How do you create and develop a podcast community? Relationships matter in podcasting just as it does in other industries.
You can start a podcast, release new episodes, and do the same thing again and again. But without a podcast community, you can end up demotivated and quit.
A podcast community is a group of people you share the same interests with. They tune in to your show, hoping to hear something fresh, informative, exciting, and the list goes on. They give you life through comments, reviews, ratings, downloads, and through other means of engagement.
It is definitely motivating to have them around. In the first part of this series, we learned that: 1) purposes are to be shared, 2) relationships are won over a cup of coffee, 3) active listening is a must, 4) there are wolves inside each person, and 5) creativity gives life.
Here are five more classic insights to help you out:
6. The Field is Open to Anyone Anywhere
If you look into your podcast statistics, you’ll find that your listeners come from different places and backgrounds. Some of them come from your local area or country, while others come from other places in the world.
Their different geographical locations give you the opportunity to extend to more networks and places. Unless you want to have few listeners, you can trace them and invest on them. They’re everywhere, and so are opportunities.
“We all have career aspirations to achieve; yet many of us do not hold ourselves accountable enough to build the right foundation to achieve our aspirations.” -Glenn Llopis
Identify your actual listeners and loyal followers. Podcasting is not just about releasing your ideas. It requires you to also add value to your community by listening to their feedback and staying updated on their interests.
A podcaster is a thought leader. According to Glenn Llopis, leaders have the responsibility to open doors and create opportunities. You need to acknowledge your accountability to achieve your goals.
If you want your podcast community to grow, you need to identify who they are.
Here are among the things that you can do to identify your listeners:
- Refer to your podcast stats, and check your listeners’ geographical locations. Where do they come from? Which episodes do most of them tune in?
- From which devices do your listeners tune in? How can you improve your podcast to ensure it suits their device? Are there any necessary improvements to make to enhance their listening experience?
- Refer to your ratings and reviews, and check your listeners’ feedback. What are they interested in? What effect does your show or episode have on them?
Think about how you can add more value to your podcast community. See where you need to improve, and act on them. There’s a wide field of opportunity that’s just waiting to grow.
7. Leaders Train Leaders
Establishing your identity as a thought leader can be difficult. You need to drive in enough listeners who can follow you regularly and tell others about you. It is challenging, but it does not erase the fact that you are leading them with your thoughts.
“Leadership lifts people from the life they have to the life they could have.” -John C. Maxwell
Listeners come from different backgrounds and settings. They make up an interesting podcast community of potential clients and partners. Like everyone else, they have something to offer to others.
They tune in with the hopes of finding something useful and unique—something to satisfy their curiosity.
Pretty sure you’ve heard about the story of the boy who cried wolf. A young shepherd boy decided to play tricks on the villagers by calling out wolf and making them believe that wolves are on attack. When the real wolf arrived, however, they no longer believed his report. To his dismay, the wolf fed on his sheep and had a “jolly feast.”
People are just around the corner and are ready to listen to anything worth their time. When you lead them with quality content, the more likely they are to follow your lead regularly. Don’t give them false hopes, but rather give them what their trust is worth.
You don’t want to be like the boy who cried wolf. Trust requires honesty in relationships. The villagers could have been heroes and wolf fighters, but lost their privilege simply because of the unreliable reports from the boy.
Your listeners have the potential themselves. Lead them well, and you’ll find them leading others to you in the long run. Consider this: what makes your podcast worth listening to?
8. Appreciation Drives Engagement
A positive environment produces a positive outlook. It’s what Tony Schwartz learned from appreciating his team. People naturally want to be recognized for their efforts.
“Whatever else each of us derives from our work, there may be nothing more precious than the feeling that we truly matter—that we contribute unique value to the whole, and that we’re recognized for it.” -Tony Schwartz
Recognition is a way of appreciating someone. It adds value to that person. The same applies in podcasting.
Think about who helped produce your podcast. Who helped you in the road to success? Are you alone in your journey? Where do you think you’ll go without a podcast community?
You see, you have people supporting you in the process. Listeners are your main contributors. Their active engagement boosts your show.
Spare some time to thank them for tuning in. If you are working with a team, recognize their individual contributions to let them know you’re thankful. A positive action can send ripples even to the least expected.
And, who knows? You might get a positive ripple back. As Tony said it, it’s contagious.
9. Clarity of Speech Breeds Clarity of Thought
Sometimes, even with skillful editing, podcasters fail to provide their ideas clearly. Some eat their words, while some just shoot their thoughts like bullets everywhere. Lack of direction or focus can mislead and disappoint listeners.
“…everything that can be said can be said clearly.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein
Given that you have something to say, it’s reasonable enough to share it clearly and precisely. Make things simple for your listeners. Here are some roadblocks to clarity and comprehension:
- You are not very good with the language you’re using.
- Your voice is is too soft and inaudible.
- There’s too much fear to handle.
- You are not familiar enough with your topic.
- Your accent is heavy.
- The words you use are too advanced for your listeners.
There can be other hindrances. One thing you can do to help your listeners understand is identify your weakness. Ask feedback from your friends and close relations.
You might have the only solution to a problem, but people miss it because of your inability to deliver clearly. Take a step back and evaluate your situation. You don’t want to sever your tie with your podcast community simply because of a minor misunderstanding.
Like they say, the clarity of your expression reflects the clarity of your thoughts. Don’t let a good idea go unheard. Speak clearly, and be more effective.
10. The Mouth Speaks What the Heart is Full Of
Needless to say, words have power. They can bend a person’s will, start a war, sentence a person to death, inspire a beloved, nurture a friendship—it’s powerful. The fact that more and more people are listening to podcasts shows the ability of words to influence lives.
“What we say is important, for in most cases the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” -James M. Beggs
But, what influence does your podcast have on your podcast community? Words allow you to communicate your thoughts and emotions. They reflect what’s inside you as well.
It’s natural for any podcaster to want their listeners to respond to the episodes they release. But, it’s equally important to send them the exact message you want them to receive.
You might want your podcast to inspire people, but your tone of voice and word choice are dull and meaningless. You might want to give room for people to express their thoughts on your topic, but you don’t really listen to them.
Are you saying what you say you are? Consider how people would respond if you deliver your message in a particular manner. Assess whether you are hitting your points or not.
Help your podcast community to identify well with your goals and vision. What you say and how you say it matter.
Connect to Establish Relationships
Making connections is a good way to establish long term relationships with your listeners. It’s a way of creating and developing your podcast community.
But connections do not necessarily create relationships. You can promote your show and reach a lot of people, but not all those you reach will respond to your unique offering.
“While connections are about doing and action and are usually time-constrained, relationships are about being and the experience of connecting with someone over an extended period of time.” -Gideon Rosenblatt
It takes patience and a lot of hard work to grow and strengthen your community. There’s no guarantee that people will stay with you forever. Times change, and so do people.
What’s important is you know what you need to achieve your goals. Be responsible for your actions.
Regardless of the difficulty it entails to maintain, relationships matter in podcasting. It gives life and adds value to your show. Listen to learn and learn to listen to the concerns and interests around and within you.
Connect, understand, and lead your podcast community to the next level. To sum everything, see the opportunity, lead leaders, appreciate effort, have a clear message, and understand the power of words. 🙂
What do you think about The Art of Creating and Developing a Podcast Community (Part 2)? Feel free to leave your comments or suggestions. We love hearing from you!