I remember living in Cleveland there was a band that had the most awesome musicians. They were amazing. As a musician myself, I don't say that very often. They were jaw dropping musicians and yet…
I hated going to see them live.
Because they stared at their shoes the entire night. They had 150+ people in front of them, and they stared at their shoes. The lead singer pulled his hat down so low, he was staring at his hat.
You need to look at your audience to engage with them. Ever think someone is lying to you? What do you say?
“Look me IN THE EYE and tell me that.”
So what does this have to do with podcasting?
In working with lots of podcasters I am noticing a trend.
People who obsess over their stats – don't have any.
People who are checking iTunes 38 seconds after they publish to see if their latest episode is there don't understand podcast subscriptions.
The STATS thing
I'm not saying don't check your stats. I'm saying don't check your stats every hour. In fact, once a day is a bit much. The majority of your downloads are coming the first week, so check them once a week. They will be there, you can look at them, and ask yourself, “is this bigger or smaller than the previous episode” and then come up with a game plan.
One more thing about stats. Quit stating your monthly totals. A new podcaster does a weekly show. He gets X amount of downloads in January. In February he puts out four more shows, and SHOCKINGLY February has MORE downloads (maybe cause there are TWICE as many episodes to download?). Downloads per episode is the one you want to quote to advertisers.
The iTunes Thing
Remember there are over 250,00+ podcasts in iTunes. Apple has to check on other podcasts besides yours. Over the last few weeks iTunes has been having issues and it may take longer than 24 hours. Here is a super easy way to troubleshoot this situation to see if it's you or Apple that is having an issue.
SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR OWN PODCAST. Here, let me show you.
When you subscribe to your own show, you will have access (even in iTunes) to your podcast immediately upon release. So if you get your latest episode, and iTunes doesn't – then Apple is checking one of the other 249,999 podcasts and hasn't got to yours yet. Give it 24 hours. If it's not there yet, give it another 24 hours. Really, it's going to be OK. This is why you want to teach your audience to subscribe.
Here is My Question
I understand that you created some art, and you want people to consume it.
I get it. I really do.
But do you think that many people are browsing iTunes looking at your show? NO! They SHOULD BE coming to your website where they can click to listen, and where you have a subscribe button.
In theory if someone is taking the time and effort to go to iTunes each week to see if you have a new show, wouldn't they (even if by accident) subscribe to your show instead of having to check back weekly/daily/ etc?
Stop Screaming GROW!
I can look at a plant and scream “GROW!” but it doesn't work. I need to water it, and make sure it gets sunlight. Looking at iTunes, staring at your stats is not going to make them grow. Quit staring at the technology and instead go out and stare at your audience and see what they want to talk about.
I was chatting with Max Flight of Airplane Geeks last night. He setup a private Slack group, and his members are talking to each other, talking to Max and his co-hosts 24/7 and they are offering topics for the show. Max isn't guessing what is going to work on his show.
He planted a garden and it's Spring and the flowers are blooming.
Want to know what will get people to share your show? Subscribe to your Show?
Quit staring at your stats, and start engaging with your audience.
I promise you, if you start doing this, and get your audience involved (be sure to mention them in the episode) your numbers will improve.
School of Podcasting is Closing for Two Months
If you want to start podcasting the smart way the School of Podcasting is closing and won't re-open until June. If you want in, now would be a good time to join.