What Does Podcast Success Look Like For You?

what does podcast success look like for you

What Does Podcast Success Look Like For You?

Ok you have decided to ‘go for it’ and you are going to create and launch your own podcast. How exciting!
So before you go hurtling off looking for a microphone and getting some artwork done, let’s take some time to think about how you are going to define the success of your podcast.

Hang on a minute, Sue! How on earth can we talk about success when we don’t know what we are doing yet?
… Exactly…

There are many benefits that come out of having a podcast, and I have mentioned several in earlier blog posts. Now is the time to get very clear about your most important goals for your podcast. Now is the time to define how you will know that your podcasting efforts have achieved those goals.

The assumption is that most podcasts are done for one or more business reasons. You might however want to have a podcast as a hobby for yourself, or to showcase your own hobby. To have a podcast just ‘cos you want one. But even then I am sure you have things you want to achieve with it. For example I am setting up a podcast as a showcase since I am a podcast producer. I want a podcast, and have decided to set it up based around my own hobby of textile art (fiber art) & embroidery.

So regardless of reasons of business or pleasure, what will be YOUR definition of success? Note: It isn’t always about the download figures!

Perhaps you want to use your podcast to expand your reach?

To use your podcast as a great way of becoming much more ‘known’ in your niche / world. You are viewed as having much more credibility & authority if you have a great podcast. So you are better placed to leverage your podcast to help you reach and connect with new people such as joint venture partners, new prospects & clients, new referral partners, influencers & decision makers. How many connections would make your podcast a success for you?

Following on from that idea, if you want to be considered an authority, thought leader, influencer.

How would you assess the success of your podcast for achieving that? How about being asked to speak on something like a TED talk, or being invited to speak at one or more major events, locally, nationally, internationally? Or having your quotes circulated and shared across social media. Would you be excited if media contacts approached you for your opinions & expertise? What quantity or quality of these factors would make your podcast a success for you.

Perhaps you want to use your podcast to promote your book?

Books & podcasts go together amazingly well – each synergistically supporting the other. Perhaps your success criteria for your podcast in promoting your book(s) would be connecting with current & potential readers, increasing your visibility, and the visibility of your book. Or what about creating a community of readers before your book is finished, so they help shape its direction & story. Or even sharing ideas and providing valuable market research when you are planning a book. Which of these factors will show you your podcast is a success for you.

What about using your podcast to build your email list?

As a lead generation machine? What about driving quality targetted traffic to an opt-in specificly for your podcast. Or increasing signups for a more detailed webinar. Increasing mobile signups via sms text. What numbers of traffic, conversion & new signups would be successful for you to achieve? If you are a coach for example, how many new clients or repeat clients would be a success factor for your podcast?

And onto monetisation.

This seems to be the ‘holy grail’ of having a podcast. However, it has to be said that having a podcast is not a fast path to instant riches!!! There are certainly faster ways to generate income when you need it. Podcasting gurus talk about creating income from your podcast via sponsorship, but there has to be several of your ‘ducks in a row’ before that is viable, and it maybe a huge distraction from the important success of creating a community of engaged and enthusiastic listeners. It maybe possible for you to include affiliate marketing into your podcast, so what levels of affiliate sales would be a realist measure of success?

However, what would be a more realistic way to monetize your podcast is that it is part of your overall content marketing ‘funnel’, where your regular podcast content is a stepping stone to directly selling paid programs and services from your podcast, or driving traffic to a paid offer. So again consider what level of signups or income from your various paid offerings would constitute you having a successful podcast? More on monetisation in another post, I think.

A final thought on download numbers.

What if you have a high number of downloads for each episode but you don’t have any plan or any way of converting any of those downloads & listeners into some sort of paying customer? Does it matter or is it a missed opportunity for success in other areas related to your podcast. Surely a smaller audience of interested, engaged & active listeners is a more useful indicator of success than a large crowd of people who have subscribed and get your episodes downloaded to their listening device, but who don’t actually ever listen?

Your podcast success is related to your podcast goals which are typically more complex than just a number.
How are you going to assess the success of your podcast?


About The Author


Straight-talking Podcast Advice & Practical Podcast Training For Busy Business Owners


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