You are podcasting to your niche, in your own language, and then suddenly one day when checking your stats, you find out that you have listeners in Johannesburg, Bangkok, The Faroe Islands or Copenhagen.
This is the time to do the happy dance. But also the time to think – and speak – with a global mind set.
The United States of America is a melting pot of cultures, languages, political and religious orientations, time zones and interests.
But the U.S. of A is not the whole world. If your topic is global, there is a good chance you will have listeners in Sweden, Belgium, Scotland, Poland, Indonesia and Japan.
When you address a global audience you have two options:
- Ignore them and assume they understand your (American) way of thinking and living.
- Acknowledge them, tailor your content to suit them too, and engage them on their terms.
Here are 10 ways you can embrace a global audience:
- Do your research. Look it up and find out how your content fits your audience. Don´t make them feel left out when you talk about American elections, sports events, openings, holidays, etc.
- Talk about things that are truly global and universal. If your podcast is about film or a TV series, make sure they have been released outside the U.S. Like Star Wars, Mad Men, American Idol, Lost, etc. Books like Harry Potter are global, but a lot of other books have not been released outside the U.S.
- Be aware that words don´t mean the same outside the U.S. Even between U.S. English and British English there can be remarkable differences, which can cause misunderstandings (e.g. football in Europe is soccer, Thanksgiving is an American holiday, Mother´s Day is not celebrated the same day all over the world).
- Engage your audience. Ask them to share what it is like in their lives. The weather, the culture, politics, habits, time zones, holidays, Black Friday etc.
- Don´t be too salesy. Many countries outside the U.S. are not so open toward commerce, sponsoring, commercials or advertisements.
- Consider getting a co-host who is not American. This can help closing the gap between you and listeners outside the U.S.
- Include their feedback. Each country has its own iTunes Store and make sure you get reviews of your podcast from all countries.
- Translate your show-notes into other languages. This will also enhance your searchability.
- If you livestream your episodes, consider scheduling so listeners overseas can join you at least sometimes.
- Be tolerant with your listeners. Many of them don´t speak or write your language too well. They have different ethics and manners, expressions and sense of humor. But they are still good people and they are today’s listeners and tomorrow’s friends.
Want to learn more? Be sure to come to the NMX panel I’ll be moderating, entitled “How To Effectively Communicate To A Global Audience” in January. This panel of experienced podcasters will share their experiences with podcasting to a global audience. In very different ways they are communicating with their listeners with a very global mindset. The panel includes:
Matthew Workman is American, but fell in love with a remote group of islands thousands of miles from the U.S. The Faroe Islands Podcast is an extraordinary meeting between an American and Faroeses.
Farnoosh Brock is of Iranian origin and that is one of the reasons she has been thinking global since she started podcasting about communication and personal career in her Prolific Living podcast.
Mark Pentleton started teaching Scottish school children, but since 2004 he has been building a worldwide language podcast network, Radio Lingua, and helped others speak French.
Hope to see you at the panel!