I think of it like this: even excellent coffee tastes better with the right amount of milk (my opinion, I know, you might disagree.)
…download statistics = coffee
…listener feedback = gorgeous, frothy, warm milk
In this analogy BOTH of these ingredients are equally as important, even though the quantity of them is different (a lot of coffee and a small amount of milk). The milk accents the coffee and makes it taste a smidge better than it ever could on its’ own. But without the coffee, the milk could not do this. Both are needed. But an overemphasis on one does not achieve the same taste.
Podcast downloads can show you TRENDS in listener behavior but for podcasts like yours that have a very niche ideal audience, it can NOT generally help you understand IF your listeners are converting into clients. That’s where listener feedback plays a role in your success.
So what can downloads do then?
They can hint at trends in listener behavior and thus help shape your business offerings.
Here are the total stats for Solopreneur Podcasting Tips since it started in November 2022. You can see that in November, when I was publishing an episode a day (as a new podcast) it got the most monthly downloads. However, in January there were only 2 episodes published but there were still more than half the downloads compared to November. That’s with publishing 28 LESS episodes.
👉🏾 the stats hint that more listeners were listening to each episode.
Digging into the episode by episode data can confirm that info but there’s one more download trend that I think is more powerful for us to focus on.
In the below bar graph you can see the total downloads of the past 20 episodes.
👉🏿 this data hints that the content that most resonated with my listeners were about quick content planning AND relaxing in their episodes.
If you look at your download data this way, it’s way more likely to help you identify when something resonated with your listeners than just looking at total downloads in isolation.
Look at repeated content topics that struck a chord with your listeners. This is most likely where they’ve shared an episode with a friend or work connection. Valuable content is like pollen, it travels far.
What do you do with this information?
Once you have a hypothesis on what content your listeners like more, plan a few more episodes on this topic. See if that trend holds true. If it does over repeated episodes, you may have found something that they need help with. Not only does this help spread the word about your podcast but it also might help you niche down your business product or service.
See how useful podcasts can be?
Immediate feedback from podcast downloads PLUS listener feedback (from your clear CTAs-like I outlined in issue #12) can help you shape your business, not just your audio content. Double win!
SUMMARY:Downloads PLUS listener feedback is the most powerful combination of data that can grow your business. You’ve got potential clients listening to you in your episodes and thus leaving information on what resonates and what doesn’t. Even if they’re passive listeners, downloads can provide this info. This is powerful, real time info about your business offerings.
Listener feedback is hard to quantify, there aren’t pretty charts and graphs for them. But there are still things that you can do when you get (cue angels singing) listener feedback. That’s what I’ll dive into next week
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From one solopreneur to another, here are some tips for your podcast and podcast accompanying media.