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5 Secrets to Having A Successful Podcast

5 secrets to a successful podcast by Doug Sandler

5 secrets to a successful podcast by Doug Sandler

You are the go to expert in your industry and you've started a podcast. The problem is you have only a few people listening to your show. You want to boom your brand but you only hear crickets. You don't understand why, you've been to the conferences, purchased all the equipment and damn, you look like a pro, so what gives?

The first 100 or so episodes of our Nice Guys podcast, we struggled to get a few hundred or so listens to our show. The secret was revealed in year two when we found a handful of missing secrets for building our audience and booming our brand:

  1. Community Building - Do you have a Facebook community,  a LinkedIN group, Twitter chat, or Slack group? Any one or hell, ALL of these are great ways to speak to your listeners and see what's up in their lives. Let them ask you questions and dive into your life a little bit. Even as someone that has a "business" show, your audience wants to learn about you. Give them a chance to fall in love with you and watch your downloads climb.
  2. Guest Management - If you have an interview based or guest based show, do you have a list of "requirements" for getting on your show? You should. Find out, gently, what your guest plans on doing to help you bring in new ears to your podcast. You will get far more BANG from your guests if you involve them in the process. I gently request and remind my guests before scheduling the interview, a 5-Star iTunes review, subscription to the show and approved social media plan are needed before I open my audience to them. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but this is my starting point.
  3. Social Engagement - How accessible are you on social media. Can your guests and your audience find you easily and are you approachable at all times on social? How quickly do you respond to questions, complaints, suggestions and opportunity presented on social media? If your listeners are on social (and they are) you should be on social too.
  4. Professional Production - There is nothing worse than great content that sounds like crap. Are you still using your phone to record your episodes or is your editing a bit rough? Even a great microphone can sound bad if you don't know how to use it and even with great software, you still need to know how make it work for you.  If you treat your podcast like a business, it will reward you like a business. Invest in professional audio editing services, it's well worth the investment. Many hosts have the attitude, "Well, I'll invest in professional production services when I make a few dollars from my show and can afford it." Put some fuel in your podcasting tank and turbo charge your production quality. Bad editing and poor quality sound will not attract sponsors, listeners or downloads. 
  5. Entertaining Content - Entertaining doesn't mean you have to be funny. Entertaining equates to interesting. Get rid of the stock questions, the canned sound bites of broadcast babble and get down to what you are really good at, being you and being curious. If you are an interview show, prepare for your guest but be genuinely curious about the answers your guest provides and prepare to have a conversation - just like a human being. If your show has no guests --  no worries. Poll your community for questions and find out what they want to hear. Don't drone on about one topic, keep the monolog going and keep it interesting by changing gears frequently. No matter the format, don't be afraid to be vulnerable, emotional and open to being wrong as you dive into topics.

For our Nice Guys on Business podcast, once we discovered that having a successful podcast was more than just opening up a microphone and puking knowledge, our community came out in full force to help us find more listeners. Now our community helps us find guests for our show (big names too), introduces us to sponsors for our show and helps us build our network and our net worth. And once they've done that, they thank us for bringing them the best show possible. And it's all because of them.

Bio: Doug Sandler and Strickland Bonner are founders of TurnKey Podcast Production. Services include full service editing and production, podcast concept development and podcast strategies to build a successful show for information on Turnkey's services visit their website at www.TurnKeyPodcast.com.