You’ve got your ‘why’. Now it’s time to pick your niche. Which is preferred to picking your…nevermind – let’s just move ahead. Remember we previously discussed where your ‘why’ would fit? This place is called your niche, and it’s unique to you, and your podcast. With so many available podcasts out there, in the virtual universe, you really need to pick your perfect space to showcase your unique qualities and vast knowledge.
What Your Audience Wants
Let’s take a minute to step into your audience’s shoes; to think about their side of your podcast. How would you like your audience to respond? Positive, right? You want to grip your listener’s ear and hold tight to it for the entire podcast. You want to leave your audience excited for the next episode. You want your numbers to grow, and let’s face it, you’d really like to be the topic of conversation around the water cooler at the office each week.
A lot of elements are going to go into achieving these goals. Picking your niche is just one, but it is no less important than any of the others. If you ramble on, go off topic numerous times, or sound like you don’t have a clue, your audience is going to know. Remember, listeners are smart. They are going to be off searching for another podcast, and a more organized host.
Know what you are putting out there for your listeners. Be the expert they seek out for information, advice, and ideas. By picking a niche that you have a vast scale of knowledge in, you can frame your podcast around that topic and boost it to a level that will draw in your audience, and hold them like a fly caught in a web of expertise.
Let’s Revisit Where Your Podcast Will Fit
Once you have picked out your unique niche, you’ll need to choose a broader topic that encompasses this niche. Directories use these categories to guide potential listeners to a variety of available podcasts in the topic they are searching for. The proper categories for your niche are important and necessary. If you place your podcast in a category for baking, and your niche is car repair, no one searching for “car repair” is going to find it, ever.
Your goal is to be discovered. So, choose wisely. Apple, Spotify, and Google are good sites to start with, though there are other directories out there to search as well, and I wouldn’t leave them out. Browse through these directories for the most appropriate category. Most will have areas from news to art, or fiction to family. It is your job to pick the broadest category to best fit, and then narrow it down for your particular niche.
Never use a non-associated category because you believe it will give your podcast more “umph” by not being in competition with others like it in the correct category. That is simply bad form, and may cause you to lose the audience you already have. Along the same line as picking your category to fit your niche, don’t let naming your podcast be too far behind. We’ll get into this very soon.
Find a New Avenue Off a Familiar Road
I’m not a mind reader, but I can bet at this point you’re thinking, “how am I going to make my podcast unique amongst all the others in my category and niche?” Good question, and being nervous about this is natural. You’re on a new adventure, of course you feel anxious. Stick with me, and we will get through this together.
Let’s say you have decided your niche is in fashion, specifically current trends. You’ve picked your category under the broad topic of Beauty and Fashion. Perfect! When you search this category, there are literally hundreds of podcasts already available, and some of them are thriving. Take a breath, and don’t break out into a cold sweat, yet. Let’s look a bit deeper.
You’ve looked over all the categories, you know your ‘why’, and you’ve picked your niche. Now, you can decide how to make your podcast unique. By using these facts, and creating a new direction for a well talked about topic, you can create a new avenue to a familiar road. Yes, you want to speak on current trends in fashion:
- How will you do this?
- Will you interview upcoming designers?
- Could you find a comedic route that exposes how new and trending was once old and now retro?
- You could speak on new techniques of these up and coming trends.
The point is to make your information unique. You are going to “tailor” your podcast into its unique format, by knowing your niche and speaking as an authority in your field. In essence, you will be putting a new spin on an abundant topic.
It May Be a Bit Bumpy at First
Feeling more confident now? Great, but we still have some stops to make before you’re ready to record and put your knowledge out there for the masses to consume. If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it, and I’d be sitting here talking to myself. A lot of podcasts fall by the wayside in the first few weeks or months.
More often than not, this is due to poor planning, but sometimes it’s due to the chosen niche. You may find that your niche is changing, and that’s okay. Your podcast evolves over time. The trick is, not to give up, but rather fine tune. By keeping some basic elements, like show format, length and schedule consistent, you can add a few curves and turns to your niche, but still keep that broad category the same.
Maybe your current trends fashion podcast was focusing on footwear, and your next episode discusses leather as a fashion medium, can you connect the two episodes? Are you expanding on footwear that uses leather as a staple to other items that use the same leather? If so, then you have found a bridge to a linking avenue between the two topics.
What you want to avoid is speaking on the trend of leather shoes in this year’s autumn “must haves” in one episode, and jumping to felted hats and the felting process in the next episode. Where’s the connection? You’ll definitely give your audience whiplash. Don’t let the bumps in the road toss you off course.
It’s a Competitive World Out There
I’m not going to sugarcoat podcasting for you. It is a competitive endeavor you are taking on. Unless you have a niche like no other, there will always be someone out there talking about the same topics you are. But, if you are true to your passion, honest with your audience, and consistent with your episodes, you’ve got a leg up on a lot of the “unplanned” podcasters out there. Listeners will gravitate to a host that sounds passionate and knowledgeable.
Not only will they continue to listen, they will also talk. They will tell their friends, and those friends will tell other people, and those other people will…you’re smart, you get the picture. What I am trying to say is, although this type of social media can be challenging, if you follow the steps we are discussing in The Four Pillars of Podcasting, you are well on your way to creating a unique podcast that will grow not only in content but in fans and familiarity. Now go and pick your niche, not your…well, you know.