The Indie Podcaster with Kieran MacRae

How To Grow Your Podcast With Trailer Swaps

Published about 1 month ago • 5 min read

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Only the top 10% of podcasts get 500 downloads in the first seven days of an episode being released.

In the last seven months, my podcast has gained 500 more followers while only releasing a single episode.

This happened because I set it up to grow on autopilot.

After 100 hours of effort, I created the Template Vault so your podcast can experience the same growth.

Fill-in-the-blank templates so you can effortlessly grow your podcast.

How To Grow Your Podcast With Trailer Swaps

Growing your podcast can feel like standing on a soapbox and shouting into the wind.

You’re trying to get the word out, but no one’s listening.

And how can word of mouth happen if you don’t have enough listeners to begin with?

Today, I’m going to share my tried and true method for finding new listeners and growing your podcast

Trailer swaps.

A trailer swap is when you arrange with another podcast to play each other's podcast trailers in one of your episodes.

It is one of the most effective ways to grow a podcast because you are tapping into podcast listeners who are already interested in your topic.

Here is my four-step method for organizing trailer swaps.

Step 1. Create Your Trailer

Your trailer is a 30-60 second audio clip explaining who you are, what your podcast is called, and why people should listen.


And as I highlighted in the Tweet above, people listen to 8 shows at once on average. It’s not a case of a listener pressing play on your show or mine. Listeners can become fans of both of our podcasts, so everybody wins.

Step 2. Decide Who to Trailer Swap With

When setting up trailer swaps, you need to consider three groups.

Anyone and all podcasts - Go wide with the net and start building up connections. Great for new and small podcasts.

Podcasts in your niche - These are the holy grail because their listeners are also your ideal listeners. If you’ve figured out your Unique Podcasting Angle already then this is perfect because other podcasts in your niche aren’t competition. You’re each doing something different in the space.

Shoulder niche podcasts - Groups of podcasts where your listeners overlap. For instance, if I had a fitness podcast, a shoulder niche would be self-improvement. Some people interested in self-improvement will also be interested in fitness. Find the podcasts where your listeners intersect.

Step 3. Find People to Trailer Swap With

Google search or Twitter advanced search for “your niche” podcast and find out who is podcasting about your topic. Check out the profiles you’ve got a huge supply of potential collaborators.

Goodpods have podcast lists you can look at. These are Indie podcasts who are looking to grow their podcast. Help them do it.

Podchaser also have podcast lists you can use to find podcasts in your group.

All of these will give you names of podcasts that you can add to a spreadsheet. From there, you can pitch them.

Step 4. Pitch Your Trailer swaps

You are pitching something mutually beneficial. Remember that. You’re not making a sale or trying to hustle anyone, you’re trying to work together to each grow your podcast.

So the ideal pitch goes like this:

1. Listen to their podcast.

2. Interact on their social media

3. Send the DM/email asking if they’d like to trailer swap

You can skip straight to step 3, but you’ll have much more success if you follow each step in the chain.

Here’s a template you can use to reach out with.

Hey ‘name’,

It’s ‘your name’ from ‘your podcast name’ here. I was listening to ‘their podcast name’ and loving it, so wanted to drop a note asking if you do trailer swaps at all?

I’d love to feature your show in an upcoming episode and try to get a few more listeners your way :)

I thought it would be a great fit since ‘reason you’re a great fit’.

Totally fine if not. Keep up the great work either way :)

All the best,

‘Your name’

Feel free to adjust it and personalize it.

If you’ve done the leg work of already connecting elsewhere, the response rate should be above 75%, based on my experience.

Bonus: Decide How Many Trailers Can You Swap per Episode

Next you’re going to each email over the MP3 or Wav files of your trailers and put them into your next episode.

How many times you do this and where you do this is up to you.

A podcaster I know has included up to six trailers in each episode, two at the start, the middle, and the end. He’s grown his podcast to over 2 million downloads.

But one per episode is also totally fine.


  1. Create a trailer
  2. Decide who you’re targeting
  3. Find people to pitch
  4. Pitch for the trailer swap

This is a sustainable way for all podcasts to grow their podcasts and support each other.

My challenge to you is to find one other podcast with which to do a trailer swap. Don’t worry about finding the best person. Just start.

Community Wins

We Needed Roads just recorded their 99th episode!
Great Things with Great Tech just interviewed their dream guest
Walk and Roll Live - Disability Stories - crossed their first 3,000 downloads
Daily Rings of Power just crossed 30,000 downloads

Congrats to everyone mentioned! The Indie podcast community is killing it lately. If you have a win you want to share, hit reply!

How I Can Help You

1) The Template Vault - Learn how to grow your podcast on autopilot. Get fill-in-the-blank templates to set up your podcast foundation for growth, success, and making money. $15 for the first 15 customers (2 sold)

2) Recommended Tools​ - These are the tools I use to grow my podcast. I focus on tools that improve quality and save time.

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