Part of being a great author includes getting out into the world and promoting yourself. It is your job as an author to market your book and reach your audience on a face-to-face level through book tours, giving readings and speakings on your topic, or even putting out supporting content for your audience to enjoy. You can’t simply sit back and wait for people to discover you; you need to take charge and build your brand.
Starting a podcast will help you to promote your books, grow your audience, and enter a new market full of eager listeners. Your readers will become your listeners and your listeners will become more like a group of friends. Podcasting creates a community of like-minded people, and in this case, it will be a group of people that love your book and want to hear more from you.
In today’s changing fast-paced environment, many people are a lot more likely to turn on an audiobook from their favorite author because they can’t find the time to read it for the 5th time. So from an author’s perspective, turning your book into a podcast or audiobook will grow your audience by drawing in new listeners and giving your fans additional content to enjoy on their commute or while they are busy at work.
There are so many successful authors out there using podcasts to promote their books, such as Brendon Burchard, Scott Sigler, and Chris Lester. So to understand how starting a podcast can help you build your brand as an author, let’s dive a little deeper into the tips and tricks of the trade.
Understand Your Why
Why is podcasting so effective for authors? It’s quite simple; when you turn your written words into audio format, your audience will be able to experience the emotion in which you wrote the book by listening to your voice. With audio, you can express yourself exactly as you intended and in your own voice, so your audience can enjoy your vision for the book. When you’re speaking to them they will be able to tell when you are laughing and when you might be sad or even surprised. They’re able to get a feel for who you are and in turn, they will be able to connect with you on a deeper and more emotional level.
Although having an audiobook can be a great start, turning your book into a podcast series can be even more effective. Each episode can be a chapter of your book, including discussions of every turning point, why characters were created that way, and all the details of what went into writing that section. Having a book club with the author is every fan’s dream! The potential for your podcast is endless and is simply up to you as the author to find the best way to connect with your audience.
Related read: Top 8 Ways to Create Buzz Around Your Podcast
Set Specific Goals
We all have a dream that we would like to reach one day, and to reach those dreams you need to create a few short-term and long-term goals that will lead you in the right direction. So before you start your podcast, think about what it is you want to achieve every week, month, and year. For example, write out how many episodes you want to release each week, how many downloads you want to have by the end of the month, and what types of strategies you want to employ for engaging with your audience.
After you have established your goals then you can create a strategy to achieve them. For example what kind of marketing will you be using? Who is your target audience, and what kind of topics do your listeners want to hear? Of course, this all ties back to your book and your readers and finding ways to draw then to your brand new podcast! Once you’ve implemented these strategies, make sure to evaluate along the way. Have you met the goals you’ve set out to achieve? Are there things you need to change? Since your podcast is meant to help you grow your brand, it is paramount that you are in fact reaching your audience and growing it too.
Organize Your Ideas
When starting your podcast, you have to be diligent in organizing your ideas before pressing record. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with where to start, what to say, and how to structure your show. Setting up a podcasting workflow will help you stay organized and make sure that you get everything done and checked off the list before launching each episode. Your workflow will help save you time, increase your productivity, and maintain consistency – which is key!
To help you in your organization process, there are tons of great project management apps out there to ease some of the stress you might have. These include Trello, Asana, ClickUp, and Basecamp. Jot down all of your initial ideas for episodes and topics that you want to cover. Then decide which ones need to be done first and organize them in priority. Create an outline for each episode and then fill in the rest so that you are prepared to record your episode.
Related read: 7 Reasons to Implement a Podcast Workflow
Create Valuable Content
When it comes to starting a podcast to build your brand as an author, it is important to keep in mind that your show is essentially another avenue for your audience to access you and your ideas. Always keep your audience top of mind when you set out to create new content. Think about the story you want to tell, what information you want to put in their hands and the best way to get that across. This will help you to determine the format of your podcast and what would most resonate with your current readers and entice new audience members to listen in.
The key to creating valuable content for your audience is to really stay on brand. What is it that draws your readers to you and your books? What really speaks to them and how can you pull out more value for them to be interested in your podcast? These are all great questions to answer when getting started on your podcast. The more value you provide to your podcast listeners, to more likely they will be inclined to be converted into readers as well. If you’re doing an audiobook then add value by giving your listeners the best performance they will ever have, become one with the book, and make your listeners feel like they are part of the story.
Related read: Top 10 Mistakes that Podcasters Make
Share Your Story, Build Your Brand
Part of building your brand as an author is stepping out from behind your words and showing your readers more about you as a person. Don’t be scared to share your story with your listeners. A podcast is a great way to give them a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into writing your books and the creative process you follow.
Your audience will also be interested in knowing more about what inspires you to write, including how you grew up, why you became a writer and who your favorite authors are. It might not always be easy talking about such personal things with the entire podcasting world but once you do you will find a community of loyal listeners supporting you and inspiring you to write even better stories.
Related read: Top 8 Ways to Create Buzz Around Your Podcast
Engage With Your Audience
It’s very important that you build a relationship with your listeners as you continue on your podcasting journey. Just as you would engage with your readers through book signings or readings, so too, you should interact with your podcast listeners by replying to their comments or even doing the entire episode answering their questions.
There are a ton of great social media platforms you can use to connect with your listeners as well. You should even join or follow their fan sites to see what they love about your show and what parts you could improve on. There’s no better way to improve your podcast than by getting direct feedback from your listeners and making sure that you are still on track to provide them with the valuable content they are looking for.
Be The Fan You Want
The more excited you are about your podcast the more your listeners will be too. Excitement is contagious and your podcast is a great way to spread it to your audience as well. The topics you discuss need to be of importance to both you and your listeners. Staying up to date with everything that has to do with your book or even books in the same genre will help you create interesting content that your listeners will love.
The more you love your podcast the more confidence you’ll have to deliver your message to your audience. Really get into the mind of your listeners by being the fan you want them to be. Being a fan would give you a lot of insight into which topics would be fascinating and which ones are not on-brand for you as an author.
Related read: 6 Ways to Create Loyal Podcast Fans
Practise Makes Perfect
Before recording your episodes remember that you need to practice, practice, practice! Create a script for yourself and then practice it a few times before you hit the record button. The first few times might seem a little awkward talking to yourself, so instead focus on a specific listeners and really focus in on speaking directly to them. After you’ve recorded, take a listen to your podcast episode to see where you went wrong and where you might need to do a re-record.
As you get more practice, the more relaxed you’ll become and the more natural your episodes will start to sound. Remember, do all the necessary research beforehand so that you can create a podcast filled with value and insight. Don’t worry if your first few attempts aren’t the best, just keep going and keep improving along the way.
Related read: The Biggest Challenges Podcasters Face