Let’s face it, connecting with your listeners can be challenging. You may feel like you are speaking into a void as you record your podcast episodes.
If you’ve ever felt this way, you are not alone. Many podcasters report feeling similarly. However, there are tools you can use that will allow you to directly interact with your listeners and engage them in new and fresh ways.
Here are five simple tips that will help you feel more confident in your ability to interact with your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Tip #1: Create a virtual answering machine
Have you ever called into a radio show and heard your voice on air? It’s exciting, right? A dedicated hotline is one of the easiest ways to interact with your podcast audience.
All you must do is set up a dedicated phone number. Google Voice is a popular platform that allows you to do this quickly, easily, and for no cost.
Once you establish a phone number, you can set it up so your listeners can call in and leave a voicemail with any questions, comments, or feedback. From here, you can screen each question and select the ones you wish to share on your show.
You may be thinking – what’s the fun in that? While screening questions certainly has its merits, you can always set it up so listeners can call into a live show and converse in real-time. This allows you to have a real, honest dialogue with one of your listeners and provides them the opportunity to feel seen, heard, and valued.
Tip #2: Use Social Media
We live in a digitally connected world, so social media is a must-have tool if you are looking to better connect with your podcast audience. You likely already have a dedicated page setup, so employing this tactic should not be too difficult.
For example, you can craft a thoughtful post before your show that centers around a particular topic you wish to address. You can ask your listeners to visit your page and leave comments that you can share during your recordings.
Additionally, you can post your social media handles and links directly into your show notes so your audience can navigate to your feeds quickly and easily.
Tip #3: Stream your recordings
Depending on what platform you use, you may be able to stream your recording sessions online. This is a great way to secure engagement from the part of your audience that wants a more raw interaction with you.
It’s up to you whether you interact with the comments and messages during the stream or to ignore them until the end of the session. The direct fan feedback could even help you shape episodes in the future.
Tip #4: Set up an Email Inbox
This is like setting up a hotline but provides more anonymity for your listeners. When you set up a dedicated email address for your show, you allow your audience to reach out and interact with you in a way that is quick, easy, and non-threatening. Your reserved listeners may appreciate having this pathway to better connect with you.
Make sure to actively share your email with your audience!
Tip #5: Host a Virtual Meetup
Another great way to increase engagement and interaction with your audience is to host a virtual meetup.
There are different programs and apps you can use to make this happen. The most common, perhaps, is Zoom. It’s easy to set up a Zoom meeting, and once you do, you can simply share the link with your listeners to have them join you.
You can always play around with the Zoom settings to require registration, enable the waiting room feature, or more, based on what you think will be most efficient for your audience. It’s a great way to connect visually in a safe, open space with your listeners.
Finding new and creative ways to interact with your audience can be tricky. However, with some time and attention, you can use the tips we’ve shared to better engage your listeners and connect with them more intentionally.