158: How Scott Johnson uses his head to create ongoing audience growth
Play • 46 min

Every podcaster is looking for ways to grow her audience. Why? Hopefully, it's for reasons bigger than our own ego (if it's not, please — STOP podcasting right now).

The best reason to work toward podcast audience growth is to better serve those who find our show interesting and or helpful. I know you agree with me, right?

Scott Johnson is a guy who does that through a couple of podcasts, but the one we focus on in this conversation is what he calls his "passion project" — "What was that like?" It's an intriguing show that interviews real people about the bizarre and sometimes painful experiences they've had in life. (Check out this episode, "Robert was in a gunfight with pirates" to get a taste for yourself).

Scott and I discuss the MAIN thing he's done to keep his audience growth heading upward — and it comes in THREE forms. He breaks it down on this episode.

You'll enjoy this episode if you're interested in...

  • the best ways to discover what kind of people listen to your podcast
  • how to find other podcasts that have a similar audience (listen to understand why this is important)
  • making connections with the podcasters who host those shows
  • partnering with other podcasters to grow your respective shows
  • real-life results that come from this strategy
  • podcast mastermind groups: their benefits might surprise you

Mentioned on this episode

MIDROLL: Podcast Mastermind

If you're interested in growing your podcast by joining forces with other podcasters who are on their way to success (just like you), consider applying for the next Podcast Fast Track Podcast Mastermind. It's one of the best investments you can make in your podcast, hands-down. Not to mention the great ongoing cooperative relationships you'll make with other podcasters like yourself. APPLY FOR THE NEXT GROUP HERE.

Other podcasters who share your audience are NOT your competition

One of the things I've loved about podcasting ever since I started is the reality that it's a very cooperative space. Unlike other industries, podcasters seem more than generous to help others who are trying to grow a show just like they are. This conversation with Scott is an example (he's a very generous guy).

Scott banks on that fact as part of his podcast audience growth strategy. It's an easy assumption to make because you know that other podcasters who your audience finds intriguing or interesting are attempting to grow their listenership just like you. Reaching out to them to investigate cooperative partnerships makes perfect sense.

But it's not easy to do with all the SPAM hitting our inboxes these days. For that reason, I was super interested in finding out how Scott makes the most of his opportunities to partner with other podcasters. As I suspected, he doesn't use a copy-and-paste email template that can be modified for pseudo-personal outreach. He does the hard work required to ensure he's coming across genuinely and that his communication is cutting through the noise. Listen to find out the details because I ask him all the questions.

What elements contribute to your audience growth outreach pitch being noticed?

As I mentioned above, SPAM seems to be at an all-time high. I probably receive 10 to 20 requests a day from people (bots?) looking to USE ME to advance their cause or business. I say it that way because most of them demonstrate in their original outreach that they haven't researched me, my business, or my audience at all. They've just pasted a form letter into an email, input my name and email address, and hit "send." YUK!

You do NOT want to be one of those people when reaching out to potential podcast audience growth partners. You've got to cut through the noise and prove from the moment they see your subject line (if you're using email to reach out) that you are a real person who knows something about them and genuinely wants to help them as a true partner. That's a TALL ORDER, but one Scott has been pretty successful at meeting.

How does he do it? It starts with a non-sensational, boring subject line on his emails... and it gets him some pretty amazing results. Listen to hear exactly what he does and why he believes it works.

Scott's audience growth project works... but it's also HARD WORK

It's one thing to say that you've found a way to grow your podcast audience (like Scott has).

It's still another thing to connect the increase in downloads directly with the efforts you made.

So it was important to me that I verify that Scott's claims are legit. It's not that I don't trust him, but for your sake I want to accurately represent what he's experienced — so YOU don't have any misconceptions about what could happen if you duplicate Scott's approach.

So asking him those questions, he was able to give me NUMBERS of increases in listenership after promotion and then verify that the baseline growth of his show, though it declined after the promotion, remained higher than it was pre-promotion.

But don't take all that to mean it's "easy and fast results" like a lot of the internet hooey you hear out there. It's not easy. It's not fast. It's not even simple. But once you get the process down and apply it in a savvy way like Scott has, you should see similar results.

Don't miss out on this approach to podcast audience growth that Scott has pioneered. Though he's likely NOT the first person to try it, he's the only person I know who has put in the time and effort to perfect it (as much as anything can be perfected),

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