Not receiving emails or voicemails from your podcast listeners or blog readers? Then learn 5 things you can do to change that!
Previously, I shared 8 ways that you can enable your community to send you feedback. Now, let's consider how you get get your audience to send you feedback through your channels.
1. Enable your audience to send feedback
Make sure that your audience has a simple way to send feedback. Even better than that, ensure that they have several ways to contact you:
- Written email
- Phone voicemails
- Website comments
- Contact/feedback form
- Audio messages
- Social networks
- Forum posts
- Website chat
If you don't provide an easy and obvious way for your audience to share their opinions, then you won't receive very many.
2. Ask for responses
“Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find” are words from the Bible that apply in so many situations. Don't simply give your feedback information, but ask people to share their opinions, experience, and perspectives.
Sometimes, this is a direct question, “What do you think of this?” Sometimes, it's an imperative, “Please share your experience with this.” Sometimes, it's more conversational, “I would love to hear what you did.” However you word it, make sure your audience knows that you're asking to hear from them.
These moments of asking for responses are also the perfect time to remind your audience how they can respond.
3. Encourage interaction
Beyond asking for a response, present your information in a way that encourages interaction. Great content wrapped in a great presentation encourages great conversation.
This can spark all kinds of creativity. If you come across extremely opinionated, you'll get some extremely opinionated opposing feedback.
Don't consider the topic a closed matter once you've addressed it. Consider that there's more to say and your audience knows what that is, so leave the topic open so they can contribute.
Depending on your topic, you may want to point your audience to particular channels for this interaction. When I address a topic in The Audacity to Podcast™, I encourage interaction in the comments so the conversation is all there and others can participate. When we talk about Once Upon a Time in our podcast, I encourage listeners to share their thoughts and theories with the rest of the community in the forum.
4. Include your community
If you receive great feedback, use it! If the feedback springboards your content, then include the message so that person feels involved and the community sees that you're including them in the dialog.
Even if there's not enough time to include the feedback, or the person wasn't clear enough, at least acknowledge them and credit the conversation to them.
5. Respond to feedback
Feedback isn't always appropriate to reshare. Any of the following may be the kind of feedback that doesn't require publicly broadcasting.
- It's a criticism or critique that you can address without publicly acknowledging it.
- It's not the subject you wanted to address.
- It's overly self-praising to you.
- It's a response to previous material that you're no longer covering.
- It's a question you already answered.
- It's just something you don't feel like including.
Each of these cases are up to your discretion. But even if you don't include the feedback (previous point), give the person the honor of acknowledgement. Even a simple, “Thank you,” can go a long way.
Try to respond to every bit of feedback that you possibly can. Try to leave no comment on your site unresponded to, and answer every email.
When you respond, it shows people that you're listening and appreciate their feedback, so they'll be more inclined to send more.
Actions of a desperate podcaster
Whatever you do, don't get desperate! Desperate podcasters create weak content. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when you're desperate.
- Contests—these are like bribing your audience to send you feedback.
- Pleading—think how annoyingly cute a begging puppy is. You're not a cute puppy!
- Fake responses—getting your family or friends to give a message just for the sake of having feedback is clever, but often not necessary.
- Dependence—if you feel like you can't blog or podcast without hearing from your audience, then you may be struggling with your passion.
Dan from Miskatonic University Podcast suggested carrying around a small notebook and pen for ideas for show topics, interview questions, notes, and sketching website layouts.
Whether you have pen and paper, a smartphone, a tablet, or an audio-recording device, use it to record your ideas! Like the biggest fish that always gets away, your best ideas will be lost unless you record them.
What are you thankful for in podcasting?
It's been a long time since I shared what we podcasters are thankful for. Please share your items, people, software, experience, or anything else that you're thankful for in podcasting! I'll share these in the next episode, which will be on November 26, 2012 (skipping Thanksgiving week in the USA).
Podcasters' Roundtable: podcasting pet peeves
Learn how Ray Ortega (from The Podcasters Studio) uses Google+ to host these Podcasters' Roundtable sessions in his discussion with Dave Jackson.
Need personalized podcasting help?
Ask your questions or share your feedback
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- Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221
- Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.