Every podcaster has to deal with this question, whether it comes from self-doubt, or in a professional pitch session: “who will listen to my podcast?” Self-doubt is something we all have to face, and set aside. The question is important; it helps you focus your effort and plan ahead.
Who Will Listen To My Podcast?
Okay, you may be asking yourself this out of self-doubt: “who would want to listen to what I have to say, anyway?” But fret not, my friend. There is a lid for every pot, and a listener for every podcast.
The beauty of podcasting is its global reach and accessibility. You and your podcast might not be for everyone, but your podcast will be very important to some people. Don't continually hit refresh on your media host's download statistics, expecting big numbers to banish self-doubt. Instead, concentrate on what value you can add to some people's lives with your podcast.
You can use the download statistics that your media host provides to find information that's useful, such as where in the world your listeners are, or what device they use. You can also ask yourself the following:
- How do I love my podcast's topic, and how do I use audio to show it?
- Do my interview guests fit my show's theme, or a valuable central idea?
- Is my show easy to find, remember and share? Are my logo and website design clear and consistent?
- Is my audio clear, pleasant and interesting?
Who will listen to your podcast? People who care about your podcast's topic, that's who.
Promoting a Podcast To Your Peers
Putting yourself out there isn't easy. The expression alone makes it sound like you're jumping out of a plane into thin air. Most of us are trained not to be braggarts.
Remember that what you're promoting is not your own self, specifically, but a separate entity, a podcast. It's some free audio content, about a given topic, which can provide entertainment and education for listeners. Instead of thinking, “Listen to this extension of myself,” frame your pitch as, “Hey, if you're interested in (topic), you should check out this podcast.”
Other podcasters can help you spread the word about your show, too. They can provide leads to follow, or emotional support.
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You can make business cards with QR codes to make it easy for people to get to your podcast website right away. Couple that with a conversation, and you're well on your way to adding value.
Your friends will always say that they want to listen to it (whether or not they actually do). The people who want to know more about your podcast's topic are the ones you should focus on. These are the folks who'll find the most value, and benefit from it the best. If your podcast is about barbecue beef recipes, you wouldn't expect a vegan to listen. But, your local butcher might.
How Can I Find My Target Audience?
The more you know your podcast's topic, whether it's fly fishing, real estate investment, or a story about a dragon living in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the more you can imagine the kind of person who would be interested in that topic.
You don't have to simply imagine it, however. Get to know the kind of folks who are interested in that topic. You probably already do. If your podcast is about health and wellness, think about the kind of people who go to your local gym, or shop at organic food stores. Read the discussions in online forums dedicated to your podcast's subject, and digest what people say about themselves.
Another way to find your ideal listener, or audience avatar, is to look at the geographic reach of your download statistics. Any decent media host will provide this info. You may find that your most enthusiastic audience lives in another state or country.
You can also survey your audience. Even if you only get a handful of responses, it shows your listeners that you care. It can tell you how they found your show, and how best to move forward. More importantly, it gives you a clear picture of who's listening to your podcast.
Can Your Target Audience Find You?
Don't forget that most podcast listeners stay loyal to a particular directory, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google. You want to make sure that you submit your show to at least the big three directories. That way, people can find you easily.
In a nutshell, if you:
- know your podcast's topic, and the people who are interested in it
- add value to that topic for them; help them learn about it and enjoy it more
- make your show easy to find
then, the question, “who will listen to my podcast?' becomes less of a worry, and more of a tool to grow your podcast.
Here at the Podcast Host, we love podcasts, and want to help people make more of them. Be sure to check out our ultimate step-by-step guide to starting a podcast for a comprehensive walkthrough of everything you need.
And in The Podcast Host Academy, we have loads of courses, downloadable resources, and tips to help you bring a new podcast to life, or polish your current one. Plus, our weekly Live Q&A sessions can help with any hurdles you face.