Having a strong author platform can make a huge difference in how successful you are as an author. Your author platform is composed of a few parts: your website, content you create (such as blog posts and podcasts), community outreach, and publicity.
There are many ways you can build your author platform, but for now let’s focus on the community aspect.
Your community consists of people who are fans of your work. They’re the ones who will give you feedback, and tell their friends and family about your books. They’re the ones who will be willing to pay to support you.
So how do you reach them, and engage with them in a way that they feel a part of your community?
Podcasting to Build Your Author Platform
Podcasting is a great way to connect with new people and let them know about your work.
As an author, you’re already an expert in your topic and therefore well equipped to start your own podcast. If you’ve written a non-fiction book, you can talk about the topic covered in your book(s).
If you’ve written a fiction book, you can talk about your writing process, or you can share things related to your book. For example, if you wrote an historical novel, you could start a podcast that dives deeper into the history around your story. If it’s a series, you could have a seasonal podcast, where each season covers the period of time for each book.
Build Your Author Platform with a Podcast
There’s a lot of overlap between podcasting and writing.
Building a community through podcasting is very similar to building your community through other channels (email, blog posts, social media, etc.). Start small, and focus on creating a quality show. Just like with writing, make sure you are creating a show you are passionate about. Your passion will come through in your voice, and your listeners will respond to that.
From the very beginning, make sure to incorporate your community. Keep them in mind when you’re planning your show. What stories would they want to hear? Is there anyone they’d want to hear interviewed?
Deliver the content your community wants. As you grow, you’ll hear feedback from your listeners. It may come in the form of questions, or they may answer a question or expand on a topic that comes up in one of your episodes.
When you do hear from them, make sure to respond. You can answer their question in an upcoming episode, or encourage your listeners to send you voicemails, and then play their voicemails in your show.
Give Your Community a Space to Connect
To further grow your community, give your fans an official space to connect with you and with each other.
Start by setting up a page on a membership site, such as Patreon. If you already have a Patreon page, that’s awesome! Expand it for your podcast, and offer your patrons more perks, such as giving them a shoutout on your show.
Once you have a Patreon page, connect it to Discord. It’s another perk you can offer, and through Discord, your patrons (your community) will have the opportunity to chat with each other about your podcast topic and your work. Make your Discord server a friendly, inviting place, and that will motivate people to stay part of your community.
Engage with Your Community
In addition to your official community platform via Patreon and Discord, you’ll want to continually engage with your community in real time and keep them excited about you and your show.
You can do this via in-person or online live interactions.
For in-person interactions, consider hosting meetups. It’s a nice way to get together in a relaxed setting and chat about your topic. Your meetups can be:
- Formal, where you give a talk or presentation. After the talk, give attendees time to ask questions and continue the conversation.
- Informal, where you meet up somewhere for drinks and provide name tags. Give people a chance to chat with each other, as well as with you.
For online interactions, you can host livestreams. Some examples of what you can do during a livestream include:
- Live Q&A sessions
- Behind-the scenes segments, where you share your expertise or do a brief tutorial
- Play a game, if the game is related to your podcast’s topic
Some tips for livestreams:
- Set everything up ahead of time. Know the date and time of the livestream and have a link people can click to join
- Give your community plenty of notice about when you’re going live
- For Q&A sessions, have a couple questions prepared ahead of time that you can answer to get the conversation started
After the livestream, you can share the recording on YouTube or through other channels. Those in your community who can’t make that particular event can watch later, and having the recording available online may attract new people to your community.
Keep in Mind
Podcasting is an intimate medium, where you’re literally in someone’s ear chatting about your expertise. It’s also a lot of fun!
Just like with writing books, the key is to have processes and workflows in place so you don’t get overwhelmed and you can keep having fun, while creating great content.
If you want to learn more about growing your community and confidently launching and monetizing your podcast, then please check out my upcoming online Complete Podcasting Course. Sign up now to be notified when the course is open!
Hey, I’m Frances Caballo and I’m a social media expert for writers, building and managing author platforms to enhance book sales. A writer all of my life, I also provide content writing and email marketing services. If all you need is some training, I enjoy offering one-on-one training sessions as well. Of course, check out my free, email-based social media training course (you’ll get a free, 64-page Twitter ebook with it). Or, sign up for one of my social media audits to find out how you’re really doing.