Part 2: Adam from UK True Crime
Growing an audience is often the most exciting, thrilling and terrifying part for any podcast. Not only do you have to focus on producing great content, you need to connect with an audience to digest it. Growing a following is not all about monetization, but often times pushes you to keep producing great content.
We asked Adam about how he’s kept a loyal following and the core principles he focuses on to grow his show. Enjoy!
Podfluence: The podcast has had tons of growth in the last 4 years – can you share what your experience has been like in growing your audience?
When I started in 2016 I thought my show was decent, but I was frustrated as I couldn’t get any listeners and was always languishing at the bottom of the charts. This is why I try to help new podcasters as it is a tough gig at the start, which is why so many stop. I tell them that in my experience, being successful (whatever that means) at podcasting, has nothing to do with how good your show is – just like getting to a senior role in a big company or government – you have to get away from that belief these things have anything to do with merit.
I interview new podcasts about their shows sometimes and it sounds way more worthy that it is. They provide me amazing content for my website – you guys at Podfluence know how hard that can be – and I mention them to my 100,000 weekly listeners which hopefully that can start some momentum. There are so many great shows that should be much further up the charts, and lets be straight here, unless you are doing ok in the charts it is so difficult to get new listeners.
Podfluence: So it sounds like you’ve developed a bit of a “recipe for success”
My view, is that to gain any success is down to the following:
Do you work for a corporation who can throw money at the marketing? If so great, ram it full of dull adverts and you will still see success. Ok, that is a bit unfair, there are some awesome corporate shows, I loved Dirty John for example.
You caught me on a bad day when I have just seen the nominations for the British Podcasting awards and barely an indie podcast in sight. In the past, great true crime shows like Murder Mile and RedHanded have at least been nominated. Another sign of how the industry is moving I guess. (don’t worry, Red Handed took home Silver)
Ok, so if you aren’t a big corporate, how do you get more exposure? Before I say anymore, I am always minded to recall the quote from the great Oscar Wilde: “I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself”. Quite.
I reckon the below four points matter:
- Keep it real:. Don’t take yourself too seriously, especially when you start to gain popularity. This is all meant to be fun and it is just a podcast like millions of others, don’t lose perspective;
- Production: I am no expert on sound quality and I find it all a little dull. But unless your sound is at least at a decent quality, you will lose listeners. Do some basic research;
- Consistency: Release on the same day and give your audience roughly the same as they like which is why they are listening – a similar length of episode, similar delivery etc. Is like your fave bands, they essentially give you more of what you like;
- Work hard: Produce an episode when you say you will – always, even when life gets in the way and you really can’t be arsed. For me, I am realistic about what I have the time to produce every week which is why I aim for 25 mins. But if one of the guys who do 90 minute episodes loved by their audience threw in a 23 minute show it likely would hurt their brand.
And that aside, I reckon it is all about keeping momentum going and luck. And one day when you lose enthusiasm, it stops being fun, you stop making so many episodes and eventually your show dies. I hope mine keeps going for a while longer as it has allowed me to meet some fun, knowledgeable people and I have learnt a lot. I have had the chance to co-author a book (on Angus Sinclair – currently with the publisher), appear on tv, the radio, in articles and to perform at live shows – remember those, before lockdown.
But if it stops tomorrow, it has been a blast – and there are loads of other projects to get stuck into.
Like what Adam has to say? Besides a great podcast, his blog is second to none