The holy grail of every podcaster is to create a community, or tribe, around their podcast.
This community is made up of your podcast’s superfans, the people who reply to your social media posts, send you emails and tell others about the podcast without being asked to. They’re the people who subscribe to your podcast and listen the moment it appears on their phone. They’re also the people who will buy your merchandise and sign up to send you money each month for extra content.
Every listener has the potential to become a community member but not everyone will make it.
I was invited onto Pod Almighty, a podcast about podcasting by Sound Media to talk about the communities I have created for my podcast, It’s All Cobblers To Me and MIC’s Podcast Club. Have a listen here.
1. Know Your Audience
Hopefully you’ll already know a bit about the people you want to listen to your podcast and that avatar will be reflected in the actual people who do listen. The easiest way to learn more about your audience is to speak to them.
You can do this in a number of ways. Ask them to send you messages on your podcast and read them out regularly. Interact with them on social media. Hold a live Q&A on social media or Zoom.
2. Identity The Superfans
Superfans are your top supporters. They don’t just listen to your podcast, they never miss an episode and tell others how great it is. They will also support you financially if you ask.
The easiest way to identify them is to give them a way of showing their support. For my podcast, It’s All Cobblers To Me, I created a Patreon for my superfans to sign up to for a nominal monthly fee. You could use a different site (Kofi, Buy Me A Coffee) or set up your own payment system through PayPal or Stripe.
Within six months of setting up my Patreon I had twenty supporters. Now, two years on, I have more than doubled that number.
3. Bring Them Together
Sites like Patreon allow you to put content behind a paywall that only your superfans have access to. Some of your superfans won’t expect any extra content but a simple way of giving them something extra is to provide a space for them to come together. A private Facebook group, WhatsApp group or Discord server are firm favourites of many creators. I chose to use Slack.
Every person who signs up to support us on Patreon is greeted with a post that includes a link to join the Slack channel and get involved with the community.
4. Make Use Of Them
Once you’ve gathered your superfans all in one place you’ve got your very own focus group and street team.
They already like what you do and if you take the time to talk to them, they’ll feel comfortable being honest with you and telling others how good you are.
Ask them regularly for feedback on everything your doing and make sure that they have a place where they can offer up their own ideas.
5. Hone and Grow
Your community will never stand still. New people will find your podcast and will become superfans themselves. Make sure to mention your community regularly. Doing this will help to create a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) and entice people to join.
Don’t forget about your existing community members. Make sure to talk to them regularly and keep asking them for their opinions. This will help you to keep your community moving and continue to grow.
Want to know more about finding your superfans and creating a community for your podcast? Book in a free chat with me.