More listeners please!
The podcasters call to arms.
Although there are some tangible and tactical ways to grow your audience, there is a yet another opportunity that sometimes is left untouched by many of us podcasters…
I’ll focus specifically on summer time at this moment, as that’s the season that we are in, but these tips also apply to other vacation time or holiday time: Spring Break, Christmas Vacation, Thanksgiving, etc.
So why is this time so important towards growing your audience?
Changing Schedules– During summer time, people’s schedules and calendars completely change, including the way that they interact with their technology: some drop it completely to get some unplugged time, others engage in new ways with their devices, and still others take the time to experiment with new content and engagement because they have the time.
Added Users– Especially within families media devices are actively being used by more family members, specifically children and young adults, as they are now home and have a lot of idle time in their hands.
Travel and New Environments– I still remember clearly those long summer trips with my brothers and I in the back seat of our minivan, each one of us with either a walkman or a video game. Sad to say, I barely looked out the window! This was the time that I began to cultivate my own “tastes” in music and radio stations. I chose what I listened to. Long travel is the optimal opportunity to cultivate engaged listeners, especially younger ones.
Strategies for Wrangling Fresh Listeners
You can see from the reasons above that summer time is an optimal time to gain new listeners of all ages, and it basically boils down to publishing more.
I know it’s hard, but here are some ninja tricks to get you producing when no one else is 🙂
- Summer is an Opportunity- Take Advantage: It’s awesome to chill out. It’s so yummy to not do anything. The thing is, if you really want to get more listeners, more subscribers, a bigger audience, etc. you have to do something about it! Begin to simply change YOUR mindset about summertime and shift it to see the great opportunity you have as a creative, independent, content producer. You are in the driver’s seat. Let it rip.
- Plan Accordingly: Make time in your calendar to get a publishing schedule together, just for these 6-8 weeks. This schedule will include any or all of the following: regular podcast episodes, extra podcast episodes, extra blog posts (or enhanced shownotes), and email newsletters. Schedule the time (60 min tops) get down some possible dates and ideas. Seeing the long term plan will light your fire!
- Create Special Summer Time Episodes, Segments or Blog Posts: More folks will be looking for content, so why not make it easy for them to know what you are all about? You can make a special summer introductory episode all about your podcast and your best work. You can create a new summer intro specially aimed at new listeners, giving them the down low of your site, how to contact you, what your podcast is about, etc. In your shownotes you can also add a little paragraph at the beginning of your post sharing the same info from your intro. Help the newbies know you!
- Summer Time Honesty!: What do you do for summer? How do you holiday? When producing the extra content put yourself in your listeners shoes. What kind of content would you like to listen to while on holiday? Swim the middle between you and your audience. While creating new content don’t try to do more than necessary or get all fancy, do YOU, be inspired by what you do and what you like, that’s the sort of stuff an audience adores.
- Keep The Demographics In Mind: Your content may appeal to younger ears. Be aware of that and produce accordingly. Those teenagers are the next generation of podcast listeners so why not educate them about the medium and about the content? If your content is something teenagers might be interested in, welcome them. You could even consider having a segment, or simply mention possible younger ears listening in 🙂
So you don’t have the time nor the desire to publish more? Here are some tips for leveraging what you do have and making it work for you for very little work.
- Make sure you have an easy way for folks to search your site and go into your back catalogue.
- Consider cleaning up your Categories for easy browsing.
- Do a top 10 blog post with all your best/most popular podcast episodes.
- Add a button or banner to your side bar giving easy and accessible options for subscribing.
- Make sure your site is accessible via mobile device!
- Create a landing page for the summer giving tips and tricks to getting your content in a variety of different ways (streaming, direct download, subscribing in iTunes, etc), maybe even making it your home page for the summer!
Get Creative and Just Do It!
Out of all the strategies and tips above you can implement just a couple, don’t feel that you have to do them all.
This podcasting thing is a very personal thing, so whatever you feel comfortable doing DO IT. That’s the key.
It would be so awesome to hear back from you guys, to see if any of this helped you get more listeners 🙂 Remember to comment!
Photograph “Family” via Flickr used through Creative Commons