(By Thom Singer) Dov Baron knows leadership. He has been named one of the top 100 leadership speakers by Inc.com and his podcast, Leadership & Loyalty Tips for Executives, was acclaimed number one podcast to make you a better leader.
Baron began podcasting 11 years ago, which makes him a seasoned leader in the Wild West of podcasting. With new shows popping up daily, he continues to thrive. One reason, Dov Baron is very clear on who’s the ideal listener for his show.
If you want your show to grow, Baron says you have to be specific on the demographic you are targeting. You cannot shoot to appeal to everyone. “Identify a specific person who you are talking to,” says Baron. “Not just a range, but down to the color of their hair. If you are creating a show for stay-at-home-moms, then know exactly who she is. Build a profile like you are investigating a criminal case. Give her a name. She is Becky, 33 years old, brown hair. Becky has been married six years and has two children, a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl.”
The more you know who you are speaking to, the better chance the people who are like “Becky” will relate to your show and feel you are talking directly to them and that you understand their life.
“The next step is to go and find people who are just like Becky and ask them what their biggest problem is,” says Baron. “You find them by going where they are, online and in real life.” Take those issues they share and turn them into the topics you discuss on each episode. It is the real ideas, not what you feel are the ideas, that lead to the podcasts that stand out in this crowded space.
“Once you have gone deep in identifying your niche, do not be scared to go deeper.” Over the years, Dov Baron’s podcast has changed and morphed due to what his target audience tells him is important. He started with a focus on leadership, but then it moved more to the executive him or herself, and now back to leadership. They are all connected, but the specifics moved based on what is happening in the marketplace. He is very connected to the people in the demographic he speaks to. Executives are not just his clients, but become his friends, and thus he knows what they think and feel.
Baron also advises new podcasters to keep recording shows. “Everyone is awful in the beginning, its okay. It takes time to master the skill of interviewing and talking on your show.” He encourages people to invest in their skills and get training. Baron has a coaching program for podcasters called “Superstar Podcast Host” and one for guests called “Superstar Podcast Guest.”
Another important skill for podcasters is to be able to identify your unique brand. Too many podcasts simply look and sound like all the others. Baron says, “I have the experience to speak to any number of topics, but my show is about executive leadership. It can’t help anyone if they do not know why to listen to my show. Be focused in your marketing message. Create the thin edge of the wedge to open the door. Once the door is open you can deliver whatever you want.”
When Baron started podcasting there was not much competition. Now it seems everyone is launching a podcast. In the early days there was a lot of organic growth, with listeners finding shows via searches and lists. But times have changed. He said he got more downloads per episode in the early days, but now he has more competition. But the listeners who do follow his podcast are much more loyal, so less can be more.
To be found now, Baron suggests spending some money on advertising. He thinks targeted Facebook ads and ads on other similar shows is a good way for regular podcast listeners to find you. He also suggests writing up unique articles for each episode for your blog or other placement in the media. Become seen as the expert in your niche topic if you want to grow your podcast, as there is no other way.
Thom Singer is the host of the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do podcast.www.ThomSinger.com/podcast.