Think of a big election, such as the US Presidential Election. The process leading up to something like this can last several weeks or even months.
It's hard to believe that, even with 24-hour news channels, social media, and so many enthusiastic people on any side of an election, ANYBODY could still be undecided about whom to vote for when Election Day comes.
But it happens.
Every. Single. Time.
And a situation like a political election has a lot to do with how people make the decision to listen to your podcast.
How Do People Decide Which Podcast To Listen To?
1. A Winning Team
People want to make the “right” decision any time a decision is made. In general, we don't trust ourselves to do this, so we look to what others are doing.
Think that this doesn’t apply to you? Imagine yourself walking down the street, then having to stop at a crosswalk and wait for the light to turn green, so you can cross safely.
While you’re waiting, somebody comes from behind, looks both ways, and crosses the street while the "Don't Walk" sign is still on.
How many times have you thought, "Why not?" and followed somebody like that?
What dozens of people came up to where you were waiting, looked both ways, or maybe didn’t look at all, and crossed at the red light?
This is how the majority of people make voting decisions and how the majority people decide which podcasts (and podcasters) to listen to.
HOW TO DO THIS: Win over the leaders in a group/industry and those who follow them will come along too.
2. Perceived Direction
Voters, like podcast listeners, support those who stand for something they either want or agree with...or both.
To attract these people, you need to stand for something. It wasn't matter what, so don't worry about getting it wrong. The only way you can lose here is trying to keep everybody happy by not standing for anything, because nobody is happy when that happens.
HOW TO DO THIS: Don't be afraid to speak your mind and have an opinion on something, even if it's about something that seems inconsequential. If it makes you nervous to take on the big stuff, it's OK to start with something small. Cats or dogs? NYC or Philadelphia? iPhone or Android? Pick a side and let people know!
3. Empathy / Understanding
People want to feel understood. Any opportunity you can take to let listeners know that you can relate to them will be helpful in building connection. You can start with inconsequential things here also, if you need to get up-to-speed. For example, did COVID-19 cause you to miss an important event?
Let people know you are with them!
Yes, as a podcaster, you want listeners, but not all “listeners” are created equal. What you really need is listeners who stick around and tell others about your podcast – that's how to grow your audience. And by focusing on these three elements, you will.