For most of history, the only people you were able to do business with were those who lived in your city, valley, or area.
Then came trains, train stations, and catalogs. All of the sudden, mail-order companies like Sears could break local boundaries and deliver products to anyone in America.
And then, finally, the internet was invented.
It broadened horizons beyond train stations and country borders to the entire world. That meant when podcasters entered the scene around 2004, they could focus on social media, podcast guesting, and SEO.
And for good reason.
Let’s say your podcast is all about Rubik’s Cube completion strategies. It’s likely there are not 10,000 people in your town who are interested in it every week. But the 10,000 people who are can surely find you online.
Your fellow Rubik’s Cube enthusiasts are not the only ones with a vested interest in your podcast, though. In fact, there are probably lots of groups who would have a stake in talking about your podcast.
And just as it was in the 19th Century, some of those people are right in your backyard.
The goal of your local paper is to write stories about local news, and they need more than honor roll lists, spelling bee winners, and home sales to focus on. Podcasting is interesting and new, in the scheme of things, and a local podcaster with a story is worthy of a feature in the local paper.
This applies to more than the local newspaper, too.
There is surely a magazine rack in the lobby of your local Mexican restaurant with a community events magazine, a real estate magazine, and probably something along the lines of The Lincoln County Journal. All are looking for stories and content with a local bent to fill their pages.
Everyone who has a business knows they are “supposed” to have an email list. They have been told over and over that they need a social media presence.
People who serve your local community are no different, and they too need local news to fill their social media platforms. The question is, how do you find them? And how do you make your story attractive enough for them to pick up and email their list about it?
Well, if you’re a nutrition or food podcaster, you’re naturally aligned with a personal trainer, for example. So, give that trainer a reason to reach out to his or her following via social media or email, saying, “On your way to work today, listen to this episode about good carbs from local podcaster, _________. [LINK]”
Who are the people in your community who would benefit by sharing your podcast? Think outside the box, here. The realtor who sold you your house, for example, likely tries really hard to stay connected to previous clients in hopes of getting repeat listings. If your content is a match for the industry, why not offer her some of it, so she has a reason to send an email?
Radio is always local.
While the morning disc jockeys get the same “hot sheet” of topics every other DJ receives, he too needs local flavor. When an episode of yours lines up with National Hot Dog Day, Halloween, or the high school homecoming game, send him a note. Give him a reason to say “Speaking of National Hot Dog Day, there is a local podcaster who recently debated whether the hot dog is a sandwich or not. It is brilliant! If you haven’t heard it yet, you can find the __________ podcast here, and start listening right away.”
As an added bonus, radio stations have complementary websites, some of which feature local podcasters. KPFA Berkeley, for example, features the podcasts of the local theater company, a city councilman, and a bevy of local citizens. Perhaps the only reason you’re not featured there yet, too, is because they don’t know you exist.
Establishing a relationship with your local news is paramount. They always need go-to “experts” who will comment on the issues they’re reporting, fill interview spots, and inspire special features.
Your local networks also have spots dedicated to local talk shows. In Nashville, the Sami Cone Show is on the CBS Network, and she interviews local authors, chefs, and business owners. If your podcast relates, she simply needs to know you exist, so she can get a pitch from you that makes her show even better.
You might be thinking, “But the Sami Cone Show doesn’t reach every corner of the Earth, right?”
Don’t let that stop you. The reality is, 90% of the people you reach out to via other outlets won’t truly help you grow. But the local press is not only paid to tell your story… they’re paid to make it intriguing and exciting. And somewhere in your town are 26 Rubik’s Cube enthusiasts who are in Facebook groups and Reddit threads, and they also likely have their own YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram channels.
Plus, Sami Cone features her episodes on her website, social media, and more, as well.
Find everyone, no matter the angle, who has a vested interest in telling your story, and do everything you can get their attention.
Your podcast is the one thing you absolutely love to do every week. So, you owe it to yourself to get it out there.
April 2022 Issue