Whether it’s before the actual creation of your podcast, within your podcast or on social media, there are several steps to convert your listeners into active members of a community.
Build your own unique style
The more technical and precise a subject, the more likely it is to unite people. Think carefully about how you’re going to tackle the subject when choosing it. It is partly this choice which will determine your community. Whether you decide to talk about Linux or teenage vampires, you obviously won’t have the same type of audience. However, the good news is, an audience is out there waiting, whatever the topic!
The more niche, technical and referenced your topic is, the more likely it is to attract and unite a community. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from launching a podcast based on your love for movies or series. However, in this case, it’s best to opt for a strong concept which stands out from existing podcast.
Style is important. Style is the minor detail that will push your listeners to keep coming back to listen to you. Don’t underestimate a good, well structured introduction, including variations for each podcast. Creating a structured and consistent world around your podcast can also create a strong sense of community as this is what will make it instantly recognizable.
Involve your community
Whether it’s at the beginning of your podcast or at the end, set aside a moment to talk to your listeners. During this particular time slot, it’s about being pragmatic and perhaps stepping out of your style and inviting your listeners to subscribe to your podcast, leave comments and follow you on social networks. Yes, all at once.
The majority of podcasts are listened to on iTunes, so the platform is an incredibly important element when it comes to highlighting your podcast. This is where your listeners play an active role. They can carry out two simple actions:
Rate your podcast
Get 5 stars for your podcast – it’s all on your podcast page on iTunes or on the Apple Podcast app, in the Ratings & Reviews tab. Your listeners (and even those who have never listened to you before) can leave you a rating from 1 to 5 stars.
Review your podcast
Get reviews for your podcast.
This step takes a few extra seconds for your listeners, which is why you will always get more stars than reviews.
Asking nicely is often a way to get things. Unfortunately, in this case, it might not be enough. In order to encourage your listeners to leave opinions, you’re going to need to be strategic.
One of the most cited examples in the podcast world, so much so that it has almost become a textbook case, is that of 2 hours lost, a podcast about cinema, where listeners are invited to leave a comment to choose the next film to be reviewed. The podcast now has over 1,249 reviews.
Another technique to invite, or even force listeners to comment, comes from FibreTigre from Studio 404. For him, being outrageous is an excellent way to make the listeners react, if you are the type to add more, go for it, it will force the listeners to come and give their opinion, argue with you, because nobody can resist the provocation.
Be open with your listeners
For people to feel close to you, they’ll need to know more about you. Who are you? What are your dreams, your aspirations? In other words, give them proof that you’re not just a voice but a human being. Dragging in anecdotes into your podcast can be a great way to bring together your community.
A running gag or private joke can also be a way of bringing your community together. Reward listeners who have been there since the first episode. Make sure that new subscribers listen to all of your previous podcasts in order to find THE moment when everything started..
Organize a meet-up with your listeners
Depending on the theme of your podcast, why not organize events that correspond to your podcast: go to the cinema, organize a wardrobe clear out, a meeting around a book etc. Don’t be shy, this is what will establish solid links so that you understand the principle of community and realize, that you are indeed being listened to! Of course, not all of your listeners will be in the same place. However, it doesn’t matter! Create the event and organize a tour. Keep in mind the idea of creating a live podcast where you can react to the questions of your listeners and which could later be released as a special episode.
Now that you know how to develop and retain your community around your podcast, why not discover how to monetize your project!