Are you searching for ways to leverage podcasting to grow your brand? Are you struggling to reach more people with your content? Do you know that what you have to offer is valuable, but your target audience can't seem to find you?
Well, you're in exactly the right place! In this interview with Jamila Souffrant, she shares some practical tips for how you can leverage podcasting to grow your brand's reach. Follow them and you'll like the results you see!
Listen to the Episode
Who is Jamila Souffrant?
Jamila is a podcaster, writer, and the founder of Journey to Launch – a platform where she shares her journey to financial independence while helping others to do the same. She is considered a go-to thought leader in the personal finance space and is the resident financial expert on a weekly segment on News12, the most-watched local TV news-station in NYC.
She has also been featured in other notable media outlets: ESSENCE, Refinery 29, Money Magazine, CNBC, CBS, and Business Insider, just to name a few. The Journey To Launch Podcast was also named one of “27 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To In 2018” by BuzzFeed”. Jamila and her husband saved $169,000 in two years – yes, you read that right – and are debt free besides their mortgage. She is also a mom of three young children and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Why Use Podcasting To Grow Your Brand?
Jamila started podcasting because she recognized how much she enjoyed podcasts, and saw how easy they were to engage with on the go. With that in mind, she went to her audience (Facebook group) and asked what they would like to hear from her if she were to start a podcast of her own. Their positive feedback gave her the fuel to move forward, and she hasn’t looked back since.
This is a great first note to keep in mind – engage your audience as often as you can! The more they feel like part of the process from the beginning, the easier it will be to maintain their engagement long-term. There’s nothing like the feeling of being there at the start of something awesome!
Know What Makes You Different
Jamila notes that one of the most important things you can do to build your brand and grow a successful podcast is to be yourself. Everyone has different life experiences. You never know how the information you share & the way you share it may impact someone. It’s very possible that they may have heard the information before, but because they resonate with your perspective, this time it clicks.
She makes it a point to ask two questions to every “Journeyer” (Journey To Launch community member) that approaches her at events: 1) how did they find her, and 2) why do they like her podcast over others that are out there. This is valuable feedback that helps her to keep track of how effective her marketing is, and also how her podcast is attracting new listeners.
Define Your End Goal And Be Consistent
Jamila was very intentional about what she wanted to accomplish with her podcast. She thought about the content she wanted to cover, what would be most helpful for her audience, and the goal that she was trying to achieve for herself (freedom from her 9-5 job). In addition to that, she committed to a consistent upload schedule from the start and hasn’t wavered from it since: new episodes once a week, no excuses! She even planned ahead to make sure she uploaded throughout her pregnancy! Her consistency built a strong enough connection with listeners that Journey To Launch just passed 1 million podcast downloads – that sounds like a vote of confidence to me!
How To Pre-Launch Your Podcast Successfully
Pre-launch is a very important time in the life of a podcast, and Jamila did some great things to get the momentum building for her launch. Like we mentioned at the start, one thing Jamila did well early on was asking her existing audience for input. Voting on podcast artwork and episode topics gave them a great chance to engage and buy into her vision, even during the development phase.
Another helpful thing she did was talk about the podcast… a lot. People should know three to four weeks in advance that you are working on something for them. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help spreading the word! Keep them in the loop via your blog and social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook groups, etc.). Let them know how things are progressing, ask them to tell their friends and watch the anticipation for your launch to grow!
How To Promote Your Podcast
Once your podcast is live, the next step is promoting it. The more intentional you are about promotion, the more your brand will grow.
Here are some of Jamila’s tips for promoting your new podcast:
Always be consistent with your uploads
Nothing fosters repeat listeners like knowing when to expect new episodes. Make sure you have backup episodes ready for any potential interruptions.
Remind your audience that your podcast exists
Even at the beginning when it doesn’t feel “perfect”, let them know that episodes are there waiting for them to listen. Any chance you get to talk about it in person will help it to grow faster.
Share pre-release snippets on Social Media
Before each episode comes out, Jamila shares a clip from the episode on Instagram & in her Facebook group. It’s an interesting snippet that lets them know what to expect and builds anticipation.
Post about the new episode daily after release
After releasing the episode, Jamila is not shy to post about it on social media. She knows the information is valuable. The podcast is free, and her page is content-focused, so it’s not overwhelming for her audience at all.
Ask for reviews
Jamila asks that first-time listeners & new community members take 30 seconds to leave a review wherever they listened. iTunes and other podcast platforms use this as one way to measure the quality of your content, so this is an important request to make.
Jamila also sends out a short newsletter to her email list every week. It tells them what’s in the new episode and asks them to share it with their family & friends. She also asks them to tag her when they share the episode on social. This gives her another chance to engage and thank them directly for their loyalty and help!
Jamila’s tips for continuing to grow your brand
So, your podcast is up and running. You’ve got a little audience, and you’re uploading episodes on a regular basis… now what?? Jamila has a couple more tips for you:
Go to conferences
Jamila is a huge advocate for attending conferences. They're a great way to foster authentic relationships with others in your space. Jamila and I both booked ongoing TV segments through friends we met at conferences. All we looked for was authentic connections, and these awesome opportunities came as a result. You just never know.
Focus on the content, rather than the guest
Many people only want to book the biggest guests with mainstream audiences. Those are fine and are tantalizing during the early stages, but Jamila now prefers smaller, more tactical guests. Whether mainstream or small scale, Jamila’s advice is to prioritize quality content and knowing your audience. Bring on the guest that you feel gives the most value to your audience and you'll rarely go wrong.
Starting a podcast is one of the best things you can do to grow your brand’s reach. From the start, be yourself, focus on quality content, and commit to consistent uploads!
Remember, engage with your audience. Make them feel like they are part of the development process when you’re planning your first episodes. Ask for their feedback once the episodes are live, and prompt them to leave reviews. Remind them that the info is valuable… don’t be selfish, share it with friends and family!
At the end of the day, the podcast is the vehicle, you are the brand. For your brand to grow, it’s up to you to put in the hours to see the return! Commit to giving your best every day. Before long you will see the huge impact your podcast is having on growing your brand. You’ve got the tools, now it’s time to work. Let’s do this!
Tools / Resources Mentioned
- Journey to Launch – Jamila's business website