Building an engaged community around a podcast requires actions— here are four actionable recommendations that worked for the Berlin-based Women Authors of Achievement Podcast (WAA). Host and founder Daria Suvorova shares her secrets with PodBible readers.
Four years ago I realized how important it is for women professionals to connect on a personal level. I started hosting a series of dinners where a small group of women could meet. The first dinner started with only 12 women, but once word got out, a community was formed with over 200 women.
In fact, the conversations and connections that were made at these dinners is what inspired me to start the interview-based Women Authors of Achievement Podcast. I felt that a wider audience should have access to these inspirational stories, hearing them I often had goosebumps myself.
So how do you build a community around your podcast? Here are my 4 tips.
1. Start building your community before you launch your podcast (if you can)
That’s right, as mentioned above — the core WAA Podcast community of guests, listeners and supporters was formed long before I started the show. Still today, I am grateful for all the women (and men!) who encouraged me to kick start my own podcast.
2. Stay locally relevant before going global.
A lot of people that go into podcasting are overly excited by the extensive global reach of potential guests they can have on the show. They look for guests globally and not locally – which is not necessarily bad, but this makes it more difficult to form a community around the podcast.
From the start, I knew that I wanted to create a strong bond with the local community. At the moment I am exclusively interviewing in-person in a studio located at the heart of Kreuzberg in Berlin, Germany. The WAA Podcast represents women who are not only authors of their own achievements in life, but they are also building their successful careers in this city. Listeners and podcast guests can literally bump into each other on the streets, which creates closeness and proximity. And this physical aspect of meeting someone in person is a first step towards creating a community.
In the future you can always expand, but first try to establish yourself locally.
3. Stay close to your podcast guests “alumnus” network.
Don’t simply interview your guests and never speak to them again. First of all, it’s awkward. Secondly, didn’t you invite them to your show because you find them interesting? Exactly, so keep the ties close to people you are inspired by.. Stay in touch with your guests, also because they can be your biggest ambassadors and most loyal fans. What can be more rewarding than people you are inspired by, in return are excited about your work? Organize small get-togethers or simply find time for a small catch-up with your guests when possible. At the WAA Podcast we are starting to engage with our Season 1 guests by inviting them for a short written interview which is then published on our monthly newsletter.
4. Show some love to your listeners and supporters.
I know “love” is a very strong word, but I want to make a point. You should genuinely be appreciative of your listeners, followers and supporters. And I don’t mean flooding them with social media posts, I mean real gestures of appreciation. Sometimes it’s a small “thank you” or when bumping into a listener or supporter simply be present and engage into a conversation. To be treated with respect and to be heard is what matters to your community. My wish to other podcasters out there — be truly genuine to you listeners, guests on the show and people that support you.
Sometimes being a podcast host can get overwhelming, but your genuine interest and care of your community is what creates long-term and loyal connections.
How do you engage with your audience? I am curious to hear from you. Send me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the WAA Podcast, host Daria Suvorova interviews women in leadership positions, founders and investors, where each episode reveals a personal story of the guest and their path to success. You can listen to the episodes via waa.berlin or directly on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or any other platform of your choice.