5 Powerful Ways to Grow Your Podcast’s Audience

Nearly every podcaster wants a bigger audience. Simply promoting your podcast isn't good enough, you need to actually grow your audience. These five methods will give you the best podcasting growth!

1. Make a great show

Don't miss this! No method of marketing, advertising, or promotion will be effective if your show is horrible.

You don't have to have a professional background to make a great show. The two most important cornerstones of a great podcast are:

  • Great content that is helpful, entertaining, relevant, and compelling—as Dave Jackson says, “Make your audience laugh, cry, think, or groan”
  • Dynamic presentation that is personable, authoritative, and communicates clearly

Production, promotion, and profit matter, too. But the content and presentation will always be the most important.

Before you invest in other ways to grow your audience, ensure you have something worth promoting! Otherwise, you'll waste your time promoting garbage.

Make your podcast worth promoting.Click To Tweet

2. Leverage your relationships and influence

I'm surprised how many business podcasters I talk to who have large email lists, but have used that list only once (if at all) to promote their podcast.

Your “vertical influence”—email subscribers and social-network followers—may not be subscribed to your podcast yet! Don't spam them, but certainly create a strategy for regularly promoting your podcast to the relationships you already have and people you already influence.

Look, also, at your “horizontal relationships”—your peers. There are probably ways you can work together for mutual benefit, such as appearing on each other's shows.

As my friend Joel Boggess said, “Podcasting is the new networking.”

3. Get others talking about your show

“Word of mouth” is a powerful marketing tool. Some says it's even the most powerful method of marketing.

Make your podcast so good that others want to talk about it! They'll tell their friends, family, and coworkers. Equip your audience to become your ambassadors. This is as simple as asking your audience to share your show, but also making it easier with friendly links and sharing tools.

Equip your audience to become your ambassadors.Click To Tweet

It also helps to catch the attention of other influencers—based on their relevance and value, not their size. Always start with a relationship, even if that means building it while you go.

4. Invest where your ideal audience is

Merely going where your potential audience gathers is not enough. Your presence is probably not so amazing that you'll instantly attract subscribers. You need to invest.

Investing requires an exchange of value. Give value before you try to get an audience. Start or join conversations. Participate as a peer. When appropriate and relevant, you may have the opportunity to link back to your podcast. If you do so after you have invested, then the returns will be much greater!

Also consider investing in advertising to your target audience when you're unable to participate. Paid advertising can often targeted to the exact type of people you want, and thus it can be highly profitable for your goals.

5. Be noteworthy

No, I didn't say, “Get in ‘New and Noteworthy.'” That's one of the most misused and overhyped parts of podcasting marketing! In fact, much of what people say about “New and Noteworthy” is false! For example, there is no true “#1” in “New and Noteworthy”!

Instead of putting all your hope in some mythical magic, try to be noteworthy. I love what John Lee Dumas often says, “If you want to be, do.”

If you want to ​be​ noteworthy, then ​do​ something noteworthy. Don't wait to get lucky—make your own luck!

If you want to BE noteworthy, then DO something noteworthy.Click To Tweet

True growth is a slow process

You will not be a big hit right away. You will not get rich quick. You are not so special that everyone else will instantly pay attention. No one cares about you. At least not yet. Get used to it.

You know those overnight-success stories you’ve heard about? It’s not the whole story. Dig deeper and you’ll usually find people who have busted … for years to get into a position where things could take off. And on the rare occasion that instant success does come along, it usually doesn’t last—there’s no foundation there to support it.

Trade the dream of overnight success for slow, measured growth. It’s hard, but you have to be patient. You have to grind it out. You have to do it for a long time before the right people notice.

—Jason Fried, Rework (also on Audible)

That “massive” success was built convert by convert. …

So stop thinking that you can’t get there because you don’t have a huge audience already. Start building that audience today. Start getting people interested in what you have to say. Then in a few years time you’ll get to chuckle about your overnight success as well.

—David Heinemeier Hansson, “Overnight success takes years

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    About the Author
    As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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    […] YOUR AUDIENCE/BUILDING AWARENESS How do lesser-known podcasts build an audience?, AIR Media 5 Powerful Ways to Grow Your Podcast’s Audience, The Audacity to Podcast 5 reasons your podcast audience isn’t growing, The Audacity to Podcast […]


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    Mariana C. Ruiz
    6 years ago

    Thank you! I just discovered the show and found this so helpful! I have been using paid advertising to grow my show and wanted to add some other ways. I am also working on improving the actual content of the show consistently. I found this episode to be so inspiring to help me keep focused and continue to make the small tweaks. Thank you Daniel!

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