I’ve learned the hard way that the typical gimme, gimme, gimme approach to promotion never works - you’ve got to learn how to put your audience first.
It’s not an easy concept to grasp even though it DOES sound fairly simple. So in this episode I’m walking through a handful of ways I think every podcaster needs to evaluate their podcasting efforts for the sake of putting their audience first.
Main Points : Put Your Audience First
- [1:26] What makes a podcast really, really successful? Keep in mind who you serve
- [2:30] Podcasters need to know their USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
- [9:57] In order to put your audience first, your show needs to be relevant and practical
- [13:50] Why I encourage you to reconsider the helpfulness of interviews
- [18:24] Is your podcast and are your individual episodes easy to use?
- [25:24] Ways to monetize your podcast by putting your audience first
You can put your audience first by firmly
establishing your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
It is very likely that you have heard the talk and internet marketing in entrepreneurial circles about having a clear USP. The acronym stands for Unique selling proposition and it simply refers to the unique things you offer to your audience that your competition doesn't.
When it comes to your podcast, you can determine your USP fairly easily by asking yourself this question: “Why would a listener choose MY podcast over others in my niche?” if you can answer that question in a compelling way, you probably have a pretty good you USP.
Some of the reasons it is vital for podcasters especially to do the hard work of clarifying their unique selling proposition is because even though they don't think they are selling anything, they really are.
They're selling themselves and the value of the content they produce. No audience will simply flock to a show because it looks cool or sounds cool or has a cool piece of cover art. They may listen initially but they will only keep listening if what is being offered to them through the audio is of value to them.
When you take the time, and it does take a lot of time, to establish your own USP with Clarity and specificity, you will discover a handful of great benefits that will serve you for a very long time.
- You’ll be able to craft content that amplifies your USP
- Makes a promise to your audience that you can then deliver on
- Will help you clarify if opportunities and products are a good fit
- Prevents you from becoming a people pleaser with your content
On this episode of the podcast I cover all four of these, explaining why they are important and how they will benefit you in the long run.
Don't waste your efforts and time by continuing to podcast without a clear idea of what you are offering your listeners that other podcasters in your niche or not. Listen to the episode to find out how truly beneficial this exercise can be.
You put your audience first when your content is relevant and practical
How many times have you listen to a podcast and Come Away with absolutely no idea what to do with The information you heard?
If I had a nickel for every time…
I tried to encourage my clients to make sure they are providing clear, application-based content that can truly help their listeners take action for themselves. I have seen it proven true time and time again that the more your podcast is oriented around application, the more you’re going to stand out to the exact audience you want to listen to your show.
Providing relevant and practical content is also going to enable you to build a loyal following - that's because you are putting your audience first by doing so.
Focus on being helpful.
Find out how to be the asset they are looking for.
And don’t forget to include a call to action in every episode. What is a call to action?
It’s an opportunity you have to serve your audience like a coach - to give them a well-aimed and loving kick in the butt - to challenge your listeners to take the next step relating to your topic for that episode.
It might be helpful to think of a call to action as tough love.
You care enough to hold them accountable, to push them forward, to help them get past the obstacles that are holding them back from the success they come to your podcast to discover.
Be that help to them. Don't shy away from asking, no, insisting that your audience DO something with the content you’ve covered.
Have you noticed that interview-based shows are becoming the same old same old?
One of the things I mentioned on this episode that has become kind of a hobby horse for me has to do with the number of interview-based podcasts that are in existence.
For many people, starting a podcast with interviews is an easy way to get started. I get that, you don't have to come up with original content, you just have to be able to ask the same questions.
But think about this: how many interview-based podcasts is enough? I'm personally kind of tired of interview based podcasts and the only reason I will listen to one anymore is if it was with a person I particularly love to learn from, or if the content being covered as a topic and currently trying to learn.
Otherwise, I just skip the interviews altogether.
But, there are some interview base podcast that I listen to every single time. Why? Because of the way that the interviewer formats the show. It's not the same old same old set of questions that everybody asks. The interviewer has taken the time to become skilled at asking engaging questions and they follow up on answers with additional questions to dig deeper.
At the very least, rethink your approach to interviews. You can put your audience first by giving them more than the same old same old that everyone else is giving them.
To put your audience first, think in terms of ease of use for them
There is another aspect of putting your audience first that has to do with how easy it is for them to consume your content and access your resources. This is less about the actual Act of podcasting and more about the delivery and additional things of value that you offer.
In this episode I cover a couple of examples just to get your gears going, I want you to think through your approach to delivering your content to discover areas where you can make it easier for your listeners to do whatever it is you want them to do.
Some of the specific areas where I make suggestions are...
- Mono VS stereo
- Shortlink usage
- Notes in the podcast players
- Contact info near the top
- Website contact info that connects me to you quickly and easily
Monetization is not the end goal: Happy listeners are (remember, audience first)
When it comes to monetizing a podcast I believe that there are many people who have sold their soul to the devil.
Yes, that is a little extreme, but at the very least I would say they have betrayed Their audience.
Here's what I mean: you are audience expects you to talk about certain topics and cover things relevant to those topics. Of what benefit is it to them if you enter into a sponsorship agreement that pushes a product on them that has nothing to do with your topics?
You’ve broken trust with your audience. You’ve become just another money maker and not a trusted ally in their quest to build a better life.
Why would you do that? You want to cultivate trust, not break it.
Doing monetization the wrong way, especially when it include sponsor messages, is one of the fastest ways to destroy your credibility with your audience.
Podcast monetization should ESPECIALLY be approached from an audience first perspective.
You serve as a shield between your audience and all of those money-grubbing sponsors who try to compel them to buy something they don't really need.
In fact, you can effectively use your role as a shield to your advantage, causing your audience to trust you even more. On this episode, I cover the approach I would take to that kind of sponsorship perspective and provide some suggestions for how you can do it too.
Finally, I think the best way to monetize your podcast, listen to ask more questions, then create what it is they are asking for.
You will have a captive audience who is dying to buy what you created. And you will continue to offer it to every new listener who comes to know about your podcast for years and years to come.
And think about the advantages: you don't need to depend on someone else to create a product that you feel good about, you've already done it. You don't need to get into confusing legal agreements with anybody outside your own podcastosphere, you set the terms for yourself.
There's so much benefit to this kind of monetization that I can't even begin to explain it all, but I do a fairly good job on this episode, so I hope you take the time to listen.
rESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Scott Voelker - my client who says “take action” all the time
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