3 Ways to Grow Your Podcast Audience

Growing Your Podcast Audience

It’s pretty hard to grow an audience if you don’t know who that audience is. Podcaster John Lee Dumas calls the process of audience research "finding your avatar"— in other words, defining your perfect customer or listener. The reason this person is your perfect customer or listener is because your product will solve a particular pain point for them. You can define this avatar by broad demographics and then narrow it down to a specific description of this person.

Know Your Audience

Once you know who you are targeting, you can actually start looking for these people in the places they frequent. Once you find them, you don’t have to just hope that they are your perfect listener. You can actually talk to them and find out if the content you offer actually interests them, solves a pain point, or meets their needs.

Another way to know your audience is to build personas or avatars. You want to know who these people are, what places they come from, and what their needs are. Content marketers often use this strategy of building personas for different customer segments, so that content can be customized for each group.

A podcaster can use a variety of ways to build a persona or avatar for their audience. Usually, this is a combination of analytics, social surveys, and just reaching out and asking them questions. Once you know who your audience is, it is much easier to customize content and target promotions to these people.

Reaching out to discover who your audience is can also be a first step in relationship building, so this step can serve a dual purpose.

Reach Out To Other Podcasters

Once you know who your listeners are and what their interests are, you can reach out to other podcasters that they listen to. You can use iTunes and search by category or specific keyword.

You can also implement a Google search for podcasts and keywords. You can even find influencers and look at other podcasts that they have appeared on.

I am a huge fan of data mining and using search operators. It takes some practice, but once you understand advanced search operators, you can pretty much find anything. Here is a google search formula that I borrowed from Kai Davis and his magic Google search.

  • “Lewis Howes” (intext:podcast OR intitle:podcast OR inurl:podcast OR inurl:episode) -site:lewishowes.com -site:schoolofgreatness.com

The above is an advanced search phrase that you can put in a Google search bar. This particular query looks for podcasts that Lewis Howes has guest posted on. You can use this search by replacing Lewis Howes with the name of any influencer and replacing the two website URLs with the influencer's main website and podcast website.

The results should bring up podcast URLs that the influencer has been on, but exclude his own website and his own podcast website. Pretty clever, huh?

Once you have found podcasts that your audience frequents, it’s time to build a list. You can use a spreadsheet or get fancy and use something like the free HubSpot CRM. You just want to make sure that you keep track of your contacts and when you have engaged with them.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Now that you know who your target audience is and where they hang out, you want to be in those places. One of the best ways to introduce yourself to a new podcast audience is by appearing as a guest on a show that they already listen to. Take your list of potential podcasts and get in touch with them. You can pitch a creative topic or just offer to be a guest on their show. Use your spreadsheet or CRM to keep track of your interactions, so that you know you have covered all of your bases, but haven’t become a pest.

Appearing as a guest on a big name podcast is like an audition or a job interview. It is time to wow your potential new listeners. Make an impression that counts. Have something to say and say it well. Also, be prepared with a call-to-action or a lead generation gift or free product.

Have a landing page ready, so you can build a relationship with your new listeners and grow your audience.