Today we're talking USPs. USP is a business acronym that stands for for Unique Selling Proposition. This refers to how you differentiate yourself from the crowd, and in some Podcasting spaces, you'll find a big crowd indeed! I'll let my reader explain though:
Well, I'll preface this with I'm absolutely brand new to podcasting. I'm just getting into it. Since I was younger, I've always loved talk radio. Since I was in my young teens, I always was interesting in radio broadcasting but sometimes life takes you in different directions. So, I finally decided after years of listening to podcasts that I wanted to take a shot at it.
The podcast I'm starting is regarding the NFL and sports betting in particular. While I don't live in Vegas and can't actually bet on sports every year I follow the lines with a buddy who does podcasting himself on another program and we decided to start a show together. I understand that from a podcasting perspective, sports and notably the NFL is extremely saturated. But for me, it's a starting point with a topic I'm passionate about and I haven't found many shows dedicated to the NFL as a whole and betting lines. Most shows are very specific to a certain team or division. I guess I have that going for me.
I think you kind of get an idea where I stand after writing this novel. My mic and pop filter show up tomorrow, my friend and I have subject content aligned for many weeks out. I'm just at the point of finding the hosting options, sorting the producing and going from there.
Alrighty – so we're talking differentiation. How do you stand out in a crowded Podcasting space? You do it the same way a business stands out in a busy marketplace – by creating a unique proposition, a way that you're different from everyone else, and a difference that really appeals to people. Let's have a look at the options.
Find a Content Niche within Your Space
First off, there are few subjects that can't be broken down into much smaller niches. In fact, if your subject isn't able to do so, then it probably isn't big enough to be a crowded space in the first place! So, when thinking about your content – what you're going to cover: What do you offer that's unique on your Podcast? What segment of your subject matter will you cover specifically?
Take the question above as an example, it sounds like this reader has figured out a really unique offering there. He's found two segments in particular – firstly, overall NFL coverage. This arguably isn't a sector since it encompasses the whole subject, but if most people are covering particular teams or regions, then it might well be. You'll know your market best, and do a lot of research to back it up.
Next, he's looking at betting lines. Now this is a true niche – this is a small segment of the larger NFL subject. This is where I think our reader above should concentrate – it seems like a nice and specific subject which would create great differentiation, and an ideal USP.
When it comes down to it, if you can explain nice and easily why someone should listen to your podcast, instead of (or as well as!) all the other similar ones out there, then you'll be fine. Practice your sales patter and make sure your USP is included in your title, your description and anywhere you talk about it.
Differentiating by Audio Quality
Another way to differentiate in Podcasting is through professionalism. I'll say to everyone reading this, elsewhere in the conversation I had with this reader, he mentioned a bugbear about audio quality in podcasts. And he's right, there are a lot of terrible quality podcasts out there – great content, but terrible audio. In a way, that's better than the other way around, because content is the key. If you have great content, people will struggle through bad quality audio, but no matter how great your audio quality, no-one will listen to crappy content.
Putting out great quality content at a terrible quality is simply a crying shame, especially when it's so easy to get a decent microphone and make a huge difference to your output. Have a look at my microphone guide for some details on upgrading.
Of course, audio quality isn't all purely down to your microphone, there are other factors too. Check out our guide on how to make your podcast sound better for loads of hints and tips on this front.
In upgrading your audio, you're differentiating yourself based on quality, and in a really crowded market that can make a difference. If you have competitors covering the exact same content, but recording on a tinny headset mic in an echo chamber, then the listeners will move over to you and enjoy your rich, deep recordings much more.
Tell Me What You Think
I've listed two ways to differentiate a Podcast in a busy space, but I know there are tonnes more. Let me know how you make your podcast stand out, or if you have any more tips for our reader above. I'd love to hear from you – drop a comment below.
And if you're looking for more help with your equipment, your content, and your audio quality, then why not take a look at The Podcast Host Academy. In here you'll find all our video tutorials on the aforementioned subjects, as well as our community of podcasters who're always happy to give advice and bounce ideas off of.