Listeners, however, like to feel like they belong to a community. If they like a podcast’s content, host(s), and feel like they’re wanted, they’ll stay. And they’ll tell their friends and family about your podcast.
5 Simple steps
There are five simple steps you can do immediately to gain listener loyalty without having to spend any money.
1) Interact with your listeners
This may seem very obvious, but you’d be surprised how many podcasters never acknowledge their listeners. Sure they talk to the listener but that’s as far as it goes. Your listener wants to feel heard and valued. Let them know you hear them and know how they feel. Value them and care for them.
Share their thoughts, suggestions, and ideas on your podcast. Talk to them, rather than at them. Sure, the statistics show that around 1-3% of your listeners will actually interact, but it lets the other 97-99% know you care about each person and intend to make the podcast for and about them.
2) Be Yourself
Only you are you and no one else can be you. You have a unique personality with strengths, talents, purposes, passions, etc. that no one else has exactly like you. Quirks and all, be yourself and let your listeners know who you are as well. People are attracted to a real and natural person rather than someone trying to put on a fake persona.
Share your strengths, expertise, leadership but also share your weaknesses (as necessary), your struggles, learning moments, etc. This makes you become real in your listeners’ eyes. So many leaders appear fake and unattainable. People want to feel like they can relate to you. Also, John Maxwell said he’d never trust a leader who didn’t have a “limp,” meaning someone who portrayed never having a weakness. Good advice!
3) Speak directly to the listener
When’s the last time you were hanging out with a friend and put on your best radio voice and talked at them like they were a used car commercial? If your podcast is, not only your audience, but your community, then be yourself and talk to them like you KNOW them.
If possible, use their names and recognize THEM. People love to be recognized and, believe me, they will come back with loyalty if you acknowledge them and who they are in front of all of your other listeners.
4) Engage with your listeners on social media
Serving your listeners on social media by interacting with them, giving them tips, asking them questions, inspiring and encouraging them, etc. can make them feel appreciated, acknowledged, and like they have access to you. Social media is also just a great place to go where your listeners are likely already at.
Bring them into a private Facebook group, for example, to get them involved and chatting with each other. This will build community, buzz, and ideally even more listeners in addition to the loyalty!
5) Empower them to be involved with your podcast
Huge! Give your listeners “ownership” and a vested interest in your podcast. Get them involved and empower them. Sharing ideas, suggestions, comments, and questions will make your listeners feel like they are part of your podcast. It allows their voices to be heard as well as gives them a feeling of success in their own journey.
People who have a vested interest in something will keep coming back and if they feel like they are getting something out of it and even helping others, they will bring people with them. Bring them into your “tribe” or community and empower them to be involved and they will remain very loyal.
Try these five steps now and watch steady, powerful growth of the loyalty of your listening audience. Plus, it’s a joy to serve your audience and will bring a smile to your face!
Photo by Beverly and Pack