Building a thriving community that rewards you and your listeners

Use tools like Discord, Mighty Networks and Reddit to add value to your podcast. Connect listeners, and empower them to create community spaces that largely govern themselves. Offer community membership as a Patreon or Memberful reward to help you fund your show.

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Slide content

  1. Building a thriving community that rewards you and your listeners Connect and empower listeners to create community spaces that govern themselves with Mark Steadman
  2. Accessibility
  3. Who am I? • Founder of podcasting company Podiant • Work with podcasters in the 500-5k downloads area • Also with TV personalities, authors and performers One truth. One lie • I run a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan club • My sea shanty was played on BBC Radio 4
  4. What we’ll cover • What communities are • Why they’re useful to you • What makes a community • What tools are available • How to bring people in • Case studies • Questions • Cake
  5. Community • People who are in touch with each-other • Conversation and sharing • You can’t converse or share if you can’t contact people • They share something in common • Interest, cause, geography • Communities are ownerless
  6. Why start a community? • Add value to your podcast • Foster a sense of belonging • Brings you closer to your listeners • Potential revenue stream • Permission-based marketing
  7. The clubhouse (not that one) • A shared space for people to interact • Make it easy to enter • Make it easy to interact • The destination does not make the community • Let’s look at some options
  8. Slack • iOS, Android, desktop, web • IRC chat with more rich features • Share images, videos, fi les, links • Collaborate with a team • Integrate other apps • Separate channels with di ff erent permissions • Running a community using paid features can get expensive
  9. Discord • Similar to Slack • More community focused • Has roots in gaming but is open to all • Add Patreon or Memberful supporters instantly to community • Moderation tools • Audio chat • Highly versatile for free
  10. Discourse • Web only • Old-school forum with a new-school interface • Bit of a learning curve • Great for archiving knowledge (Q&As) • Self-hosted (needs a techie to setup)
  11. Reddit • Discrete forums ( • Very little setup • Solid moderation tools • Culture discourages spam and self-promotion • Has a bit of a stink to it
  12. Mighty Networks • Anyone remember Ning? • Social network in a box • Apps for iOS and Android • Articles, polls, comments, instant chat • Groups, DMs, friendships • Events, courses • Take payment, make invite-only, or totally open
  13. The people • Start with your mailing list • Mention it on your podcast • Add the link in your show notes • Link to it from your website • Ask friends and family to join • Find other community clubhouses
  14. Case studies Four examples from revenue-generating podcasts
  15. Daily Tech News Show • Patreon perk • Slack group for “DTNS bosses” • It’s where the show is prepped • Direct access to creators
  16. Relay FM • Memberful program for network • Discord server across all Relay shows • Heavily moderated • Inclusive • Use a special keyword (like a hashtag) to ask questions
  17. Automators • Forum open to all • Discourse site at • People share tips on automation, scripting, smart home, etc • They host discussions for friends’ projects • Mentioned at the end of every episode • Answers to questions surfaced in search engine results
  18. Night Attack • Podcast co-hosted by community expert and performer • Subreddit for fans to share links and stories • Faux-exclusive club called “The Diamond Club” • Free and open to all • Listeners can share what projects they’re working on • Others vote on the best suggestions • The top 3 voted-on suggestions are read out each week
  19. Wrapping up • Communities build connection • We are only custodians • Free and paid tools available • They can add value • They can drive revenue * I don’t have a Hitchhiker’s fan club
  20. Podiant Loop • Podcast group mentorship • Helping people • Know their audience • Grow their in fl uence • Keep connected • Stay motivated • Free open session • Tomorrow 5pm GMT •
  21. Questions?