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The Podcraft™ Podcast

Top Promo & Growth Lessons From Successful Indie Podcasters

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Just like the proverbial tree in the forest, is your brilliant content even brilliant if nobody hears it? On this episode, we’re going to pick our Indiepod Legends’ brains about all things promotion, growth, and marketing.

Transcription: Top Promo & Growth Lessons

Obviously, social media can play a big part in this, and we’re going to hear about what platforms and strategies have worked well for some of our creators (as well as which ones haven’t!). But social media is only one aspect of podcast marketing, and you don’t even need to use it at all if you don’t want to.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the ultimate low-hanging fruit of podcast growth because it lets your listeners find and come to you in their own time and on their own terms.

Creating special or unique content alongside your usual episodes is another growth strategy that’s yielded great results for some of our podcasters, and we’re going to hear some tips for replicating that, too.

Another recurring strategy in this episode is collaboration. Being on or working with other podcasts is a proven way to build your audience. As Andrea puts it, “People who listen to podcasts listen to podcasts”. Some useful tools for finding other podcasters to link up with are Podchaser, Rephonic, and Tink Media. And here are some tips on how to get booked as a guest on a podcast.

lessons from top indie podcasters

Workflow, Content & Longevity Lessons From 14 Top Indie Podcasters | Podcraft Season 20

Meet Our Indiepod Legends

Paul Thornton - Joy of Cruising

“A lot of the people who might be interested in this topic, they have no clue what Spotify is or what Apple Podcasts is. So I just give them a regular URL, and it takes them to a player on my website.”

Paul – The Joy of Cruising

“When the person you’re interviewing shares your content, it’s huge. That is really big. That’s when I get the waves of people listening when they do. I totally see a difference between when someone doesn’t do it and when someone does do it.”

Susan – Lush Life

“The other week I did an episode where I made a plea to my audience to say make sure you do subscribe, because it helps me. And within about ten days, suddenly I was number one in the Apple ranking for my keywords. I’ve been number one before, but normally I’m sort of two, three, four, and suddenly I was number one. And I don’t know if it was coincidence or whether it was genuinely because maybe just a handful of listeners had subscribed and that tipped the balance to promote me higher than everybody else. So that surprised me.”

Paul – Fighting Through
Alana and Samra - She Well Read

“And the TikToks that sent us over the edge, or quote unquote, made us go viral were the ones where we were being like, okay, this is who we are, and this is what we’re about. And these are the type of people we’re looking for. Kind of like the, like, get to know me type videos by using trending sounds and audio.”

Alana & Samra – She Well Read

“I tried to make every title easy to find. I know a lot of shows, they try to be clever, you know, they try to be funny, they try to do these creative things with their titles, but then nobody knows what the heck the show is even about. And it’s impossible to search, impossible to find later. And so I wanted to make sure that every episode I did was specific in nature. That way it was evergreen. Anytime someone is working on something that relates to that topic for the next decades upon decades, they can go back and listen to that and they’ll still find value.”

Gabe – Board Game Design Lab

“Back in the heyday when we were all just making stuff because nobody had made that kind of stuff before, we were doing tons of cross promotion. We’d throw trailers at each other and have each other on each other’s shows.”

Mur – I Should Be Writing

“I’m trying to do more blogs because I find that’s just another way for people to find the content, if the podcast links to the blog and the blog post links to the podcast episode. This year, my goal is to think hard about what I’m doing and rather than doing, perhaps, more promotion, to do a better job of it.”

Vicki – Bring Your Product Idea to Life

“Being on other podcasts, I think is one of the best ways I’ve seen to grow my show. Again, it’s really hard to track this, but my theory is that people who listen to podcasts listen to podcasts, and if they listen to one, they listen to multiples. And so that has been a really great way for me to grow my show.”

Andrea – The Savvy Social Podcast

“Social media definitely helps, but you need to understand how social media works. Treating your social media content as separate content and not just as a promotional tool. So a lot of people, they go, oh, I’ll promote it on my social media, or make a social media account for their podcast, and all they do is promote the episodes, and they just go, here’s the album art, go listen to the episode everyone – link in bio. That may have worked back in 2015, 2016, but now it’s so hard.”

Daren – The One Percent Better Runner
Rob and James of The Euro Trip have a great podcast workflow for their co-hosted podcast.

“Gradually, we have made a real concerted effort to improve our social content. So, you know, we might ask questions like who was your favorite Eurovision winner? Or what’s the one song that you think should have performed better in the contest? And that is still engaging an audience. It’s getting our brand name out there, but it’s not necessarily intrinsically linked to the podcast. But equally, if we do get some really good stories from prompter questions like that, then we can discuss them on the episode and that then almost becomes content that we can take onto the podcast.”

Rob & James – The Euro Trip

“Once you kind of start settling into a routine, it gets very scary to do something different because you don’t want to put anyone off or surprise your accustomed listeners by doing something that they’re not used to or they didn’t expect. But I actually think we can challenge our listeners a bit more, and we should be confident in our own vision enough and bold enough in our skills to challenge our listeners and produce something that we think maybe just goes a little beyond what they had expected.”

Kathi – Wild for Scotland

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