Grow your podcast audience with love. How to “Love your listeners and be loved in return” and build a loyal community.
A bit of escapism at first to set this up – Nat King Cole first recorded the song Nature Boy in 1948. It’s a great song, I really like David Bowie’s version for the film Moulin Rouge.
The final line – “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, Is just to love and be loved in return” – is considered a poignant moment in the song.
I’m going to use it here to display a way to build audience. Over the years of working in radio I spotted a simple trend. A path that showed why some shows were really popular and why others were not so.
I always advocate including listeners in your show. It is a must! Get interactive with your audience. It’s a bit more than just giving them a mention.
Some of the very best radio shows has made the listener a part of the show. Sir Terry Wogan is a great example, for years the mainstay of many people’s mornings in the UK. Sir Terry had his TOGGs – Terry’s Old Geezers and Gals.
Sir Terry himself identified TOG-iness as “a state of mind recognised by many, as that feeling of being old before your time”. His TOGGs formed their own community who were fiercely devoted to Sir Terry. They even held get together events and had their own website – they called it “an online home for the bewildered”.
That’s what I mean about being loved in return. King Tog, Helen Bach, Dibley, Lucy Quipment, Ricky T Outhouse and Jo King were all real people but with their TOGG names.
They not only made regular appearances on the show, they were part of the show. When Sir Terry died from cancer in 2016, they felt a palpable loss of someone they called their friend. Because he was their friend on the radio. I did too!
My advice to you, if you want to build audience, let your audience be involved. Help them become your best advocates and include them as a part of your content.
An easy way to do this is find out about those who listen regularly. Is there someone who emails you often or comments on social media about your podcast? Build a list of listeners who could become contributors.
Don’t just drop them in, think it through – what could they do for you. You could find out about their interests within your niche. When that comes up as a subject you could get them on for a comment.
I often did this too with my shows from John of The Red Lion Pub, Pete The Cabbie and Dave the security guard who was doing anything and everything but securing things. They were in the contact list and when I needed them they were a phone call away.