In case you haven't noticed - all of the directories, whether it be iTunes or Stitcher or the new Google podcasts app - all of them are getting inundated with podcasts.
You go in there trying to find something to listen to and it’s pretty crazy finding the good stuff. It’s kind of hard to know… Should I try this show? Or that show? Or what is it that I should be doing to find a good show to listen to?
What I'm going to do on this episode is this:
I've recently been looking for new shows to listen to myself, and I've tried to be observant as I've been doing that, asking myself,
“What are the things that exist in different podcasts listings and in different directories or apps that have actually been helpful to me?:
And on the flip side…
“What are the things that haven't been helpful, or that have been detrimental to me choosing a particular podcast to listen to?”
So this is my own personal case study of how to get noticed as a podcaster.
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What are YOU looking for when you look for a new podcast?
What I'm going to describe to you on this episode are things that might qualify as best practices.
Because as the Podcast, Fast Track Client Happiness Guy, I get to listen to a whole lot of podcasts. I get to hear some of the best work in the industry that my team is putting out for our clients.
And I also get to hear some of the “before” versions of client podcasts that really weren't so good and are the very reason they've hired us to come alongside and help them.
So I feel like I have a pretty good perspective on what works and what doesn't work.
So when I go looking for podcasts, I'm viewing it all through the particular lens of my experience, and I'm hopeful that what I’ve noticed about what I notice when I’m searching for podcasts to listen to - will be helpful to you. (If you can even understand that sentence).
So let's dive right in. First of all, when I begin looking for a podcast to listen to I'm at a place in my life that I'm looking for something that's relevant.
I believe that podcasters and podcasts that are more specifically focused - very niched-in on a particular topic, are going to have a better chance of not only winning an audience in the first place, but also maintaining that loyal audience following over the long haul.
Why? Because what you're speaking about is predictable.
I’m also looking for a show that has plenty of content. Plenty.
I mean, five, seven, ten episodes or more, because I tend to binge listen. I download a lot of episodes of a new podcast at one time because I listen mostly when I drive or when I'm out in the garage cleaning up or building something, or I'm on the treadmill.
And I listen to a lot of them.
So if I find a podcast in a directory that I'm considering, but it only has one or two episodes, I'm probably going to pass because I want to get a fair representation of what that podcast is all about. And if they don't have much content, I really just don't have much opportunity to do that.
Another thing that I'm looking for is I'm looking for a podcast that can demonstrate to me a pattern of consistency. And what I mean by that is that they're publishing regularly.
I’m not going to tell you exactly what “regularly” should mean for you and your audience that's going to be different for every niche and every subject matter that is spoken about. But consistency means consistent.
If you're doing every two weeks, do it every two weeks. If you're doing every four weeks, do it every four weeks.
Now, I'm a little more lenient on this than some people because I believe life is more important than your podcasting schedule.
So if something comes up where you just feel, “Man, I just need a break this particular week from publishing my podcast.”
Hey, I'm all for it, man. Go take your break. I'll still be around as part of your audience if you're delivering the goods. And I'll be glad that you're refreshed and ready to go with that podcast again.
What I consider NOT to be consistent is when a podcaster publishes once this month, and then once three months from now, and then once two weeks after that. That just tells me they're not really serious about their podcast. They're allowing too many things to come up and push it aside.
I'm also looking for a podcast that appears to be systematic.
I'm wanting to learn specific things, I'm wanting to grow as a person, perhaps. And so if the podcast seems kind of hit and miss - you know - they cover part A, and then part Q, and then Part B, and then part X, and then maybe L, and then back to C… I don't find myself attracted to shows like that because I like to think and learn sequentially.
So those are the things that I'm looking for when it comes to the actual podcasts.
Hang tight. I’m also going to tell you what I do PRACTICALLY when it comes to searching for a new podcast and how that relates to the content I find.
How I search for podcasts - and what makes one get noticed over another
What I'm going to do is explain to you is how my podcast search process goes - what I do as I search - and then what I'm considering as I'm listening.
I realize this is all very subjective, it's all based on my experience and my preferences, so keep that in mind. Yours may be entirely different.
My podcast app - PocketCasts - is what I use to search for new shows to listen to.
But this approach that I'm about to describe would apply to any app, or even any directory like iTunes or Google Play or Stitcher or something like that. So I'm either going to start with a topic or keyword or a category.
For example, if I'm wanting to learn about a business topic, I might go straight to the business category in the app and just scroll through the top podcasts that are there. And then I'm going to go to my topic or my keywords if I don’t find anything interesting.
I cannot stress enough here how important keywords are.
I did an entire episode on this using one of my podcasts as a case study to demonstrate how important using keywords in your titles are. www.PodcastFastTrack.com/90.
Gone are the days when two drunks recording in a basement can build a large audience
Gone are the days when you could hit record, say whatever you want to say, and just publish it with very little thought.
Those days are LONG gone. It's not that you can't do it. Of course you can do it - but they're gone in the sense that that is not considered listenable by most podcast consumers.
Most people don't want to spend their time listening to jibberish off the top of your head, they want to come and make the most of their time by getting value out of the things they're investing that time.
That means you’ve got to put some thought into what you’re broadcasting - strategy or a clear purpose behind your podcast really, really matters. When you seem disorganized or chaotic in the way that you publish, when you haven't really given it much thought you're just whatever comes to your mind is what you're talking about - even if you do know something about your subject matter - if it's not organized or structured in a way that makes sense to me, as a listener, I'm just not going to hang around very long.
People will not come just because you publish your podcast, people will come because you give them something of value - so much that those who find it are willing to tell others.
That's how you build an audience.
I'm going to find potential shows through keyword search in my app or a directory. Then within the results that are parsed out to me I'm going to look at the cover art.
It's a human nature thing. Your eye is going to be drawn to something appealing, attractive, shocking, that grabs your attention, visually speaking.
I know we're talking about podcasts, which is an audio medium but that visual component of the cover art is like the gateway drug INTO the audio.
I cannot emphasize enough - if your cover art is bland or doesn't have anything that jumps out and catches my attention, or if the text is way too small for me to read, I'm not going to be clicking on your show.
Next, the description really matters to me.
I want it to be clear. I wanted it to be a basic description of what's covered in that particular show. It doesn't necessarily need to be flashy or sales-y or use the most trendy words.
In fact, that kind of stuff is a put-off to me. I want it to be genuine and sound authentic.
If the description tells me who the host is - that matters - because I will often Google the host and find out who they are and what kind of experience they've had in the realm that they're speaking on. I don't want to waste my time, I want to listen to things that are actually valuable to me.
It also is very attractive to me if somewhere in that description it tells me approximately how long their episodes are so I don't have to scroll through all the episodes and figure it out myself.
The next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to look at the type of content that is being published.
Are they doing purely interviews? I mean is every episode an interview? If so, that's okay - even though I'm kind of tired of interviews - but I'm going to look to see who they're interviewing and what they're interviewing them about.
If it's the same old, same old people, and the same old, same old interviews about the same old, same old topics that I've heard time and time again - it doesn't matter how great the description was, it doesn't matter how flashy the cover art was, it doesn't matter how many episodes they have - I'm probably going to pass on that show.
Lessons learned from my podcast listening search about getting noticed
Keep in mind - that last point is really the main thing. There is more and more competition for the ears (and minds) of those who are consuming podcasts.
You are competing with your niche (direct competition) and those not in your niche (indirect competition). That means you need as many things as possible to make your podcast stand apart from the crowd.
Do your homework. Figure it out. Make it happen.
And give your listeners a podcast they will never forget. Never.
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