We’re doing a follow up to our two other episodes about the steps leading up to a podcast launch and the steps to take just after launching. This time we’re focusing on what we call “launch strategy,” which means thinking of the launch of your show in terms of a strategic plan. This includes leveraging your audience’s enthusiasm, planning your first few episodes wisely, and understanding the opportunities around launching a new show and capitalizing on them.
In this episode Tiff and Christine give pro tips and examples to making the launch of your podcast awesome, successful, and effective.
“No one is going to know that you launched a podcast besides the people you tell.”Christine Baird
- (2:01) Get your audience excited before you’re launching your show
- (7:11) Put your best foot forward
- (13:35) How to effectively leverage your current audience to be a street team
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- EP 5 The 5 Steps to Launching Your Podcast
- Gabby Bernstein
- Austin Kleon
- EP 28 How to Measure Your Results
- Tiff Tyler
- Christine Baird
- Aspiring Podcast Hosts & Producers – check out the Think Like a Producer Membership Group
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Many thanks to our production team
Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird.
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. Being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry. This is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it. We’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you. Tune in weekly, to learn how to think like a producer.
Do you want, I thought about this morning, like if more people were willing to edit their own shows, they would like light year exponentially increase their hosting skills so much quicker, but you know, I only know a few people who do that, so, okay. Welcome to this episode of think like a producer, we are covering something that we’ve teased at and hinted at in multiple past episodes. And today we’re covering what I like to call launch strategy. If you’re like, what are you talking about, Christine? Don’t worry. We’ll explain it. But first, if you have not listened to one of our very first episodes, five steps to launch your podcast, go listen, because that will really kind of set you up to understand today’s episode where we’re going to focus specifically on the part where you actually launch your show and just some pro tips from two pros about things.
Did you, that are pretty simple. That will actually make a huge difference in how easy and fun and big for lack of a better word your launch feels. Um, as everyone knows, it’s really easy to get excited about a show idea and do a lot of the prep work and get a microphone and just pick a name and get some artwork together and record some episodes and then share it. And like, nobody even know you did it, right? Like this can happen with anything. We make artwork and film and writing and whatever. Well, a launch strategy helps you actually prepare your audience. Even if your audience is your friend group to even know what’s going on. So by the time you launch your show, they’re like, this is awesome. And they’re going to like support you and be excited and share it. So we’re going to keep this pretty basic today and give you some high level ideas that anyone could use, even if you’re just doing this yourself.
But these are the same tips we give to like high-end clients who have teams and brands and are spending money. So just wherever you’re at, take this with a grain of salt and just jot some notes down because this will make a big difference in how excited you feel for your launch and leading up to your lunch. Okay. So number one, the pro tip that we give our clients is to get your audience excited before, before the keyword, before you’re launching your show. And this can be really simple today with things like Instagram stories and all the ways we share what doing every day online. But it’s as simple as taking your phone out when you’re getting your microphone unpacked for the first time and just taking a little video and posting it to your Instagram or your Facebook, your TikTok, or wherever you like to share about your life and show people like I’m so excited.
Look at me, I’m using a microphone. What is going on to give little teases? I call them behind the scene teasers of what you’re doing. And you know, the first time you record an episode, like again, sharing on social media and being like, ah, just recorded the first episode, or like figuring out my tech or, you know, so excited to share the name of the show. It’s also a really smart idea, depending kind of how engaged your audiences, um, to ask them their opinion about titles or artwork as you’re going through and kind of designing these pieces. The more you can get your audience involved in the process, like actually making them feel like they’re, co-creating it with you. Even if you’re like calling all the shots yourself, but you’re helping them understand like, Oh yeah, this is something that this person who I already follow in, like is creating.
And I feel invested because I’m seeing the actual process of it coming together. This makes a big difference. As it turns out, I would tell the same thing to someone launching a book or a big digital product. Like this is kind of launch strategy one Oh one, you can kind of insert any product in, but specific to a podcast there’s really easy, low hanging fruit that you can share. Like we said, showing people when you’re setting up your equipment or your recording space, you know, sharing within the first time you’re doing recordings, asking them what kind of questions they’d like you to answer on your show or what kind of guests you’d like, they’d like you to interview depending. Like if that’s the kind of show. So that’s a huge part of it because it doesn’t mean they’re going to be like sharing you out at this stage.
They’re just getting excited and they’re seeing the investment you’re putting in and they’re realizing this is a real deal. It’s a legitimate thing. This person is doing. They’re putting in time, they’re putting in effort. They can see that you’re a quote unquote, doing it the right way. And that already is building social credibility within your audience who are going to be your first listeners, right? No, one’s going to know you launched a podcast except for the people you tell. So these are the people who are actually going to be your first original listeners. And the more you can involve them in the process of getting going the better. So one of the absolute best examples of this I saw recently that was just like masterfully done. And I was like, Tiff can you like, look what Gabby did, Gabby Bernstein. You probably know who she is.
Huge influencer in the spiritual mindfulness space, bestselling author, you know, huge audience, amazing really legitimate teacher. And yes, she already has like millions of people following her. However, she, I discovered the other day for the last year has been hosting Instagram lives and recording them to launch a podcast this month. So she’s called it. Dear Gabby, every single Instagram live is labeled that way. She’s got a little logo in the corner. She’s got like hashtag she has been prepping her audience for an entire year for her podcast launch. It’s coming out this month in April of 2021. And she has not only been actually recording episodes on her Instagram. And if you see her behind the scenes, she shows a little clip. One day of her actual setup. It’s like a full on studio in her house. So don’t be deceived. Yes, she’s doing an Instagram live, but really she’s like recording and super high quality behind the scenes cause she’s a professional and she has those resources.
But the point is she has been getting her audience excited about the Dear Gabby podcast for a year by actually hosting conversations, which is the exact same content she’s going to have on her show. She’s been socializing that name for a year, right? Dear Gabby. And because that’s, you know, this is her in her element, like she’s a very powerful teacher and speaker she’s been previewing to our audience, what this is going to be like. And for a whole year it’s only been on Instagram. I mean, she has it stream to multiple social channels at the same time, but no one’s thought of it as a podcast. Right. Cause you can only catch it live or on a replay on IGTV. And this is the month that suddenly people are going to be able to listen in on any podcast platform. I’m sure she’s going to put it on YouTube. You know, like that is a masterful way to get your audience excited. And I just was like, this is so brilliant. I mean, Gabby’s pretty brilliant. So that’s awesome. But that’s one of my current favorite examples. Tiff. I know you have another great example of the concept of getting your audience excited.
Oh yeah. I love Austin Kleon. He’s got a series of books. They’re all on my shelf. I love them all. But one that really stood out to me a few years ago, Show Your Work. So I like this book. I let you guys know. I love to kind of give these book references because you know, we give you concepts and we do our best to give you details. But sometimes he just needs a brainstorm a little bit for yourself. Maybe reading a book will spark some ideas of how this will uniquely work for you. And for us that book, it just it’s like it gives you permission to show the messy process, right? Like, um, you know, when I was picking out equipment for my desk set up and how I was going to do things, I kind of had this post on my Instagram stories and I was trying new things out.
And I think maybe even before we really post an episode, I’m pretty sure we were showing some behind the scenes or talking about something new that was coming up. I like to tease things. So since I don’t give detail, that just kind of just say like, Hey, something cool might be coming along. Um, but you know, this is the great thing about social media. Like you can make things that disappear at burst, right? Like you can do the stories on Twitter, on Instagram, even on YouTube. If you have a certain amount of followers and subscribers already, um, that you can just test, see what people are replying back to and then put on your feed. Right. If you’re like, I’m a little nervous about sharing this photo, that’s not as pretty as the rest of my photos, but this is behind the scenes. Let me see what people think on stories first and then I’ll post it and then it’ll kind of live there forever.
So if you are a kind of like, I’m not really sure, I want to be careful tested out, read that book for permission. Cause man, he just, he really helps a lot with that overthinking and perfectionism piece. Uh, but yeah, definitely, definitely get your audience excited. And uh, and then step two is to put your best foot forward. Uh, this is something I think it makes sense that we might think like, Oh, let me like save the best for last. Let me like, you know, just kind of tease a little bit, give us the first couple episodes. And then I’ll throw like my best content towards like the second half of the season or the second half of me recording. But this is coming straight from Christine and me. But mostly Christine, like give your best foot forward. It puts your first three to five episodes.
Like your best guest, your number one guests, like something that, you know, maybe you sent some audio out to some family members, your mom listened to like, you know that one in particular that you talked about really hit home. You want to give the audience the best in, in the very beginning. Now if you’re listening and you’re a beginner and you’re like, I’ve never recorded a podcast before. I’ve never really, you know, put myself on video before this will be a little hard for you to decide what the best is. We get that. And of course, like we said on previous episodes, you’re going to get better as you go. The more you do. Yes, it will get better, but just don’t hold out on your audience. Don’t think like I’m just going to throw a couple of things that were okay. I felt all right when I, you know, recorded it and then episode 10, I’ll throw the best one out there.
Your first three to five are very important. That’s going to lock in people to be on that journey with you. Once someone subscribed to your podcasts and subscribe to your YouTube channel, it’s not like unfollowing you on other social media. Like usually people are pretty locked in. I think it’s like takes more effort for someone to unsubscribe. So don’t feel like, you know, you have to be perfect and look a certain way. Like you don’t want Instagram and all the other social, that’s kind of the unique thing about podcasting to me. It’s like, they’re, they’re listening to you, right. They’re having like a bit more of a relationship with you. And we’ve talked about that when we talked about audio versus video on episode eight. Yes. On episode eight, just that relationship, that’s a little bit different. Um, just when it comes to podcasting. So give yourself permission to throw the best thing out there.
It will continue to get better. You’ll have great episode. You have some episodes that are okay. I’ll miss another episode, uh, that we talked about not too long ago, we talked about just your results, right? Like kind of being attached or unattached or informed about the results you had listed that episode. Listen to that one too. Got a lot of episode references here, a lot in this season, season one. Um, what, in addition to your biggest guests think about strong titles. So something I love that Christine does and like pushes me to do more too, is just when I think of certain words or things like Googling it, you know, like what pops up is this word kind of too big for people to really understand what we’re talking about in the episode and just really thinking strategically about like, what are people really looking for?
If we’re a podcast, educational based a show, making sure that we use the word podcast, making sure we’re keeping it very simple, whether you’re beginner or intermediate that you can understand once you see that title, what you’re going to get coming up and things that are just drawing you in. There are some words that feel a little bit prettier than other words just don’t overthink it and don’t let that stop you from posting. But just try to give a bit more time into those first three to five, uh, episode titles. So overall step two, put your best foot forward, do the best that you can with what you have right now. Um, like we said, it could be a guest. It could be a certain concept that really stands out. And like I mentioned a little bit earlier, you can test these things. You can test the titles, you can throw in like a poll on Instagram, you know, two different titles and see what people like best, like Christine mentioned, that’s going to get your audience involved and feel like they’re a part of it. But also it gives you free data to let you know that, you know, this might be your opinion, but your audience wants this particular word or concept. It’s, it’s like something that people didn’t have five, 10 years ago to be able to do. And we have access to. But on this step too, Christine, is there anything else you want to add for putting your best foot forward?
I think you really covered it. This is maybe, um, easier to say than to do, but don’t make it too complicated because uh, we can resonate with you if you’re like an analyzer who likes to overthink things before you take action. I think a lot of us can relate. And so we wanted to make sure this episode was helpful, but not to the point where you’re like, Oh my gosh, I cannot launch this show until I’ve thought about it for six months. That’s not the point of this episode. Okay. So take this all in and then do it and just don’t let yourself overthink it. We’re giving you just some, some high level tips. Okay. Got it. So the last point we want to make about how to have an awesome podcast launch is promotion. And you were like, yeah, I thought you were going to talk about this.
Okay. Yes we are. So the way to effectively leverage your current audience for a podcast launch is very similar to what you would do for a book launch or any like big product drop. If you’re a brand and you may not be a brand, you’re like, what are you talking about? Well, that was just a reference for someone who’s done something like that. But let’s say you were coming out with anything that you were really excited about, that you put a lot of labor and love into. You’re going to want to activate the core fans who have been with you for a while and liked what you did before you were cool and like what you do as you’re getting cool and just really resonate with your stuff. You want to activate them to become a quote unquote street team for your podcast. I actually had to look up the origins of the word street team.
I was like, Tiff, I use this word and I forgot what it means. You guys remember in college when there were always people on campus handing out flyers to promote the club or the event or the things me that was in college. And that’s a street team, right? That the actual like original, the people who hit the streets with the flyers to promote something. It’s a marketing strategy, obviously in 2021 and Pryor street teams are mostly digital these days, right? But you’re thinking of your core fan base is your digital street team and your either, you know, doing something exclusive just for them. So they’re volunteering to be a part of your street team, but you’re either doing something really cool and exclusive and as a big, thank you for them. Or maybe it’s just something like you, you know, with the book launch, oftentimes your street team gets an early copy of the book or an extra copy or a free journal or whatever.
So if you want to do something like that with your audience, awesome, you don’t have to give them a gift to be part of your street team. It’s mostly informing them ahead of the launch. Like, Hey, you’ve been the core fans. I’m so grateful. I’m so excited to share this show. Are you interested in promoting the show on launch day? It would mean the world to me, it would be so awesome. I’ll share any promotion you do on my own channel. So your street team might literally be your best friends and your mom like that’s cool, right? But it also might be, if you have an existing audience of any size, that’s already into your message that your podcast is going to be about, then they can become that. So it’s about informing them probably two weeks to a month before the show is actually going to launch and be like, Hey, anyone interested, this is what we’re organizing on launch day.
You know, and you’re asking them to share on their Instagram or their Twitter or their Facebook or wherever they like to promote with a consistent hashtag tagging your account. If you decide to make an account for your podcast, you know that, and you’re giving them a really clear set of instructions, like, Hey, on launch day, here’s the plan during the first half of the day, whatever your time zone is, if you can post on social media, a screenshot of this and tell people exactly where to go listen, and why you love the show, right? You’re going to give them something very specific to do so that there’s actual buzz on the day that your show launches and so that when they tag you in their post, you can reshare it on your social media account, right? That’s a big thing. Seeing other people talking about your stuff is always way better promotion than you just talking about your stuff.
So most of this is just to help create some social proof that, Hey, yeah, real people are listening to this show. It’s a real show. It’s worth your time to check out. So that’s kind of maybe more involved than you want to be, but we want to paint that picture because that’s a very useful and effective tool. And however, big or small your street team might be, it’s really helpful. And then secondarily, you want to think about actual ease of finding your podcast because as you may know, there are over 20 platforms. People listen to podcasts on, and if you’re just like, Hey, my podcast is out, go listen. It’s like crickets. People are like, well, where, and what’s it called? And where’s the link. So again, you have options here depending on how invested you want to be. But a bare minimum, we recommend that you at least tell people to go to a specific platform to listen for the first like month.
A lot of people send everyone straight to Apple Podcasts cause that’s still the most popular podcast app. But the truth is most people aren’t iPhone users. So you might send people to Spotify. Some people don’t have Spotify. You might decide to send them to a page that shows all of the different listening platforms and they can click through to their favorite, really helpful free resources to create those kinds of mini webpages, our pod page and pod link. You can look in the show notes of this episode for those links, but there’s just so many awesome services now to help you help your people find your show across all the different platforms. And so the point here is no matter where you decide to tell people to go have a specific place where you’re telling them to go and be consistent with that for the first, like I said month, because that’s about, you know, how long it’s going to take some people to even understand or hear the news.
Like you have a podcast. So don’t skip over that just because it’s such a tragedy when you do all the other promotion really well. And then the block is that people just don’t know where to go. Listen. Um, and again, go back and listen to five steps to launching your podcast. And we recorded another episode, five steps after launching your podcast. And that’ll kind of give you a bigger picture of what to do before. And after this episode, we really wanted to focus on the actual launch strategy. So that as you’re planning the big day, if you will, is that you’re, you’re feeling really confident, like, okay, there have been people who have been excited about the show. I’m making sure that they are activated and empowered to share it. I’m making sure I’m know exactly where I’m telling people to go listen. And I’m making sure that there’s actual buzz around the launch of my show and people are actually talking about it because I asked them to and they just needed an ask.
That was all, okay, hopefully this was helpful. We, again, don’t want to overwhelm you. Like you have to do any of this. You don’t. But if you’re going through all the work of creating an awesome podcast, why not create an awesome launch so that people even know it exists and they go listen, and then they tell other people. So those are our tips we would, of course, be happy to go deeper with you on any of this. If you have a brand or a business that wants to put a little more oomph behind your launch and have some really clear strategies, kind of putting maybe some marketing dollars behind it. This is what we cover in our membership group, where we train producers. So of course, feel free to come over there and join us and ask questions and go deeper. But for the purposes of this episode, we’re giving you some of our favorite tips for free. And hopefully those are really helpful. Thank you so much for listening and watching this episode. We would love to see your feedback on an Apple podcast review or any platform where you listen and would like to give us some love. And we’ll see you on the next episode.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production. Massive thanks to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico Productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you want to learn more about how to market, monetize, and grow your podcast, we have a membership group where you can get more access to us and feedback on your show. As a special bonus, you get free access to Christine’s DIY, do it yourself, podcast course when you join the group. Check the link in the show notes for more information.