How To Get Featured In Apple Podcasts with Bobby Temps

How To Get Featured In Apple Podcasts with Bobby Temps
Audience
How To Get Featured In Apple Podcasts with Bobby Temps
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Episode July 30, 2020 00:39:19

Hosted By

Matt Medeiros Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

One of the biggest players in the podcasting industry is Apple Podcasts. Up to this point, they have helped dictate major shifts in podcast consumption and how podcasters create their shows.

Given Apple Podcasts’ popularity, it’s no surprise getting in front of their curation team can help propel a podcast to new heights. But the question is, how can I pitch my podcast to appeal to their editors?

This week on Audience, we’re tackling this important topic with Bobby Temps. As the co-host of Mental: The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health, he has orchestrated getting his show on multiple featured podcast lists inside the popular listening app. Throughout our interview, Bobby sheds light on repeatable strategies that helped him break through the noise and impress the Apple Podcasts team.

But that’s not all we’re covering. At the top, we get into how the Mental podcast encourages listener participation, uses data to inform their content decisions, and why you might be missing some reviews from your international listeners.

Listen to the full interview now to starting pitching you podcast with more flair and to track down those reviews you may have missed.

How has COVID-19 changed your listenership?

Like many other podcasters, Bobby and his co-host, Danielle, have shifted their content strategy as a result of COVID-19. But since the show focuses on mental health, they’ve noticed the shift has primarily been driven by changes in society.

The goal of the podcast is to destigmatise mental health. So Bobby and his team are capitalizing on our eagerness to include mental illness alongside physical ailments in the wellness conversation. To alter content for these times, they’ve focused on practical tips listeners can put to use right now. Their mission is to help both loyal and new followers feel more confident and secure in times that are unstable.

How Do You Encourage & Incorporate Audience Participation Into The Show?

Let’s start with the motivation factor. Every podcaster wants more reviews and emails with feedback from their audience. But it’s difficult to help listeners take the next step and put pen to paper.

To help, Bobby highlighted the tone of the Mental podcast. His team has ramped up the calls-to-action to leave a review or send a email. But they positioned their messaging around the desire to tackle subjects their audience needs help with right now. The authenticity of wanting to provide their listeners with timely tips didn’t go unnoticed. They received more feedback and were able to cover topics that were important to their community.

In times before COVID-19, the Mental podcast is one of the best examples of why audience participation can make or break a show. The podcast covers the rapidly changing landscape of mental health and typically sensitive subjects. Their team understands the need to use appropriate language and phrases for each topic, but the standards shift.

For example, the phrase “committing suicide” is no longer the most appropriate way to talk about this topic. Through conversations with their community and mental health experts, the Mental podcast team were made aware of the sensitivities and have changed the way they speak about death by suicide.

In addition, using audience feedback and interviews allows Bobby to include more experiences about the same topic. Even if he has experience with an issue they discuss on the show, they’re cognizant about the fact that it doesn’t mean he can talk about everybody’s experience. In having the community chime in with their thoughts, they’re able to cover the more mental health topics in more detail.

Do You Have Any Tips To Better Prepare For An Interview?

Bobby takes a person-centered approach and if you think about other great interviewers, they all do too. The person-centered approach has the host view themselves as the facilitator for the guest to share their story. The focus is on how the host can do the best job at creating a safe space.

While an interview is a more structured conversation, it’s still a conversation first. In the research phase, Bobby tries to find the balance of being knowledgable about the story but not over researching. You may be scratching your head but think about it from the listener’s perspective.

His guests are often telling surprising and emotion-filled stories. If Bobby knows every twist and turn, when the story reaches its climax he has to feign surprise. As a listener, it’s obvious when someone already knows the punchline. But by allowing the guest to tell him these details live on air, he’s finding out the information at the same time as the audience. The listener realizes they’re having the same reaction as Bobby and he then asks the follow up questions that are likely on their mind. These elements of surprise and authentic emotion amp up the listener’s experience and makes them feel part of the show.

During the interview, Bobby employs another person-centered strategy called mirroring. Here he uses the same language as the guest to repeat their story back to them, but in his words and from his point of view. Not only does it help the interview keep its pace, but it signals to the guest that he’s listening which helps create their safe space. For guests who aren’t seasoned public speakers, there’s an added benefit. When they hear their story repeated back, it can help trigger a realization and cause them to elaborate more. In these elaborations, they often have real-time epiphanies where they’re figuring out something live on the show. These moments are beloved by the Mental podcast community and is one reason they love to tune in.

The last tip helps to keep listeners engaged during the interview. For guests, it’s easy to forget that podcasts are audio only. You miss the visual cues and aides that help public speakers get their point across. To combat this, it’s the host’s job to translate hand gestures or body language to make listeners feel like they’re included in the conversation. Also, try addressing your audience by name. Call outs like “this is something I want to repeat for our listeners” is a great way to call attention the information that will help them grasp the topic.

How Can I Get My Show Featured On Apple Podcasts?

Mental has been featured across numerous Apple Podcasts curated lists and noteworthy sections. But it wasn’t an accident, it was by design.

As the show began to grow organically and the team refined each episode, Bobby started regularly pitching Apple Podcasts. His pitch described the show and why it was worthy of being included in their highly sought after featured lists. And it worked. Mental has been included in a COVID-19 Essential Listening roundup and multiple mental health must-listen lists.

So how can you repeat Bobby’s strategy for your own podcast? Here’s what to consider to be featured on Apple Podcasts.

How to pitch Apple Podcasts

The best way to pitch a podcast to Apple’s editorial team is via their Podcast Promotion Request form.

Tailor your pitch to what the Apple Podcasts’ team is looking for in addition to explaining why your show is great. Tactics that have worked for Bobby include:

  • Mentioning your guest interviews on other podcasts that Apple has featured in the past
  • Highlighting upcoming content angles that match consumer listening trends
  • Detailing why your podcast is a peer to the other shows Apple has recommended in your niche
  • Mentioning your podcast’s ranking in your niche if it’s a competitive position
  • Talking about how you promote your Apple Podcasts’ subscribe links to your community (remember, Apple Podcasts is interested in featuring great content but they’re also looking for more users too)
  • Including links to any other roundups your show appears in to offer social proof that your podcast is noteworthy

Apple Podcasts’ main carousel & category recommendations

Apple Podcasts has two main curated lists to recommend interesting podcasts. It’s important to recognize the differences so you can craft the best pitch possible.

The first option is being featured in the front page carousel. When users log into the app, this is the first screen they’ll see. Due to the prime real estate, this is a tougher spot to snag. Bobby suggests two tactics for this main carousel based on his insider knowledge.

Tip number one is to focus on more timely content. The Apple team is looking for episodes and shows that talk about specific trends that people are talking about in any given week. For example, as Pride month approaches they include roundups of the best LBGTQ+ content out there. If your podcast touches this niche, it’s best to send your pitch in May to align with Pride month in June.

Tip number 2 is to consider global trends. A lesser known fact is Apple Podcasts’ featured lists are country specific. You’ll need to pitch their UK and US editors to be featured in each location. Capitalize on an international trend to gain followers from outside of the United States.

The second option is being featured in category specific recommendations. This is the easier spot to secure because you’re competing with a smaller subset of shows. Also, editors add new additions to their lists on an ad-hoc basis. Since you aren’t pigeon-holed to timely trends, you can submit this pitch at any time. But it still needs to have all the key elements mentioned above to stand out from the pack.

Bobby also recommends leaning into showing why your podcast is relevant to the other shows in your category. This is why choosing the right podcast categories is an important decision.

Am I Missing Some Of My Podcast’s Reviews?

Did you know Apple Podcasts sorts listener reviews by country? When you view your listing from the United States, you’re only seeing US based reviews. But if you log in from London, the review section will update to UK based reviews.

With asking listeners to leave a review, you might have missed your international follower’s kind words. If you have a global audience or want to build one, remember these tips:

Chartable not only lets you keep an eye on your podcast’s rankings. It also pulls together all of your recent reviews into one place. You can use their dashboard as a one stop shop to analyze your show’s performance and global reviews.

If you don’t want to pay for Chartable’s services, there’s a way to do it for free. On a desktop, got to your show’s listing on Apple Podcasts using any browser. The URL will look like https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/audience/id1491047450 (this is Audience’s listing). Notice the /us/ right in the middle of the link. That’s the country code that automatically populates depending on where you’re located.

To see your listing in another country, simply change that country code. For example, to view Audience as a UK based user, the link would be https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/audience/id1491047450. Noticed we included /gb/ instead of /us/. When we compare the review section, our US listing has 7 reviews and our UK version has 2.

After working so hard to motivate your listeners to leave a review, make sure to do the due diligence on your side to read them all.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 All right. We'll come back to another episode of the audience podcast. This week. I am joined by Bobby temps from the mental podcast, Bobby, how you doing? Speaker 0 00:00:16 I'm very well pleased to be there, but actually Speaker 1 00:00:18 Awesome. Yeah, I did it virtually. It's the only a whole new world we're living in these days. I feel like in some respects, a and Bobby, you are in the UK, is that right? Speaker 0 00:00:27 Yeah. And Birmingham, which is second largest setter. Speaker 1 00:00:32 Gotcha. And, uh, could you give folks a bit of an idea of kind of what the mental podcast is all about and kind of how it came to be? Speaker 0 00:00:40 Sure. So it's got actually quite a long, full title, which conveniently explains what it is quite well. So it's full title is mental, the podcast to destigmatize mental health. And that message is really at the core of what it's about. So we have weekly interviews at the moment, we're doing two a week because we're also doing a lockdown one. Um, and we cover different aspects of mental health. So that can be specific illnesses, or it can be like general factors, like body image, like confidence, like, um, loneliness is irrelevant one we were doing this week. Um, and so just looking in as broad a possible way, uh, how important maintaining our mental health is, irrespective of whether you've experienced and support LMS. It's something that we can all pay some money to. Speaker 1 00:01:35 I think this is a particularly important topic right now. I mean, a lot of us are going through challenging emotional times, whether we, or loved ones are sick, just the uncertainty and the say, weirdness, I don't have a better term, but just the weirdness that, that I think all of our lives have kind of come into. Um, have you all seen a lot of new listeners in the last few months since the COVID pandemic started, that that are kind of more aware of their, their own mental health and the need to, to ensure it's, it's kind of, you know, health and stability? Speaker 0 00:02:12 Yes, definitely. So one thing we've noticed more generally beyond even just podcasting is the continuation of a societal shift towards better understanding of mental health and with our aim to be de-stigmatizing it that's really brilliant to see. Certainly when the pandemic started, a big fear of mine was that the mental health would just be left out of the conversation with it being physical illness, the mental health side, particularly around the lockdown measures and kind of broader ways our lives have had to change might be neglected. And in fact, for the most part, certainly here in the UK, that hasn't been the case. There has been a lot of conversation around mental health. And so I think we found a lot of new lessons coming for very practical tips during this time. And so we've really then tailored the show more so to, okay, what's happened right now. What can we all do to feel a little bit more secure and safe in a time that can feel it pure chaos, Sundays. Speaker 1 00:03:20 I wanted to touch on the audience driven nature of your show a bit. Can you kind of describe to folks a bit about how you kind of incorporate your audience into the podcast and kind of how they drive a lot of, of what you do for the show? Speaker 0 00:03:36 Sure. So a big part of it is feedback that we really encourage and we read every review and we read all the emails, even though we, we get so many of them, it's not always possible to reply to them all. Um, but, but all this feedback really comes in, feeds into how we work the show. And partly because of the nature of it being a mental health podcast, that's partly to make it effective for what we do and really make the most empowering content we can. But it's also other necessity. We need to have an appropriate mass of the language and the content. Um, and so that's a big part of it as well. Mental health is one of these things where the thinking is constantly evolving. And so times like, um, or phrases, I should say, like committing suicide is something that I grew up as that being a commonly used phrase, whereas now it's considered inappropriate and de-stigmatizing because the word committed is linked to how taking your own life used to be a criminal offense here in the UK and many other countries around the world. And so it's vital that we constantly stay up to date with appropriate language, with how we tackle the topics. We put a lot of research into that because although I have experienced mental health myself, that does not mean that I can understand everybody's experience. So we learned it, be very driven by the guest and sharing their story and making sure they feel comfortable, but then also by the listeners, what they want to hear and what kind of content is the most powerful for them. Speaker 1 00:05:19 And you mentioned things like emails, um, what, what have you all done to help encourage this audience participation? And I ask, because I think it's something that a lot of us say, I wish I had more feedback from my audience. I wish I heard more from them and got emails and participated in Facebook groups and things like that. I would love to hear what, what you think, some things that you all have done that kind of helped facilitate that. Speaker 0 00:05:46 Sure. I think a lot of it for us comes down to the tone of the show. I think that's really important when you podcasters are coming into the space. And so particularly with it being considered in some ways, and you will need, yeah, even though that's kind of up for debate, um, it's worth really thinking about how you came to connect with the listeners in a platform that if you're not careful can feel a lot like shutting out into the void. Um, and so having these calls to action, particularly around the content, we would tend for the pun Damache we were really frequently asking listeners to, to leave a review or drop us an email more than we normally would because it was uncharted territory with that kind of content. Um, but even just the way that you interview can it be influenced by your listeners. Speaker 0 00:06:40 So the kind of things that we know the listeners like to hear, for example, um, we try and structure the show in a way where it feels very much like if you're listening, you're included in the conversation. So if, uh, uh, maybe a magical charm comes up, I can often translate those for the listener or, um, one thing that people often forget is it's a audio medium. And so if the guests kind of does a gesture, it's, it makes sense for the host to translate that because the guest often might think, Oh, I, I'm not, um, I'm not going to be seen by the audience, which in a way is a good thing. You know, hopefully it's a sign that they're really connecting with the interviewer and I focus on you as our audience, but as the host of the show, you can never forget the actual audience. And so I think a lot of it for us is that, and is addressing listeners, even in the content, we will thank them for things we will say, Oh, something I really wanted to repeat here for the listeners. That there's a lot of ways that we kind of create that style of communication. Even though when you're listening, you can't talk about it, Speaker 1 00:07:51 Not just you on the show, right? You have a cohost, or is it two co-hosts that are on the show with you for each episode? Speaker 0 00:07:59 It's, it's a cohost. Um, it has changed at one point, so that's why it's slightly right now, it is done now. Um, so again, that's a way to kind of create a more conversational environment. So before the interview begins, I will have a conversation with Danielle we'll share statistics about that topic, and hopefully just kind of set a level of understanding, um, which also makes it easier for the guests to come in, um, and not feel they have to maybe define everything. And there's some level of understanding yourself and it builds that kind of hopefully conversational element that the listeners really connect to as well. Speaker 1 00:08:41 I'd love to hear, uh, like some practical things that, that you've learned along the way with researching guests and preparing both you and Danielle preparing to, to have really meaningful and effective conversations with the guests. What are some things that you've learned along the way that, that maybe our audience could benefit from in terms of like how to prepare to interview somebody effectively and like get a good conversation out of your time together? Speaker 0 00:09:09 Sure. So some of this will be kind of specific to my style of interviewing. So on the show, it's always me that does the interview and Danielle miss after the intro. Um, and I have a very person centered approach, which in itself is a mental health term. Um, in the, I see my role as being there to facilitate the guest, sharing that story. And so that should be my aim if we've done our job, right. And we've got a really appropriate guest for, let's say, talking about depression, then the focus should be on how can I do the best job of making a safe space for them to shout out? And a big part of that is being a really good listener. And so whilst it is a conversation and there is an element of structure to the show, primarily it's a conversation first. So we don't have any set questions. Speaker 0 00:10:03 We will go where the interview takes us. And if we go off topic, then I'll bring the guests back. But I try and find a balance between understanding enough about the guest story that I don't say the wrong thing, but then at the same time, not over researching, which can, can drive it, drive you to exhaustion a little bit as a podcaster if you're over researching, but also it can take away that maybe surprise element of a guest telling a story that might be shocking. I, to an extent, need to respond appropriately to that for the listeners. Um, I'm not surprised by much, but I'm kind of there to represent them as well. And so if something's shocking, I need to be surprised and it's like a really weird balance, but, but ultimately a lot of it comes back to how can I support this guest? Speaker 0 00:10:56 Um, and so one thing I do really specifically, which actually I think is beneficial to more podcasters out there is I'll do a lot of kind of mirroring and my questions. And so if someone describes how they felt at a certain sunset point in their life, I will often use the same language that they used. And not only does that show that I'm listening and I'm understanding, but also it helps kind of keep pace of the interview. If I maybe say the wrong thing, then they will re explain. So if I can do a really good job of being like, Oh, I see what you said that, and maybe kind of rephrase it back to them or find a kind of bite sized insight. It's similar to what they've said, but from my perspective, then that's a good way of keeping the pace of interview as well. And making sure the gas fields it's a safe space. That's a very thorough answer. No, Speaker 1 00:11:54 It's great. I, I, I absolutely know what you're saying. And as your ex explaining and describing this mirroring, I hear some of the best interviewers of podcasts that I listened to and they absolutely do this and it's, it's like magic. They say, Hey, that's really interesting what you said about X. Um, can you tell me about a time when you were doing X and you remember Y and it's just like, Oh my gosh. That's like exactly what I wanted to ask this person. So I think it's one of the good hallmarks of a good interviewer, Speaker 0 00:12:24 For sure. And even to go back to the audience perspective, we find that for our listeners love the most is they love when the guests figure something out new on the show. If we were able to dig into a topic maybe slightly more, or by me repeating my understanding of their perspective back to them, sometimes that kind of rephrasing of it can sort of trigger, Oh no, you're right. That's exactly how it is. And then they'll kind of expand on that realization. And that's the sort of in the moment insight that people really connect, particularly when certain guests that we speak to might be public speakers might be authors and have a lot of experience sharing their story. The risk of that can be sometimes they get into a kind of speech narrative. And so if I'm able to kind of break them out of that and quite early on, then we tend to find it's a more engaging interview. Speaker 1 00:13:21 You mentioned something before kind of in passing that I'd love to unpack a little bit. And it is that you, you talk to certain guests on a particular topic, you know, we'd love to hear from a kind of process and planning perspective. Is it the chicken or the egg that comes first? Is it that you want to talk to a guest about a topic or that you want to talk to a particular person and then you find out what that topic would be appropriate for them to talk? Speaker 0 00:13:47 Um, well, to give maybe a slightly frustrating answer, it's a bit of both. It isn't always, um, but for us, it's, it's really important actually for it to be that way that on one hand, yes, we have certain topics that are really important. Um, and we have a certain responsibility to our audience. Um, particularly when we cover both mental illnesses and general factors and mental health. So particularly on the mental illnesses, if for the most common ones you don't want to be seen to, to not cover them regularly enough, or for any of the most common mental illnesses to be left out. But even above that priority is finding the most appropriate guests for it. I certainly wouldn't want to put someone in possession of bringing them on to speak about the topic they know a bit about, but don't feel they can do 40, 45 minutes conversation on. Speaker 0 00:14:46 Um, and so an example of that is we were really keen to cover PTSD and we were really keen to cover it from a perspective outside of someone who is, um, related to the army. For example, that's something that so often is stereotype is people get PTSD because they fight in Wars. Um, and yeah, what we found, and maybe this is part of the stereotyping that, uh, people with that kind of background maybe are more expected and more acceptant and speaking up, but we found it quite difficult to find a really appropriate, um, guests that was outside of that experience. And so it was actually about a year and a half into the show before we could find someone for that topic, but it's better. We do that. Then we, we take risks, particularly with a condition like PTSD, where if someone's not in the right space in their recovery, the conversation about the most traumatic thing they may have been through could actually make them worse and be very triggered too. Does that answer your question? Speaker 1 00:15:53 Yeah, yeah, that does answer my question. Um, and, and I think that kind of mimics a lot of my experience with this show and other podcasts that I've done is there, there are some people that are just really interesting and I want to have them on, and there are definitely some people that I have on because they're an expert in a particular field. And so for, in those cases, in that latter case, it's more of a, I want to talk about this thing and this person is a good fit for that. Um, so I guess it doesn't have to be a one or the other thing it can kind of just depend on the, the situation and the needs of the show, um, to, to kind of how you fill that. Speaker 0 00:16:28 Although there's one thing I thought of, which was a surprise to me in that, um, in that from a podcast perspective, when you're scheduling, you'll likely find that a lot of guests are very open to suggestions. Initially in the early stages, I was quite cautious of suggesting things to the guests, even if I saw them maybe mentioned in like a pitch, for example, we got through email or if we were reaching out to someone and we maybe wanted to talk to them about something other than what they may be most known for talking about. Um, the nice thing to find from that is actually, I would say most guests really like that, particularly if they're very used to talking about one specific topic, if you can come in and be like, Ooh, I see that you could also be an expert on this. Then that could be an extra exciting opportunity to them that not only do they get to be on your show, but potentially they get to cover a topic they wouldn't. Speaker 1 00:17:27 I want to, I want to touch on the email that you sent to, to me to kind of kick this off. And I thought you did a very nice job of saying I could come on your podcast and talk about this thing. Um, as a lot of, uh, I think people are wanting to be on other podcasts, it's a great way to kind of share your message. I think that is maybe the single most helpful thing as the host of a show is to have somebody with, you know, good qualifications who is already a podcaster to come and say, I could be on your show to talk about this thing. And hopefully that thing fits with the rest of the theme and the interests of your audience. But I think, I thought that was great. How you, how you framed and kind of proposed that because it makes it easy for me as a, as a host to say, yep, that sounds great. And that's all I have to do. I don't have to go do the homework to, to, to kind of find the person or the topic and kind of figure out how to marry those two. Um, if it's a good fit, then it's a good fit and here we are. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:18:23 Yeah. Well, thank you. And that is no doubt learned from being on the other side of that process. Sure. Speaker 1 00:18:29 Yeah. Yeah. I know that the podcast has experienced a lot of success and a lot of, uh, I'll say kind of notoriety in kind of various aspects of the press and, but kind of podcasting and kind of general press as well. Um, can you talk a little bit about some details there and kind of some things that, that you've seen with the show in terms of being featured in Apple podcasts and things like that and kind of what that's meant Speaker 0 00:18:56 For, for the show, for sure. Definitely. Um, it's, it's been a massive impact on us and it's something that I'm particularly proud of because the type of show it is, um, we are, I would say quite intensely mental health focus. There's a lot of shows that you see that are kind of general wellbeing shows, um, and touch more lightly on mental health. Whereas we will really get into some big, um, and difficult to discuss topics, but that is very much what our audience looks for. Um, I don't think you can really kind of tip toe around these topics and call that reducing stigma. Um, and so in a way I feel extra proud that we kind of going against the odds that the show is. Now, if you look at the can flips and astronauts in the top 5% of podcasts globally, particularly coming from the UK way, at least in comparison to the U S a lot less people are listening to podcasts regularly here. Speaker 0 00:19:57 Um, I wouldn't say is as mainstream. So very proud of the progress we've had and you're right. A lot of that has come from the attention we've had for, so Apple podcasts has been the biggest one is of course the biggest platform, and I'd say the most mainstream as well. And so as part of that, I just started getting into the habit as the show grew and covered attention. And we really started to refine the style and build a core audience. I then started regularly pitching to Apple. Um, and that's in the case of you can get in contact with them via podcast connect, or there's a special form that you can submit. I mean, basically if you submit wrong, I'll send you a link to the form. So if in doubt, just reach out to Apple with the same login you use to upload your podcast to them in first bikes. Speaker 0 00:20:52 Um, and so from there, I was regularly checking up on where all the features, um, so that's usually on the per house tab, you'll see, um, what kind of curated collections they call them are available, uh, and where you might fare and in doing so, I learned a lot about the kind of behind the scenes process. Like, so for example, there's different territories that are displayed, um, separately. So for example, the UK is also linked to Ireland. And so our podcast browse tubs and Apple podcasts are identical. And so when I'm pitching a show for one nation, I'm also pitching for the other so interesting things like that, but also it's worth noting. Then if I want to pitch for the us, I have to do that separately. And so I spent a lot of time through this process, learning these kinds of approaches and how to really tailor the mindset of, okay, what would you hope podcast team wants? Speaker 0 00:21:53 What makes more sense and what kind of things can I say that already appeal to them? Like, have I been on another podcast recently? And I know that's coming out at the same time as this episode, I'm trying to get them to promote, for example, like anything more you can say beyond the show is brilliant for all these reasons, but why is it right to plug it right now? What other promotional activities are you doing? Particularly if there's a heavy focus to pushing audience towards Apple, they love that. And in particular, the biggest feature we've had, I partly had ended up kind of bouncing them off Spotify and Stitcher in that we had features for mental health awareness day, I guess it must have been last year. And so we thought we'd got featured in both of those platforms. And so then when I went to Apple and I think it was my second pitch related to this, I was able to say, I see you've just added this feature for world mental health day. Speaker 0 00:22:56 And we've also just got features on these other two platforms. They're doing really well on Stitcher. Our listenership areas increased by eight times was the features that, um, and so that was a way to not just say, it's a great show, it's timely, but also it's, it's proven it's proven elsewhere. And that seemed to be just enough. Um, and that feature actually lasted. We were on the homepage at when you browse through the first one in that curator category for three months. And so I would say up to 40% of our listenership today of people that came from that, I would ask them Speaker 1 00:23:35 Folks who are listening to this and saying, I want to do that. What kinds of things have you been able to take away? And I hear you kind of generalizing them a bit, but I'd love to, of give folks maybe like a, a couple of action items to say, like, if you're gonna pitch Apple podcasts or Spotify or Stitcher, think about these things and try to put your show in this light for those reviewers. Like what, what kinds of things do you, what kind of checklist do you go through for yourself Speaker 0 00:24:02 Initial? Well, I'm maybe slightly biased by my own experience. We've actually never been featured in what Apple use should equal the carousel. So if you go to the greenhouse top and the podcast up, you'll see shows right at the top, um, and they usually have like a little rectangular image. That's often not the podcast artwork, but is tailored, especially for that. And then a few words describing, is it a feature episode? Is it a new show? Um, why is it now basically we've actually never had one of those features and yet we've had, I guess now, like at least 10 features in other places, um, in the two years that we've been running and we've done very well off that. So maybe slightly biased in that we don't really focus on that. Um, and when you do pitch that there are requirements in terms of the specific artwork they want to pitch. Speaker 0 00:24:58 And I would say that's the pitch that is the most time sensitive, or, you know, they're looking for a particular trend. Uh, so certain topics that are a big at the moment will be featured up there. But actually what we found is an easier pitch is going for, uh, the curated categories, because those, uh, groups of shows that are brought together by an editor. And if your show make sense to go in there, they'll often times out in it, as long as you can explain why that makes sense. Um, and so that's how we've, we've had most of our success in that way. So, um, for example, we've been featured in COVID-19 essential last night, um, here in the UK and in a few other countries, suddenly not the States yet. And so that was something where it was launched very early on in the pandemic. Speaker 0 00:25:51 We were just starting to do COVID-19 related content. And so we were able to go in and say, we've just started covering this. Here's all the plans we have for a whole 12 week series. We know that mental health is going to be majorly impacted during this time they show in this show. That's also in there, I've been a guest on. And so basically any way you can say, look, we're relevant to this. These are our peers. This makes sense. And just kind of, I guess, make it as easy, I guess, as you can't judge. Speaker 1 00:26:24 That's great. I love it. I love the thanks for the kind of explanation of the difference between the homepage carousel and then the curated lists. I would suppose there's even like by category carousel or kind of front page covers for each of the categories that might fall in that same kind of former designation there. Um, so it's cool to hear that there's different options for, for pitching Apple directly. Yeah, we were talking before we started recording a bit about, uh, kind of geeking out on, on analytics and rank tracking and different tools that you use there. Um, could you share with everybody kind of what your approach is to keeping track of the success of your show? I think that's really kind of what, what this comes down to in some respect. Speaker 0 00:27:07 Sure. I guess the easy answer that's my approach is obsessive. If I was to give it a word I take tracking and stats very seriously, and I'd say that's a lot of the success that we've had is making strategic moves in terms of podcasting. So ultimately I think you have to lead with the content, you know, that's really important to have a good show, but you also want that show to be that's, uh, that's, I'd say even more important, but you have to have a good show to begin with like acid as the way I look at that. Um, and so linking to what we just talked about a little about, I'd say the first thing that podcasts has needed to consider particularly recently, given that the podcasts categories have been updated by Apple podcasts and kind of, as we know, lead the industry and a lot of these standards, it's really important to get into a cash that makes a lot of sense to you. Speaker 0 00:28:02 And in terms of a lot of what Apple pay attention to and how they direct their shows, they generally only look at the first one, but that can include, so if you have, uh, go into your show, such things in your hosting platform, for example, you'll often be given three options and that can include in each of them a main category and then a sub category, but Apple mainly pay attention to the first one on that list. Um, so for us, we are in health and fitness and our sub category is mental health. And that's really key because not only does it just make sense to put your show in the most relevant place for your listeners, but it's also important in terms of what are the shows, the algorithm links to you. It's important in terms of how your show looks to Apple podcast. Speaker 0 00:28:50 So for example, within our sub category, we are currently temp out of over 3,400 shows that are in that category. So that's a really great way of us showing to Apple look for what we do. We're really big. Whereas actually, if you go to other areas, we may look smaller if we were put in the wrong category, whereas mental health, we can be massive in that space because that's our specific niche. And so that's, I think, I guess the starting point that I mentioned, um, in terms of other tools I use chartable that you familiar with that one? For sure. Yep. Yep. Good. I never quite know how it mainstreams on these are. So charter bill is really great and it will keep an eye on how you're doing in the podcast charts. So I don't have to go in and check. It'll also show you in different countries, how you're doing on the charts because they are tracked separately. Um, and another handy thing it will do is show you your most recent reviews as well. So a lot of people don't realize that the reviews also cap separately as well. So for example, if I, Speaker 1 00:30:03 Sorry, you mean by country is what you're referring to, right? Speaker 0 00:30:05 Yes, yes, indeed. Um, specifically on Apple podcast, Stitcher also have reviews, but they're global. Um, and most of the others like that, if they have reviews. Um, so if you were to go to the audience podcasts, now you will see your reviews for, um, the U S but if I go to it, I'll see something different. And so that's a really important thing to bear in mind if like us, your main audiences in one place. We also want to attract American listeners, American guests, for example. And so it's also worth having a way to check what's going on with that, if that makes sense. So charter bill is already could work another handy way you can do that is if you go to the web address for your podcast on, um, on the web. So it has to be a laptop and it can't be via the app. Then it'll come up with a little country code near the start of that web address, and you can choose any country you want and put it, am I making sense? And then see what's up. So for example, if I look at a Apple podcast page online on my laptop, now it'll say GMB for great Britain, but I could change up to us and then see what reviews and ratings of that. Speaker 1 00:31:29 We'll include a, an example of this in the show notes for this episode, but absolutely know what you mean, that, that you're the link to your podcast in Apple podcasts, this big old, long thing. And then by country, it will have somewhere in the middle of typically, uh, the country code for your podcasts or GB or C H for Switzerland or fr for France, I guess the U S doesn't have one because that's kind of the default, I guess. Um, okay. Does it, does the U S have one? Yeah. Um, yeah, so that's a, that's a cool way to, to kind of manually switch between countries. I know otherwise it's like very manual, uh, in the app, so that's, that's a good tip. I love it. Speaker 0 00:32:06 And that's why I mentioned it because so many people don't know it and it's as a listener, quite frustrating to me because I'll see, for example, a lot of shows will say, Oh, write me a review and I'll read out on the show. And then if they don't know this, then maybe it's a show in another country. If I wrote a review, it's not the kind of go read. And I wish all podcasters knew about this for that reason. If nothing else Speaker 1 00:32:32 You mentioned, uh, against sir, I'm going to go back to something you mentioned earlier in your discussion about using analytics, drive the content for your show. I feel like, and I'll, I'll apologize. Um, or I should, I should be unapologetic about this, that I, this is a question that I am very curious about. We talk a lot about, and we hear a lot of people talk about giving your audience what they need. And I think that's an easy thing to say and a hard thing to do in a systematic way and doing things like using the analytics and seeing what shows are successful and tying that back into how you plan the content of your podcast makes a lot of sense, but it sounds very hard to do in reality. Is that true? I guess, first of all, Speaker 0 00:33:20 I think it is it's, it comes back to what I mentioned earlier about feeling like you're shouting out into the void. Um, if you're just, you know, recording, um, the show and that's your main interaction with the content, then it's, you're not getting that immediate feedback you would get with other art forms. And so I think podcasting is one where you have to very intentionally being like, okay, how do I find out what my lesson is? And can I think that has to go beyond reviews really? Speaker 1 00:33:51 Can you give us a couple of examples or kind of methodologies that you use to say, I know I can see this is what my audience really likes. I'm going to do more of this or that they don't like this. I'm gonna do less of this. Like where do you look? And then how do you tie those data points back into how you plan your content? Speaker 0 00:34:10 Right? It's it is a tricky one. Um, I'm particularly with our show being so focused on growth fire features, it features in podcast platforms or by, um, me going and being a guest on other people's shows that kind of skews. But I'd say probably for anyone, the, the stats, the analytics you get on this listenership do not provide the whole answer. That can be so many different factors on why one would do particularly well. But I would say there are certain trends that we can't ignore. So, um, one thing we, we do as part of our formatting generally is every so often we come across a really big topic and we want to do more than one episode on it. And that tends to be a really clear place where we can see a trend because maybe people are in the habit of listening to, um, an episode a week. Speaker 0 00:35:06 But then if we do a series and that just significantly better or worse, then that can be something too to take thought from, but you can't just do it from underneath alone. So an example of that is I mentioned that we did a series related specifically to the pandemic. That listenership was actually less than normal for those episodes, but that didn't tell the whole story because our core listenership we're really loving the episodes. And we were cutting loads of really great feedback. And we were actively solicitating that, um, when presenting the show, but part of it was, you know, more people are away from their usual commute. Some people were having kind of COVID information burnout. And so we're more likely to, to binge on that catalog Crip, um, to touch on particular things they're struggling with at the moment, as opposed to listening to the, the, up to date more, I guess, new style content we've been doing during that time. Speaker 0 00:36:07 Um, so I think it's really important to just try and think about this from as many different angles as possible, but a big part of that is just speaking to the listeners. So we did our first live recording for example, and that was incredible insight for us. And honestly, looking back at it, I would have done it for free. Like I would have happily with all that we learned from that and with what a great episode we recorded, I would, I would just be well up for doing them again for free, just because of how much you learn. And there's nothing quite like meeting someone that's been listening to the show, you know, every week for a year and hearing their insight versus someone that you meet. And you're like, Oh, I do a podcast about this. And they're like, Oh, that sounds great. I might listen to it. You know, they kind of the opposite ends of the insight spectrum. Speaker 1 00:37:01 That's awesome to hear. I, uh, I'm glad to hear that your approach to kind of using data to drive your conduct decisions is a holistic one. That's really encouraging. I think that a lot of us do have multiple data points that we're considering when it comes to our podcasts. So to hear you say that you take, you know, listener feedback and reviews and analytics and kind of what those analytics mean with the types of content and the formats and, you know, the stuff that we're all going through right now, even, uh, to, to make some of those decisions on, on kind of what that means and how you go forward. Uh, I think that, yeah, it makes a lot of sense and that's really, um, that's really reassuring to be honest. Speaker 0 00:37:40 That's nice. Good. Yeah, because I, I don't know about other people, but certainly for me, I can find me on analytics really stressful. So maybe even just for sort of preventing podcasting burnout, it makes a lot of sense to actually connect with the listeners and hear how much people love it rather than getting so used to saying people as numbers. You know, I don't really think even the shows that are the biggest and most successful, it's really about, we want this many thousand somewhere in it. There's an actual reason why they're doing what they do. Speaker 1 00:38:15 Bobby. This is a really fun discussion. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast here for folks who want to check out more about the show, where's the best place to connect with you? Speaker 0 00:38:24 Sure. So you can Google until podcast or you can search my name, Bobby champs on your favorite podcasts. Um, I should also mention, um, as it's relevant to the conversation, I have recently joined as a member to podcast Academy and I'm helping them develop their mentorship program as well. So if you found listening to this conversation useful and you think it would be good to get in front of experienced podcasters to mentor you, or even if you feel like reaching out and mentoring some others, that's one of the core parts of why you should look at joining the podcast. Speaker 1 00:39:03 Awesome. Love it. And we'll include a link for that in the show notes, Bobby temps sank. Thanks so much for coming on the show Speaker 0 00:39:09 Much.

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