Q&A: Validating a Podcast Idea
I was asked recently about the preparation that goes into starting a podcast;
Thanks for the excellent material you have sent me and for all the resources on the site.
A quick question: I have had a few ideas for podcasts in the past but never really started anything. I'm hoping to start a podcast with a friend of mine to earn extra income via sponsorship.
Are they any ways you would recommend to validate an idea? Any tips that can be used to ensure what we start is actually worth listening to?
That's a Good Question!
We have an advantage in podcasting in that the competition is still pretty light, so most ideas can reach an audience in one way or another.
Also, because of the engagement you can generate (much higher than other mediums) you can earn a little income out of a relatively small audience. So you can go really niche and still do well.
The best way I know to validate your idea is to spend a good bit of time mapping out your ideal listener. It's sometimes called a persona or an avatar. Give that fictional person real personality – think about what problems they have, and how you'll be solving it for them.
Think About why You're the Best Person to do it
That unique approach is really important when it comes to validation.
Then, if you want to do the real work, go out and find some of them. Find people that fit that profile and pitch it to them. Ask if they'd listen, what they like about it, what they don't like.
And importantly, tell them why you're uniquely suited to do it. Gauge their reaction to that last part, particularly. That's what's going to sell YOU rather than the other shows that will inevitably spring up around the topic.
If you have the budget, paid advertising is actually a really nice way to do this. Put up some google ads with a headline and copy that's designed to catch that person's eye.
Quickly state the problem, and your solution. See if you can squeeze in your unique approach. Try a few different approaches and a few different slants on the topic.
You can then measure the clicks on each, testing which one resonates most. Best of all, those that do click, you can encourage them to sign up for your email list, and so you'll have at least a small number of people to promote the show to when it launches.
They can serve as your first audience and help you do a little promoting.
I hope that helps, and I'd love to hear from you if you're starting a new show.