Podcasters have two main ways to reach their audience right where they are: in their earbuds and in their inboxes. It’s important to leverage both of these regularly and simultaneously. But how?
Thankfully, when you’re a podcaster, you already have the platform, the scripts and language, and the tools you need to grow your email list. You just need to use them all.
This week on the podcast, I’m sharing two ways podcasters can grow their email lists using what they already have available to them. This isn’t about having the right opt-in, though that helps. This is about actually talking about them and sending people to subscribe.
Because if you’re not talking about it, how will people know about it?
Mentioned In This Episode
- Episode 150: What Opt-in Do You Need to Grow Your Business?
- Episode 152: How to Promote Your Opt-in for Better ROI
- Ask Your Audience Challenge
- Minimum Viable Content Marketing – the prework
- Minimum Viable Content Marketing – the podcast series
Welcome to episode 167 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it ALL right, ALL of the time. You have permission to experiment with little tweaks and changes in your content to find what works for you, what increases value for your audience and what grows your business. And most importantly, what feels good for you.
I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and consultant for podcasting business owners who want to make their podcast, their primary content marketing tool, feel easier and more streamlined so they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. Because your podcast is your pillar marketing tool and you want to leverage it to grow your audience, authority, and business. I’ll show you how, while you do business in a way that works for you–I can help by supporting you through building a content and marketing strategy, taking care of the podcast management for you, or giving you the tools and resources to take this on yourself.
You may have noticed a little change in that intro! I’ll share more in a future episode, but I had an ah-ha moment after talking to previous podcast guest Karen Yankovich. The people I serve most and the people I love working with are podcasters. So it makes sense that I talk to podcasters here on the podcast, right? (Meta, I know.)
The insights and information I share are valuable for everyone, but moving forward I’ll be sharing more about how podcasters can elevate their content–both on their podcast and off.
This is just one example of making little tweaks and changes to your content without going through a big overhaul. It’s okay to make small pivots without redoing everything you already have in place. This is the work I’ve already been doing for years; I’m just finally talking about it! You’ll notice some other little changes coming soon too!
This week we’re continuing on our series of Minimum Viable Content Marketing. Two weeks ago, in episode 165, we talked about the pre-work, what to do before you start working on your content strategy at all.
We talked about knowing your goals, surveying your audience, and identifying your zones of genius. Hopefully you walked through those exercises and have some clarity around what you should be talking about and sharing and who you should be interviewing on your podcast. I even gave you some additional resources and a free training to help you with this, as well as episode 138 where I talk more about your zones of genius. You can get more on how to survey your audience in my Ask Your Audience Challenge at thecontentexperiment.com/ask. And grab the free training on the pre-work to creating a minimum viable content marketing strategy at thecontentexperiment.com/minimum
Today we’re talking about growing your email list, which should, in turn, grow your podcast. Because growth is important if you want to get in front of new audiences and spreading your message. And I know that you wouldn’t have a podcast if you didn’t care about the visibility of your business and your message.
You have something you’re selling. You want to grow a business. (Of course, there are podcasts out there that are hobbies or that earn revenue strictly off of sponsorships. Those are valuable and valid, but I’m talking to the people who sell a service or program/offer from their podcasts.)
One way to do that is to grow your email list.
Emails land right where our audience is…in their inbox. And yes, that’s one of the best places to find your people, no matter what they say on the audience surveys you send out. It’s an opportunity to ensure your listeners get the most value possible from your message, and that they know when you release each episode.
Think about it: Even if you have really great boundaries around your email inbox (teach me your ways, please!), you’re probably still checking your email at LEAST twice a day. And if you’re like me, you’re embarrassed to say how often you look at it.
Have you ever seen that meme that says, “What would your neighbors think if you checked your actual mailbox as much as your email inbox?” Truthfully, I only get my physical mail once or twice a week, unless I’m expecting something fun. Otherwise I don’t bother. But my email inbox? I get lots of fun stuff there, on the daily. Yeah, some garbage too. But definitely more fun stuff.
At any rate, we know that people check their inboxes. And hopefully by now you know that an email address is infinitely more valuable than a follower on Instagram or a like on Facebook. Because with an email, you have the power to actually land where someone will see you. That’s not true on social media.
Back in episode 150, I talked about opt-ins that will help you grow your business. And in episode 152, I talked about promoting your opt-in. Because people aren’t going to just magically find your opt-in on your website or show notes. Not unless you actually talk about it.
So let’s talk about where you should be talking about your freebie so you can grow your list and, hopefully, your podcast following too!
First, let’s talk about what you can do outside of your own podcast. Like leveraging other people’s audiences to grow your email list.
When you’re a guest on someone else’s podcast, or teaching inside someone’s mastermind or coaching program, you’re essentially getting a testimonial from the host. They’ve thought enough of you to bring you on and put you in front of their audience. So you’re already a step ahead.
Leverage that! Have a quality free opt-in that you can send people to. You probably already have one…a challenge or a workbook or a free course…something that gives new subscribers a quick win.
Are you talking about it…and your podcast…every time you’re a guest of someone else?
And if not, why not? I honestly think every podcaster should expect and encourage guests to talk about their freebie. We have guests on because we know they add value. Why wouldn’t we want our audience to get even more value from our guests?
I like to use a pretty link on podcasts so I can see how many people even went to the opt-in page. Pretty Links is a free plug-in you can get for WordPress and you essentially create a custom link that corresponds to the name of the podcast you’re on. So if you were on my podcast, you’d use your domain – slash – experiment or something like that.
It’s also important that you talk about your free offer DURING the interview, not just at the end. I’ll have a future episode about how to insert this language into your interview naturally, but essentially if you’re asked about something related, you could say something like, “this is something that I teach more on in my free offer [whatever the title is]. Listeners can go to [mention your pretty link].” It’s adding more value; it’s not salesly.
I’ve used free challenges, downloads, and even free 15-minute quick chat calls on other people’s podcasts. It just depends what the podcast is and what we’re talking about.
By the way…You can also direct people to your own podcast by saying, “This is something I talked about on a recent episode of my podcast.” If the host is a good one, they’ll ask more! Because honestly, we should all be in this business and podcast space to support one another.
The next thing you can do to grow your email list is on your own podcast. You should be using this same language and sending people to your same freebies on every single podcast episode. Even those with guests. And not just in the intro and outro.
Let’s unpack that. First, your podcast is YOUR marketing tool. YOU are the one spending time and money producing it. So it is 100% in your rights to talk about your own stuff on your own podcast. It doesn’t take anything away from your guests. Unless, of course, you spend the entire time talking about your own stuff and don’t allow guests to talk about theirs.
Speaking of guests, hopefully you strategically choose podcast guests. Guests that align with your message and complement what you talk about on your solo episodes. So when you ask your guest about something in their arena, you likely have some thoughts and ideas to add to the conversation. (I’m hoping you’re having a conversation with your guests and not just reading off a list of questions.)
So when a guest talks about something that’s aligned with what you do, or when the value you add to the conversation includes something that you have a freebie around, talk about that freebie and say the Pretty Link out loud.
(Listeners aren’t necessarily going to go to your show notes because they’ll forget. They’re probably doing something else as they’re listening–like walking their dogs, driving, cooking, cleaning, working out. But if the freebie is valuable enough, and you mention the link on the podcast, they’re more likely to stop what they’re doing right now and sign up. I know I am!)
Of course, there are a ton more ways to grow your email list, many of which I mention in episodes 150 and 152. But for podcasters, these two big ideas–talking about your freebie and your podcast in front of other people’s audiences, and talking about your freebie on your own podcast, even when it’s a guest episode–are huge.
But before I sign off, I want to mention two things you should never do to grow your email list:
Never add someone to your list without asking, which includes when you’re at conferences and networking events and even your podcast guests. Your podcast guest intake process should not include adding every guest to your list. Sure, add them to your CRM so you can follow up with them later. But do not add them to the list you use to email your regular subscribers. This actually happened to me recently so I really needed to mention this.
And, of course, never buy an email list (is that even a thing anymore?).
Thank you so much for listening today. If you found value in what you heard, I’d be so grateful if you left the podcast a rating and review. Ratings and reviews are what help tell Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and all the other platforms (and me!) that you like what you’re hearing. And it helps to get the podcast in more earbuds…so others can benefit from the information I’m throwing down on a regular basis.
Another way to say “thank you” is to share a screenshot of the episode over on social media. Be sure to tag me at thecontentexperiment. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more podcasting business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.