As a podcaster, it can be easy to get distracted by the numbers. I don’t like to focus on download numbers and listener numbers. They don’t represent how many listeners are converting into leads or how many partnerships come from your podcasts. It is more important, in my opinion, that your podcast contributes to brand growth and business growth.
That being said, we all get distracted by podcast metrics from time to time. So here are some podcast milestones to celebrate.
How to Set Realistic Goals for Your Podcast
For a lot of us, when we start a podcast, we imagine that we’re going to get thousands of downloaders, that we’re going to get hundreds of sponsors that will want to pay us crazy amounts of money. Unfortunately, that is not how podcasting works. Podcasting is a long game.
It is important to remember when creating your content that podcast listeners tend to absorb a lot of content at once. They tend to listen to about eight to nine shows per week. Keep this in mind when you are creating your podcast content and when you are creating goals for your podcast. Instead of celebrating a certain number of downloads or listens, celebrate the number of podcast episodes you’ve recorded.
Set Podcast Milestone Based on Episode Numbers
90% of podcasts don’t make it past episode 3. Of that 10% of podcasts that make it past episode 3, another 90% don’t make it past episode 20. This means that to be in the top 1% of podcasts, all you need to do is make it past episode 21.
So, forget downloads and listens. Your focus needs to be on how to make sure you are able to show up. When I have strategy sessions with clients before they launch, the majority of the session is dedicated to planning out the first 10-15 episodes so that those clients can be in the first 10%. Regardless of whether that client works with us again, they at least have 10 episodes.
It is easy to forget that follower numbers don’t always translate to podcast listeners. Setting arbitrary milestones around downloads is unproductive. Even if you have hundreds of thousands of followers, you need more than 50 episodes to be able to achieve thousands of downloads.
Milestones You Can Celebrate
Here are some milestones I recommend:
- 20 or 25 episodes – you’ve already made it further than the majority of people who start a podcast
- 50 episodes
- 100 episodes
- 150 episodes
- 200 episodes
And celebrate in a big way. Do happy dances, buy yourself a treat to celebrate, and shout it from the rooftops. When I hit 50 episodes, my friend bought me a shirt that says, “be careful, or you’ll end up on my podcast.” And I love it! Get yourself something that makes you feel like, yes, I did it. I am doing incredible things with my show.
At 100 episodes, celebrate with your audience. Some of our clients switch up the way they do their podcast at 100 episodes, or they have a special episode where a guest interviews them. Get other people in on it. Email past podcast guests to tell them that you just hit 100 or 200 episodes. Send them the link to their episode to jog their memory. They may share it with their audience. No matter what you decide to do, build hype around your milestone episodes so that you are not celebrating alone.
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