Putting out the best podcast possible is the goal of every host. It typically starts with refining a show’s content and structure. But honing in on the mistakes and finalizing a game plan is where a podcast consultant comes in.
To help figure out the right path forward, it may be worth turning to a professional. Typically an auditing service, podcast consultants take both a high-level and detailed look at your podcast. The goal is to fix the pain points and elevate the pieces that are working.
Ahead, we sit down with Mathew Passy who is a professional podcast consultant. He specializes in training those launching new shows and comprehensive audits for others in the midst of producing a podcast.
We ask him the tough questions around his client’s successes and struggles and whether you should consider a professional for your own show. Tune in above for the full interview with Mathew then read on as we build upon some burning questions.
What’s The Secret Sauce Of Successful Podcasts?
Mathew is undeniably an expert in what makes for a successful podcast so we couldn’t resist asking for his secret sauce. And what is all boils down to is being honest and realistic about your podcasting goals.
Analyze your approach
First, analyze your approach. If you’ve uttered “I want to start a podcast but I don’t know what to talk about” or “I want to sound like Podcast X”, you may not be on the right path. With this mindset, you won’t produce a show that fills an audience’s needs. Or worse, you’ll try a create a podcast already exists. In both cases, Mathew suggests taking a step back and rethinking podcasting altogether.
But if you’re someone who is bursting with ideas and curiosity, that is the time to explore if audio is the right medium to convey the information. Think about the dramatic effects like pauses or intonation changes audio story-telling provides. Weigh each creative avenue and take a pragmatic look at whether podcasting is the right path for you and your topic.
Set realistic goals
Next, be realistic about your goals. Many hosts want to build the biggest following possible without dissecting whether that audience even exists. It’s difficult to start a podcast about a niche topic and aim for 50K followers. There simply may not be 50K people interested in that information. Instead, go into audience growth with a more realistic mindset.
Mathew’s advice is to focus on an audience of one. While it may sound counter-intuitive, the most successful podcasts have hosts who craft an intimate listening experience. When it feels like the speaker is sitting in your passenger seat, the listener will develop a closer bond with the show. That personal connection transforms listeners into advocates who will help organically spread the word. It’s these word of mouth recommendations that are the foundation of an engaged network of followers.
Actively ask for feedback
The last big ingredient is being honest about the quality of your show. It’s difficult to objectively critique your own creative work. You’re too close to the subject matter and can easily miss things that are hindering your growth. While a podcast consultant is the perfect person to shine light on those areas, also take feedback from your audience and collaborators. Take each piece of advice with a grain of salt but use it to improve.
Which Subscribe Buttons Should I Include On My Podcast’s Website?
A common mistake Mathew sees is the difficulty in finding, subscribing, and listening to his client’s podcasts. Either the lack of subscribe buttons all together or only accounting for Apple Podcasts, there’s room for improvement.
He argues there are two types of people who will find your podcast: habitual listeners and those new to the medium. Given their past experiences either consuming podcasts or not, you need to encourage these listeners differently.
For the newbie listeners, they may have never tuned into a podcast ever. You need to educate these users on how to subscribe and make it easy for them to do so. To help push them along, include subscribe links to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play. These three podcast directories have brand name recognition and the user will likely be familiar with how to interact with their preferred platform.
On the other hand, the habitual podcast listener doesn’t need education. Instead, they want to consume your podcast on whichever platform they already use. Many power listeners use more niche listening platforms so it’s important to include those subscribe links as well. From Pocket Casts to Overcast, you’re doing yourself a disservice by only thinking about the bigger directories.
All together, you’re aiming for the least friction between landing on your podcast’s website and subscribing to the show. That means including these subscribe links on the podcast’s landing page and each individual episode page. The easier it is to find, listen, and subscribe, the easier it will be to grow your audience.
Is A Podcast Consultant Right For Me?
If you feel like you’re missing some nuances to podcast production or continue wondering why your show isn’t growing, it may be time for a podcast consultant.
Mathew’s approach is diving into what shows are doing right and wrong, then how to correct things moving forward. The goal is to provide a game plan to make the right fixes. Oftentimes, podcasters just don’t know where to start so a podcast consultant can get you on the right track.
While an audit won’t guarantee explosive growth, it’s a chance to spot why listeners may be overlooking your show.