When we start a podcast we can often all into the trap of just imagining our audience as being off in ‘the world’ somewhere. The podcast is out there, and so are they, right?
And if pushed to provide a way for listeners to engage many of us will say “well I’ve made a facebook and Instagram page, surely that’s enough right?”
More than TV, or radio or any traditional entertainment form, podcasting is intensely personal for it’s listeners and so you need to create a personal way for them to interact with the podcast.
“If you don’t you could lose them. If you do, the benefits can be amazing.”
Creating an online, private community, such as a facebook group, patreon form or otherwise is an incredible opportunity that every podcaster should do, for 2 very important reason.
It reinforces listeners and helps you gain more
An online community allows for your listeners to engage further with your podcast. Maybe they will share their thoughts in a thread, or ask follow up questions or something else entirely. The main point is that by engaging further, you are making sure they think about your podcast more and ensure that you retain more of your existing listeners.
But it goes beyond that. An online community provides an easy accessible space for your listeners to introduce your friends to your podcast, or (if you do a podcast on a general topic it provides a space for people interested in that topic to discover your podcast. Either way it helps you gain more listeners.
It creates more content
This is honestly one of the best parts of an online community, it provides you with more content.
You can start discussion threads, ask questions and gain additional information to use on your podcast.
Or you can take it even further and integrate use that community to find potential guests for your podcast and even expand your podcast.
For example, the podcast She’s On The Money started incorporating a regular segment where they invited listeners onto the podcast to share their money stories.
This became so popular that the weekly podcast has expanded to multiple episodes a week and one of them is the guest segment, now fleshed out into a full weekly episode and powered by the massive online community of the podcast.
Just do it!
Online communities for your podcast are an absolute no brainer, so why do so many people not do it?
Well it’s hard work, an honestly it can take a while to get it off the ground.
You can feel like you are posting constantly with little engagement for ages and it can feel like you are getting little reward.
It pays off big time, and will be yet another weapon in your arsenal for promoting and powering your podcast.