How important is defining your audience in podcasting, and how do you find your audience?

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These days it seems like there is a podcast for everything. No matter what you’re into, there’s bound to be a podcast that caters to your specific hobbies, interests, or passions. New podcasters are joining the ranks every day. Perhaps you’ve thought about hosting your own show, but ask yourself, what will your show be about, or who will listen to it? So, before launching your podcast, step one is to think about who you are talking to.

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The importance of defining your audience

You may feel overwhelmed when you first decide to start a podcast. After all, the world is your oyster, and you can choose any subject in the world to be the focus of your show. Defining your audience is the key to a successful podcast.

Your chosen audience will set the tone for your podcast and define its parameters. It can be difficult to rule out an interesting topic if you are too detailed. You’ll risk losing your audience, even if you’re trying to cast a wide net and appeal to as many people as possible.

If the audience is well defined, a podcast will be much more successful in garnering a dedicated audience. The uniqueness of the audience will not only attract the interest of people who share your affinity for the topic, whatever it may be, but it will also set your show apart from many other podcasts.

If you are starting out without social media followers or a strong influencer presence, having a defined audience is even more important. Bringing a built-in follower base to your podcast can afford to be more general in its topics. After all, people who appreciate their authenticity and other content are more likely to tune into their podcasts regardless of topic. Most likely, you will start all over again and you will need to define who your audience is as well as what you are going to talk about.

related: How to Grow a Loyal Podcast Audience

How do you define your audience?

As a podcaster and producer myself, I am constantly looking for new ways to learn how to better define an audience or best podcasting practices in general. I learn a lot from other podcasters and podcasting experts like John Lee Dumas and Kevin Camidlin, all while sharing what I’ve experienced as a radio broadcaster who left the podcaster out of consequence (and the likes, eventually!).

Once you’ve decided you want to start a podcast, the next step is to identify who you’re talking to. But how on earth do you find them? Many people know what they are interested in or are well versed in, but they may not realize that their interests are too broad for a dedicated audience.

Here are some steps you can take to define your audience so you know who you’re talking to when you’re recording your great content!

1. Know Yourself

Yes. Socrates had a point. Knowing yourself is really the starting point of this exercise. What did you say? How do I define my audience and who I am talking to have to do with me? It has everything to do with you. Knowing what your podcast should be about is key to knowing who you are as a person and as a creator. What are your main interests? What topic can you talk about endlessly and not get bored? What is one thought that you just can’t put down that keeps coming to you in your daydreams? Make a comprehensive list of potential podcast topics and start analyzing them based on your preferences, knowledge and credibility.

related: 4 Ways Podcasters Can Use to Keep Up with Industry Trends

2. Well defined and narrow is better

Once you have a list of possible topics, you can consider narrowing down that list. Some ways to do this is to actually ask three people whose opinion you trust and who you know will be 100% honest with you. For example, let’s say you want to host a podcast about starting a business. This idea is a great starting point, but “business” is a broad topic. Asking your trusted circle what skills or unique perspectives you bring to the business is a tool to narrow down your interests. I often ask my customers when they’re about to launch, “What can you talk about so easily without thinking about it?” For me, it would be like comparing coffee and morning routines from around the world. I could talk about it every day without thinking about it – and without any coffee!

3. Defining Your Audience

I have learned many ways to define my listener in my training and as a producer. The truth is that intent to define who you’re talking to brings you closer to who your community is in some way or another.

Defining your ideal audience avatar is like designing your ideal customer avatar. Start thinking about this person’s needs, what they care about and what matters to them. As entrepreneurs, we do this on a daily basis when we think about our businesses and our customers, and this practice is no different.

Think about where your listener will be when they listen to the podcast. Is it commuting, doing housework, or at the gym? Begin painting a picture of who your ideal audience avatar is so they feel like a real person. For my podcast, The Ginny Show, my listener avatar was Sally. Sally was a 20-something late office worker who was in a 9 to 5 job and had a creative side. She loved brunch with her friends, sharing ideas and inspirations and learning tools to create a life she dreamed of. She loved the connection and the learning and the different ways to do it. Sally really helped me create the material for the first few seasons of The Ginny Show. While Sally was a great start for me, I realized I needed to be even more specific.

I took a masterclass with Kevin Camidlin about defining your listener and growing your podcast, and he taught something really valuable. You can define your audience as “somebody who is something and something”. To say this is still too broad for women entrepreneurs. However, using Kevin’s formula to define his podcast audience as “female entrepreneurs returning to work after giving birth” is more defined. Using my example, I now define my audience as “curious souls and dreamers who want to learn, grow, and be entertained through stories of travel and adventure.” So, start getting really clear on your audience.

related: Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Podcast

4. It’s What Makes You Different

In the end, you are the secret sauce to podcasting success. Your voice, opinion, and take on a topic will make or break your podcast. When defining your niche, think about what makes you different. Why are you the ideal person to address this topic? Audiences will be attracted to the unique energy that you bring to your niche topic.

Above all, make sure the location you choose is actually pleasant to you. You’ll enjoy more of the podcasting adventure if you look forward to taking on the topic. If you choose a place where you don’t find true enjoyment, your enthusiasm for podcasting is likely to fade.

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