Like anything that involves putting yourself out there, launching a new podcast is often intimidating, confusing and frustrating.
The best play in the podcast playbook is to get as many new subscribers as quickly as possible. This helps you boost your rankings and reach New and Noteworthy on iTunes as well as get featured on podcast sites.
Sure, you say. Getting as many subscribers as quickly as possible is the key to succeeding. But how am I supposed to do that?
Chris Harder of For the Love of Money has come up with these 7 crucial steps to ensuring your podcast is a raving success from the get-go.
1. Wow Them from the Start
Our generation is the generation of three-second impressions. We make immediate judgements based on our initial responses to whatever content we are being fed with.
The importance of captivating your audience from the start cannot be emphasized enough.
Big name guests can help you attract attention, but if the topics and content are subpar, your audience growth will be stunted. You need to convert your audience from listeners to super fans.
Why? Because super fans subscribe and share, and those responses are the secrets to a stellar podcast.
On a practical note, ensure that you have a stock of 6-8 episodes before launching. If your listeners become fans, they’re going to want to listen to more of your episodes and get a broader sense of what your show is all about.
2. Go onto Another Podcast to Talk About the Podcast You’re Launching
This is one of the best pieces of advice I can give, because on another podcast you will find an audience of people primed for podcasts already! These are your listeners.
If you give enough value on other podcasts, listeners will click over to your podcast and subscribe to you as well.
Reach out to other hosts in your genre and ask if you can come on their shows and deliver value. You’ll quickly find that podcast hosts are always looking for guests who can add excitement, intrigue and great content to their own shows.
Take it a step further and ask your new host friends about doing a podcast exchange. This is often a no-brainer and very good for brand alliance and for growing both of your subscriber lists.
3. Titles Are Everything
I’m not exaggerating. Titles really are everything.
While there’s no need for you to take an extensive copywriting course, if you don’t use captivating, fascinating titles, people will be less apt to click on your episodes.
A simple rule of thumb would be to ask yourself if you would be compelled to click onto the podcast title you’re about to release. If your honest answer is not a fat chance, don’t even think about using it with your episode.
Titles like “The Truth About ___”or “7 New Hacks to___”or “How to Get___”or “How to Reach___”or “How to Do___” can be very helpful. People like hearing things that have “secrets to” or “tricks of” or a certain amount of steps to accomplishing something.
4. Invest in Your New Baby
Just like launching a book, a film, a business or an event, launching a podcast takes some hefty capital money.
While you might be able to get away without the most expensive audio equipment on the market, you won’t be able to launch successfully without spending capital on marketing.
You can always upgrade on your software or other recording equipment, but you can’t upgrade your podcast launch. This is a one-time event, and you only have one chance to do it right and attract lots of subscribers as soon as possible.
So open up that wallet, reach into your pocket and invest as much as you can into quality Facebook and Instagram ads and reach a brand new audience of listeners right off the bat. Tapping into these listeners will help you grow expansively and at a rapid pace.
5. Treat It Like a Book Launch
You probably wouldn’t make a book launch happen tomorrow by texting a handful of your friends and tweeting your contacts to “share your book tomorrow”!
In the same way, you should prepare for your podcast launch by giving yourself plenty of time to spread the word and get the news out through various circuits.
One idea is to put together an influencer’s campaign to celebrate the launch of your new podcast. Find an influencer with the audience you aim to attract and invest in a great campaign promoting the launch.
Don’t be afraid to ask people—especially the influencers you already have relationships with—to share your new podcast. People actually enjoy playing the hero and supporting your endeavor if they like and respect you.
Coordinate throughout the first several weeks so that the sharing is consistent, well-timed and sustained throughout the duration of the campaign. Give your influencers written content so that it’s easy to share and they don’t have to come up with words to share your podcast themselves.
As a bonus, if you can get them to share their database or mailing list with you as well, you’ve got yourself a winner of a campaign.
6. Incentivize 5-Star Reviews
One of the best ways to grow your subscriber list at any time is to host a contest on social media giving away daily prizes for 5-star reviews, because a high number of 5 star reviews means everything to your podcast rankings.
Recognize and share multiple reviews by taking screenshots of them and uploading them to your Instagram stories or other social media platforms for other people to be encouraged to do the same thing. You’ll be amazed at what people do when they receive recognition.
Your job is to simply create buzz. As a result, people will be inclined to perk up and listen to what everyone else is raving about.
7. Do What You Love and Do It to the Highest Level Possible
Hosting a successful podcast is like caring for a hungry baby. In podcast land, burnout is a real thing, and not everyone is cut out for this job where the skills of consistency, planning and constant idea-flow are essential.
Before taking off, double-check that you are genuinely in love with your subject and with podcasting in general.
Once you commit, your podcast should be the highest-quality thing you ever put out.
Because it only takes one lazy week for someone to replace your podcast with a shiny, new one.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.