Who Is My Podcast’s Audience: How To Choose an Audience/Avatar
If this is your first time here, then welcome to the Best Tech Setup blog, here you will find all times of advice ranging from the practical, like “How to Build a Cool Tech Setup”, to the theoretical, like “What Is a Gaming Mouse?”.
If not, you probably got here via the links at the bottom of the “How To Podcast: The Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting” article. Or thru the link at the bottom of the “What Should I Podcast About: How To Choose a Podcast Topic” article.
Provided you have been following along with the guide, you are interested in Podcasting, and have already chosen the topic you want to cover. This part of the guide is designed to help you narrow in on the audience you want to focus on for your Podcast.
The Biggest Mistake New Podcasters Make
The biggest mistake new podcasters make is that they do not know who they are making the Podcast for. They do not know who will be listening to the Podcast, and this is a critical mistake.
This is such a serious offense because without knowledge of who exactly the target audience is, there will be no real way to get people interested. Jumping from one topic to the next is bad, but manageable if your Podcast was designed that way from the onset.
Neglecting your core audience by not providing them content they will enjoy or look forward to is awful, because not only will it be hard to keep traction with listeners, those that do stay may end up feeling disappointed that the idea they had of your Podcast isn’t matching up to reality.
What you want to keep you on track is an avatar.
Remember: There is nothing worse than a Podcast with identity issues.
What Is An Avatar?
Your avatar is the ONE perfect listener for your Podcast. This is the ideal listener that will listen to your Podcast and wonder if you somehow reached into their minds and pulled out exactly what they wanted from a Podcast.
If done properly, your fanbase will be made up of many different versions of your avatar, and they will be the most dedicated, core group of supporters you have ever seen. This is because you will be doing 3 key things:
- Tailoring your Podcast directly for them
- Addressing their specific pain points
- Providing valuable information on how to get past their biggest obstacles/struggles
You may be terrified of limiting your target audience to one set or type of person. You may think that this will severely reduce the number of people that you can reach with your message. You may think these things, but then you’d be wrong.
If you’ve ever had to write a research paper in school or university, only to have the idea rejected by the professor because it was too broad, you understand exactly what I’m saying.
As with a broad paper, the core message of the essay gets lost and muddled. Ideas blend together, segments ramble on incoherently, and the reader may lose track of the reason they sought out your paper in the first place.This can happen in podcasting as well.
If you want to create a Podcast that will be loved by everyone, you will ultimately create a Podcast that will be loved by no one.
However, if you build a Podcast that will be loved by one person, that one person will tell another one person. Now you have two people, that can tell two more people, and so on and so forth.
Pretty soon you’ll have that Podcast that is loved by “everyone”, because your “everyone” is made up of your core audience, your avatar.
The Most Important Question In Podcasting: W.W.M.A.W?
The most important question when developing a Podcast is What Would My Avatar Want. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand things from their perspective.
Remember: This may be your Podcast, but it is not just for you. You have to give the market something it likes or else you’ll have a Podcast with only one listener, you.
If your avatar wouldn’t want to listen to something, don’t talk about it. If your avatar would disagree with a change in the format of your show, keep things the same.
If there comes a time, (and there will come a time), when you and your audience disagree on a change you had in mind, try to think of why this would be the case. What reasons do they have for disagreeing with your idea?
You may come to find that they don’t actually disagree with your idea at all, and that they just don’t understand it fully because you haven’t explained it in a way that resonates with them. Other times you may find that the people disagreeing with you AREN’T YOUR AVATAR. In other words, they aren’t your core group of followers.
In which case you should take a hard look at your audience, try and reconnect with your avatar, and really understand if this is something that they would benefit from. If the answer is yes, explain it fully, position it well, and GO FULL STEAM AHEAD!
If you have a good connection with your core group, which you will if you are constantly putting them first, they will give you plenty of feedback, letting you know exactly how they feel and why.
How To Get In Touch With Your Target Audience
The hardest part about finding your target audience is getting in contact with them. The best thing to do is go to the places that your preferred audience gathers. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most common is either in-person, or online.
Depending on the type of Podcast you are creating and your location, you may be able to network effectively thru local meetups, or get-togethers. If your Podcast topic coincides with a community that is popular in your region, you may have an easier time reaching out to find guests, and spreading the word in person.
Say you lived in San Francisco and your Podcast was about software development or technology. Due to the very large industry focus of the area, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find potential listeners. The same holds true if you were thinking about doing a entertainment related Podcast in Los Angeles. And so on and so forth.
The benefit of this is a chance for an increased connection. They can see you, hear you, truly understand you. They say that selling is all about a transfer of emotion. Well what better way to get people excited about your Podcast, than them seeing and feeling your excitement?
The best feature about the internet is that you can access it from anywhere and everywhere. This means that you can connect with potential listeners and guests from anywhere and everywhere.
If you are in a location that doesn’t feature many in person meetups or events, don’t worry. I guarantee you that there is a place (or places) online where your avatar hangs out. Seek this place out, and be there. Truly be there.
Don’t just pop in for a week and try and spam your Podcast around. This won’t work, your avatar will dislike you, and you will hurt your reputation/brand, (which is VERY important).
Truly spend time on that platform, in that space. Understand its ins and outs. Learn the culture, and most importantly, BE HELPFUL.
Provide value to the folks that are already there. Provide overwhelming value. Make them guilty of all the value they are getting from you.
Make them wish there was a way they could repay you, or at least have you everywhere with them to keep providing value. Once you are known as “That guy”, or “That gal”, you’ll have a MUCH easier time to convert these people into listeners (then later into customers).
In future posts I will detail a method of promoting yourself I came up with called SWARM MARKETING. In essence, its about finding all of the places your avatar (or target audience) frequents, and being there too.
Swarm Marketing: Wherever your avatar goes, you go. Everywhere they turn, you will be there, providing value.
Some other tips for finding your avatar/target audience:
- Make a list of all the places your avatar/target audience frequents, make an account, and respond to at least 1 person every day on as many platforms as you can. As you figure out where your avatar spends the majority of their time, focus on those platforms more.
- DON’T BE SALESY! DON’T BE PUSHY! HELL, DON’T EVEN MENTION YOUR PODCAST UNTIL YOU HAVE INTERACTED WITH SOMEONE AT LEAST 3 TIMES, AND HAVE GIVEN REAL VALUE AT LEAST ONCE!
- Referrals are a big deal. The power of word of mouth is underappreciated.
Now that you have an avatar / target audience in mind (or at least a better idea on how to find them), the next thing you need to know is what gear / equipment you need to begin podcasting. You can read that article and find that information by clicking the link below.
What Equipment/Gear Do I Need To Podcast: How To Choose The Right Gear (July 2nd, 2017)
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