Niche Domination Formula — Step 3

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(By Carey Green) I hope you’re putting these steps describe in my posts into action…
I know you’re busy. I know you have other commitments. If that’s the case, file this away and get back to it. But this stuff is important for the longevity and audience-building of your show.

We’ve already covered the first two steps: Notice/Awareness and Quality/Helpfulness. Now it’s time for the third phase: Originality/Appeal.

In my view, we are right at the tail end of the “interview-someone-famous-in-your-industry-and-get-an-audience” phase of podcasting.That’s because the podcast-o-sphere is saturated with those types of shows. If you already have one running and it’s doing well, you’ve got a leg up on the competition. If you are struggling to get an audience with that format… maybe you know why, now.

If you are considering starting a show of that nature, I recommend you tweak that decision based on my recommendations below. No matter where you are in your podcasting journey, you can make changes — large and small — that make your show more original, and therefore, more appealing.

Consider these things…

1. Podcasts are as much entertainment as they are education.
And entertainment has to be, well, entertaining. Look at what you’re doing with your show currently? Can you add something to spice it up? (Music, transition sounds, other voices, ambiance, or sound-effects.)

You want to be careful here and not overdo it. And you will likely get some negative feedback about such changes from existing listeners.

But give it time. Keep changing things little by little, and over time, your listeners will come to love it.

One show that does this well is Roger Whitney — The Retirement Answer Man. Whitney’s show is broken into segments, he uses transition sounds and segments effectively, and his humor and laid back approach come out loud and clear.

2. Can you be more yourself?
It’s amazing how much being yourself translates into audience attraction. When you are you, those who see the world the way you do tend to like the way you talk about things. Not only that, they tend to trust you more quickly and buy your stuff (subscribe to your podcast) more rapidly.

A show that does this well us Darla Powell — Wingnut Social.

Darla shared with me a long time ago she learned that it was much better to simply be herself. In her words, “her wingnut self.” She attracts her ideal clients and lets them know what to expect from her before they actually meet.

Of course, there are boundaries of propriety here but you get the idea.

The more you you can be, the more you will shine through. And guess what? Most podcast listeners actually like the host of the shows that are their favorites. That’s you!

3. Educational or “how to” podcasts must be relevant and actionable.
One of the reasons I’ve personally tired of the tried-and-not-so-true interview format of podcasting is because they’ve become less and less applicable. Guests seem to vomit up the same drivel as every other guest (or as they have on every other podcast interview they’ve ever done).

That’s a big lesson to learn. If you’re going to do a podcast that is helping people learn, do something, or change something, it had better be super-practical.

Look at what you’re doing with your show currently…
– Can you offer clear, step-by-step instructions in a better or more effective format than you are now? (Perhaps a downloadable action sheet for each episode?)
– Could you modify your audio format to include a summary that includes action points?
– Can you integrate your podcast episodes into a community to encourage and support listeners more with the specifics you cover on your show?

4. Do you need to take things to an entirely new level?
If you aren’t familiar with the term “brand podcast,” you will be soon. It’s a term that’s come to describe the highly produced, truly entertaining, and amazing content many brands are using to elevate awareness of their industry and their brand.

Some examples…
IRL — Online Life Is Real Life
Produced by Mozilla/Firefox
Life After/The Message
Produced by GE
Choiceology
Produced by Charles Schwab

There are a few things each of these examples have in common:
– They are fun and amazing to listen to.
– They are engaging.
– They have tons of time and effort behind them (and expense).

I often listen to these and other brand podcasts to learn better audio production and sound-design techniques — and they are so engaging I often forget to pay attention to how they are doing the cool things they are doing. That could be your show, if you’re willing to invest in it.

Most podcasters don’t possess the expertise to do this sort of production themselves, which means you likely don’t either. But if you’d like to investigate the possibilities, there are companies that help with high-level production.

Check out…
– Pacific Content
– Narrativly (my new production house)

The moral of the story is the podcast-o-sphere is getting busier and busier, noisier and noisier. To stand out you have to be unique, more valuable, and adding something that people want to hear and consume.

You’ve got to begin thinking bigger!

Carey Green is the Client Happiness Guy and founder at www.PodcastFastTrack.com