One of the many benefits of a podcast is learning how to connect with an audience. Podcasts are ideal for sharing tips, personal stories and focusing on topics that audiences wish to learn more about. It’s vital to be vulnerable on a podcast because an audience will likely relate more. Whether the podcast episode is about discussing a task and how it was completed or providing advice on a specific topic, talk in detail about the task and what challenges came up along the way.
Rachel Corbett suggests thinking about the words you use while doing a podcast because it’s important to use language that will help an audience connect with you. Check out some of the examples Rachel provides on what and what not to say:
Steer clear of phrases like “it’s a big show people,” or “we’ve got lots to get through ladies and gentlemen.”
If I’m walking my dog and listening to your podcast, even though I’m not stupid enough to assume this is the one listener show, when I hear phrases like that it’s just weird. Who are these people? Where are they? Who are you talking to??
These words make your audience feel like they’re just one of many and that’s definitely NOT what you want them to feel if they’re going to connect with you and your show. Building fans rather than listeners requires tapping into that very human desire to belong. You want people to feel you understand them and that your show is designed just for them and the only way to do that is by speaking directly to them.
The only word you should use when addressing your listener is “you” e.g. “I’ve got some great tips to help you grow your business,” “I’ve got an awesome segment you’re gonna love.” As a listener, if I hear that, it sounds like you’re talking directly to me and that’s how you build a connection with people you’ve never met. Every listener needs to feel like it’s just you and them together, going through this episode like a couple of pals, so reign in the circus ringmaster gear.
Many podcasters may not think about their thumbnail, but it’s the little details that will make a big difference to an audience. Forbes explains why focusing on a personalized thumbnail is very important.
Your podcast is entirely audio, so your show thumbnail is the one space where you can try to visually engage potential listeners. While it may never appear larger than a postage stamp online, it’s what can make your podcast recognizable.
Considering that podcast thumbnails are often posted small, don’t try to include tiny copy or symbols— it’ll be illegible and just take up space.
Social Media Examiner reminds us just how important it is to dedicate a podcast to your specific niche and not to what you’re selling. Trying to sell products right away may turn people away, and that’s the last thing you want to do while trying to establish a podcast following.
Devote your podcast to your niche/industry and not your products and services.
When many business owners learn how affordable it is to create an audio podcast, they are eager to jump in head first and use this new marketing channel to tell the world about their products and services.
However, the business podcasts that have found the greatest success are the ones that feature valuable conversations and stories related to the field they are in.
An example of this would be Connie & Sheila Talk. These two ladies are full-time real estate investors. Instead of focusing on what they have to sell, they focus on topics and stories that would be of interest to anyone who is into real estate investing.
Their podcast is about their industry, not their particular business. As a result of producing over 100 podcast episodes, Connie and Sheila have made deals that would never have happened otherwise and their business has benefited in a number of other ways. – Cliff J. Ravenscraft, producer and host of the Podcast Answer Man podcast, podcast producer, consultant and coach.
Also, Social Media Examiner mentions a tip from a podcaster named PJ Jonas who recommends discussing the different struggles that anyone who listens to your podcast may face. Solving problems will help an audience identify with the podcaster, as well as build trust.
As a business, one of your primary goals should be to build a relationship with your target customers.
In this age of social media, trust has become an essential ingredient and needs to be built before significant sales can be made.
Get to know your customers and determine what struggles they face daily. Then use podcast episodes to target those individual struggles.
Solving problems builds trust and shows potential customers that you can help them. This results in people coming to you for your product or service instead of you running after them. -PJ Jonas, host of the Goat Milk Stuff Busy Mom’s Survival Guide podcast, owner of Goat Milk Stuff, podcaster.
What if you plan to take a break from your podcast and would like your audience to stay up to date and know when you return? The Audacity Podcast recommends the following:
If your hiatus break will skip more than one episode, I recommend communicating a plan with your audience.
Your plan could be as simple as “we won’t have any episodes until we return on _____.” That tells your audience not to expect episodes, but to expect your return during that time.
Or, if you choose to use any of the following tips to stay connected with your audience, communicate that. “I won’t be here in the podcast, but I will be active in _____.”
I recommend that you give advanced warning about the hiatus, and release a “Currently on hiatus” miniature episode. When you return, you can remove that episode from your feed.
Intros and outros are very important according to Forbes. To better connect with an audience, it’s a good idea to remember the details, but that doesn’t mean you have to be completely rigid.
While you shouldn’t hold yourself too strictly to any script or guideline when recording your show content, it’s always a good idea to plan out your intros and outros— that way you’ll never forget to plug any necessary details. They should serve as the thread of continuity connecting each episode together.
Your intros and outros should include a brief synopsis of what can be expected, a short personal introduction and a teaser for what’s to come.
Most importantly, your outro should include a reminder to like, comment, share or subscribe to your content— these things are what will make your cast grow.
Using the right software? In order to make a podcast go off without a hitch, Forbes says you may want to make sure you have the correct software.
When it comes to podcasting software, look no further than Adobe Audition. From this one platform you’ll be able to record your audio, mix your sound, design your own sound effects and so much more. You can even restore the quality of poor audio you may have previously recorded.
Lastly, Buffer mentions a few tips that they found on a thread from Growth Hackers on what specific topics to focus on and why. These ideas should hopefully get your wheels turning on what type of topics you can discuss in the future!
From this thread on Growth Hackers, there’s some interesting advice to treat podcast promotion like you would content promotion, an area in which we have a bit more experience. Here are the specifics from the Growth Hackers thread:
Quality > Quantity
Solve a problem
Provide actionable insight
Hustle just as hard to distribute as you did to create
Leverage your guest’s audience
^^ It’s this last one that we’re excited to experiment with in some fun ways.