Have you ever written a letter, without knowing who would read it? Feels vague, doesn’t it? It’s easier to produce and promote your podcast when you know exactly who you’re doing this for. Sure, you can probably clearly envision the friends, family, or celebrities who you want to pay attention to your podcast. The beauty of podcasting, though, is that your audience can be anywhere in the world. That includes people you’ve never met. How can you produce your podcast with a clear sense of the audience you want to reach? Let’s take a look at a way of making your ideal audience crystal clear. We’re going to talk about how to make your podcast avatar, and why.
What’s a Podcast Avatar?
The word “avatar” comes from Hindi, meaning “a manifestation of a deity or spirit, placed into a physical form.” Now, it can also mean an icon or an image of a person in video games or internet forums. Generally, an avatar is an amalgam of preferred attributes, put together into one imaginary person. So, a podcast avatar is an imaginary friend who is the ideal audience for your podcast.
How Do I Build A Podcast Avatar?
If you’re one of those people who like making vision boards, go for it. Get out your scissors and glue and old magazines, and craft up an image storm of all the things your ideal listener does, likes, and wants.
If not, then it’s time to do some writing. Get out your journal or planner or whatever you use to plan your podcast. Start out by imagining your ideal listener. Figure out their age range, where they live, what they enjoy doing, and their highest level of education.
Once we know some general demographic information (things that describe the person’s outside, what slice of society they occupy), then it’s time to think about psychographic information. Colin has written an article about using demographics and psychographics to find your ideal listener. For now, think of psychographics as the study of how a person or group of people think.
For example, what kind of music does your podcast avatar enjoy? How do they prefer to use the Internet? Are they a night owl or early riser? What do they like to do for fun? What do they do for work?
Once you know most of this, you have a clear concept of who your podcast is for.
What Can You Do With A Podcast Avatar?
Once you put together most of the attributes of your podcast avatar or imaginary ideal listener, you can use this to strengthen your podcast in a lot of ways. For example:
Does this person listen while doing chores or exercising, or do they sit down and give your podcast their full attention? This could help you figure out the best sound design strategy: minimalist, or multi-layered?
Do they use social media, or would they prefer getting updates about your podcast from a personalized newsletter? If they do use social media, which platforms? This can help you decide how best to promote your podcast.
Who would your ideal listener want to hear you interview, a rabbi, a football player, or a candy factory worker? Knowing as much as possible about your audience can help you find the right guests.
Finding Your Niche
Knowing what kind of person is most likely to enjoy your podcast helps you find your podcast niche.
Need a confidence boost? Imagine this person (or these people), sharing the same interests in the room with you. Picture them hitting refresh on their favorite podcast app, waiting for your next episode. Or, simply imagine them paying attention and supporting you. We all need an imaginary cheering squad sometimes.
Next Steps for Creating That Avatar
Remember, our free Podcast Planner tool will help you a lot with this. It just takes a few minutes to fill out and you’ll be set up with your own personalised program.
For another avatar-creation exercise, you might also practice on podcasts that aren’t yours. For example, what do you suppose the ideal listener is like for This American Life, or for This Duckburg Life?
Scientific American has published data about “mirror neurons,” or the idea that parts of the human brain want to imitate others’ behavior, and empathize with them. When we know our podcast audience is existing in the world, we’re more motivated to produce a good podcast. The more specific and concrete your concept of who your podcast is for, the more you’ll be able to connect with your real audience.