wanted to do with our core offer. And so we didn't have intensives or the group, the small group program, the profitable podcast or mastermind until. I mean, the profitable podcast or mastermind didn't start until last year in 2023. I think we started intensives in either 2022 or 20 or even earlier in 2023, but I really focused on production services and selling just that. As you can probably tell from the calls to action and the way the show has been built. Now we're at a point where I'm really kind of where I want us to be with podcast production services. We've got some room. But also because we have built these other elements, these other offers, these smaller commitment bites.

Stacey Harris - Most often, the people who come into working with production are either referrals or people who have worked with us in these smaller bite offers. And and I call them smaller bite offers because there is. That that bite of getting in with us in production, that is a 12 month minimum. And most of our production clients work with us much longer than that. We've got shows we've produced two years, three years, four years, five years, like the whole gamut I've got. I've got a podcaster I've been working with in one form or another since 2015. Yeah. and so our clients tend to stay with us for the long haul, which I adore, but it means I can't I don't have a ton of capacity to put new people into software, especially now that we have existing clients wanting to. Sort of upgrade, as it were, or step into, larger and larger offers with us. And so I need to shift my front end focus to really putting people in the programs that are going to.

Stacey Harris - Hold and and get started. The clients who will be working with us in production a year from now or two years from now. And so that means selling the profitable podcast or mastermind and our intensives. And I have a lot more capacity to put in new people into those two containers every year than I do production. Even over the last few years, as we've been growing really focused in production, I've only ever looked at bringing in six ish clients a year, a year. That's it. Because I wanted us. I was wanting to be very intentional about how we grew. And so as I sat down to build out my plan for the next quarter and and do the work that I do with our clients for my own show and for this business, and it became really clear to me that I needed to make an adjustment, not so much to our content, because we solve essentially the same problem, just lots of different ways. So the content mostly going to stay the same. Calls to action needed to adjust.

Stacey Harris - You've probably heard that over the last few months. but also. My end result needed to change a little because we can be bringing in. We can be converting more people into these offers. We've got more spots to fill with new clients. When we talk about the intensives and the. the mastermind being our sales focus. That means I have more spots to be putting people in, who are interested in doing this kind of work with us. And so for the first time in a long time, I was able to go, oh, it might be really fun to grow the podcast because generally that is not my focus. My focus is on making sure we're converting the people who are listening, and for as long as we're doing that, and as for as long as the show has a healthy tick forward, either roughly staying the same or more likely, meeting the growth metrics I have set for it. And I expect, based on previous results. Again, measuring my show against my show and layering in the information I know about the larger what happens to data, right? It might be fun to grow my show.

Stacey Harris - This is the energy I want you to be growing your show from. This place is where I want you to be looking at growth. What I want you to take from this sort of story time with Stacey is there is a intention and a purpose to me saying it's time to level up growth. So let's talk about the first way we're doing this. For me, the first step when I'm looking at increasing visibility is social media. Some of this is my background. I spent a long time. I've spent much of my career selling social media as a service, using social media as a sales tool. I taught social media through a membership for many years, and so it's a button I know how to push. It's also a button that I'm very. I understand that pushing does not immediately. It is not a slot machine. It is not an ATM. I don't put some a certain amount of energy in an. Crack out my result. It just it just isn't how social media works. But when I'm looking at getting more visible, it's often the first place I go because it feels the most in my control.

Stacey Harris - I don't need anyone else to to to tell me it's okay. I don't need anybody else to be a part of getting it going. Now we have, in full transparency, added some support to our team this year specifically to help me stay consistent with the social media, because one thing I have learned over the. Well, the entirety of my business because I've only ever done social media DIY, I've never had support in it. So this feels super, super luxurious. By the way, is that I. I'm if I'm going to stay consistent with it, I'm going to need somebody to help me hold this up. Which is also true of the podcast these days. You know, I have support in getting the show out. The team helps me get this out. It's just it's not just me anymore. And so recognizing the relief and the value in that and saying, oh, we could do that with social now and increase this visibility and feel really good about what we're putting out and doing it in a way that is supportive of how I want to approach it and helps me build relationships, because that has always been, for me, the primary purpose of social media.

Stacey Harris - So that's always my first engine. So you're going to see us sharing more on social, but also I'm going to be encouraging you to talk to me in the DMs. I'm going to be encouraging you to reach out on LinkedIn. I'm going to be encouraging you to share things on social. You're going to see me engaging in more conversations on social. Because I have the capacity to do that, because I have the support in helping me put out that foundational content on social and that foundational content helping support me and showing up on social and being engaged there in the conversation part of it. That's the element that helps me generate more traffic to my podcast, not making sure I'm sharing twice as many infographics or a carousel, or hitting some sort of perfect number of posting. It really is about putting enough out that. Sort of as that foundation that I'm able to show up and engage, because that's where the results are. And speaking to the podcast as often as I can on social in a way that isn't.

Stacey Harris - 24 over seven being about me trying to drive you away from this place. Now you will still see calls to action in every single post. Either to buy or go listen to something. Because every opportunity I'm going to give someone an invitation to take a step further. Apps of freaking lutely. Unapologetically. If we want to see results, we have to make that ask. Anyone who who, who is uncomfortable with the frequency at which I make asks or anyone makes asks on social, I would recommend you evaluating the results of your own time on social meaning. Are you never doing it? And is that resulting in a lackluster response to your own offers? That's always something worth looking at. But that engagement, that conversation, that's what's going to drive a listener. That's what's going to see a result. The two things have to be paired together. And again, we're also looking at channels we haven't looked at before. We're also looking at playing with with some social things we haven't done in a while. that maybe I've seen results with before, maybe they haven't been a fit before or whatever.

Stacey Harris - We're we're reevaluating, we're checking in. And so I invite you, if you haven't in a while, to be really mindful of how you're using your social media to drive your listenership. And are you happy with what you're seeing? If all you do is on the day your your episode releases, in our case, Wednesdays you go and you drop the audiogram on Instagram and you're curious why no one ever listens to the show from Instagram. That's that alone is not going to get the job done. What will get the job done is unlike sharing that to your stories or being really engaging in in conversation, actually answering DMs. When people send you DMs, and responding to them and connecting and having been behaving like a person, that really is the difference maker. it really is the game changer. And that gets easier when you have a few things in place, a consistent strategic content. So you're going to notice that a lot of what I talk about on the, social channels are from the most recent or a past episode of the podcast.

Stacey Harris - I'm not sort of like. Just talking about random things. I'm bringing in things that are relevant. So if I've got a podcast going out that's talking about ABC, then I'm going to be making sure that I've also got some repurposed content that talks about deaf. That I can build on that. And so now I'm marketing more than just this week's episode. And I think that's where a lot of podcasters go wrong, is they go, well, I'm already on social, I'm already promoting my episodes right on Wednesday or whatever your release day is. You say, hey guys, I've got a new episode. Check it out. That's not marketing on social media. That's not using your podcast as a tool to help you better leverage your social media. That's that's not using your social media to drive traffic to the podcast that is checking the box. That is a really good way to feel like you can answer yes to the question, do you use social media to drive traffic to your podcast? There's got to be those other pieces.

Stacey Harris - And so if you go scroll through our Instagram, you'll see a lot of stuff from past episodes, way past episodes. And you're going to see more of that because that content is always valuable. Even if I didn't just say it this week. And so now I'm driving traffic to not just this week's episode, but an episode that came out three months ago or six months ago, and both are valuable to a listener right now. So now there's options. I'm also now sharing a conversation here, not just a teaser and saying, hey, but if you really want me to be valuable, you've got to go to this whole other place. No, it's here's a look at what's actually happening in the episode. Here's some insights, here's some value. And that's paired with an audiogram that says, hey, go listen to the episode. Sure. But I gave you a reason to go. And so if you are not currently using social media and you want to see your social, your podcast grow, look at ways you can start using social media.

Stacey Harris - If you feel like you are currently using social media, it's a great time for a check in. How are the assets were creating performing? What changes could we make to them? If you know, a great example of this is something we're going to be doing this summer, is we're going to be messing with our templates and tweaking them because they've been around for a while, and we all sort of become blind to the same when we see the same thing over and over again. So we're changing up some of our templates, we're playing with some of our designs, we're shifting some of the ways we post stuff. We're posting the same things in multiple ways on multiple platforms so that we can see what resonates and what doesn't. We're not just hammering it out with one thing over and over and wondering why it doesn't work. So if you're not currently using social and you want to go to your show, start using social strategically, using your podcast as a way to feed that content machine. Using content you've already created.

Stacey Harris - And if you are already using social media, check in with it. If you're not happy with what's happening right now, the outcomes of what's happening right now evolve. Make some shifts. The number two thing that I am going to be doing as I look at growing and the thing I maybe most commonly recommend, and the only reason it's second on this list is because you got to get somebody else on board, and that's go and be on other people's shows. Now hear me when I say. This does not mean cold emailing everybody who's ever had a show listed in Apple Podcasts. And saying, hey, can I be on your show? That's absolutely not what we're going to do. Here's what I do, and here's what I recommend you do. You are a podcaster. You know other podcasters. Reach out to them and say, hey, I've got this happening. I've been talking about this lately. This is really interesting, and I think it would be great for your audience. Can we sit down and record a podcast for your show? And if you'd like to.

Stacey Harris - Hey, I'd love to do a two part episode, one part on my show, one part on your show so that we can come together, share our expertise. And drive people back and forth. This leads a lot more people to my show. Then when I. And I've never done it, so I. That's a lie. I can't actually say it worked more effectively because I've never done it the other way. I don't like the other way. This works more effective for effectively for me than cold emailing. With that said. If you want to be cold emailing, if you want to be reaching out to shows where you don't have a relationship with anybody at that show a I still reach out to my network first and I say, hey, I saw you were on show XYZ. I love to be on show XYZ. Could you introduce me to the host? That's my first step. If that won't work. I head back to social media. I start building a relationship. I start engaging, I start connecting.

Stacey Harris - Does this mean months and months and months of of of slow play? No. It means. Commenting. And paying attention to what episodes they're putting out, mostly because I'm already listening to the show so that I can effectively pitch the show. I often will send a DM and say I'm loving the show. Just sent a just send an idea to your inbox to talk about something we might be able to do together. And they've already got an email that says, hey, here's how I think I could be a value to your audience. Here's what I would like to talk about. Here's what this would look like. Here's why it's a value to your audience. What do you think? Do you see how that's different than going through lists and notes and being like these people who are podcasters? Let me email them and just say, here's who I am, here's what I like, and here's why I'm going to be on your show. You got to tell them what's in it for them. You got to tell them what's in it for their listener.

Stacey Harris - We need to give the same energy to other hosts that we expect guests or prospective guests to give us when they reach out. The Golden Rule is the Golden Rule for a reason, right? It's true though, so make sure that you're intentionally reaching out. I get questions all the time about investing. Hiring somebody who is a podcast booker. I don't see anything wrong with that. I would say when you're working with them, before you start working with them, sit down and do some of this work of who do I know? Who do I have relationships with? What are those levers I can pull? Because if you can go to them and say, hey, these are the first ten shows I want to pitch, I actually know so-and-so, or I have this friend who was on their show. Can we work that into the pitch? You're coming to them with a lot of initial leverage to deliver you some good results. You are helping them help you when you come prepared. If you want to just you just know you want to be on more shows and you're not really sure what you want to talk about, and you're not really sure what shows you want to be on.

Stacey Harris - I would be more cautious about engaging a booker. I would be really mindful of hiring somebody who's going to help you make those decisions before you start pitching. because I find a lot of podcast bookers are really working based on the number of pitches made, not number of episodes booked or quality of episodes booked. That's not universal. That is 100% universal. Which is why I'm telling you this, because there are also podcast bookers who do a great job of prioritizing quality connections and quality conversations and really making sure everything's going to be a good fit. And those are the people who are going to say, who do you know that we can connect? what shows do you want to be on? Use me as that leverage tool. Now, I'm the person who's introducing you because I have a relationship with all of these podcasts you want to be on, because they already know when they get a pitch from us, it's going to be of a certain caliber and a certain quality. And so if you want to invest in this.

Stacey Harris - Be really, really picky about who you work with. Ask for referrals. Ask to talk to some other people who they've booked on. You'll be fascinated to hear some of the responses those people share with you about the results. but be really mindful. But it can be a really good way if you want to be doing this really aggressively this year, especially if you're somebody who's got like a book coming out or you're launching a large offer or program or making a big shift, then it can absolutely be a good investment. but we want to be really mindful of who we're making that investment with. The last thing I want to say, and this is a thing I'm pretty good about, but I'm being really intentional and mindful about as we move through, the next part of this year. I. Reference my podcast all of the time. All of the time when I'm. Responding to a question in my DMs from somebody. My first response is often we talk about that in this episode. Go check it out.

Stacey Harris - Because a maybe it's a casual listener who doesn't realize that we've talked about it before. Sometimes it's somebody who's never actually listened to the show. Oftentimes it's somebody who's never listened to. They have found me via social. They saw me in a TikTok video. They saw real. We went out. Somebody sent my information to them. Maybe we've had a client who has shared, something or tagged us in something or whatever, and we'll get somebody in the DMs saying, hey, I have a question about such and such. I'll say, absolutely, here's the podcast. Because if I can get them in on one episode, I can get them to listen to more episodes. As you know, this place is great. Right? Right. Right, right. and so I have saved as shorts in my, like, short text saved responses in my phone. I do them saved on my keyboard. I know Instagram does allow you to do saved responses, but I have them saved just in my Apple keyboard, so if I just type in certain things, I get a whole URL.

Stacey Harris - for my most common episodes. I also have a notes in my notes app for episodes I share frequently because and you know this is true. We tend to get the same questions over and over again. That's why we built content about it, right? Because it's a good question. A lot of people ask, and so I will send those to people frequently. Because I like to answer questions completely, and the most complete way I can do that is in the podcast. So when I have these elements where someone's asking me a question, I don't need to answer the whole question completely right here. I don't need to send you an eight page email. I can instead send you three podcast episodes and let you know why they're helpful. And I made them out email DMs when I'm speaking from the stage. When I'm a guest on other people's podcasts, I'm always referencing my show. We talked about this in an episode recently, I love this. We talked about this in episode 605. I loved this question.

Stacey Harris - We actually talk about this a lot in our Podcasting Housekeeping series that we run every August. If you want to check it out, just search Podcast Housekeeping on the podcast page. Those are the way I'm answering questions. Not because I don't want to answer it, but because I know I did a much better job answering it in the podcast that I'm going to right now. And so I'm referencing it all the time when I meet people. At a networking event, and we're talking about podcasting, or we're having a conversation about something and it makes sense. That's an important caveat. It makes sense. I'm not shoehorning this into every conversation with every person I've ever met. But I'll say, yeah, you know, this comes up with our clients all the time. In fact, I was talking to a client about this on a case study episode we did for a profitable podcast or mastermind. We were talking, and then I'll talk about what we were talking about, and oftentimes I'll get somebody going, oh, send that episode to me.

Stacey Harris - If you're not talking about your podcast. No one knows you have one. If you're not talking about the episodes that will help them see the results they're looking for, they're not going to find them. It is imperative that we be referencing our show all of the time. If you're building out. This is one of the biggest things we have done recently in strategy intensives. In fact. If you're sending out, if you're putting together an email sequence, you're onboarding or, or, you know, somebody signed up for a webinar or whatever, and you're not considering what episodes, what podcasts you could be putting in that sequence. If you're not building podcasts with the idea of, where could I put this in a nurture sequence, you're missing an opportunity. We want to be cross-pollinating. We want to be talking about this stuff in all of the places. Too often we're thinking about our podcasts as a silo, and that's a really difficult way for it to grow. Whereas if we're referencing it in email, we're referencing it in our social, we're referencing it in our networking, we're referencing it in our our, our marketing content on whatever platform it may be on.

Stacey Harris - Then it always ties together. We can attract people to this place so that it can do the job of educating and converting. That happens from effectively marketing it. And that means talking about it all of the places all of the time. As we wrap up this episode, as we bring it to a close, I want to remind you. One. If you're going to be looking at growth, I want you to be looking at why growth? Two. These are three of the things we're going to be playing with over the next 6 to 9 months. And this is where we're experimenting, because this is where we're most often seeing results. This is where we're most often seeing the market. See results. Now. That's great. Right. These are great general ideas, but now you have to go refine that and figure out how to make that work for you. And that's again, that's the work we're doing as we go through this experimentation on our own. If you want to hear how this goes on the other side of this.

Stacey Harris - Send me a DM, let me know and I'll put a pin in this, and we'll follow up this conversation closer to the end of the year. And we'll talk about what's working and what's not working. Maybe we bring on some people from the team, but I want to challenge you. To be thinking about this differently because all of this work. And then I'll really put all my soapboxes away and we'll be done. All of these things that I'm talking about, the social stuff and the content that's going to go there, the kind of conversations I'm pitching when I reach out to my network and I say, hey, you want to you want to have a conversation on your show? the the ways I'm tying my podcast into conversations when I'm referencing it in things like roundtables and emails and social content, etc.. I know what all of that needs to be because I first took the first step. Of building a plan. I knew. Sort of. Globally, what I'm selling and who I'm selling it to and how I'm selling it as I move through this next, you know? 12 2436 weeks.

Stacey Harris - So three, six, nine months. I know what that looks like. I know what needs to happen in that space. I know what content I'm going to create then, because I know what I need to create to sell those things. And so now I know. What I'm selling. How I'm selling it inside the podcast, the content plan, and now I can build these other pieces, these other attract pieces from that. We're moving backwards. You know, we talk about this all the time as generate, educate and convert. But realistically, the best way to get this done is thinking convert, educate, generate. I know we can convert and I know what we're converting on. That allows me to figure out what education needs to happen. Building out that education allows me to know what I need to be saying to generate the right people to that education. That's where we're looking at growth. Well, after we're looking at I know this show can convert. Okay. Really the soap box is away.

Stacey Harris - But this is the work we do with our clients and podcast strategy intensives. So we do have some spots open if you want to be doing this work. If you're like I'd love to grow, but I. Have been effectively talked into understanding that to grow. I must first know that this thing is working. And I don't know that yet. Then it's time for us to sit down for an intensive, uncommonly morcombe intensive gives you everything you need to know about the intensives, plus an opportunity to book a conversation with me. You do not need to book your intensive from that page. You can just book a chat with me and we can talk about if now is the right time for you. For this. All right. Uncommonly more com slash intensive. I will see you there. I look forward to chatting. And I'll see you right back here next week. Hi. Thanks so much for listening to the show. Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode.

Stacey Harris - 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 look likes with our team. All of that is over at uncommonly Morcombe. And 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 Podcast newsroom, dot com. And the last favor I will ask because social proof is endlessly important for sure is to leave a rating or review for the show. If you go to rate this, 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. So this is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep you going. Talk soon.

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