The people who you (or your business) communicate with on a regular basis may be the perfect people to listen to your show. You’d think getting your contacts — business or personal — to listen to your show would be easy. It’s not.
Do you have a group of people to whom you communicate with on a regular basis? Perhaps it’s an old school Rolodex. More likely, it’s a newsletter, a social channel, or some other communication platform where people have already expressed an interested in your thoughts and ideas, but probably in written form.
I’m not talking about people who already listen to your podcast. I’m talking about your contacts and connections that you have already built, most of whom aren’t yet listening to your show.
Clearly, you’d be smart to make some sort of announcement to these people about your podcast and your episodes to get them to listen. When you think of these people, remember the statistic I gave in yesterday’s episode: 75% of these people don’t have the podcast listening habit. So whether your contact list is 100 people, 10 people, or 100,000 people, the majority of your list doesn’t know how to listen to a podcast via an app. They don’t know about RSS feeds. They don’t have the context to understand our industry terms of “follow” or “subscribe”.
Your job isn’t to educate them on the vagaries of podcast listening. Your job is to make sure that it’s easy for them to listen to your podcast.
There are two things to keep in mind when thinking about how to leverage your contact list, customer database, connections, or whatever other communication channels you use to communicate with these people.
- Make them feel special
- Don’t pollute the communication channel
Let’s talk about those in reverse.
Don’t Pollute The Communication Channel
Since most of my clients are businesses, they often have an email list ranging from hundreds of people to tens of thousands of people. Some clients maintain very active lists, meaning that they send out emails on a regular basis, often weekly.
I use email as an example, but the same applies to social media channels, text message updates, and even physical mailers if you do that.
No one wants their self-selected communication channel polluted with your pleas for them to join yet another communication channel. People chose to subscribe to your email list for the content you publish via email. People choose to follow you on Twitter to read your tweets. People choose to engage in the Discord server that you moderate not because you have a podcast, but because they like the contents you curate in that Discord server!
Remember that these contacts and connections are engaged in that channel for their own reasons. So if you suddenly start blasting that channel — even if you own that channel — with “Subscribe to my show!” “A new episode just dropped!” “Subscribe to my show!” “A new episode just dropped!” over and over again… that’s polluting the channel.
Don’t do that.
If you have a regular cadence — like you send emails at the end of the week to cover the news from your industry — be cognizant of that regular cadence and your contacts’ expectations. If you suddenly started sending a second email every week to announce your latest episode, that might pollute the channel. So do so wisely and with intent.
(Conversely, you don’t want to bury information about your podcast. If you’re already sending out a weekly newsletter to your contact list, it isn’t sufficient to add “Oh, by the way, I have a podcast and you should listen” at the bottom of that email. That’s not very special, which is what I’ll talk about next.)
Here’s another harsh fact: The people in your contact list/channel may not want to listen to your podcast. As many podcasters have found, when you ask your friends and family to listen to your podcast, most won’t. Now, that might be different for business contacts. While there’s a greater likelihood that those people might be interested in the information you share on your podcast, don’t get your hopes too high. In reality, it’s likely that only a single-digit percentage of your contacts will bother to check out your show. Sorry.
Make Your Contacts Feel Special
There’s a reason people are connected with you on these various channels. These people have chosen to engage with you on the communication channel that they prefer. If they don’t want to get emails from you, they have already unsubscribed. If they don’t care about the updates you send out on Twitter, they have already stopped following your account. Those that stick around on those channels like that special content you make just for that channel. They want to be rewarded — heck, they expect to be rewarded — for following you on that channel. And by “rewarded”, I mean made to feel special.
How you do this is tricky and extremely dependent on the channel itself. However, the easiest way to think about making people feel special is by creating a separate experience just for that channel.
No, I don’t mean making special podcast episodes just for people who are in your Slack workspace (though if you can… yeah!). I mean making a special “gateway” for that channel. Rather than promoting YourPodcastWebsite.com, send them to YourPodcastWebsite.com/slack, for example.
This highly-specific landing page lets just those people understand better why they should listen to your podcast. No, your home page isn’t enough, simply because it doesn’t make these people feel special. Yes, this landing page may use many of the same features from your website’s home page. But it will be special and tuned just for these people, so it’ll likely be shorter. Best of all, you’ll be able to talk to those people in the same language you use in whatever channel it happens to be.
But this really only works on channels you have spent time cultivating and are actively engaged in. Resist the temptation to create a single landing page for every different social property if you use Buffer or some other tool to shotgun your stuff across the social web. This is not a big cross-channel play that you can slightly tweak. This is a highly specific technique that’s only applicable in places where are you actively engage with people.
So what should you say to these people on their own special landing page? For social contacts, should you start a private or closed group on that platform? Should you break out a new segment for your existing email contacts?
Maybe. But that’s something you have to think through. How do you make these people feel special without polluting their chosen communication channel and get them to listen to your show? Thinking through this is challenging and complicated.
If you need some help as you think through it, or if you feel you’d like to have a pro in your back pocket. Get in touch with me. firstname.lastname@example.org reaches me. You can go to PodcastLaunch.pro to see a list of the services I offer my clients all around the world.
Since you got this far, how about mashing that 👏 button a few dozen times to let me know you dig the written-word version of my thoughts on these podcasting topics? I’d sure appreciate it!
This article started life as a podcast episode. The 192nd episode of my four-times-a-week short-form podcast called, oddly enough, Podcast Pontifications. It’s a podcast for working podcasters that’s focused on trends in our growing industry and ideas on ways to make podcasting not just easier, but better. Yes, you should listen. Here’s an easy way: 👇
Evo Terra (hey, that’s me!) has been podcasting since 2004, is the author of Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, and is the CEO and founder of Simpler Media Productions, a strategic podcast consultancy working with businesses, brands, and professional service providers all around the world.