OK, we're going to dive into this head first.
You want to grow your podcast's audience but you can't figure out who they are or what they'd like. Here is your super quick rundown on what to ask.
1. Mind leaving a review and sharing our podcast with friends?
It may seem obvious since podcast reviews are an integral part of Apple's podcast ecosystem but this should not be overlooked: If you're hosting your podcast on Apple Podcasts (Spoiler: you are) then you should be asking your listeners to leave a 5-star review. We recommend that you include this ask in the closing segment of your podcast and that you consistently remind your listeners why this matters – more reviews = higher visibility, higher visibility = improved discoverability.
There are other podcast review sites out there too and it will certainly improve your chances of being discovered if you've got reviews on those sites too, but if you're just starting out make sure to focus on Apple Podcasts.
The cherry on top of the sundae? Along with reviews ask your listeners to share your podcast with their friends and family. If you give your listeners a choice (even if its a simple one), they'll feel more involved and engaged and may be more inclined to do one or the other, or even both!
2. Who are you, really?
This isn't an attempt at being existential, this is to know the demographics of your listeners. This is important to get right and you can go about it by incorporating listener call-ins into your podcast or by making a survey available to your listeners in your show notes and on your website.
Be sure to get to some of these key points:
- age range
3. How'd you get here?
There are some straightforward ways of understanding your web traffic but unfortunately understanding how your listeners got to you is not nearly as easy.
Asking your listeners where and how they discovered your podcast is a great way to figure out where you should double-down your focuses. If you discover that one of your listener acquisition channels is more effective than others it's time to roll up your sleeves and make sense of that channel, backwards and forwards.
4. What do you like and dislike about my podcast?
At this point, you're putting together a podcast about something you're passionate about, so don't let up now. This is were you can harness vulnerability into a means of getting honest feedback from your listeners.
You must seek out positive feedback and critical feedback alike, otherwise your podcast won't grow to reach its maximum potential or maximum audience. If you only ask your friends for feedback, you'll be spared of harsher critiques but you'll also miss out on the constructive criticism you get from people you don't know.
At Podcast Delivery we use this approach:
What are 2 or 3 things you like about Podcast Delivery?
What are 2 or 3 things we can do to improve Podcast Delivery?
5. What do you value in a quality podcast/What do you want to hear?
This may seem similar to "What do you like and dislike about my podcast?" and the answers you gather may overlap but here, it's important to remain focused on the listener's preferences.
This will make it easier to contrast the content you create with the content listeners tend to expect. You can even prompt for examples of podcasts that listeners prefer so you have an ideas on what you can emulate.
Take these 5 questions and change them up to fit your podcast or your style, but don't forget the spirit of what's being asked. If you can capture these important pieces of information from your audience then you're off to the races!