How To Grow Your Podcast To A 7 Digit Listener Base

Posted on March 20, 2020

Ryan Stewman

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These days everyone and their best friend have a podcast. I’ve been doing it consistently since 2011. I started my first podcast Sales Finesse from the front seat of my Lincoln MKS on my lunch break every Wednesday.

 

At the time I had no idea I was doing a podcast. I used a platform called Blog Talk Radio and actually thought it was a radio show. I went around telling people I had an internet radio show. I didn’t even know the show was on iTunes until like a year into doing it. I’ve not always been the internet genius you know today.

 

I started podcasting because I wanted to practice being a public speaker and I didn’t have any gigs speaking in public so having this radio show aka podcast was my way of getting my time in and getting good.

 

After about a year I changed the name of Sales Finesse to Rock Star Closer. I changed the format to the interview style. I had some legends on there early on too. Frank Kern, Kevin Nations, and many more badasses to boot.

 

About 2015 I got bored and wasn’t really catching any traction. My podcasts were listened to like 100 times a week and that just wasn’t enough for me to invest my time in anymore. I went down the path of doing Youtube videos and stuff.

 

After taking about 6 months off of podcasting Low Energy Robert hit me up and talked me into doing the Hardcore Closer podcast. He would come up with a format we still follow today. I’ve done right at 200 episodes, 1 per week, since 2016. We’ve had over 1M downloads to that show and it grows every month. The show is about 30 minutes and we do it weekly.

 

A couple of years ago podcasting got really popular and I wanted to do something no one else was. I created Get Your Mind Right. It was a 5-minute daily podcast I put out 5 days a week. I filed to trademark “get your mind right” and lost the trademark to someone else. I changed the name to Rewire.

How To Grow Your Podcast To A 7 Digit Listener Base

Today, Rewire gets 100k+ new downloads per month and is on over 1.2M phones worldwide. It has over 500 active episodes and is my most popular work of anything I’ve ever done. As far as I know, no one else has a daily 5-minute show like it. That format has killed it for us.

 

Between The Hardcore Closer Podcast and Rewire, my podcasts are on over 2 million phones worldwide. Not a day goes by that I don’t get at least 50 messages saying “this episode changed my life” it’s a great feeling.

 

I went from no one listening, to millions of people listening monthly. It was not an easy feat to accomplish but I know how I did it. I’m gonna share it with you.

 

The first thing that changed things for us is the format Robert came up with. Before he came along, I just talked for 30 minutes to an hour on each episode. Robert, low energy and all, pointed out that all successful podcasts and radio shows have a format.

 

Once we got a format down and stuck to it, the episodes got predictable and familiar to the listener. They seemed put together and not scattered.

 

The second thing we did was ask for the listeners to share the show if they liked it. Not occasionally, but on every fucking show, we do. I position this as the cost of listening to the show. “If you like this and want to hear more, share it with a friend.”

 

Another thing that’s helped us get 1000s of reviews, which gets us to the top podcasts page all the time is asking for reviews and reading reviews on the air each episode.

 

We don’t even look to read reviews about how good my podcasts are. We look for reviews that the reviewer pitches their business. They give me 5 stars, then pitch their business and I read it on the air. Free ads for them in front of millions.

 

Matter of fact, I hired my insurance agent and my pest control guy from them leaving reviews on the Hardcore Closer podcast. So not only did they get a free ad, they got my business and my business always pays on time.

 

The key is to be different.

 

So many podcasts are the same shit with a different host. If you want to stand out, you need to be unique. This is why Rewire works so well. It’s 5 minutes and that means it takes almost no time to listen to it. It also means the new listeners will listen to multiple episodes if they have time. In a world of Bobs, be a John (but don’t hire hookers)

 

You can also make sure your podcast is on multiple outlets. For example, mine is on Libsyn, Youtube, iTunes, this blog, SoundCloud and other places. This gives the content to people where they want to hear it. I’m basically everywhere I can be. This is called “syndication” and you need to do it, in order to maximize your reach.

 

Lastly, the key is consistency. My numbers didn’t skyrocket overnight. Putting out a Hardcore Closer episode each week for 205 weeks and a Rewire for 520 episodes means they can rely on me to be consistent. It also keeps my podcasts constantly updated in the iTunes library daily and weekly.

 

They know when my stuff comes out and if they have push notifications on, it constantly reminds them. You can’t do 5 episodes in a row, then sporadically do another 5 a month later. Stick to a schedule.

 

If you decide to do a podcast, follow the above steps, stick with it and there’s no reason you can’t eventually pass me up. The average podcast gets 700 listens over the lifetime of the show, so it doesn’t take much to start winning.

 

If you’re not listening to my 2 podcasts, you can find them here on this site, or just about anywhere they have podcasts available for listening.

 

Best of luck with yours.

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