Before Making any Changes Be Sure to Ask Your Audience

Podcast Rodeo ShowI am seeing people that seem to be afraid to reach out to their audience to get audience feedback. I get it. It's easier to have the reason of “lack of engagement” on your downloads instead of asking people for feedback on your show.

Today I share a story on how I was ready to make sweeping changes to the Podcast Rodeo show until I decided to open up a discussion with my audience. I was at one point thinking of shutting the podcast down. It turns out that ONE person who had ideas of changing the show was in the minority.

I had one person explain how they thought the show was mean. They explained how their feelings had been hurt and let me know that they felt this style of the show would hurt my brand as a podcast coach.

Handling Criticism From A Listener

I thought about their statements and asked, “Do these have merit?” While I never intend to hurt someone's feelingsand I was not intentionally trying to be mean, I could see where my snark level rises on this show and I might consider taking a second to consider my comments. For example, when you shoot from the hip, you might say, “Ooh, on a scale from 1-10 your audio sounds like crap. I would give it a 5.” The same comment might be, “I hear a lot of background noise in your audio and there is room for improvement.”

Always Get a Second Opinion

I was really bothered that I had hurt someone's feelings. That is the last thing I wanted to do, and consequently, I seriously considered shutting down the whole show. Before I did something with that much impact, I decided to reach out to my audience and said, “What do you think about a kinder, gentler version of the Podcast Rodeo show.

While some tune in for the snark, and the brutal, shoot from the hip comments, others said they could still learn from a more tactful response and that the lessons are what they tuned in for, not how they are delivered.

Your Podcast Format is a Recipe

That doesn't mean their suggestion has no merit. I was reading Eric Nuzum's newsletter and he (of NPR experience) to 18 months to play with the format of their new show. With this in mind, I'm still doing my show, but I'm looking into implementing the things that my audience enjoys while aligning the show a bit more with my brand. I always say, “Your podcast is a recipe – not a statue.” When you're ready for a test run, invite your audience in for some audience feedback, and make your adjustments.

I'm looking at bringing the person with me as I listen to the first few minutes of their show (it's designed to be about your first impression). For more information see

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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