These are exciting times: podcasting has become one of the BEST ways to reach a worldwide audience, create an intimate connection with your listeners, and provide loads of valuable content on-demand — and for free.
Not many other mediums can make these types of claims, which is why podcasting is so popular amongst podcast creators and podcast listeners alike.
Podcasting is a win-win situation: podcast creators get to share their knowledge and message with the world, and the world gets to consume valuable and free content whenever they want.
In addition, because podcasting provides a direct connection between creator and consumer — and helps build a relationship of trust given the value shared — podcasting is also one of the best ways to market your business, your products, and your services.
As a result of the many positives the podcasting medium brings, one of the biggest questions for podcast creators right now is, “How do I stand out?”
The niche podcast
The simple answer to the question of “How do I stand out?” is to niche down.
Niching down isn’t a new concept; however, it’s way easier and quicker for someone to launch a podcast about marketing strategies than it is for someone to take the time to research and find out that there’s much greater opportunity for a podcast about Facebook marketing strategies.
Plus, it’s easier to talk about a topic like marketing strategies in a broad sense than it is to actually become a Facebook marketing strategies expert.
I mean come on!… why would you want to pin yourself into a corner with a topic like Facebook marketing strategies when you could grow so much bigger and so much faster with a topic like marketing strategies?
Podcasters beware: launching a broad-topic podcast without a clear niche will quickly have you wondering if you’ll ever be able to grow your audience.
Let’s take a deep dive into how to niche down, plus look at some other ways you can make your podcast stand out.
How to make your podcast stand out
Step 1: Niche down
The first step to making sure your podcast stands out is to niche down.
You may have heard the phrase before: “If you’re talking to everyone, you’re really talking to no one.”
In order to gain initial momentum and start to grow a following for your podcast, you have to be able to clearly communicate exactly why someone would want to tune in, and what they’re going to get if they do.
If you’re going to podcast about marketing strategies, then communicating exactly why someone would want to tune in, and what they’re going to get as a result, is going to be very difficult — this is a very wide and broad topic.
However, if you say you’re going to podcast about Facebook marketing strategies, then it becomes a lot easier to communicate exactly why someone would want to tune in, and what they’re going to get as a result of doing so.
It will also confirm to every individual who hears about your podcast whether it’s for them, making it incredibly easy for your avatar to find YOU.
Do not be afraid to niche down!
…otherwise, you run the risk of not being able to attract the right listeners to your show, and therefore, you’ll have a very difficult time growing your podcast audience.
Once you’ve launched and gained some initial momentum, you can always start to zoom out.
And don’t cheat yourself. Once you feel you’ve niched down, niche down again. Then, a third time.
Step 2: Your first podcast episode
Your first podcast episode, which we refer to as episode 000, is your opportunity to introduce yourself to your audience.
This is also your opportunity to let your listeners know they’re in the right place — that your podcast IS for them. Carrying momentum over from niching down, use the specifics and focus you chose to help you describe why your listener should not only choose your podcast right now, but why they should choose to continue listening on an ongoing basis.
Here’s an outline you can use to brainstorm your first podcast episode.
About me (estimated time: 2–3 minutes)
- Introduce yourself — people build relationships with people, so tell your audience a bit about you and your background so you can start building that relationship.
- Why did you decide to start the podcast? Share your excitement!
Value (estimated time: 3–4 minutes)
- “What’s in it for me — the listener?”
- Share the vision and direction of your podcast so your listeners know whether it’s for them
- Ask for feedback! Ask your audience to engage, and let them know up front that you invite it
Frequency (estimated time: 1–2 minutes)
Updating your first podcast episode
- Sure, why not?! You can update your first podcast episode any time! Just be sure to ‘replace’ the episode at your media host level
- Haven’t recorded episode 000, but launched a long time ago? It’s not too late! Record your episode 000 now, and just backdate it at your media host level so it shows up as the 1st episode in your feed!
Step 3: Bring your personality into your show
It can take time to find your voice as a podcaster, and becoming more comfortable and familiar with your podcast setup and being a podcast creator doesn’t happen overnight.
So accept it, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself!
But if you want to speed things up, listen back to your podcast episodes and critique yourself by asking the following questions:
- Do I sound natural?
- Am I actually being “me” on the mic? — the same me that would be sitting and chatting with a friend?
- Are there phrases I overuse or filler words I can work on ditching?
- If I were a listener, what else would I want from tuning into this podcast?
But don’t put ALL the weight on your shoulders…
Step 4: Engage with your listeners
One of the most under-utilized activities in all of podcasting that can make a massive difference in so many areas is taking the time to engage with your listeners.
Engaging with your listeners will not only give you priceless insights into their biggest pain points and struggles, it’s also your chance to find out things like:
- How your listeners are finding you (so you can double-down in those areas)
- What they like most about your podcast (keep it up!)
- What they don’t like about your podcast (constant improvement)
So how do you do it?
It’s simple: create an intro and outro for your podcast episodes that says something like: “I’m always looking to provide the highest amount of value to you via this podcast, and in order to do so I’d love to hear from you! If you visit <this URL> you can sign up for a time to chat with me one-on-one!”
The chats don’t have to be long — 10 minutes or so will be plenty of time to ask the questions above (plus, don’t forget to ask what their biggest struggle is right now) and gain those priceless insights that will help you take your podcast to the next level.
Engagement doesn’t have to be confined to one-on-one chats. Email, social media — any touchpoint you have with your listeners is an opportunity to continue a conversation that will lead to gold.
Creating a unique podcast
As you can see, making your podcast stand out isn’t a walk in the park. It takes research, dedication, time, and energy to follow the steps laid out above. And when you go that extra mile, you’ll find yourself in a great position.
Every podcast has the same opportunity to stand out. Every podcaster has the opportunity to create a unique podcast. It just takes a commitment that I know you can make.
Ready to start your podcast?!
Great news: we created a completely Free Podcast Course that will help you create and launch your podcast in no time!
As a bonus, you can take things to the next level with The Podcast Journal: Idea to Launch in 50 Days. With step-by-step guidance the entire way, you’ll have your podcast live in iTunes in 50 days or less!