Whatever circle you belong, relationships matter. They satisfy goals, create happiness, and boost value. In the online industry, many tend to objectify the community they have.
The same is true in podcasting. The idea of an ideal client or partner makes it easy for podcasters to come up with plans and strategies for their shows. While this is definitely convenient, it does not guarantee that they’re attracting the exact target they want or that they are succeeding with their goals.
Here’s The Art of Creating and Developing a Podcast Community (Part 1). We’ve gathered some classic insights to help identify what you need to connect and strengthen your relationship with podcast listeners.
1. Purposes are to Be Shared, Not Kept in Secret
How do listeners discover your podcast? There can be a couple of scenarios—through a friend, colleague, suggestion box, other podcasts, ads. But, one thing is common: they had it in mind to know.
Humans are inherently curious. Whether listeners are just killing their time and randomly browsing the internet or are intentionally looking for something great, their curiosity drives them to find you.
“Attention is the most important currency that anybody can give you. It’s worth more than money, possessions or things.” -Steve Rubel
You’ll have to be interesting enough for them to listen. It takes less than a minute to make a good first impression. You have that short amount of time to draw a listener’s attention.
Once you have them, you motivate them to continue listening until they decide to become long term listeners. It’s how you boost your value.
Association or the ability to recognize a point is part of decision making. Listeners need to know what you are about. You can’t keep a great idea in a box.
Here’s how you can help others associate with you:
- KEYWORDS – Use words that people typically use to find you. You can place them in your episode title, description, or show notes. Think about what you want to be found for or what people would type in search boxes or engines to reach your show.
- COLOR – Imagine the world in black and white. We’ll all have the same color—pretty neat but difficult to distinguish. Everyone has his own story to tell. As podcaster, this is why you find time to plan out your episodes. You want it unique and useful enough for people to tune in. You can add color or a unique touch to your podcast through the words you use and the content you share.
- DESIGN – Podcasts typically need cover photos or featured images to showcase episodes. Visuals attract people. Be creative in your images and other media attachments. Aside from them, you can also create an interesting format for your show’s flow.
In all this, your goal is to captivate. Make your keywords, color, and design speak for you. That way, people won’t have a hard time identifying what you are about. Let your brand stand out and your voice heard. 🙂
2. Relationships are Won Over a Cup of Coffee
A cup of coffee represents openness or the willingness to open up to conversations. It gives relationships the opportunity to grow through meaningful talks.
“Getting handed a cup of coffee and knowing we get to sit on the couch is like getting a little gift. It appeases the morning grumpy gods.” -Richelle
Richelle and her boyfriend Nate experienced how a cup of coffee strengthened their relationship. They spend some 20 minutes every day laughing, arguing, joking, or crying with a cup of coffee. It enabled them to make meaningful conversations, and just concentrate on what each has to say.
Similarly, this kind of transparency matters in podcasting. You deal with people all the time—not robots or objects that will buy your message. According to Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant, trust requires risk.
It is risky to share something you are not used to tell others about. But to build and value your listeners’ trust, you need to be transparent enough in your thoughts. What’s confidential can remain confidential.
Consider Kevin Rizer, an Amazon seller, consultant, and founder of Private Label Podcast. Every week he offers tips and insights on being a private label seller. In his recent episode, he shares how lots of people want to stay updated with his business endeavors.
Listeners can have different reasons for tuning in. But to keep them interested, you need to be willing to share what you have and understand that they want to know more from you. Perhaps, the question is: how do you value relationships?
3. Active Listening is a Must
This might already sound cliche, but it’s true: communication is a two-way process. It involves a speaker and a listener. Sharing the same interests isn’t enough to grow a podcast community.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” -Tony Robbins
Each person has a unique background. Listeners can come from different places and different settings. You wouldn’t know what they need unless you listen to them.
In podcasting, listening can be done during: preparation, production, release, and distribution.
- PREPARATION – While preparing for each episode, your market speaks first. The ideas, plans, and strategies that you use for your show are from them. You can research on what they are after, such as trends and issues, and identify what makes them tick. Narrow down your thoughts in an outline or simply jot down key takeaways. You can base on that stock of knowledge in communicating with your listeners.
- PRODUCTION – Once you have your plans laid out, you proceed to recording and editing your episode. While doing so, listen to your audio’s quality. Identify the weak points, and make necessary adjustments. You can also create a unique format that listeners would love.
- RELEASE – Keeping an eye on what people say about your show’s episode is helpful. It enables you to know your weaknesses as well as strengths. You can have meaningful conversations along the way. Be open to feedback. It’s a great way to gather ideas for your succeeding episodes. Just keep the ball rolling.
- DISTRIBUTION – You can refer to your podcast host, social media, and other stats to identify which episode has the most number of engagement activities. You want to know what your listeners are interested in.
In all stages of podcasting, active listening matters. If you publish an episode only for the sake of publishing, chances are you’ll easily get demotivated. No show runs by itself.
You need to listen to your market’s interests to know how to satisfy them.
There could be times when you both have the same interests, but still not agree with each other. Erin Flynn puts it this way: “Even though you both love Star Wars and the color pink, it doesn’t make a good fit all the time.” When that happens, you can concentrate on those listeners who connect well with you. Make them your inspiration to go on; they deserve it.
4. There are Wolves Inside Each Person
There’s an ancient story about the two wolves inside every person. One wolf represents darkness and despair, while the other represents light and hope. Everyone has the choice to either starve one of them or feed both of them. Needless to say, a person’s decision will affect his life.
Likewise in podcasting, identifying which to follow is important. What is your motive for starting and running a podcast? Whatever it is, it’s relatively necessary to also acknowledge your listeners’ motive.
“Each person has something that other people don’t have and that other people need.” -Anon
Acknowledge the voices of others. They also have something to offer. This is particularly obvious in podcasts with interview formats.
The hosts sometimes interrupt the guest while speaking. And instead of featuring the guest’s message, the episode spotlights the host’s opinions and puts the guest in the supporting role. The guest could have had something better to share, but lost the privilege because of the interruptions.
Such cases feed the tenacity in the bad wolf, and strikes a blow on the good one. Before making decisions, it’s good to clarify what you really want to achieve.
Podcasting is a form of communication—a two-way process. It’s a give and take. Identify what you need to help you determine which wolf to feed in any situation.
5. Creativity Gives Life
Communities need a reason to unite and stay together. Why should people tune in and stay throughout your podcast episode? What makes you interesting?
“We come into conversations with specific outcomes in mind. Creative conversations open a third conversation.” -Brit Poulson
It’s convenient to have an end goal in mind when communicating with others. But, it somehow restricts people from opening to other ideas and thought patterns.
To spark interest, one needs to go beyond what’s convenient and find good ways to do so. You can have plans, but you shouldn’t restrain yourself from making changes when necessary. Be flexible.
It’s how you welcome creativity to your episodes and conversations. Be creative enough to allow people to feel like they belong. Be creative enough to give life to your podcast community.
Again, relationships matter. You need to look after your listeners and not just your show. Create meaningful moments with them. In the long run, you’ll find your community grow and your podcast still running. Connect with one person at a time, and make it count. Tune in for the second part of this article! 🙂
What do you think about The Art of Creating and Developing a Podcast Community (Part 1)? Leave a comment or suggestion below. We love hearing from you!
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