Winning the First Click: How A Few Small Changes to Your Podcast Packaging Can Lead to Massive Growth

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

One of the dynamics that is most essential to understand about creating and marketing on the internet is this:

Advantages compound.

Said differently, a 1% advantage in quality (or strategy) compared to a competitor might result in a 500% differential in clicks, traffic, and in the case of podcasts, downloads, and revenue.

The reason is simple.

  • Even the slightest competitive edge brings in more resources…
  • Which can then be reinvested back into increasing that advantage…
  • Which results in even more resources…
  • Which can then be reinvested to further increase that advantage…
  • And so the virtuous (or vicious, depending on which side of it you’re on) cycle continues

This effect is visualized by the Power Law Curve which shows up again and again in myriad contexts from Google search results to Amazon book sales to—while it may be more difficult to measure—podcasting.

Here’s what it looks like.

In a typical Power Law distribution, the market leader accrues about the same benefits (clicks, traffic, downloads, revenue, etc) as the next 10 competitors combined.

Winner take all, in other words.

If you want to grow, then, you need to give yourself every advantage you possibly can.

In podcasting, these tiny advantages (or disadvantages) start accruing at the first touch points any new potential listener has with your show.

When your ideal listeners come across a selection of shows in your niche, you want the majority of them to click on yours first.

I think of this as Winning the First Click.

And it all starts with your show packaging.

In the absence of a clear and compelling differentiator, the show with the clearest and most attractive title and cover art will accrue the majority of the clicks in a niche, and thus the majority of plays, subscriptions… and likely revenue.

The show content itself doesn’t need to be amazing for this to be enough to give you a leg up.

The reason is that people are satisficers.

No one is going to listen through every show on a given topic to find the single best one.

Instead, they’ll find one that appears to be the best fit for their needs and desires, and if—after a few minutes of listening—it passes the bar of acceptability, they’ll stick with it rather than taking a chance on something else.

So how do you ensure your ideal listeners are choosing your show as their first option?

The strategy is simple:

  1. Research the other shows you’re competing for clicks with.
  2. Make your show the instinctual first choice for your ideal listeners by:
    1. Being clearer than the competition about who (specifically) and what (specifically) the show is for.
    2. Removing any conceivable reason for a potential listener to doubt that your show will be worth their time such as amateur design elements, unclear or vague titling, etc.

Your goal is to grab your potential listeners’ attention by establishing immediate, specific relevance to them, and then give them a steady stream of green lights early in the process that signal that your show is likely to satisfy their goals and desires.

It’s possible that your show is the single best show on your topic.

If it is, winning the first click will allow you to further solidify and compound your existing advantages.

But it’s also possible your show isn’t the absolute best on your topic.

The good news is it doesn’t need to be.

By optimizing your show to win the first click, you can stack the deck in your favour to win more listeners, earn more revenue, and start closing the gap.

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