Is your organization or company starting a podcast? Or do want to take your show to the next level?
Last week I visited Chicago for Podcast Movement 2016, a national conference of podcasters. Speakers included National Public Radio stars like Alex Blumberg, a former producer of This American Life; Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu of Buzz Feed’s Another Round; and Kevin Smith, director of Clerks.
Here are six of the best ideas from top podcasters who spoke at the event that you can use to start or improve your own show.
Downloads are People, Not Just Numbers
Don’t be discouraged if your show only attracts 100 or 200 downloads an episode at first, says Pat Flynn, host of Smart Passive Income. Instead, ask yourself this: How would you feel if you were invited to make a speech to 200 people? Because that’s what’s happening when you get 200 downloads, says Flynn.
Want to be a Podcast Guest? Be Easy to Work With
You don’t need your own show to reach listeners, says Jessica Rhodes, host of Rhodes to Success. Many of the estimated 180,000 active programs on iTunes need guest experts. You can increase the odds of getting a spot, says Rhodes, with a one-page document that gives a host everything needed to interview you.
Tell Your Audience What You Offer
Give your listener a clear promise at the start of your podcast, says Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful, a show from public radio station WYNC. Begin your episode by saying, “Today, we’re talking about this.” It will help you focus your content and tell people what they are going to get.
Be Consistent (And Surprising)
Once you pick a format, stick with it, says Gretchen Rubin, cohost of Happier.
When you’re a listener you want to know what you’re going to get. But don’t be afraid to mix things up. If your show is too consistent, it can feel contrived, warns Rubin.
Remember: Emotion is Contagious
The emotion you share and express is the emotion you attract, says Daniel Lewis of The Audacity to Podcast. If you express negativity, you attract negativity. Keep in mind that it will come back to you. Connect with your audience on an emotional, personable level.
Learn What Makes Your Show Grow
Getting mentioned on other podcasts is key to growth, says Anna Sale, host of Death, Sex & Money. When someone hears about your podcast on a show they already love, they are more likely to check out your show. Sale says her podcast got more traffic from the “This American Life” podcast than it did from the broadcast of the show.
What are your best tips for improving a podcast? Leave your ideas in the comment section below.
And if you’d like to see your show rank nationally, check our our earlier blog post about how you can crack an iTunes top 10 chart and stay there.