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Getting Fickle Podcast Listeners To Listen More [S3E122]
Episode 1225th May 2021 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:07:54

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Evo Terra:

A little digging into your podcast stats will show that a

Evo Terra:

good number of your listeners are...

Evo Terra:

well, fickle.

Evo Terra:

Before you can convert them to loyal listeners, you have to get

Evo Terra:

them listening to more episodes.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

We don't talk about fickle or seasonal listeners enough.

Evo Terra:

And when we do talk about fickle or seasonal listeners, it's all about how we

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convert them into loyal, rabid listeners who devour every single word that we say.

Evo Terra:

And while I like that as an idea, it's not very realistic because everybody

Evo Terra:

is busy and a good percentage of your listeners don't and will never listen

Evo Terra:

to every single episode you put out.

Evo Terra:

You probably recognize and understand this.

Evo Terra:

Now, caveat, if you're doing a fiction podcast, very different situation for you.

Evo Terra:

Serial podcasters, especially fiction podcasters, don't really have this

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problem because no rational listener, no rational person decides not to

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listen to chapter seven of a novel.

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Not going to happen for them.

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But for the rest of them, people, you know, they get busy.

Evo Terra:

And I think we have two different tools.

Evo Terra:

We podcasters have two different tools that we can better employ to ensure

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that these fickle listeners, sometimes seasonal listeners, they only listen like

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during the summertime or whatever, we can ensure that they don't really miss out

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on something that they wanted to hear.

Evo Terra:

Just two tools.

Evo Terra:

And again, I'm talking about listeners who are probably subscribed to your

Evo Terra:

show or a following your show who choose not to listen to your episodes.

Evo Terra:

Two tools that you can employ right now to start fixing that.

Evo Terra:

What are those two tools?

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Stop teasing, Evo!

Evo Terra:

Title and cold open.

Evo Terra:

Yeah, I've harped on title a lot.

Evo Terra:

So I'm just gonna do a brief recap and give you two very short rules for

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title and we'll get to the fun part.

Evo Terra:

Two rules for titling.

One:

make every character count.

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give them a reason to hit play.

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Your title should make every character count.

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No extra bits.

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And you should give them, the title should give them a reason to

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actually hit play on that episode.

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No, the guest name's not enough.

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Publishing date's not really important.

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No hashtags.

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Okay.

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Enough of title.

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Let's get to the fun part.

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The fun part is the cold open because once we've, you know, once

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people have actually hit play on an episode, they're probably going to

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keep listening once they've hit play.

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But what about those who never saw the title of your episode

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and who didn't hit play?

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But the podcast episode just started playing?

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Now, that happens a lot because people spend a lot of time, your listener

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has spent a lot of time setting up their podcast-listening queue,

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not just of your podcast episodes, but of all the other podcasts and

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episodes that they subscribe to.

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They have a queue, or several cues like I do, and they start the

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queue and they let it roll through.

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It just plays.

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When you think of the mindset of these people, like me and probably

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like you, I'm always thinking about what else is in here.

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When something plays and I've got, you know, maybe a dozen shows in there,

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but when an episode starts to play, I have anticipation of - maybe it's FOMO.

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What's the next thing below this?

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I've only got a certain amount of time.

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What's below this episode that I'm not seeing because I'm

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not looking at it right now?

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What else is in there?

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I might decide to swipe left.

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Or is it right?

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Apps, podcast apps are weird.

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Whatever the swiping is to delete it.

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People oftentimes will start listening to an episode that, again, they didn't

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hit play on, it just started playing for them 'cause it's been in their queue.

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They'll swipe off if they think that it is somehow less important than something

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else a little bit lower in their queue.

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And that's where a cold open really helps.

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It's the opening statement.

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I did one at the beginning of this episode and every episode.

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I do that because I want to hook someone in who didn't explicitly hit play.

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And it's also for people who hit play to kind of set them up of what's going on.

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Because honestly, it's okay if someone listens to the first - the cold open you

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put out and they say this episode's not for me, I can skip this one and go on.

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Hey, that's okay.

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It's not that big of a deal.

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They don't have to listen to every single thing.

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That's not the social contract we have put in place here.

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I want to make a cold open, you want to make a cold open, we all want to make

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a cold open that says, this is what you're going to get in this episode,

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if you were intrigued by the words I just said in those 200 characters, five

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seconds, ten seconds, then keep listening.

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But if not, hey that's okay, I appreciate you subscribing.

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That's what we're saying when we make these cold opens.

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So stick with a good cold open, put a good cold open in if you don't

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have one, very helpful to keep people listening all the way through.

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And make sure your titles are better, would you?

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So I need to thank Ms.

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Danny.

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No, I need to thank Betty Dannewitz of the podcast ifyouaskbetty

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for this topic suggestion.

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She actually had me on, speaking to a class that she's teaching right

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now on the value of the cold open.

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And I thought I'd bring it back for everybody to enjoy.

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So thank you again, Betty for bringing this idea up.

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Fickle, that's the word, fickle and seasonal podcasters

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are a part of podcasting.

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Fickle and seasonal listeners, I should say, are a part of podcasting.

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Unfortunately, fickle podcasters are, too.

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No, fickle listeners and podcasting - it's life.

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What are we going to do, right?

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So share this episode with another podcaster so maybe they can also help

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better understand why some episodes are listened to and why some are not.

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And maybe we can, you know, not only get them to have more people listening to

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their content, but also, so all podcasters are helping better serve this underserved

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listener set of people who are fickle.

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Cause we're not going to make them not fickle.

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We can try, but we just need to appeal to them.

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So if you liked what I had to say in this episode, please go

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to buymeacoffee.com/EvoTerra and buy me a virtual coffee.

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If you would like to consider also membership, consider buying a - that

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means you buy me a coffee every month automatically, simple little thing.

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Because I've got some new membership and some new things coming out when

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season four of this podcast launches in a couple of months and I'm going to

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grandfather in all the people who have purchased a membership of coffee - yay

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- to me on buymeacoffee.com/EvoTerra.

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So go over and do that if you would like to.

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Yes, that's it.

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I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.