AskPat 189 Episode Transcript
Pat: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 189 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.
All right. Now let's get to today's question from Kristin.
Kristin: Hey Pat. My name is Kristin, and I'm a huge fan of yours. Thank you so much for all you do. I have a blog, and I'm about to launch a podcast. I was thinking of hosting a randomized prize drawing for everyone who writes a review in iTunes in the first few weeks to encourage them to do so, especially those that might be on the fence about taking the time. Of course, it wouldn't matter what they say in the review to be included in the drawing. I really just want it to be an authentic way to bolster the number of reviews I get. I'm wondering what you think about this idea, and if you have any other ideas to encourage reviews, that would be great. Thank you so much.
Pat: Hey Kristin, thanks so much. Congratulations on the upcoming launch of your podcast. I think it's really smart that you're going into it with the idea of wanting to increase the engagement and the reviews and ratings for your show. That's obviously something that is very important, not just for social proof in terms of people coming to your show and being like, “Hey, should I listen to this?” but also for the iTunes search engine. That is one of the many, and the algorithm is quite mysterious, but it's one of the many factors that is believed to play a huge role in the searchability of finding your show and having it rank higher than others, and it's especially quite important during those first eight weeks while you're the new and noteworthy section, so Kristin, I'm going to give you a bunch of tips here to help you with increasing the number of ratings and reviews for your show.
Let's first start with your idea of doing a random prize drawing for those who submit a review. I think something along those lines is a great idea. Giving some sort of incentive for people to leave a rating and review is great. However, there's one thing you have to know. You won't be able to easily see the reviews coming from other countries. When you go into iTunes and look at the reviews yourself, you're going to see the reviews that are from your home country. You'd have to go to every single individual . . . if you go to iTunes on your desktop and scroll all the way down, you would see a little flag, and you can change that flag to change the country, and you would see a whole mess of new different reviews for your site, so it's going to be hard to make it fair for everybody, but there are tools out there that will allow you to view these ratings from other countries.
There's one out there that I love from someone named Daniel Lewis who created it. You can find it at MyPodcastReviews.com. Just for a small, tiny monthly fee, you can get access to all the reviews, and they actually deliver them to your inbox, directly to your inbox, and from a lot of other countries as well. My affiliate link for that is AskPat.com/mypodcastreviews, so you could all check that out if you'd like. But that's one thing you could do. I think there might be other ways that you might be able to incentivize people in a similar fashion without you having to worry about missing people or sort of the headaches that might go along with that. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
Definitely you want to limit it. You want to limit it maybe within the first couple of weeks to just make sure that people do it within a short period of time, but here's another idea for you, and I've seen this on other sites before. People who have launched very successful podcasts fairly recently have done this, so what they say to their audience on their show and on their blog, they say, “Hey, if you leave a rating and review, an honest rating and review,” and I think it's important when you say honest review, because it just shows that you really want people to tell you how it is, and when you ask for that, and you see those great ratings coming in if your show's great, then it actually is very, very motivating, but you say, “Hey, if you leave an honest review, when it comes up on iTunes, take a screenshot of it, and send it to my email.”
That's a great way for people to, no matter what country they're in, to be able to prove to you that they actually did give you a review and a rating, and you can even get even more ninja with that if you wanted to by having people subscribe to your email list in doing so. Perhaps there's a way to submit an image along with their email using something like GravityForms, and you don't have to go that route. A lot of people just say, “Hey, screenshot of the review, and send it to me,” and what's cool about that, and I think this is probably the best part about this particular strategy, is yes, you'd have that person's email, not necessarily on an email list, but you would have that email to reply to to give them a personal thanks whether you do it or an assistant. I think that would go a very, very long way. Don't tell them that you're going to email them, but when they send you that review, just say, “Hey, thank you so much. It means a lot to me. I'll announce the winner on this show on this date.” I think that'd be really cool to do it.
You could even do it on a live public forum, having people submit images so that they show up for everybody perhaps on Facebook or Twitter with a particular hashtag. One thing you could do if you have Disqus, or I think Livefire might do this as well, these are third party commenting systems on your blog. So on the episodes that you have go out, you can have people take an image or a screenshot and have them put it in their comment, and that would be a cool way for people to see and show other people that they're doing the same thing, which would add to the social proof as well, so those are some cool things that you could do in terms of incentivizing.
You can also tell people that if they send you that email, you'll give them a little bonus or something that you get free. Maybe they get on a webinar with you to do a Q&A. Whatever the case may be, something to incentivize them to act now and leave that review and rating would work. I think that sort of limited access to you in a webinar on a specific day for people who leave reviews within a specific time period would be a pretty cool thing to do as well, and that way, they're hearing your voice on the podcast, but then they'd be able to interact with you and continue to hear your voice on that webinar or Google Hangout.
All right. Some other quick tips for you, Kristin, is make sure you tell people why reviews are important. It seems kind of selfish sometimes to be just like, “Hey, leave a review, leave a review, leave a review,” but you can also help people feel like that they are helping as well by saying, “Hey, you know what, if you leave a review, I read them all. They're very motivating to me, and they help me move forward with the podcast, but also, they help with the rankings and the exposure on iTunes. We also want to let everybody know who comes to the show for the first time on iTunes that this is a great show to listen to, so your honest reviews are definitely appreciated.” Just telling people why goes a long way in terms of reviews and ratings.
You can also read—this is the next idea—you can read some of them on your show. This is a cool way to highlight members of your community which gets other people to act too. We all live in a world as humans that we want to be in the group. We want to be part of the group, and so doing this is a great way to highlight members of your group and also consciously but also subconsciously get people to act and want to be featured as well, and even though you won't be able to read everybody's, just the fact that you're reading one will help people get off their butts to leave a review, but also make people feel special and be like, “Hey, Kristin's actually paying attention, and she is reading these. Maybe I should leave a review, and I know she'll read it.” That's one thing you could do.
One thing you could do as well even on your podcast episodes, I don't know what you'd be giving away or what the prize would be for example, but you can mention on your shows who those winners are, and say, “Hey, if you want to enter, keep going. We're going to announce another winner next time.” Things like that.
One quick thing is the prize that you're going to give away, depending on the strategy you use, there might or there may or may not be a prize per se involved, but if you do give away a prize, there's some debate as far as what's a better prize that gets people to take action. You could give away an iPhone 6 or something, something that's sort of current. I think those go a very long way. I know a lot of people for a long time were giving away Kindles. I was a part of some affiliate promotions where the winners, the people who sold the most of whatever this product was, they would get a Kindle. That's sort of cool to incentivize people, but I think something that might be a little bit more beneficial and more longterm for you is to create some sort of bonus that is related to your niche, something that they can download perhaps or even get that would help add value to them in terms of their problems and pains and issues around whatever topic that you're providing solutions for.
Kristin, I hope that answers your question. A lot of different ideas there, but I can't wait to see what you do. Send me an email. Love to see how it goes, and I'd love to just know what your show is and listen to it if I have the time. Kristin, thanks so much. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way.
As always, I like to end with a quote, and today's quote is from Thomas J. Watson, and he says, “Would you like me to give you the formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success, but it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can, because remember, that's where you will find success.” Cheers, and I'll see you guys in the next episode of AskPat.