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Stevie Dillon and friends

From 0 to 300,000 Podcast Downloads in Two Years

May 13, 2020

Two years.

Launching at #2 in the Charts.

300,000 podcast downloads.  

250 five star reviews. 5 one star reviews (gotta be honest, right!). 

92 episodes. 

One extended break. 

Three seasons.

And #6 in the all time best selling Marketing podcasts list. 

In this episode, I break down how I built my podcast from scratch – and, if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, how you can do it too!

So, let’s dive in!

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Here’s what we cover:

  • The evolution of Stevie Says Social podcast, and why starting is the most important step;
  • The factors that contributed to the success of the podcast;
  • Why giving away HUGE value is the most important thing; 
  • Aligning the podcast with a defined product suite;
  • Strategically interviewing the right guests;
  • Launching with a lead magnet to strategically grow my email list; 
  • Focusing on search and including searchable keywords in the podcast name.

Related Podcast Episodes


We’re celebrating the podcast has had 300,000 downloads and so in this podcast episode, I’m breaking down how I did it and how if you want to start a podcast, you can do it too.

Hello and a huge welcome to today’s episode of Stevie Says Social podcast. Now we’re talking about podcasting on the podcast today, which is pretty meta. I know. But I talk about podcasting a lot.

And one thing that I would really love to let you guys know and to celebrate, because you should celebrate when amazing things happen in business, right? Is that I have just hit 300,000 podcast downloads.

Yes, 300,000. That is more than a quarter of a million and I could never, ever have anticipated that when I decided a couple of years ago to start my little old podcast. Now what has happened in the last two years since I started my podcast?

Well, it launched at number two in the business charts under the great Tim Ferriss, which I could not believe. It has been downloaded over 300,000 times. I’m very proud to be able to say that now. It is number six in the all time best marketing podcasts on Apple podcasts.

I have over 255 star reviews, and a couple of one star reviews. But we’ve spoken about that in a previous episode. And you’ve got to be honest, right? And more than anything, it has completely transformed my business and my life.

Now, what I want to go through in today’s episode is how I got to 300,000 podcast downloads. How did I do it? How did my podcast set itself apart from all of the other 700,000 podcasts on the apple podcast store?

Yes, there are 700,000 can you believe it?

And how did it manage to stand out and to have the success that it has had? And even more importantly, how has it had such a huge impact on my business because my podcast really has fed all of the successes that I’ve had in my business today.

So that’s what we’re going to go through in today’s episode

Now, if I’ve inspired you to start a podcast and I know that I’ve had a few episodes around this and a training recently, what I would invite you to do is head to I have just dropped a free special instant access masterclass where I share my three step system for podcasting success.

You can go and check it out now. 

So I know that there are quite a few people that messaged me and say: Stevie, I’m starting my podcast. I’m going to do it. So to do that. But let’s get into the episode.

Before I get into all of the things that I think contributed to this

success of the podcast and the downloads that I have had. What I want to start with is why I decided to start in the first place. Right?

So two years ago, just over two years ago, I bought a mic, bought a mic on the internet somewhere and didn’t realize that it was coming from the US and it took three weeks or something like that. Obviously, I’m based in Australia. And I used that time to basically plan everything that I wanted to do, and to get my podcasts live.

I don’t actually know what it was that originally was my decision making process around deciding to start a podcast. I actually went deep back into my Instagram a couple of days ago, I was scrolling all the way back for some reason or another. And I came across the first post where I had decided that I was going to let the world know that I was starting a podcast. 

I actually remember making that post live and everyone saying: Oh my gosh, this is the best thing! We can’t wait to listen x, y,  z. And that made it real for me. I actually didn’t, really kind of go and commit to doing it until I had actually told other people.

One thing I should mention is that before I started my podcast, I was writing these really epic two to 3000 word blog posts every single week. So I was doing that to share what I was learning about social media with other people, right?

I decided that I wanted to stop spending my entire weekend writing these epic blog posts. My partner still calls me the biggest geek in the world for even thinking that that was something that I was going to do. But all of these things set yourself apart, right?

It ended up with retrospect, being one of the best things I’ve ever done. But I decided to go from the blog post into the podcast because I thought, you know what, it’s so time consuming, writing these epic essays every weekend, and I kind of have better things that I want to do with my time, so I dived into podcasting.

The thing that I really want to stress is that I started at zero. When I started my podcast, I think I had 500 Instagram followers, nobody knew who I was, I didn’t have any sort of notoriety or name within my industry. But I decided to do it anyway. 

I think that this is a really important point, because I think a lot of people aren’t willing to start at zero. And what I mean by that is that whenever you start something new, whenever you decide to  start a new hobby, or to dive into something new in your business, or you decide to come up with a new product or service offering, you have to realize that there’s going to be a stage at the very start where things aren’t going to be perfect, right?

When you’re diving into something like podcasting, and you’ve never done it before, you’re also going to have a little bit of a sucky time as well. There’s obviously things that you can do and when you have the know how, there’s a lot of things that you can do to leapfrog your success path. 

I think that really like looking back and thinking about my pre podcasting self, I’m really proud of that girl because I am a perfectionist. But I still kind of dove in and thought, you know what, I’m going to give this a crack, I’m going to realize that I’m starting at zero that I don’t have any following that maybe nobody will listen to start off with, but I’m going to do it anyway. 

So I decided to dive in. And that was January 2018. So just over two years ago now. So what do I think are the factors that contributed to the success of my podcast?

I’ve noted down a few here. And I really want to dive into these because I think that you hear a lot of these kinds of general podcasting and advice, but I want to get into the nitty gritty I actually want to tell you, the tangible things that I think have managed to set my podcast apart from the rest, okay?

So number one, I think and this is just going to be something that I think is really important across the board, whether you have a podcast in the health niche or the business niche or you decide to regardless of the type of podcast that you have, the content is the key. 

So really, drilling down from day out what you need to be absolutely willing to do is to provide huge value. Week in, week out people don’t listen to podcasts, because they’re salesy. They don’t listen to podcasts because they’re a sales pitch for the business that’s hosting the podcast, right? Funnily enough, right?

What you actually need to be willing to do is to give your very best advice away for free. Anyone that listens to my podcast hopefully gets huge massive value from it, right? And that is because I am okay with really sharing my expertise around things like online business, and podcasting and social media without ever having the fear that it’s going to mean less for me in terms of people working with me or people buying my courses.

This is really the mindset that you need to adopt when you’re diving into podcasting as well. 

Here’s why giving away your best advice for free will never ever hurt your business: When you do that, when the other person that’s providing helpful information to someone over a period of time. All that he’s ever going to do is position you as the expert, okay

You become the authority in a particular subject matter. You become the go to in a particular space and when somebody needs the next step. So for example, for me with social media tips, for example, I give away a whole heap of different information, but I don’t give away the whole step by step.

This is actually how you do it. This is how you dive in and I share my screen I show exactly what I’m doing. And I give you the formula for things – I don’t give you all of that into a package kind of system. 

The difference between giving away really amazing free advice on a podcast and somebody actually purchasing my podcasting course, is that if they’re listening to my podcast for a period of time, they hear that, I know my stuff. I’m a social media expert, potentially, they like my personality in the way that I do things or, they don’t and they never take another step. And that is okay, right?

What it actually does is that when they do need or realize that they need more help with social media, my social media course is the next logical step, right? So that is why it’s so important to provide huge massive value because, number one, people are going to be attracted to your podcast because they want and they know that you’re the person that’s going to provide that. 

Then what you’re doing is really establishing yourself as the go to person in your niche and in your industry so that when people need the complete step by step system or they need their own specific circumstances dealt with and this is really specific to service providers, you are going to be the person that they go to.

That is number one: providing huge epic value.

Number two is aligning my podcast with my product suite. So I think that one of the very biggest reasons that I’ve had so much success with podcasting doesn’t come down to the fact that I’ve had 300,000 downloads and that is amazing. But really the impact that that has had on my business.

I was really strategic when I decided to start my podcast because I knew that at some point in the future, I wanted to release a course on social media. So I started six months, eight months before and really started to put value out every single week around, funnily enough the topic of social media.

So that when I got to the point that I launched my course in November of that year, I had an audience of people ready, willing and waiting to purchase, because they had heard that I knew what I was talking about, right?

Really having a line product suite is as simple as having a niche that you’re going to talk about with your podcast and your podcast topics and making sure that what you’re offering in terms of your business is a really clear kind of path for people to take. It’s an obvious next step, right?

What I find is that there are so many people who dive into podcasting without being super clear what it is that they’re actually going to be talking about, and how that links up with their business. And so they’re kind of crossing their fingers and holding their breath right and hoping that it has a positive outcome on their business.

I think that this success of my podcast around the number of downloads is really kind of secondary to the fact that it has had such a huge and influential impact on my business, because I’ve been really strategic around making sure that my product suite is really aligned with what it is that I’m talking about on my podcast.

That is the second reason. 

Let’s get into the third reason. How did I grow to 300,000 downloads in the first place, right? Let’s get into a nitty gritty tip. One of the things that I think that I did really well, in the early days without really even realizing that I was doing it was strategically interviewing the right to guests. 

A lot of the guests in the early days of my podcasts were my business friends, right? But what they were was similar but non competing businesses. So what I mean by that is that I interviewed business coaches, and copywriters, and people that I knew would provide a whole heap of value for my audience. But that didn’t compete with me by offering the exact same service

The benefit of doing that in the early days is that those people would share the podcast episode with their following. And really, there’s a sweet spot here, you’ve got to make sure that you’re choosing guests that aren’t too big that they’re never going to share your little podcast, right?

You’ve got to find the right people. And when you do that, especially in the early days of launching your podcast, if you can strategically choose the right guests to come on, ones that are actually likely to share and you can really kind of encourage this as well on your end, then you are really setting yourself up for podcasting success. 

I think that’s something that I did really well as well. 

Let’s go into the fourth thing that I think that I did well, and I didn’t even really realize this at the time. If you listen to any of my earlier podcast episodes, you will hear the intro and I’ve still have this in my current intro right now.

In the intro, I really pushed a lead magnet which was a freebie- A 100 social media tips where if people downloaded it they would go through to my email list. 

Every single episode in the introduction, I pushed that freebie.I said, you know, if you want 100 tips for improving your social media or something along those lines, I can’t believe that I’ve forgotten what it’s called already. But you could download that free downloadable and you would get the hundred tips sent to your email address.

The benefit of doing that is that it was turning my podcast listeners into leads for my business. I didn’t really even do a lot with that for the first six months or so of having the podcast. But when it came to wanting to launch my first online program, I had a ready waiting email list of people to promote to and that ended up being one of the best things that I’ve ever done. 

I’ve grown my email list to over 15,000 and I’ve done that with a few different strategies but one of the biggest strategies and one of the warmest ways that I kind of bring people into my sphere is via my podcasts. 

It makes sure that all of these people that are finding out about my podcasts from Apple podcasts, or maybe they’re coming across from another traffic source. They’re not just kind of subscribing and then they’re just sitting on Apple podcasts are actually coming into an asset that I own, so that I can contact them whenever I want to, with my products and my services and obviously providing huge value as well. 

That is one of the best things that I did when I was first starting out. 

The other thing that I think has really contributed to those download numbers, so the people that are actually coming across me and finding out about me, and listening to the podcast, downloading the podcast, was strategically even though it wasn’t strategic at the time.

Looking back with hindsight, I can say that it’s something that was really great that I did, and I actually teach these tactics in my podcasting course now.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but was using the relevant keyword people would be searching when they were looking for, at the time, social media podcasts. I had social, for example, in my podcast name, I had it in the show description I had really kind of juicy relevant keywords. 

What that meant is that so many people would come in, they would search in Apple podcasts, for example, for social media podcasts, mine would pop up simply just because of that, and they would listen from there.

The reason I know this is that I often have people pop into my Instagram DMS and they’ll say we love listening to your podcast, Stevie. And I’ll always ask them how they found out about it. And so what often they will say is: I was searching for a social media podcast, yours was the third or the fourth that came up and I loved your branding and I loved what you were all about. And now I’m an avid listener.

I think that  search engine juice when it comes to podcasting is so valuable. It’s not something that you have with platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

It really I think is what sets podcasting apart from a lot of those other traffic sources and traffic channels, right?

There you have it guys. These are some kind of quick, hopefully helpful tips around how I really kind of generated a whole heap of downloads but also business for my podcast because a lot of the time that’s why we’re doing it, right?

I think sometimes we forget that. And how you can do the same thing.

Honestly, podcasting is not rocket science. There are definitely some tips and tricks that will absolutely propel you forward. And really kind of is the difference between one of those podcasts is that just languishes.

You launch and then you don’t really get any more podcast listeners or downloads or any of those sorts of things. And you pod fade that is actually a term – pod fading. And the ones that really kind of gain massive traction and I’m so grateful that mine has and that it’s really kind of had such an amazing impact on my business.

If you are interested in knowing more about all things podcasting and how you can really kind of use the same system that I did to get success. And it’s a three step system, okay? It’s not just the podcasting side of things and what you do with your own podcast.

There’s two other things that I think really make up the secret sauce. You can head to the master class, which is

I would love to hear from you. Are you thinking about starting a podcast? Do you love listening to podcasts? Is there something that’s kind of holding you back from starting one? 

Send me a DM over on Instagram. I would love to have a conversation with you about it. And guys, I will see you next week.

Keep Listening!

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

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