I’ve interviewed plenty of podcasters on my podcast, I Made a Podcast, and what most of them say is podcast promotion is one of the hardest things to do. Especially when starting out and you don’t have a budget to spend on paid promotion. You know your content is good but you just don’t know how to get your message out to the masses.

In this post I’m going to go over five simple ways that you can have your podcast promoted without having to spend any money.  These simple strategies can be implemented right now. So let’s get right into it.

1. Go Where Your Listeners Are.

Show up where the people who you think might listen to your podcast are hanging out.

Now this one is simple, and if you’re not doing this already, you’re missing out on connecting with a lot of people in your niche. A good place to do this is with Facebook.  Join groups that are related to the niche and be active in those groups by answering questions and engaging with people in that group. It’s important to take note of the group rules though. Some groups don’t allow you to just show up and post links to your podcast, but you can absolutely be helpful for other people by answering questions and commenting on other posts. By doing that, you will be able to draw attention to yourself and people will become curious to find out who you are and why you have all of this knowledge and wisdom about this particular topic, and eventually their curiosity will lead them back to your page.

Another place that you can show up is in blogs or forums. Now I know a lot of people don’t talk about blogs or forums much anymore, but you can still find a lot of people in these places that are looking for answers that you can provide with your podcasts. Join one of the forums and be active.  Give your insight and answer questions. Eventually, people will be drawn to find out more about you and they will eventually find your podcast.  An example of this is if your podcast is on mental health from a Christian perspective. There are Facebook groups and forums already set up out there with people who are looking for answers that you can provide. Join these groups and provide answers to these people who are looking for solutions. 

Also, if you’re part of a subject specific group chat, you can share the link for your podcast there. Now I know that there are some entrepreneurial WhatsApp or Telegram group chats where you can join and be active in these areas to help others. As you join these groups, you’ll be able to provide value to other people and they’ll be naturally drawn to find out more about you and about your podcast. 

One final key point here is to make sure that once people search you, make sure they will also find the link to listen to your podcast.  So make sure it’s clearly displayed on your profile page.   

2. Use Engaging Episode Titles

Spend some time thinking about the title that you’re going to release for every single episode and come up with a title that answers a question that a listener would have on the topic. Most of the time, people will find your podcast by searching for something that they have a question about. Now think of a thought-provoking question or title that will draw out some emotion when people read it. Now of course the title should be reflective of what the episode is about, but your title should stop people in their tracks when they are scrolling through the different search results and it will cause them to at least read the description or if not click on your podcast to listen to it.  Also, since we are in 2024, there’s no shame in using ChatGPT to help you come up with some SEO friendly podcast titles. You can use the following prompt. “Create an engaging podcast episode title that is SEO friendly about <<podcast episode topic>>”.  Technology is your friend if you know how to use it.  So take time to learn how to use ChatGPT to create engaging podcast titles.

3. Find Five Champions For Your Podcast

Now this one will be challenging if you are just starting out but it’s very doable. What you need to do is find five people that you can designate as a champion for your podcast.  It could be in your immediate family, some close friends, or some coworkers.  The important part is that they can commit to doing this. Once you’ve found them, have a conversation with them (individually or at the same time. Its up to you) and ask them to be a champion for your podcast for the next 3 months. Let them know the three things they will have to do during that time:

  1. Listen to your podcast every time you release a new episode. 
  2. Ask them to share it with their entire network. (on social media, in their WhatsApp groups or telegram groups or wherever they have the attention of groups of people) 
  3. Ask them for feedback on your podcast. 

Now this will help increase the visibility of your podcast and the overall reach of your podcast because the network of five people is bigger than the network of one. This will help get the word out about what you’re doing and eventually you will start to gain traction. If these people can’t commit to doing this for the next three months, then you can work with what they give you. One month or two. But let them know that the requirements are those three things. That they will listen to your podcast when you release a new episode, that they will share your podcast with their network, and that they will give you feedback on your podcast so you can learn on how to do things differently if you need to. 

4. Create A QR Code To Your Podcast

I just recently thought of this one. It’s very simple and easy to create a QR code for your podcast.

The idea came to me when I was at a kid’s birthday party with my family. I was talking with some of the other parents and you know, when you’re just meeting someone, the first thing that everyone asks is what do you do for a living? So I got that question and I said, I’m a podcaster. And I started to talk about my podcast and the person that I was talking to was interested and they wanted to listen to my podcast. So I said, okay, just search it on your phone as I mentioned the names of both my podcasts.

I realized after I had that discussion that I can make this a lot easier for people to find my podcast, because after that discussion I had with that other parents, we went our separate ways and they could or could not have searched the podcast and who knows if they would have ever listened to it. But I wanted to make it easy for them.

So in that very moment I went on my phone and I found a website that can create free QR codes. I went on that site and I created a QR code for my podcasts. Went back up to that parent and I just showed them the QR code and I said, “Here, you can scan this and it will take you directly to my podcasts”. And they scanned it and they immediately had my podcast locked in on their phone right there. So there was no guessing if they would search for it when they got home later or if they would listen to it. 

This is extremely useful even if you only have a short time to speak with someone. Like in an elevator, or in passing. Make it easy for people to find your podcast by creating a free QR code and have it ready on your smartphone so others can scan it and listen to your podcast. 

5. Your Email Signature

I tried this one, and it has been working great for me.

What you do is put your podcast link in your email signature. Now, it sounds simple enough, and you might already be doing this, but I want to let you know the way that I found that worked really effectively for me.

At the end of my email, I created a template with my email signature. And instead of just having the links for my podcast, I actually wrote out a question in my email signature that says, “have you listened to my podcast yet? 🙂  If not, here are the links”  And I placed the links for both of my podcasts right below that question.

Now, every time I send an email or reply to a message, that is at the bottom of my email.  And the way that I structured that question, it looks like I’m actually typing that out for the person that’s receiving my email. I’m asking them, have you listened? Since it looks like I typed it out in my email to them, just about everyone responds to it either by listening to my podcast or replying to my email and mentioning my podcast. So I have proven that this promotion strategy works really well and you should implement this one right away. 

So you can implement these five strategies with your podcast promotion and see the results in your downloads and subscribers. I will continue to use all of these strategies because they work well for me.  If you would like to listen to my podcast for more helpful tips on podcasting it can be found at www.imadeapodcast.com.

Happy Podcasting,

Chris Creary