Changing Style and Re-branding

There may come a time when a change in style is a thing you wish to accomplish. The question is how?

This depends upon a few things. Have you tried the new style/format already? In which case your listeners have had a taste of what’s on its way. Did you receive feedback on those newer style episodes from your listeners? Assuming the feedback was positive, the change may well be justified. If you’re changing because it makes your life easier, then you need to do a little bit of pre-selling. Simple things like adding a co-host, don’t need too much pre-selling. Jumping from a formal audio essay style to a stream of consciousness, improv style may just require a little more effort to bring your listeners with you.

This last example may require an entire rebranding of the show. New artwork, new intro and then the new format. This can be fraught with danger. It can be as smooth as silk. The danger is in people’s dislike of change they do not initiate. It can be a smooth transition if your people love you no matter what you do. The latter is highly unlikely.

A well known podcast with over 500 episodes has been going through this process over the past two years or so. The show artwork has changes a couple of times, the intro is different and the content is all over the shop. As reported by the host who had many subscribers, the show’s audience has reduced considerably. So the message is to be prepared for some drop in numbers. The answer may be to leave your show as a legacy podcast on the directories and commence a new one. You use the old feed to direct people to the new show and maybe run a couple of the new show’s episodes on the old feed.

Change is a difficult thing to manage. Frustration at being stuck in a format you don’t enjoy for the sake of not losing subscribers will have the opposite effect. Listeners can tell when you don’t believe in what you’re doing. Bite the bullet, make the changes and live with the temporary drop in numbers. This is the cost of change.

Takeaways:

  • Change is difficult
  • Stasis is death
  • Take as many of your listeners as you can on your journey
  • You will probably lose some listeners but they will be replaced, over time

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