In this blog post we are going to give you eight tactics that will help you gain good podcast reviews. 🙌
It seems like everything has online reviews these days. From restaurants to toilet plungers, from doctors to dog walkers, performance is graded by non-experts for the whole world to see.
You can debate all day about the effects this has on society, but the fact is, reviews are a part our lives, so we are here to help you maximize them as a growth opportunity for your podcast! 🚀
Here are some ways you can get more good reviews for your podcast:
Tactic #1: Ask Friends and Family for Podcast Reviews
The first step with any kind of growth plan is start with the network you already have. 👯
Chances are, your podcast is about something you are very passionate about and have talked about quite a bit with family and friends. They know you know your stuff. They probably are interested in the topic too.
Plus, your family and friends are probably more than happy to be able to do something concrete to support you. 🥰
This puts them in a great position to write some of your first reviews.
Think of people in your life who would be happy to write you a good review. Then send them an email or text explaining that you would really appreciate if they wrote even just a one sentence, positive review of your podcast. 🙏
You can even provide them with some keywords or a sample sentence to make it easier for them.
Be sure to also include a link to your episodes as well as a link to exactly where they can leave a review. If you want reviews on multiple podcast directories (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc), make sure you send them a link for each. Be sure to let them know that they can copy and paste the same one sentence review on each platform. 💻
If you publish your podcast on a dozen different directories, you probably want to pick the top three to five that you want them to post a review on.
Remember, they are doing you a favor so make it as easy and least time consuming as possible. 😃
Tactic #2: Add Call to Action to Your Outro
This is probably the method you are most familiar with when it comes to asking for reviews. And there is good reason for that!
We advise you to always have a Call to Action in your episodes’ outros, and this makes for a great Call to Action. 📣
After all, people who listen to your episode until the very end are likely to have enjoyed it. What better moment than this for them to leave a five star review?
Tactic #3: Thank Reviewers in the Episode
Who doesn’t love a good shoutout!
Too many times podcasters say “please,” but not “thank you.” Thanking people by name for leaving a review is a great way build an audience community and to encourage others to rate and review. 🤩
You do not need to spend a lot of time on these. Just a quick “Thank you so much to ____, ____, and _____ for rating and reviewing the show. Thanks for the kind words and the feedback.”
If a review contains valid critical feedback, you may even want to mention it so that other listeners who may have also noticed the same problem will know that you are working to fix it in future episodes. 👍
Even listeners who may not have noticed the problem will appreciate that you are someone who learns from mistakes and is working hard to create awesome future content for them. And then boom, they will be likely to give you a good rating and review!
Tactic #4: Include Request and Links in Show Notes
Show notes are where you include any written information associated with an episode, like links to articles you referenced in the show, etc.
We suggest including a short Call to Action and links to rate and review at the bottom of your show notes. 👇
Some people will be much more likely take action when they read something than when they hear something. 📖
Also, if someone is decides to read the show notes to learn more about an episode’s topic, they probably find the show interesting and will give a good review! 🤓
Tactic #5: Suggest Guests Leave a Review
If you have read our blog post about cross promotion, you will know that guests can really help your visibility and audience numbers grow.
Guests can also really help grow your ratings and reviews. Their networks will hear your outro Call to Action in the episode that you host them in and they promote. But more directly, the guest themselves can leave a review. 🤝
When you send the guest a post-recording email with the links for them to share the episode, you can include an ask that they leave a review for the show as well. Now that they are intimately familiar your content, they can leave some of best reviews!
Plus, the guest themselves will benefit from adding a review because it will attract more folks to the episode they are in! 📈
Tactic #6: Request Podcast Reviews on Social Media
This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes it is easy to let social media slip through the cracks. Be sure to keep creating posts over time that ask your social media followers to leave 5 stars and reviews for your show.
You can request that they review your show on a listening app or even on the social media app they reading your post on. 🤳
Remember- Potential future listeners don’t just exist on podcast directories like Apple and Spotfiy! They are on social media too, and it helps for them to see good reviews on your show’s social media page. 👀
Tactic #7: Reciprocating Podcast Reviews
Sometimes you have to give in order to get. That can be true for podcast reviews. If you leave a positive rating and review for fellow podcaster, they will be more open to leaving you one. 🔁
Obviously, don’t be spammy about this. Only do it for podcasts you truly like and have listened to.
After you have left the stars rating and/or review, you can send them a short note— no need to write a full letter or anything like that. Just tell them you enjoyed their show and left them five star review. Invite them to listen your show and do the same if they feel so inclined. 💁
As podcasters our greatest allies are each other. We know the hard work that goes into making a podcast. We appreciate a good product. In the same way, we should freely give and get reviews from each other.
Tactic #8: Run a Raffle
The last tactic we will talk about today is doing a raffle. 🎟️
The concept is that if someone leaves a rating or review, they are entered into a drawing where they may win something like brand merchandise.
This is a legit approach, but there are two things to keep in mind. ✌️
First, the logistics can be a little complicated. It isn’t just a simple click. You have to ask participants to take a screenshot of their user-side review entry and email it to you as proof. That may be more work than most people are willing to do.
Second, there are some legal things you have to look out for. Your state may allow raffles, but only if you include specific language about how it is free to play. ✍️
Beyond state laws, you also need to look into platform regulations. For example, for Google business reviews, you are not allowed to entice anyone to leave a review. If you get caught then you account gets frozen. Not ideal!
So just be sure to read the fine print if you decide to use this tactic! 🧐
Final Note on Podcast Reviews
There are two tough things about podcast reviews. First is practical, second is emotional.
First, the practical: Probably the toughest logistical aspect of growing your reviews is that every podcast directory is different. For example, Apple Podcasts does reviews differently than Spotify. It can be hard to flip back and forth between dozens of platforms to see all your reviews. 😅
Second, the emotional: It does not feel good to be criticized publicly. You will probably feel strong emotions of anger or shame. Find some coping mechanisms that work for you in order to let those emotions pass.
Then discern what feedback is constructive and what feedback is in bad faith or ill informed. Use the constructive feedback as a way to learn and improve. Let the rest go as best you can. 🧘
Women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ are judged harsher in our society. That’s a well-established fact. Sometimes there are even coordinated campaigns to leave bad reviews for podcasts where the host falls in one or all of these categories.
There are no easy solutions for these situations. You maybe able to work with the listening platforms to get the most egregious reviews removed, but that can be exhausting and unsuccessful.
Just know that we think your voice is important and we thank you for sharing it with the world! 💜
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