Great Podcasts Do “Work” for Their Listeners. Does Yours?

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

I came across this tweet from Sam Parr, host of the massively successful My First Million podcast a while back.

The show’s concept is that in every episode, Sam and his co-host Shaan brainstorm potential million-dollar business ideas for their listeners to take and run with.

Sam and Shaan both have extensive business building experience and they put it to use on their podcast.

This isn’t another two dudes talking business podcast. They do their homework, analyzing market trends, crunching the numbers and doing deep research into every idea they present on the show.

At the time of Sam’s Tweet, the show was already a Top-10 podcast in the business category. Not a bad place to be.

Currently bringing in 800,000 downloads per month, Sam and Shaan were pushing to make the Top-5 of the Business category by the end of the year while bringing in 3 million downloads per month.

In the thread, Sam broke down what had worked to help them grow the podcast to the point that they had already.

One piece of advice stuck out to me.

Let’s just let that sink in for a moment.

The single biggest factor that directly correlated with an increase in downloads was the amount of time Sam and Shaan spent researching their episodes before recording.

Said differently, the amount of work they put in directly led to the results they got out.

This is a fascinating insight.

It highlights something we don’t think about enough as podcasters:

The results we get from our podcasts are directly related to the amount and quality of work we do for our listeners.

It’s the “for our listeners” that is the key that we too often forget.

Many podcasters that struggle are doing a whole lot of work to produce their shows.

But little work that is actually of service to their listeners.

And yet this work, the work our listeners don’t want to–or can’t–do themselves is exactly what makes a podcast valuable.

Our audiences don’t care about the hours we spent editing, producing and promoting our shows. They care about how the finished episodes will help them.

The real work of podcasting is delivering something your listeners can’t get anywhere else, of delivering some knowledge, or entertainment, or perspective in less time and effort than it would take to obtain themselves.

Creating a marketing podcast that’s more actionable than an $80K marketing degree is work.

Condensed the lessons of a 500-page book into a 30 minute episode that engages, entertains, and sticks with people is work.

Providing the roadmap and accountability to help your listeners consistently stick to an exercise plan is work.

In the end, this approach comes down to knowing the goal your listeners are moving toward, the work standing in their way that they’re avoiding, and doing everything you can to do it for them.

The more work you do for your listeners, the more valuable your podcast will be to them, and the more they’ll talk about it.

We’d like to think that our marketing success depends on shiny tools and technology.

More often than not, however, it comes down to simply putting in the time, effort, and attention that no one else is willing to do, or thinks reasonable.

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