Growing Your Podcast Audience
On this episode of Rogue Creators, Bryan and Loren chat with Randy Wilburn. Randy has been podcasting for eight years, and he currently hosts the podcast “I am Northwest Arkansas.” They talk about promoting your community through podcasts, how to avoid burnout while podcasting, the 1994 Arkansas Razorback basketball team, and much more. You do not want to miss out on this inspiring episode!
(1:37) What are you obsessed with?
(10:05) Introducing Randy and I am Northwest Arkansas
(18:57) Staying true to your podcast’s direction
(29:02) How to promote your podcast?
(39:06) How podcasting will evolve in the future
(43:15) Wrap up
(45:34) Rapid Fire
“I think it’s something that anybody, any creator needs to think about, right? I mean, when you create anything, I don’t care if it’s a podcast or artwork or whatever, you have to have a why behind it. And if the why is not big enough, it’s going to be hard to do what you do.” (19:01)
“It was a phrase I learned a long time ago. ‘It’s a pitiful frog that doesn’t praise its own pond.’ If you don’t like where you are, you need to get up and move. And if you do like where you are, then you need to dig your heels in and put some time in.” (31:29)
“Even if you create a podcast and you get 500 downloads a week, or 500 downloads a month, that’s like you being in an audience with 500 people that are listening to what you have to say.” (42:22)
Growing Your Podcast Audience
Are you passionate about your community? Do you ever brag to your friends about what it is like to live in your region? Randy Wilburn started his podcast, “I am Northwest Arkansas,” with the intention of meeting people in Northwest Arkansas and telling their stories. He did not realize that his podcast would become influential in many people’s decisions to move to the area. With Walmart, Tyson, JB Hunt, and several other Fortune 500 companies in the area, Randy’s podcast has swayed potential employees who were unsure about taking a job in Arkansas.
While Randy’s work is impressive, others can replicate his success in promoting his community. He joined this week’s episode of “Rogue Creators” to talk about promoting Northwest Arkansas through his podcast. How can you use a podcast to promote your community?
Define Your Why
The most essential step in showcasing your community through a podcast is defining your purpose in creating your show. Obviously, the objective is to highlight your community, but what is your motivation for doing that? Do you want to tell the stories of people in your ecosystem? Do you want to provide your neighbors with a resource to stay up to date with events, new restaurants, and more?
Being clear about your inspiration for your show will keep you motivated when you struggle to produce content. It will also assist in keeping you focused on the direction you have outlined for your podcast. Without defining your why, you risk creating content without a direction or burning out after a few episodes.
Outline Your Podcast
Once you have outlined your show’s purpose, it is crucial to lay out your podcast’s framework and structure. How often will you release a new episode? Following a consistent cadence for releasing your show is essential, as it tells your listeners when to tune in. Podcasts that do not release on a regular schedule are more likely to fizzle out. Many shows post new episodes weekly, but that can be taxing if you do not have episodes planned out in advance.
Another vital element of your podcast’s framework is choosing whether you will release your show in seasons. Deciding to organize your podcast into seasons allows you to take breaks from releasing content to prepare for your upcoming episodes. If you organize by season, it is helpful to map out a season in its entirety before you begin releasing episodes. If you decide to not utilize seasons to allow for planning time, consider having 30+ topics prepared for episodes. This assists in preventing burnout once you have exhausted a handful of topics.
Promote Your Show
Now that you understand the importance of defining the podcast’s purpose and laying out the framework for your show, it is time to promote it. Many podcasts, including Randy’s, are promoted primarily through word of mouth. While many people hope to get thousands of downloads on their first episodes, the truth is that few shows reach that status. Do not be discouraged if your podcast is not garnering large numbers of downloads immediately. As Randy mentioned in the podcast, having 50 downloads on an episode is equivalent to speaking to a room of 50 people, and that opportunity is rare without a podcast!
Take the opportunity today to start planning for your podcast!