Updated: Mar 11
It’s no surprise to know that gaining listeners is the fastest road to success for your podcast. Building a loyal audience will also help your business grow quickly.
Listening platforms reward fast-growth podcasts, putting you at the top of the charts so you can gain even more listener growth.
And the more loyal listeners you have, the more potential customers you cultivate with every episode.
And every podcast (yes, even Joe Rogan!) had to start with no listeners. Your first followers are the most challenging hurdle but are the most valuable on the road to success.
So here are the top 6 ways to get your first loyal podcast listeners.
1. Tell your friends and family. Often, friends and family are your best way to gain your first followers. Make it easy on them by sharing a direct link to your podcast. Be specific and ask them to subscribe to your podcast. Ask them to listen and provide feedback.
Pro tip: You may feel uncomfortable asking your friends and family to support you. It can be hard to ask for a favour because you don’t want to be a burden!
But imagine if it was reversed; wouldn't you love to support your friend or family?
Of course, you would!
In addition to that, your friends and family could very well learn and feel inspired by your podcast. So find confidence in that knowledge and ask away!
2. Plant seeds on social media. Love it or hate it, social media is a fantastic place to promote your podcast. Use the best moments of your podcast to create audio and video snippets to share on your socials. These snippets will entice potential listeners to click that link and listen in.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to sell! It can be very intimidating to continuously “sell” on your socials. 😅
But, as long as you’re balancing your posts (meaning, not every post is a podcast promotion), your posts will entice potential listeners rather than deter them.
And remember: it takes time to gain potential listeners’ trust and loyalty. They won’t click on your first sale post, but they just may after your 5th sale post.
Or 10th. Or 15th. You never know when they’ll finally click “play”, so keep going even when you’re not getting the feedback you’re hoping for!
3. Ask your listeners to share. Your podcast is a great place to promote… your podcast! Your loyal listeners who love your podcast are most likely to recommend it to their friends and family.
So remind your loyal listeners by adding a short call-to-action [CTA] to each episode. For example, try:
“It means the world to me that you’re here. If this episode makes you feel good, take a second to share the love with a friend or family member who would feel good listening to it, too!”
Pro tip: The outro usually is where a podcaster will ask a listener to share your podcast. You should consider moving your CTA around to different parts of your episode (and surprise your listener!) to your intro or a special break halfway through your podcast.
4. Book Guests Who Bring Listeners To You. If your podcast will be interview-style, vet guests who have a platform. Ask them if they’re open to sharing your podcast’s episode on their platform. Provide assets and audio recordings to make it easy for them to share.
Pro tip: Vet guests who already have a podcast. This works on so many levels! First, you already know their audio is going to be good. Second, a podcaster can share a blurb or audio snippet from your podcast. There’s no such thing as too much content!
5. Be a guest on other podcasts. A great way to cross-promote your podcast is by being a guest on other podcasts. You’ll use their platform to gain followers on your podcast.
Be sure to call out your podcast and ask the host to include a link to your podcast in the show notes.
Pro tip: 5 minutes of research before reaching out to a podcast host can make a difference. A podcast host wants to know that you know and value their podcast.
So in your outreach to the host, share 2-3 things you’ve researched about the host and their podcast. Once you’ve acknowledged your admiration for the podcast, then launch into your proposal to be a guest.
Ready to get the best guests imaginable for your podcast? Check out our 'Be Our Guest' bundle - the perfect solution and email templates to encourage more guests to say YES!
6. Write a description too good to resist. Show notes are an incredible way to encourage listeners to follow your podcast. Did you know that show notes are searchable on search engines and listening platforms?
So if you’re a health and fitness podcast targeting women in their 40s, using the key phrase “workout tips for women over 40” in the episode title will help your podcast episode get noticed by many.
Pro Tip: Having someone else write your show notes (like Brave Moon Podcasts!) can help you focus on more critical aspects of your business. You can also use someone who understands SEO and can pick out the best and most impactful parts of your episodes.
We are great at writing SEO-driven show notes here at Brave Moon Podcasts. We love helping health and fitness podcasts grow, and we’d be excited to work with you! Learn more about our editing and management podcast packages, including audio editing, show notes, digital artwork and more.
Reach out to us today to learn more!