So, you’re cruising along with your podcast. It’s growing slowly but steadily. And then suddenly, it stops. You’re not losing listeners but you’re not gaining them either. You’re in a podcast rut.
The good news is that lots of podcasters deal with this. It’s the podcast plateau.
Want to get off this dang podcast plateau? Want to get out of the podcast rut and start growing again?
Of course, you do. And so do most of the clients who turn to us for our Podcast Tune-Up program.
We want to keep growing. We want our podcast to have impact (on our listeners and in our business). And sometimes that means making a few adjustments to get that podcast revved up again.
We recently worked with a client through the Podcast Tune-Up and got great results.
In this episode, I share the 5 tweaks we made to her podcast because one or all of the may very well be the tweaks you need to consider too.
Before we dive into those, I want to share one more thing that I think was really key to her success and that was her approach to the process. She came to us and very clearly admitted that she didn’t know what she didn’t know. It was why she decided to work with us. Well, it was why she decided she needed a podcast coach, she decided to work with us because, ahem, we’re awesome (aka we love podcasting for business and we know what we’re doing).
A Case Study – The Podcast Tune-Up
In case you are not aware, we offer an online course (with optional coaching) to any podcaster whose podcast is not doing what it’s supposed to do. In other words, it’s not running optimally. This was the case for our client. Here’s her background:
- She’s a successful photographer who also coaches other photographers on how to have a more sustainable/profitable business
- She started her podcast to grow her list
- She was 40 episodes into her podcast journey when she noticed the leads were slowing down and her podcast downloads had plateaued
- When she saw this, she started really hitting the CTAs about her program hard. It didn’t help.
Through the Podcast Tune-Up process, we were able to identify 5 areas that needed attention. I lay it all out in this episode, but let me give them to you here as well so that you can consider whether these might be game-changers for you too.
- Clear Purpose of the Podcast
In her case, she’d lost sight of her original intent for the podcast – to grow her email list so she could do direct marketing (which she had a fantastic track record with). She slipped and started selling directly to her audience. And in the process, that shifted her purpose from serving her listener to selling to her listener. This was a huge revelation!
- Niche Down
We noticed that her topic was a bit broad and that there were many other podcasts in the space. Her expertise was in a very specific type of photography so why was she being generic with her topic? It was scary, but she went for it and niched down her podcast. Now, it has a lot more power and punch!
- Redesign the Podcast Structure
The structure of each episode was inconsistent. We could tell that she didn’t always have a plan going into the recording. And, we suspected that her audience could too. So, we thought about her audience – what was her ideal listening doing when listening? What do they want and need from every episode? She was smart enough to know the answer lay with her listeners – so she asked them! And that was how we were able to create an informed and consistent episode outline template.
- Improve Performance & Editing
As we listened to her show we felt stressed out and we realized it was because she was talking so fast, and never took a breath. It was almost like she was manic about getting all the info out as fast as she could. Turns out this was partly because she needed to think about presenting the information in a more conversational way. BUT, the bigger part was that she had to get her editor to stop removing every single bit of silence! We suspect that the editor might be using AI to remove every gap, but that’s for another episode! Once she relaxed into sharing the info and embraced natural silences, it felt and sounded a lot better.
- New Mic and Mic Technique
The last piece of the puzzle was getting her on a better mic and making sure she was using it correctly. Now, she didn’t sound terrible before but with the new mic, she sounded great. I can’t stress enough what a difference this makes on a subconscious level for the listener. I mean, here’s an entrepreneur who’s made a million dollars in her photography business and she’s promising to help other photographers follow in her million-dollar footsteps…but she sounds like she’s using a $10 mic. It just didn’t feel on brand and you better believe the listener is picking up on that. Or, they’re picking up on something not feeling quite right.
Small Changes, Big Results
These tweaks made a huge difference in how the show sounded, how well it aligned with her business and her goals, and how effective it was. And, it also made a huge difference in how she now felt about her show. She’s more confident and proud of what she’s putting into the podiverse. We’re pretty proud of her too – she sounds amazing and we know she’s helping more photographers make a sustainable living!
Every Podcast has Different Issues
These 5 tweaks were the main changes we guided her through, which is how she was able to get off the podcast plateau and get back to having a podcast that served her business. Could these make a difference for you and your podcast?
Possibly, but these may not be your issues. Every podcast is different. This is why we do the work we do with the Podcast Tune-Up because there is no cookie-cutter fix. Every podcaster has their own improvement journey and they have to be willing to step up and do the work.
And, it does take work. Let me be clear about that. Our client got great results and got out of her podcast rut because she was willing to do the work; To intentionally go through the worksheets. To be humble (remember the ‘I don’t know what I don’t know attitude I mentioned early?) and be willing to learn. To make the necessary changes even if it seems scary (niche down, stop selling so much, fire your editor…).
It can be a challenge but the results are worth it when your podcast is representing your brand well, appealing specifically to your ideal customer, and delivering some ROI (whether that’s downloads, leads, or sales). \
So, take a moment and revisit what worked for our client and ask yourself if one or all of these could be a difference-maker for you.
And, ask yourself if maybe it’s time to get some outside help on making your podcast a powerful marketing tool for your business. If you said yes, then check out the options on the Podcast Tune-Up page (choose the DIY option or go VIP to work directly with us as your coaches).
No matter what you decide to do, do something because the last thing you want to do is get stuck on that dang podcast plateau!
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