Podcasting can feel like a solitary medium at times. It often is. Most podcast enthusiasts are alone when they get behind the mic, or plug in and listen to someone else's content.
You can do a lot on your own in podcasting. But, one thing you can't do is grow your show to its fullest potential. Networking for podcasters is important because it helps build connections and support around you. It also helps you get the word out there.
Before I dive in and offer some tips on how to build your network though – you might've landed on this post looking for info on how to build a podcast network – ie; a collection of different shows under one banner. If so, the post I've linked to here should have you covered.
Growth Through Networking for Podcasters
The internet is a noisy place nowadays. Scroll through any social media feed and you'll hundreds of links to people's podcasts, videos, blog posts, ebooks, courses, webinars, etc.
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with posting about your latest episode. But you shouldn't be under any illusions that this is going to grow your audience, or find you many new subscribers.
Try spending more time building a network of people around you. You want people who are passionate about the same topics, and doing similar work. Fellow content creators are a great place to start.
Linking up With Other Podcasters
You shouldn't think of fellow podcasters as your competitors. Everyone has their own unique angle, perspective, and background. No two shows are identical – and it's not like listeners have the choice to listen to one or the other, but not both.
Choose to think of other podcasters as your collaborators. You're all working towards the common goal of serving your audience. Sure, each one might have their own business and monetisation funnels in place, but you're never going to grow your own by refusing to even acknowledge the others.
Create a Website/Blog for Your Show
Follow our free guide to set up a website to run, grow & monetise your podcast:
Podchaser is an excellent platform for podcasters to build their network. For a deeper dive on this, check out the episode of Podcraft I've linked to, above.
Here are a couple of other ways you can work together with other podcasters, to grow your audience.
Being Interviewed on Other Podcasts
This is one of the most effective ways of finding new listeners. It's not rocket science – being interviewed on another podcast gets you in front of actual podcast listeners.
Here's a group of people who know exactly what a podcast is, know how to subscribe to one, and who – presumably – are interested in your topic or niche.
That's a key factor, because there's no point trying to get yourself interviewed on a podcast about golf, when your own podcast is about baking. You need to go where your target audience is.
Being interviewed on another show isn't the type of thing you can just decide to do either. You'll need to be invited on as a guest. That's where networking for podcasters comes in.
So, what other podcasts are there in a similar niche to your own? Why not listen and subscribe to a few, if you haven't already? If you enjoy the content, share their work with your audience. Reach out to the presenters and tell them you've found value in their work too.
This will give you the opportunity to build a few lasting friendships in your space. If you're a positive, helpful person who's seen as doing good work, other podcasters are going to want to interview you on their shows. That should never be your be-all-end-all – but it can give your show a nice boost.
Interview Others in Your Niche
Interviewing your peers is another great way of networking for podcasters.
Your podcast might not be an interview show, as such. But you have the freedom to throw one in, now and then. You're the boss of your content, after all. As long as it's something your audience will benefit from, then having a chat with an expert or authority in your field can produce a quality episode.
If you think about some of the podcasters in your space that you'd like to interview, they'll each have their own following. So, on top of being able to create great content around their knowledge and expertise, there's also the opportunity for a bit of cross-promotion.
Once any interview episode goes live, be sure to email your guest and let them know. Ask them if they wouldn't mind sharing it on their social media channels. You can even pre-write a post or tweet for them, making it as easy as possible.
Each time your episodes get shared by other podcasters, a few people are going to be checking out your show for the first time. If they like what they hear, they'll likely listen to a few more of your episodes. They might stick around and hit the subscribe button too.
Whatever your topic or niche may be, there'll be online communities full of people who share the same interests or face the same issues.
That doesn't mean you should go rampaging around plastering links to your podcast everywhere, though. People tend to react negatively to that. You don't want to be pegged as a spammer.
That's not how you'd behave in a ‘real-life' conversation, so treat people with respect. Engage in discussion, ask and answer questions, become part of that community. The subject of your podcast is going to come up now and again – not in a spammy or intrusive way, but as a natural part of your human interactions.
Not only can you attract new listeners in an online community, you'll also get plenty of ideas for future episode topics, meet potential interviewees for the show, and make new friends within your niche.
Even in the age of the internet, there's still a lot to be said for getting out and attending events offline.
Connecting with someone on Twitter or Facebook is no substitute for meeting and chatting to them in real life. Of course, the former absolutely has its place and its benefits. But if you can only ever be found behind the screen of your laptop or phone, then you're missing out on a lot of opportunities.
There's bound to be a few different conferences, events, or groups who meet regularly in your own specific field. Choose one or two and make a commitment to show up.
Just like with online communities, you shouldn't turn up purely to tell everyone about your podcast. Get to know the people there. Be curious, and behave like an actual human. It won't be long before someone asks you more about your own ventures!
Networking for Podcasters: Next Steps
Hopefully, you've found this guide to growth through networking for podcasters useful. There are a few different areas to put time and work into here that can be hugely rewarding. None of them are in the style of “this one simple trick,” because podcast growth is a slow burn.
People like the idea of “shortcuts” and “hacks,” because they offer the most amount of results for the least amount of work. Some methods might offer you one big download spike but, like lighting fire to a piece of paper, it burns brightly for a few seconds, then goes out.
To grow an audience means subscribers; people who want to hear every single episode you put out. This can take a bit more sustained attention and care to cultivate. There are many layers to this stuff.
So next up, let's talk about growth through social proof. Getting reviews gives you good material to work with when promoting your podcast. So head on over to How Do I Get More Podcast Reviews? and we can get started.