Getting your podcast ready for launch and for the outside world can be a stressful time. Yet, with a little forethought and access to a few proven strategies, you can make this process a breeze. Join Tracy Hazzard as she walks us through these tips and tricks to make your pre-launch easier. Tracy covers everything you need, from social media posting, marketing your episodes, and even email listings and how to add them to your arsenal of tools. Tune in and learn great lessons in managing your podcast launch.
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Get Set And Get Ready To Launch: Proven Strategies For Launching Your Podcast
I’m going to get which one of your different models you’re going to go under. If we’re clarifying our launch goals, what might be some of those launch goals? We might be in a brand awareness campaign for the podcast and for us, or the podcast and the host if you want to look at it from that perspective. We’re building an awareness campaign, then we might be looking at subscriber building. We want to get people to our podcast. That might be our top set of goals that we want to do.
The second thing that we might want is to hit the New and Noteworthy, and hit the charts. This one is not my favorite because it requires a lot of energy to do something that might not be useful to your business. If that’s the case, if this is important to you, let’s talk about what those important reasons are. It’s something you can have a conversation with. Tom’s great at evaluating whether or not that’s going to fit you and it’s going to service your business.
The Eight-Week Window
In other words, it might not serve you to even have this New and Noteworthy, and the charts are fleeting. It’s similar to saying, “I’m a bestseller on Amazon.” Pretty much anyone makes a chart. I can hit the top 50 in one day by getting a great episode at any given time. It’s not just in my launch week, so it’s unlike being a bestseller where you have 24 or 48 hours where you’ve got to achieve a goal. Here, we have an eight-week window to achieve New and Noteworthy, and the charts happen continually.
Those are not necessarily the best goals offset, but that doesn’t mean that it might not be right for you. We do have many clients to who this is important, so note that. There are some different strategies. I’m going to try and note them all along the way if that one is your goal because there are some differentiators to what you need to do. The third thing is that you want to have it long-term. This is slightly tying into your long-term, but it may also be your initial most important thing that you need to do, which is get clients, build a list, and serve your community or get engagement from that community. These may be some critical factors and things that you need to do as soon as possible.
I don’t recommend expecting that to happen in week one of your launch plan. Let’s look at that as the week 3 plan of the 8 weeks that we’re looking at. Why is it eight weeks? Let’s go back to that again. It’s an eight-week window because the algorithm for new and noteworthy gives you eight weeks. For those of you who want to plan for that, that’s a really good model. For those of you who this is not important to, eight weeks is going to help you settle into the routine.
In the first four weeks, you’re going to be promoting your show, and in the second four weeks, you’re going to be settling into promoting your episodes and getting into regular programming. It helps you settle through the whole model of what the podcasting world is going to be like for you and moves you out of the hype of the launching period. That’s why I look at it as an eight-week window total of launching.
Launch Date Versus Launch Window
We’re going to talk about a prelaunch planning window that we’re going to do as well that you can do quickly if you have a team and you can assign it to a lot of people. When does our eight-week window start kicking off? Here’s the problem. A lot of you want that magic launch date. I want you to get that launch date out of your head right now. You have a launch window. We are launching into space, and there’s a window of time in which the weather might be perfect. There are a whole bunch of controlling factors to that like Mother Nature, God or however you want to look at it. The universe is controlling that. You are not. In this case, your universe is Apple. Apple is controlling your launch date and time. You have no control over that at all.
When we submit you to Apple or when your host, if you’re using another host, submits you through to Apple, it’s anywhere from 3 to 7 days. They say 1 to 3 days, but it’s not that often. Right now, we’ve been seeing three days. This is pretty typical at this time of year. It can be at the very beginning of the year, in December, over the holidays, in July, where the summer is slow, and right around back to school time in September. That’s because this is a manual process at Apple.
There’s still a human being who reviews and approves the shows. As long as a human being is doing it, it’s not an automated thing. It’s not like you submit it, they approve it, and an hour later, you’re live. There’s someone who’s going to review it, and those people go on vacation. Their staffing goes down and they can’t review as many shows or the level of the amount of shows and they haven’t staffed up for it. That happens every year. We’ve seen it in cycles for that that has happened. It has not gotten better, although I have to say their window of time has gotten shorter even on their worst time periods.
We are still seeing less than a week for almost everyone, but you could also get denied. If you get denied, we have to do an appeal process and fix whatever’s wrong. It could be something technical. We’ve had people who had the wrong size of cover art they tried to submit. It could be little silly things. Sometimes, it’s the name of your show overlapping with somebody else’s name, so they can’t approve you. There are some things like that that can happen. Usually, you correct it within a day or two, and it’s fixed and they’ll approve you, but that could happen as well.
Again, we don’t have a launch date to plan on. We have a launch window to plan within or without. We want to have the window pass and then we want to plan and go. That’s what I’m going to have you guys look at from this point. I want you to reset your mind and say, “I’ve got a launch window and I’m not going to panic or worry about the actual date my show goes live.” Why is that? There could be a random person who happened to search for your name and found your show at the moment you went live, but that would be rare, so most people aren’t going to find your show. If they do, it’s going to be an accident, so it won’t happen initially.
Until you start making announcements and until you get into the search algorithm that is Apple, you’re not going to see a mass amount of subscribers. You’re not going to see that happen. You have time. It’s not an urgency at this moment to make sure that it’s exactly the minute they made you live. We’re not going to worry about that. We’re going to ignore it and we’re going to say, “As soon as we’re here, we’re going to kick off our plan. We’re going to have a prep for that and we’re going to kick off our plan from that point forward.”
The last thing I’m going to say about it is there’s no tangible benefit. There’s nothing that I have found that allows you to have a better show, make more money by optimizing it, and making it a minute after you launched. There’s no reason for you to worry about that either, so there’s nothing you’re losing out on and gaining. We’re going to forget about that. We have a launch window and we’re going to go from there.
We’ve got our launch window and figured out what the data are. In this particular case, I’m going to set the date for April 1st so that it’s in our heads that way. My launch window is the first week of April. It’s not April 1st. I’m giving myself a whole week of window, and that’s how I’m going to plan from this point forward. That’s what I’ll be talking about as we go on here. We now have to look at this and say, “I’ve got an entire month to prelaunch my plans. I’m going to use that entire month.”
Your Pre-Launch Plan
I’m going to talk about the prelaunch plan and the things that I like to do, and you can treat them as week one, step one, or day one. You can do whatever you would like. If you want to shorten it to doing this planning in one week, go for it. All the power to you. I’m busy. I have a lot of people to coordinate. I like to give myself a whole week to do each of these steps. Having a four-week planning process is a good idea if you don’t want to be intense about it. This is my low intensity. Let’s squeeze it into my regular workday model for you because I want this to be easygoing. I don’t want this to be so much effort that it feels like you can’t record your podcast or you’re sacrificing that. I don’t want that to happen. I want you to fit that all in.
I’m going to call our planning in four weeks. We’re going to plan through the whole month of March, then hit our launch window week, and then hit our eight weeks from the day it eventually goes live. In week one, what I do is I take an audit of all of our platforms. I’ve got to look at my LinkedIn, Facebook, email or email footer. There are all these different things that have my name or my company’s name and information on it. I’m going to go through all of that and rebrand it. I’m going to add my podcast to the branding.
That might mean you could get a new social media header. It’s the same one you already have, but you’re now adding your cover art instead of your book or you’re adding it next to your book. You’re adding that on your LinkedIn header. I might want to change the About Us on my Facebook page or the About Me on my profile page.
I might want to change the title on my Twitter so that it says, “Podcast Host of The Binge Factor,” or whatever your podcast’s name is. Thinking about all those things, I’m going to do that reset a month early because if people see it, they’re going to be like, “Where’s that?” If they don’t see it in the podcast player, they’ll message you. Now, you’ve got someone DM-ing you who you could message back as soon as you go live. That’s a really great thing. That’s the first thing I do.
The next part of that is making sure my website’s ready. For those of you who aren’t working with us, that means a podcast page with your cover art, the information, and your player if you’ve got one. We highly recommend Fusebox for those of you who are not our clients who are doing it yourself. We can send you over to them and get you a link. It’s a great player. It’s what we buy for all of our clients. I love the player. It looks great on your podcast page.
If your podcast isn’t live yet, though, there’s nothing in the player. You want to have a temporary plan for what goes in this spot, and that might be a graphic that says, “Coming soon,” and a picture of your cover art and the description of it, which should already be done. You can also use a “Coming soon, a Subscribe, or a Get on my notification list.” You can do that right within your podcast page.
Making sure that’s ready and making sure your show info is now in your website’s bio are some other things you’ve got to refresh. We’re looking at our platform overall and making sure it’s ready. We’ve got our website, our social media, and now, we’ve got our email. I have my podcast right in my email footer. I go one step further and I put episodes. It says here, “Tracy Leigh Hazzard, Podcast Host. Authority Magazine Columnist.” It has got all my shows here because I have a lot more, but it also has, “Check out my podcast,” and I list my shows and some of my best episodes.
You might only have one, but you can add this in as soon as your episodes go live with your best new podcast or your best first episodes, or you can do it with your teaser if you have that out earlier or ready earlier. That’s a really good way to do that. That’s a thing that you can create. Mine’s pretty. I created it prettily. If any of you have got an email from me or from anyone on our team, copy the way we do it and replace it all. Change the colors. Do all of that. Copy freely from what we do here. The email footer is something that I love. It’s a great way because these people are in contact with you. Why shouldn’t they know you have a podcast? You should be reminding them at every step.
For you speakers and authors out there, if you have a chance to update your bio on Amazon or eBook, do that. If you are speakers, make sure that you add a podcast announcement page, a call out to your podcast, or some kind of case study for all of the presentations that you do. Whatever it is, make sure that there’s a mention somewhere in your speech about your podcast. Make sure the name is spelled right, and you send them nowhere.
This is our number one rule of everything we’re going to do going forward. Let’s say you have a podcast website. You have an entire website that’s focused on your show. I have TheBingeFactor.com. It’s only The Binge Factor. There’s nothing else about Podetize over there. TheBingeFactor.com is my version of a podcast page. It’s just not on my business site. If that’s what you are, then you have a website link that says TheBingeFactor.com. You can also buy a forwarding URL that is the name of your show. For some of you who can’t get it, you could always do something like show name, then the word podcast, or the something show. You can always add a little word here and there to get around somebody who’s got a URL.
Make sure it’s easy to say on air and easy to remember. You can forward that to any page within your website so that you don’t have to do Podetize.com/TheBingeFactor. I don’t have to do, say, and put all of that and type. I can keep it simple. Finding your simplest forwarding or URL that you’re going to use, use that everywhere for everything you do for call to action. Keep it simple and streamlined, especially in these early days or these first eight weeks or in your prelaunch phase. We want to keep doing that. That’s week one. We’ve revamped our platform, got ourselves official, and made announcements out there.
This is also the other thing. This is holding you accountable because now you’ve gone out there and said you’re a podcast host, so you better launch and become a podcast host. How about that? Our week two, day two, or however you’re going to run about this, is our schedule planning. Right before we do this, the one thing that I want you to do is make sure if you don’t already work with a social media scheduling software, platform company, or portals like Hootsuite or Buffer. That’s a great, simple one. I love Buffer. We also use Meet Edgar and CoSchedule. We’ve used them all. Hopefully, you already used one and you’re already comfortable there. If you’re not, now’s a good time to select one that you feel comfortable with and go ahead and get oriented in it.
They typically have good calendars and planning grids, so they’re easier to use in this planning phase. That’s why I’m recommending it to do as we move through these steps. If you are already there, you’re going to want to go and maybe check some stats and information. Revise your schedule that you’ve been doing in the past, and make a special launch schedule that’s a little bit different.
Playing The Social Media Game
Now that we’re doing our schedule planning side of things, social media is also going to be our email planning. We’re going to do those components of it, but we’re going to pick our two best channels. If you don’t have two, pick one. I don’t want you to say that all my channels are important. They are essential and I need to do them perfectly. I want you to pick your two most dominant ones. If you’ve got Facebook and Instagram, I might want you to consider them one because there’s so much similarity in what you can post in each. The effect of what you do, like sizing or styling, works similarly between the posts. You can treat them as one unit even though you might be posting on Facebook and Instagram independently.
In my case, I look at it for these three things. Which channel do I have the best engagement with? Which channel do I the most comfortable with? Which one do I have the highest numbers of followers? If I went with the highest number of followers, it would be my Facebook page, but I know that my engagement and the amount of people who see my posts is the lowest there even though I have the most followers than it is anywhere else in my social channels. It’s not a great choice for me. I’m going to spend a lot of effort in an area where usually 13% is the magic number. Less than 13% of those followers are going to see me and see any posts that I make. It’s not as useful to me as it could be. That may be the case. You have this huge membership group and it’s valuable to you, so use that.
Thinking about where those are, that’s how I want you to pick the two. In my case and in the examples I’m going to use here, LinkedIn is my most important because I have the most engaged and the most right followers or the ones who could possibly become clients and who could benefit from my show. That’s where it is. I’ve been in it the longest, so I’m the most comfortable there. I know how to engage and post there. I don’t feel like I’m a fish out of water. It’s not something brand new. It fits all the criteria. LinkedIn is my predominant. For me, we’re working hard to grow our Instagram.
When I look at LinkedIn and Instagram, I see Instagram’s a lot more visual than LinkedIn is. That gives me a great set of two to work with. Instagram allows me to do what I need to do on Facebook even though it’s not as converting for me, but I still need to keep it active and do it. I also have Twitter and TikTok. All of these things are still in play, but I’m not worrying about making sure the content and posting are right. I’m only going to concentrate on those two platforms to make sure I’m getting them right there, and then I’m going to reuse all the pieces in all the other areas that I do want to touch on. I’m basically reposting, resharing, and maybe sometimes reformatting, but only if necessary.
Another one that we use a lot, and it does well for us, is Pinterest. Pinterest and Instagram have a similar visual feel to them. There are a lot of similarities, and I can use what I’m doing on Instagram to help engage over on Pinterest as well. For us, these are why I’ve chosen this. If you hear me saying LinkedIn or Instagram, you want to substitute that with whichever two are your best or are the ones you’re going to concentrate on. I’m going to figure out a schedule with the number of days per week and times per day or per channel in which I’m comfortable posting.
Keep in mind that most of you are not going to be as prolific. You may have been doing this model of, “I’m posting once a week. That’s where I am. I try to keep it simple. That’s all that I want to do.” That’s great, but it’s not really a great launch strategy. I’m going to pull up my episode planning calendar and you’re going to see why this is important and why we want to look at our schedule. We want to think about doubling or tripling our schedule of normal posts for the launch period because remember, not as many people see it. The more touchpoints, the better it is. The faster we do those touchpoints, the better the results will be as well.
Scheduling Your Episodes
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but you have a lot to work with, especially if you’re launching multiple episodes at the beginning of it. There’s a strategy here. I want to make a note of this for you. We recommend no less than three to launch for some of you to launch with. It gives you a basis of downloads and some other things, but some of you are on that new and noteworthy strategy or on that, “I want to get listeners faster. I want to beat someone on the charts.” Having more episodes from the start is a strategy to do that. You have many choices. You can launch all 20. You can launch 20 or 25 at once. I’m going to use the number twenty here because it works evenly into 4 weeks or 5 episodes a week that you’re going to promote.
I’m going to use the number 20 here, but if you’ve got 25, it can be worked out. You just might need to use the weekend too. It’s a 7-day plan instead of a 5-day plan to make that work out for you. There’s a launch plan for 20, and then you’ve got episodes launching every single week. The more episodes you launch, the better off you are. You may want to have episodes launching that is 2 or 3 per week or whatever it is at a pace at which you’re going to beat out the algorithm. You’re going to beat out and do better than your competitors. If your competitors are only launching once a week and you’re launching two per week, you’re doubling the downloads you’re receiving for the number of subscribers you have, and you’re boosting the algorithm.Until you start making announcements and get into the search algorithm, you're not going to just see a mass number of subscribers. Click To Tweet
That’s how you rise in the charts. That’s how you get on new and noteworthy, but remember, this is a competition that may not be important for you. It may not be important in your category. We couldn’t make new and noteworthy save our lives for our 3D printing podcast, but there were only five 3D printing podcasts. It wasn’t that hard to beat out all five of those very quickly. We still did 25 episodes to launch. We did one a day to beat them out, but it was more effort than we needed to expend to win in that strategy. We can take a look at it, and anyone on our team can take a look at the competitive landscape. Tom’s great at this to do an audit for you. Jennifer Orvis can help you as well. Those two are the best ones to take a look at. You can look at that competitively like, “How many days a week are my competitors posting? Where do I need to be?”
You’re going to look at that and make some decisions for yourself. Are you going to post every day of the week? I highly recommend posting at least five days a week when you’re launching this plan. I post seven days a week regularly, but that’s because we have so much content and we’re resharing old content. We get into a pace where we have all this stuff and want to keep using it because it’s so valuable. It gives us leads and then gets us subscribers consistently and constantly, so we have an auto plan. It does it all the time. My recommendation for your launch period is two times a day and five days a week. You can do it three times a day, seven days a week if you want to up that.
Thinking about that, that’s 168 posts over that time period. That’s a lot of posts. You’re thinking, “You completely overwhelmed me with all that.” Don’t worry. We’re going to break it all and down and we’re going to get it all, but be thinking, “This is the schedule I want to set.” Don’t panic over it. Pick it. How do you decide what times a day? Go into Facebook. Check the stats. Go into your Buffer or your Meet Edgar if they recommend times the day. Knowing when you engage is important too. I happen to get a lot of engagement at 7:00 PM Pacific Time on Sundays. That’s when I get the most engagement. People are responding. I get more views on my videos at that time of day, usually on LinkedIn, but I know other places as well.
I don’t want to miss out on a Sunday night because I went on a Monday through Friday plan. Be looking at that and double-check that for yourself. Let’s take a quick peek at my social media planner. I’m recommending you pick a channel. In this case, I’m putting an example to see my example of LinkedIn. It’s grayed out. It says, “I’m going to do it seven days a week. I’m assigning it to me or I’m assigning to a specific assistant.” That’s something you can do.
Here’s the different post type. I have fourteen, so I have two posts a day that I plan for this, and then I do a third, but if I were launching, the third would be the current episode of the week. I’m leaving room for that, but this is what I’m going to do for my launch plan. I have fourteen different assets I’m going to use. That sounds like an awful lot. You can cut that down. There’s no reason you can’t do ten of these. You have most of these things. These are simple things that most of them are created for you.
At a minimum, you could do three of each of these things, like three in LinkedIn and three in Instagram. You can rotate them between the two platforms. You’d have six assets, but you’d use three on one week and three on the next week, or three on Instagram for three days in a row and then you use those three on LinkedIn for three days in a row. That’s up to you. You can mix and match these, but these are some choices to make, some options of things you have, and some ways you do.
If you’re stressed about this and worried, narrow this down to three post types and still post multiple times a day. You’re just going to repeat the posting of them. I don’t recommend repeats on a normal basis, but if this is overwhelming you, I would rather you repeat than only post once and not post again. Why is that? The reason for that is simply because so few people will see your posts that we want to make sure we’re repeating the post enough to create that brand awareness of your new show, of the episodes, of the content, and of the guests you’ve invited. We’re repeating them as better.
The three specific episodes and posts, roll them out of the first four weeks. You’re going to just keep rolling them out. I’m doing 5 episodes, plus I’m doing 1 or 2 that I might have launched that single week. I’ve got a lot of things that I have to promote. I may want to lower the number of assets but change them up, so if I’m doing episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, for episode 1, I might do an image. For episode 2, I might do a guest Ego Bait™. For episode 3, I might do a video. I’m changing up the type I’m using by what I’m posting to allow me to utilize something different the next time I share them.
We’re going to switch and do that. I’ve numbered them from what’s above, so you’d have to look back up and go, “What’s number 10? What’s number 3?” These are examples of LinkedIn only. I create one like this for LinkedIn, and I create one like this for Instagram. For my LinkedIn example, my new episode airs at 3:00 AM on Mondays. I just put it on Mondays. It’s simple. Mine starts on Wednesday, so your week might start on a different day of the week. If that happens, I recommend you move your calendar and do the start at the left.
That’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. That’s the order I would do it in for your organizational for your mind. Maybe that doesn’t work for you, but you don’t want to leave blank and you’re like, “I don’t have these assets yet.” The episode airs at 3:00 AM on Monday. The first post I’m going to create is a number three, which is a guest Ego Bait™. The reason why guest messaging is the first thing I want to put out there is because I want them to share my show. That’s why I invited them on my show. I wanted them to share my show. The guest Ego Bait™ is the first thing. For those of you who are reading that don’t know what Ego Bait™ is, this is the graphic of my face and the face of a guest and a quote of what I said about them on my show or a quote of something I said that was complimentary to them, their business, to what type of expert they are.
It’s stroking their ego. It’s giving them a testimonial. They’re going to want to share that. By sharing that, they’re sharing the episode that they were in. That’s why that one is one of the more important ones to put at the very beginning of it. Sometimes, you may not want to do that on day one. You may want to do it on day two. Some people don’t check over or they were in a rush on their episode, so they didn’t fully check everything.
If you feel strongly that you need time to review them and you’re always behind your schedule, then move it to day two and don’t put any posts of your new episode on a single day. Remember that there’s no magic to posting on the day that it airs. In fact, if you want to do some deep tracking and you want to get a little hacking of the system here, don’t make any social media posts or emails on the day that your episode airs or your new episodes. It’s not the date of all of your episodes on the very first day, but on your regularly scheduled episodes.
Don’t let any posts go out on that new episode. When you look at your stats, the number of listeners and downloads you see will be pure as to the estimate of the people who subscribed to it and got it downloaded to their phone. In that way, when you start on day two and say, “My LinkedIn launches day two,” now you can see the boost that LinkedIn gave you to listenership. How many more people came on Tuesday because I posted on LinkedIn on Tuesday? If I put my Instagram start on Wednesday, then I can say how many people on Instagram are starting on because I posted on Instagram? How many are coming organically from each one of these?
Remember, subscribers are not coming through a link. You’re not tracking that link. They’re going straight to the app on their phone and subscribing. You have no idea where they came from. This is a way, though, to see the spikes in your listenership if you’re consistent about how you post. For those of you advanced social media hackers out there, that’s a great way to do this. This is super simple. I’m using up all fourteen of my assets. I’ve got number fourteen, which is my call for guests and show promotions. I had the highest engagement at 7:00 PM on Pacific Time on a Sunday, so I’ve put the thing I want that’s a little bit different than just asking people to subscribe.
I’ve put here I want new guests. I’m looking for a new guest or topic recommendations, and I’m promoting my show to make sure that they’re subscribing to it at the same time. That’s the post that I do on that day. It’s a little bit more general one and not always specific to the show, although I usually do highlight one and say, “I’m looking for guests like this for my show.” I am tying in my episode, but the posts and the call to action that I create there is usually asking them to engage with me, add it to the comments, suggest some topics or guests, whatever that might be, depending on what type of show you have.
This is how I use this. This is going to be available for you. I will download it as soon as we’re off the air to the Facebook group so you’ll be able to get that in the documents area. I’ll make sure you have it right there in the Facebook group. That’s a lot of information that I gave you, but we’ve got a lot of different types of posts. We now have to check those posts. Do we have all these assets? Do we have what we want? Now that we know where they’re going though, we can be more specific about it.The more touchpoints, the better it is. And the faster we do those touchpoints, the better the results will be. Click To Tweet
We’re going to create an Instagram story on Tuesday morning, then what we can do is say, “What do I need to create that Instagram story? Do I have it in what’s being created for me or do I have to create it myself?” You have to assemble the component of the story yourself because that’s how it works in Instagram. Whatever you’re doing in any of these places, you know how they work. The pieces that you’re pulling together, you want to make sure that they’re exactly what you want. That’s what we’re spending on our week three or our day three. We’re going through our assets or all of those fourteen things, deciding which ones we want, and deciding what size they need to be for the platform. Here’s where my great gift is coming to you about social, our media size guideline. We’ve already got it all sized for you.
If we are creating your assets for you, which happens, we create your show header, square, and Ego Bait™, but if you prefer an Ego Bait™, that’s a vertical because verticals are doing well. If you want a longer one instead of a square one, now is the time to decide that. Make those decisions early so that we can change your standard operating procedures and your templates to only being the thing you’re going to use. What a shame if you’re not using some of the stuff we send you because the size is wrong. Come back and ask us for a different size so that it becomes useful to you. We had that happen.
One of our podcasters likes to use the big horizontal wide format for his guest Ego Bait™. It works out great. His pictures are over on the right, the guests’ pictures are over on the left, and there’s more room for a big quote. The way he uses it both on his website and social media is the perfect format for it. It’s easy to do. Why does it have to be a square? It doesn’t. That’s what we’ve put out for you because most people use it, but you’ll get to reinform that as you’re planning your social media and launch.
Thinking about all of those things, I want to make sure that we do that. I mentioned to you emails. I’m going to talk about emails at the end because most of you have your own email system, but remember that you might need some assets that will be utilized in your emails. You might want a GIF, a meme, or something that’s story-like as well, so don’t forget to gather those.
Once we’re creating all our show assets, we want to have some good assets. If we’re creating extras, we want to show off our guests, entice them to share, and engage our target audience. We’ll ask targeted questions of them and post the things that would interest them, not just something cool someone said. If your show isn’t about mindset and you’re posting your quote that is about mindset, let’s try to make it more relevant, so change that up. We want to create a fear of missing out and leaving people hanging, so the only choice they have is to subscribe to our show. This is what we want to do.
As we’re planning out where those assets are going to go, whether they might need to be slightly recreated or resized, if you’re in our social media asset program, remember you get ten additional sizes, assets, and other things that you can do. Very easily, you get fourteen by using the social media program in Plugged In. If you don’t know about that, you can ask Christina Paxton or Jennifer Orvis from the Brandcasters group about those. Our essential guide to social media sizes is all revised for 2020.
It’s all current. LinkedIn will get added. Video stories are also covered here. The cover photos are here. Over on the left, you’re going to see the personal or company profile things that you might fix, and then you’ll see what sizes you need for different types of posts that you might want to create. We have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. On YouTube, your videos are already being formatted if they’re being sent to us, but there might be a couple of profile things that you would like. Remember, for most of you, we create that.
That’s what I look like on TikTok. Whitney does it. Whitney has been handling that for me, so I haven’t seen all of this. I’ve got to get on there and make it a priority to take a look if that’s what I look like on TikTok. As you get all of that, these are the things we have for you so you can help yourself, but also, remember we’re here for you. We create social media headers for every client who goes through our processes. If you need them revised because you want to add your book in there and we didn’t have that initially, just ask us. Those are no problems at all for us to help you with. There you go. That’s a sneak peek at all of the quick fun things you will get for the masterclass here.
Week Four: Getting People To Your Podcast
I got to jump in because we’re short on time here and get to our fourth week or our fourth day of planning. Now, we got to do the scheduling. We got to plug everything into the schedule, but remember, our episode links or our links to our blogs or our RSS feed if that’s what you are using, which I don’t recommend.
I don’t recommend you send people to Apple. I don’t recommend you send them to your Spotify link. I recommend you send them only to your blog link where the episode lies where they can consume the video, the audio, the blog, and the graphics that go along with that. It’s comprehensive because you’re capturing them on your website, which you want web traffic. You don’t need to give Spotify more members. They don’t need more users on your effort, promotion, and all the things you’ve created. Keep that authority for yourself.
When you do that, those things, though, are not necessarily live yet. Sometimes, they don’t look right when you put them in the scheduler. Keep that in mind. Make sure that you’re checking them out. As you’re posting some of these things, make sure you’re reviewing them and that they’re correct. Correct them and make sure that you set yourself up to be correct. This is why I love to plan that prelaunch window week. From the time I send it to Apple, knowing that it could be anywhere from 3 to 7 days, I have a window of time of where I’m scheduling posts in my Meet Edgar, Buffer, or wherever I’m scheduling them. I can also schedule them within Instagram or Facebook too.
When I’m scheduling posts that have to do with promoting the show, what’s coming, or maybe there’s a teaser trailer, I’m promoting that like it’s any day now, but I’m not giving anyone any call to action except to ask them to DM, message me, or put a comment in if they want to be notified. The reason I don’t send them out of there to a landing page is because the conversion rate on that is really low.
If you start this early, it’s fine, but if it’s a matter of a couple of days, it’s a whole lot of effort to go mind that and make sure you get the conversion right. People were like, “That sounds good, but now I’ve got to take twelve steps to not only get on your list notification list, but then I got to wait for the email and then I’ve got to take action on it. I might be too busy and then I might not see it.”
It’s a whole lot more to try to get subscribers that way than if you ask them to comment and DM because then you can quickly go through a post that you created and message everybody because they all get notified, “It’s live. Here’s the link. Go to it. Subscribe to your favorite player.” You can also make the announcement within the posts you’ve already made from that week, or if you’ve got a bunch of DMs, you can DM them back. That’s easy as well. That’s the way I prefer to do that in this launch window week when I don’t know, and then the minute it is ready to go or the show is live, I’m ready to go and I’m anxious for it.
I have pre-planned but not scheduled. I don’t put them in a date and time, but I have 2 to 3 posts depending on which channel I’m doing it in. On the two channels that are my most important, I would have three posts that I call my day one post. I have three posts for LinkedIn and three posts for Instagram in my example of what I’m doing here. Those three posts on LinkedIn and Instagram are, “We’re live on Spotify, Apple, or your favorite podcast player.” That’s one of the types of posts I do. It could be a big celebration graphic with my cover art in the middle. We create a graphic for you when you’re launched and send it to you once you’re on different platforms.
Sometimes, we have to wait for Apple. It takes quite a few days for all the other platforms that feed off of Apple to pick you up. You may not be on Castbox or on iHeart. Some of those things haven’t picked you up yet until that goes through and gets through the Apple process. If that’s the case, then you may want to wait on this graphic. We don’t send it to you until we know you’re on all of those places, but it’s a graphic or your cover art in the middle. We send out all these little arrows out to all the different places where people can find you. It’s fun. We do that as a celebration.You don't need to give Spotify more members. They don't need more users on your effort and promotion and on all the things you've created. Keep that authority for yourself. Click To Tweet
You can put that out at any time when you know you’re available anywhere, but if you want to just celebrate being on Apple first, then go ahead. Make sure you put the Apple Podcasts logo on whatever graphic you do but don’t use the Apple link. You’re using your original link, and they’re going to go to their favorite player and they’re going to subscribe to you, so it’s not going to matter anyway. They’re going to ignore your links for the most part. They’re going to ignore your links if they already know how the podcast ecosystem works, but some people won’t.
My day one is that. I might do a live stream. I might want to jump on live, share it, and show it to everybody. I’ll pick up my phone and say, “I’m on the Apple Podcasts. I’m so excited. I’m on Spotify. I’m so excited.” Whatever that might be, you might want to share that in a quick, short live stream of 15 or 30 seconds. Do that and share it with everyone. That’s a fun way to create an engagement on whatever that day one is because it’s something you can do quickly. You don’t have to schedule and have to worry about it.
The third one is that I have a ready-to-go post, my number one post. I call it my compilation post. If you have a teaser video or a trailer video, that would be a great post, but I like a compilation video of what some of those first episodes have in them that are going to be airing over the first month. It might not be everything that air day one. It might have a couple of little things that are in day 2, day 3, week 3 or week 4, whatever that might be for you. You’re teasing them about what’s coming. Instagram Stories work great for that because you can have the visual of that, but stories aren’t permanent. You may want to create a storyline, a multi-image post, or something with a great image, but then it’s got a little list of what they might learn or miss out on if they don’t subscribe.
Our call to action will be to subscribe. Those are the three types of posts that I reserve. I have them ready, but I don’t schedule them, but as soon as I hear that we’re live on Apple and I’ve checked everything and I’m happy with how it looks, then I go ahead and do those three immediately even if I have to either move the other posts that were scheduled for the day or do them in addition to the posts that were scheduled for that day. It’s your launch day. You can go wild. You can post six times in that day and no one’s going to care. That’s how we do this.
In your week four, you’ve planned all of this and what the schedule is. You’ve planned those exciting ones on day one. You’ve set your blog feed in your favorites into the player because once we set you on to Apple and we send you over to Syndicate, your blog and your podcast player can go live on your website if you would like because it’s set to, in our case, our host feed or the Podetize feed. That’s live whether Apple has started carrying you or not. They’re just a directory. You can use that to make sure that your podcast page is ready to go, so now, you have a podcast page that is ready to go that has an email, subscribe link, and other things. You want to set that, make sure that it’s ready to go and make sure that page goes live.
You want to insert everything according to your timeline. I don’t always go and do all eight weeks in my timeline. I might do the first three. I might do two and see how things are going and then do a week every week and keep moving on that once I get a rhythm for it. That might be a way to do it. I also want to double-check all the copies. We want to make sure our call to action is setting everyone to subscribe. Our week 1 through 4, and our prelaunch week 2 are all set to the subscribe mentality. We want people to subscribe to their favorite player. In the second set of weeks, the week 4 through 8, our calls to action are set to start to set the mind for rating and reviewing. That’s subscribe, listen, rate, and review. I know that sounds like a lot, but you want to treat it like it’s one thing that you’re asking them to do because they have to do all of that.
If they’ve already subscribed and listened, they’re ready to rate and review. If they haven’t subscribed yet, they have to do all of those things to get to rate and review. We want to set that as subscribe, listen, rate, and review. That’s the method and the call to action we create in weeks 5 through 8. Those are our planning for week four and our scheduling. The last thing I want to talk about is those emails while we have a couple of minutes left here, and then I’ll take some questions and we’ll go beyond the hour.
When we started WTFFF?!, I don’t think we had fifteen people on the email list. We maybe had an email list of 100 friends and family that was our email announcement list to our friends. We didn’t have enough people to make it worth the while, and it didn’t matter at the end of the day, but if you’ve got a good email list, that’s an asset you should use.
When you’re doing an email list, one of the things you want to do is you want to have four emails planned. I don’t schedule them because I want to wait until I know the show is live before I do them. I sit them all in draft. They’re all ready to go. If you use any kind of email program to let you kick off one and then the others follow, so you’re creating a thread of those or a campaign of those, then do that, but I make a total of four and try to do it over in one week. I don’t try to do this once a week. It’s too spread out. I want to hit them in one week with all this. The exception is I might do three in the first week and then one in the second week. It depends on what your normal pace is of emailing people. You don’t want to inundate them if you don’t normally do that.
The first one is about the show. It highlights that fact that it’s live. Subscribe is your call to action. It’s super simple. Do not mix it into your normal newsletter. Send it as a special edition. It’s this bonus like, “Guess what, guys? This is special.” If you have a regular newsletter that goes out every other week, this is a separate email. You want to make sure that you’re doing that. The second one, I usually put a meme, a GIF, or anything that you can get to auto play that animates at the top, something similar that does that.
It might be like the Instagram Stories that I’m putting out with the best guests, episode topics, and stuff that’s not to be missed. It’s something that I’m teasing them about. I’m teasing, but I’m not telling in the copy of what I put there. It’s okay to highlight ones that are not aired yet so I can tease guests that are coming that haven’t even launched in the first set. That’s okay, because the goal is again, in this one, subscribe. That’s our call to action.
The next one I do is what I call my three tips or my three lessons learned. If you’re doing an all-interviews show or lessons learned from your great guests, you might highlight those guests. Make sure that the guests are copied on the emails that are sent or you forward them to them because that helps them feel obligated to make sure that they’re sharing your show. I like to have these from the initial set of episodes to get immediate gratification.
At the point at which this third one airs, I want to make sure the episodes that I’m featuring the tips or lessons from, they can get a taste of them. That’s the only exception of that. If you’ve launched twenty, you’ve got plenty to choose from. If you’ve only launched three, you’ve got a more limited set to choose from. Choose wisely in there from what you learned from the guests and what tips you’ve given out there.
I like to combine all those three things into one email and subscribe as the call to action. My fourth email, and that’s the one that sometimes I send a week later because it got to give everybody a chance to subscribe and listen first before I’m asking them to do this. The last one will be my rate and review email. I know all of you subscribed. You’re being a little ego about that like, “You subscribed because I’ve been sending you messages for a week.”
Be a little bit like, “You’re ridiculously missing out if you haven’t subscribed yet. What I’m asking you to do is rate and review the show. What do you think of it? Please rate and review. If you rate and review and send me a screenshot of it, I’ll give you a shout-out on social media or you can win a prize.” There are people who run contests.
A lot of times, we have some people who screenshot their best ratings and reviews, create a social post on it. They use those rate and reviews social posts to help to encourage the rating and reviewing in the last four weeks of the campaigns. Week 5 through 8 in their social, but you’ve got to get them, so the best people to give them to are people who already know and love you because they’re going to give you better ratings and reviews.
This email is critical to that. We want to do it in the first couple of weeks, and then we want to start to add in those into social posting from that point forward, but encourage people to rate and review and share one of your great reviews so they know what it should sound like and what you want them to model. If you’re running a contest, share whatever it is that’s in that great contest for you.
I’ve run overtime, but I want to say that there are five critical things I want you to remember to do on the day you start to kick off this campaign. I want you to really work hard to tag your guests. Sometimes, the auto-posting systems from using the scheduling software don’t properly tag your guests. Learn how to do it. I interviewed Bree Noble and she didn’t come up. It just says her name, Bree Noble. I can edit the post on LinkedIn and tag her name. I can put an @ sign in front of her first name, click it to make it a hot link, and then save it again. Even though my auto-scheduler did it, every morning, I go in and I make sure that tag is there.
If, for some reason, you can’t tag your guests because maybe you’re not friends with them or maybe it’s not working and it’s not working out for you, make a comment. I still like to make a comment anywhere where I’ll mention the guest’s name and I will thank them, but for something really specific, I will ask them a follow-up question like, “After I’ve thought about what we talked about in the episode, I should have asked you this, what do you think?” You’re forcing the guests to engage in your post. That’s going to help you. It’s going to remind them how much fun they had with you, and it’s going to help them bring their viewers or audience to your post that you’ve created there. Those are essential.
One of the things I don’t want to see you do is not tag all your friends or guests in one single post. Make them all separate it. It’s not a great strategy in podcasting. I know you may have all these guests that have come up. If you’re doing a compilation of all the twenty episodes you’ve done, give them each a separate comment. Recognize them separately and do it that way rather than putting all the @s and all the hashtags of all the people. Don’t do that.
Those are guest tagging, commenting, and engaging by doing this, inviting people to subscribe. If you start to get a lot of comments, don’t forget to go back in there and say, “You guys seem excited about this. I’d love for you to subscribe. Tell me what else you’d like to hear or who you’d like me to have next.” You’re constantly inviting them. If you’re getting in there and you’re seeing some conversation going, say, “If you loved this episode, you’re not going to want to miss out. Make sure you subscribe so you can listen to this guest that’s coming up or this topic that’s coming up.” We’re creating that fear of missing out. Those are your daily practices during your eight-week launch period to make sure that you’re keeping up on that. If you’re not doing it, this is your assignment to your assistant to do this with you and for you.
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