Have you ever heard the saying “the riches are in the niches”?
It couldn’t be more true when it comes to podcasting—at least, when it comes to business podcasts. (Hobby podcasts are a whole different realm that I won’t get into here.)
I have seen far too many people make the mistake of trying to create a show that appeals to everyone … and end up hosting a show that connects with no one.
Sure, the logic behind this common mistake is clear: Podcasters often worry that targeting a specific audience will exclude other people from their potential listenership.
But the truth is, that kind of thinking only holds shows back.
Hands down, the best approach for any business podcast is to target as specific a group as possible.
In fact, the narrower your niche, the better.
So in this article, I’m going to share how to figure out and target your perfect podcast audience.
But first, I’m going to answer the question you probably have in your head right now:
Why does having a specific podcast audience matter?
In short, trying to appeal to a broad group just means your messaging isn’t personalized enough to resonate on a deep level with anyone.
Over my years of helping dozens of entrepreneurs launch their podcasts, I have seen this prove to be true time and time again.
The successful shows that connect with listeners long-term are hosted by people who know exactly who their target audience is, what they need, and how the podcast can help.
Consider the following examples, both of which were podcasters I have worked with personally:
Example 1: Generalist Women’s Business Coach
Early on, I had a client whose podcast was aimed at helping women entrepreneurs improve their businesses. While the coaching was great, the podcast struggled to gain traction or produce results because the audience was too broad.
Women entrepreneurs can be CEOs of $10M+ companies or jewelry makers selling handmade bracelets as a side hustle—and anyone in between. This wide range of business owners all have different goals and challenges, as they’re at every possible stage of entrepreneurship.
Therefore, the advice coming from the podcast didn’t consistently apply to everyone in the audience.
So while the show was a helpful resource, it wasn’t uniquely valuable for any woman entrepreneur.
Example 2: Wealth Coaching for Dental Practice Owners
On the flip side of that, a client of mine helps dental practice owners build long-term wealth through real estate investing.
You instantly notice he has a very specific audience of working with dental practice owners, and his value proposition is to help them build long-term wealth. His results have been incredible!
When you have a specific audience and you speak to their unique goals and challenges, that’s when you get results.
* Broad audience = Failure
* A somewhat specific audience = Medium results
* Narrow target audience = Massive results
The reason you want to sort this out before you start podcasting is really to save you a lot of extra work and frustration later on down the line.
If you start your show without having your audience figured out, chances are high that you’ll find your message isn’t really connecting with people on a deeper level—because, quite frankly, you haven’t designed it to.
And at that point, you’ll either have to make drastic changes or start over completely.
But if you make sure you’re set up properly from the get-go, you can skip the headache and hassle of trying to pivot mid-show.
You’ll also find that knowing your niche serves to help you figure out the other details of your show.
Understanding your target audience is key for helping you determine things like what you should you talk about, how often you should release episodes, whether it makes more sense to do solo episodes or interviews, and more.
These and other key decisions for your show come much more easily when you know your audience because all these things should be based on what will benefit your listeners the most.
So how do you figure out your specific podcast audience?
Determine Your Perfect Listener
The best way to figure out your ideal podcast audience is to zero in on the single group of people who share a specific problem you help to solve.
In other words, who will benefit from your expertise?
Are you a marketing expert who specializes in helping non-fiction authors set up successful book launches?
Do you coach parents who are struggling to sleep train their babies?
Whatever it is, your brand, what you communicate, and anything you create—whether videos, blogs, books, etc.—should be centered around a problem that you have helped people solve and want to help more people solve.
To get you thinking in the right direction, here are some examples of niches I’ve seen clients target to achieve massive success:
- Women physicians who want to lose weight
- Dental practice owners looking to build long-term wealth through real estate investing
- Financial advisors who are hoping to build their own successful RIA
As you can see, they are all targeting very specific groups of people.
And as I said before, the more specific you can get, the better.
Your message should be as far from a one-size-fits-all approach as possible.
Of course, with any niche there will be spillover, meaning you’ll connect with some people who aren’t 100% tied into that problem.
But you want to make sure you’re targeting as specifically as possible in the beginning so that your message can truly resonate with your core audience.
Now, if you’re still having trouble figuring out who that core podcast audience is, there are 4 key questions that will help you narrow it down.
Keep in mind, these questions will vary slightly, depending on whether or not you have your product, service, or offering figured out.
If you already know what your offer is, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Who would buy your highest profit products and services, or large volumes of lower profit products and services?
2. Who would buy repeatedly and without much convincing or selling?
3. Who would share your products and services most readily with their personal and professional networks?
4. Possibly the most important, who gives you the most personal satisfaction to advise/serve/work with?
If you have not yet figured out exactly what you offer, ask yourself:
1. Who could most benefit from your expertise and knowledge?
2. Who could you see yourself developing a product/service/offering for down the road?
3. Who would give you the most personal satisfaction to advise/serve/work with?
Take some time to really consider these questions and see what you come up with.
To help you keep your ideas sorted, click here to access a free downloadable blueprint template that covers these questions and more. You can make an online copy or print it out and fill it in for your own show.
You can also check out the example sheet I’ve filled out for my company, which I’ll outline below:
Cashflow Podcasting Example
Question 1: Who would buy your highest profit products and services, or large volumes of lower profit products and services?
Answer: Coaches, consultants, membership site owners and service providers who want to position themselves as A players in their industry
Question 2: Who would buy repeatedly and without much convincing or selling?
Answer: “Personality brands” who generate sales & audience growth from podcasting and are building a long term asset
Question 3: Who would share your products and services most readily with their personal and professional networks?
Answer: Coaches, membership site owners, and consultants share us with their clients/members when we kick ass
Question 4: Who would give you the most personal satisfaction to advise/serve/work with?
Answer: Marketing-minded leaders who are committed to their audiences’ success and focusing on their strengths to serve their industry
Once you’ve done some thinking on those key questions, take a look at your answers.
What markets or groups of people appear consistently? Where’s the most overlap?
Describe these people.
Continuing with the Cashflow Podcasting example, based on my answers above, it becomes clear that my company aims to help a specific group of coaches, consultants, service providers and membership owners who are focused and serving their audience through their personal expertise with their specific goal of serving and spreading their message through podcasting.
Whatever description you come up with for your business—that is your audience of perfect listeners.
What happens next?
After you’ve figured out who could benefit most from your podcast, your next steps are to define their desires and figure out their “why” (aka the reasons behind those desires).
This will help you make sure your content will resonate with your niche.
How do you do that?
Check out How to Target The Best Podcast Audience Possible (Part 2) to learn the answer to that question and more.
Do you have more tips or ideas for figuring out the best listener base for your show? Leave them in the comments below!