A while back I sent out a survey to the community to find out what podcast producers wanted to learn about most. I was intrigued by how things had changed since 2005 when I first started podcast consulting. The results also offer some very important insights for your own podcast.
In the survey I had podcast producers rate a number of topics on a scale of 1 (not at all interested) to 5 (extremely interested). The following is a list of the top three most highly rated topics followed by the percentage of respondents that indicated they were either extremely interested (rating of 5) or very interested (rating of 4) in the topic.
- Keep the audience coming back again and again – 92.2%
- Increase audience participation and build community – 88.4%
- Promote their podcast – 84.4%
Changes Over the Last Three Years
In 2005, podcast promotion (#3) was at the top (#1) which is why I wrote the book, Promoting Your Podcast. This is still clearly of importance, but has since slipped to the #3 position. This shows an interesting trend.
Podcast producers have been releasing their shows and steadily growing their audiences, but now they realize that it’s just as (and really even more) important to keep their current listeners coming back again and again as it is to constantly find new listeners.
What About Making Money?
Making money with podcasts has been a hot topic for some time. Surprisingly “How to make money with your podcast” appears much farther down on the list of topics at 69.7%.
You could conclude that the people responding to the survey were not “business-minded.” However, 55.5% consider themselves entrepreneurs and the majority of the remaining respondents consider themselves self-employed or a professional (e.g. lawyer, CPA, etc.)
I would would venture to say that most of them podcast to establish their personal brand, attract new clients or accomplish other similar goals. So why does podcast monetization rank so much lower than expected?
This trend is actually why I’m so pleased with the outcome of the survey.
It would seem that podcast producers have realized (whether consciously or intuitively) that THE most important asset they can build no matter what their goals are is…
A loyal community of fans that come back again and again
and frequently interact with them
I hope you see your audience that was…as a community. I hope you interact with them in that way. If you can establish this kind of community, you’re only one step away from accomplishing whatever it is you want from your podcast (e.g. getting people to act, buy, vote, refer your business, etc.). If making more money is one of your goals, it will flow very easily and steadily from the relationship you have with your community of listeners/viewers/fans.
Giving Podcast Producers What They Want
As a result of this survey I’m adding a brand new module to the Professional Podcasting Course 2008 and significantly expanding other modules to include more information on building your audience, interacting with your them and getting your them to come back again and again.
I mentioned last week that I needed to postpone the start date of the course due to these changes.
Today I’m announcing that:
The Professional Podcasting Course will start on June 11
This is the official and final date. The course will start that week “rain or shine.”
Enrollment will open the week before that. More details are on the way. If you want to be on the “front of the line list” for enrollment, you can sign up here. That is also the email list where I send all the latest updates about the course.
I also announced last week that I was going to make the first module of the course from 2007 available for free. This module is titled Mastering Social Media: RSS, Blogging and Podcasting 101. I’ll be releasing this in parts to this blog and some other things to the “front of the line” email list.
What Do You Think?
What do you make from these survey results? Do they offer any insights for your own show? Please share in the comments below now.