Podcasting is super hot, and a lot of entrepreneurs want to join in on the mix because:
- More Americans know what a podcast is than who is the Vice President
- 83% of Americans 12 and older own a smartphone
- Google is now seriously getting into the podcasting game with a native podcasting app
There has never been a time more ripe for people to find you via podcasting, but there is something many podcasters don’t want to admit to themselves:
Your audience doesn’t need your podcast. The world does not need your podcast.
When realizing this, your ego might be deflated, because we’re told that the world needs our voice and ideas. That we might be leaving people behind if we don’t turn what’s in our brains into content for people to consume. There are thousands of articles on Google right now that will lay out facts and figures to show why now is the time to get into podcasting. Yet, no matter how many articles tell you otherwise your audience does not need your podcast. After all, there are currently over 525,000 active podcasts in the Apple Podcast store right now. And over 18.5 million shows ready to download.
I know that it might hurt your feelings, but no matter how talented, funny, and confident you are with your content, the world does not need your podcast.
Instead, you need to go into podcasting with the mindset of making your show craveable, bingeable, and ridiculously entertaining. This requires you to move past the “me” stage of podcasting and remember who the show is designed for: the potential listener. Your podcast can’t be a copy of the thousand other business shows out there, but a siren call for that one listener who will relate to you directly.You need to move past the 'me' stage of podcasting and remember who the show is designed for: the potential listener. Your podcast needs to be a siren call for that one listener who will relate to you directly. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
One listener at a time. Not thousands, not even hundreds. You must develop, create, and adapt your show to one listener at a time in order to grow your audience.
When developing your podcast you need to come to grips with the following: if your show is boring, people aren’t going to listen. Or they will only listen if the information is so good until someone more entertaining comes along. Successful podcasting is no longer enough to plug a mic in and just ramble. It’s no longer enough to have your ideal audience avatar and great calls to action. From the moment they start listening, to the moment they stop they have to be engaged and entertained. With more audiences coming into podcasting and experiencing higher quality shows, this is becoming more and more important.
When developing your show look to what isn’t out there in the marketplace. That means you need to listen to every single podcast in your niche to see what is being done really well and what is terrible.
You also cannot be the potential podcaster who is so focused on the fame that podcasting can bring that you miss the sight of the real benefit to starting and growing a podcast: the intimate and lasting connection with the right members of your audience.
During the development stage of my Spapreneur podcast, my co-host and I listened to a lot of podcasts geared towards the day spa professional. What we found was bad audio quality which we could easily overcome with our good audio quality, but also the way the information was presented. Many of the podcasts were either too technical or so safe that we thought they were annoying. So, we made the decision to become an explicit show and to bring as much humor to topics like sexual harassment and money management as possible.
We also went into Facebook Groups for Massage Therapists, Estheticians, and Nail Techs and just listened. We saw continuing themes of questions and developed our first shows based on those, not just what we wanted to make shows about.
Doing these things allowed us to break through and have a podcast about managing day spas that is downloaded over 3,000 times a month.
Creating the show needs to be an act of love. Every time I plug in our mics for a Spapreneur recording I am sending a love letter to all the thousands of solopreneur spa professionals who are building their own businesses. When creating your show, you need to be in love with your niche, your audience, and the platform of podcasting.
You want to make the show’s creative path easily repeatable, including graphics, social media promotion, and calls to action. But, you don’t want to be so predictable that your audience grows bored with you, or worse: outgrows you. It is okay to improve with your audience during their journey, including becoming more technical and advanced in your discussions. Again, make the show for them, not you.
Don’t forget that podcasting is an intimate format for content marketing.
Podcasting is perhaps the most intimate of all content marketing platforms. It is designed to be the most portable – millions of individuals listen to it while mowing the grass, exercising, or driving to work. Often these listeners are by themselves with earbuds inserted, and the podcast host is invited into an area of the listener’s life that many other content creators can’t join. Unlike a video or blog post, which can’t be consumed as passively as podcasting, a podcast means that your voice, inflexions, and most importantly your personality are embedded into your listener. This level of intimacy creates a fast and more lasting bond with your ideal client or customer.
Don’t believe me? Let’s try this exercise. Think about the human body and the way it is designed. There are only five areas on most bodies where outside sources can be brought in without cutting the skin. The ears are one of these areas. The listener when choosing your show is inviting you into herself. Remember this when you create your show.
When we’re creating our Spapreneur episodes, the first thing we do is go to what our audience is asking, or what current trends are going on. We’re also are intimate with our discussions about our own business. Recently, one of our massage clients was at the end of her life, so we made an episode called Dealing with Death and Clients. While not a fun episode, it was important for our audience to see that we understand the nature of having clients facing death. It was a topic that none of the other shows in our niche covered and frankly, hardly any business shows cover. Having this type of content and building a relationship with our listeners allowed us the freedom to be creative with a tricky topic.
One of the most significant problems for ongoing podcasts is that they don’t adapt to where their audience needs or wants to go. A very popular exercise is creating an ideal avatar for your business or podcast which is incredibly useful for helping hone your message and offerings. Yet, no one talks about when the avatar changes, grows or needs more advanced stuff.
Your podcast needs to adapt.
You might start with an interview style show, but the audience wants more personal insights from you. They might be so overwhelmed with the topics you cover that you might need to go into a more seasonal format to make it easy for them to find the information they need.
When adapting, don’t just follow industry trends. Instead, survey your audience or even better actually call them and speak with them directly. Find out what their needs, desires, and dreams are and then build episodes about those.
Currently, we’re discussing bringing guests onto our Spapreneur podcast. This isn’t an easy decision because we love the dynamic of just the two of us. But, our audience wants to hear from other voices outside of the day spa space. This means we are going to have to adapt our creative process and publishing to accommodate this. Instead of being resentful of this, we’re embracing the chance for new and fresh voices to be introduced to our Spapreneurs.
Podcasting is still a great way to connect and grow your reach, but you need to do it for the right reasons. If you focus on making your show craveable you’ll enjoy the process of having a podcast so much more. Plus, your audience will fall in love with you too.
Ramona Rice is a proud Spapreneur where she helps sassy and smart spa professionals double their prebooking rates in 90 days. When she isn't podcasting in her closet, she is probably spending time at home with her husband and two tiny humans.