How To Effectively Use Your Podcast Avatar Information – Episode 154
Why do we create a podcast avatar or ideal listener?
One of the Podcast Talent Coach worksheets available to your for free is the Listener Development Worksheet. This tool will help you develop your podcast avatar to make your show more powerful and create more engagement.
When you get that worksheet, this episode takes that tool to the next step. Why should we create our podcast avatar and how do we actually answer the questions on the worksheet?
I really started understanding target listener when I read a study by Arbitron (the radio ratings service) and Joint Communications (a radio consulting firm). The study was called “What Women Want: Five Secrets To Better Ratings”.
This study really got into the differences between men and women. The interviews revealed the reasons women spend time with radio. The reasons were very radio-centric and don’t really apply to you.
What is relevant is the differences between the genders. When I realized there were variances between listeners, I understood the importance of really defining the ideal listener. Who is that one, ideal person we hope to attract to our content?
When we began developing the ideal listener, we learned the more we focused on the ideal listener, the more our overall audience grew. This even included the listeners that didn’t necessarily fit the ideal mold.
Our content became better focused and relevant. It was a turning point for me.
It clicked. Let’s have a conversation.
People want to feel part of the discussion and not like they are sitting in a lecture.
How do you create the conversation atmosphere on your podcast?
First, download the Listener Development Worksheet at PodcastTalentCoach.com to create your podcast avatar. Then, follow these three steps.
1. Treat your audience as an audience of one
2. Talk to me, not at me
3. Let your listener live vicariously through you
AUDIENCE OF ONE
As you are creating your podcast, treat your audience like you are talking to each person individually. Talk specifically to your podcast avatar. This is critical when creating a trusting relationship with your audience.
I hear many shows address their audience as a group with comments like “hello everyone” or “hey guys”. Each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual. Audio is a very personal medium. Many times, they are listening with headphones. It is just you and her. Talk to her just like that.
Addressing a crowd on the radio began when radio began. As radio was just being created, station owners needed content to broadcast. Radio programming began with rebroadcasting live, theater events. The person on the stage would address the crowd as “ladies and gentleman”.
As radio progressed, live audiences were eliminated. However, people on the radio continued to address the audience as a group. It was fitting. The family still gathered around the radio before television was introduced to the family room. An on-air personality could address the audience as a group and be justified in doing so.
Radio then became a personal medium. The television replaced the radio as family entertainment. In-car and headphones became the preferred method of radio listening. Each listener was now creating images and visions in his or her own head that were unique to their imagination. Their thoughts were different from those of any other listener. The conversation was now between the person on the air and the individual listening.
Unfortunately, radio personalities continued to address the listener as a group. “It has always been done this way.” The disconnect began.
THE PODCAST MISTAKE
Podcasts are even more individualistic than radio. Most people select a podcast because of their own tastes. Groupthink does not play a factor as it would to select a movie or television show for the family. It is one person listening on their own to a show that interests them.
If you are talking to your listener as if they are in a group, using plural terms like everyone and you guys and you all, your listener will wonder who you are addressing. They will think, “You guys? I’m listening by myself. Who are you talking to?” In the end, they will not follow your call-to-action, because they will think someone else in your “group” will handle it. Talk to an audience of one and build that relationship with each listener individually.
Nobody like to be lectured to. Data and facts get dull & boring. Engage by being conversational. Tell stories. This is a converstaion, not a lecture
TALK TO ME, NOT AT ME
When you are podcasting, talk “to” your listener. Don’t talk “at” her. You are not announcing. You are having a personal conversation and building a relationship.
Podcasting is an intimate conversation with one person (your podcast avatar). The conversation is typically one person speaking into a microphone addressing another single individual. There may sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people listening.
However, they are all listening by themselves. Even in an automobile with others listening via communal speakers, the members of the audience are listening by themselves in their own head. Each listener is developing their own unique, mental images.
Have a conversation directly with that individual. Put your listener in the moment. Avoid addressing the group. Instead of using “hello everyone”, use “hi, how are you?” Make her feel like you are talking directly to her. It will make your podcast relationship much stronger.
CAN I BE YOU?
Vicarious. Voyerism. Eavesdropping.
Those are three main reasons people listen to your podcast. Tell stories to help fulfill those desires.
People dream about having a different (and usually better) life. They want to experience those things others are experiencing. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. People crave living the lives of others.
Your listeners want to live vicariously through you. They want to experience your success. They wish they had the courage to do the things you have done. Your fans want to be you in some way or another.
Voyerism is a reason many people watch the shows they watch, listen to the stories they hear, or read the books they read. They want to experience the lives of others.
People eavesdrop on the conversations of others for the very same reasons. They can experience the life of others without the risk of faliure. Eavesdropping doesn’t take the courage that it takes to actually live the life.
By telling great stories about your experiences, you help your audience fulfill the desire to live vicariously through you. If your show contains audio of your feats and experiences, you allow your audience to become the voyers they desire. When you interview people on your show, you allow your listener to eavesdrop on your conversation.
When you simply lecture as the content of your show, you fail to help your listener experience any of those three desires. Find new ways to deliver your material to your audience. You will make those important connections that turn into friendships. Those relationships will foster loyalty to your show. Your tribe will follow you wherever you go. That’s a powerful thing.
Tell stories of self-revelation. See where it takes you. You’ll be surprised how many people wish they could be you.
HOW DO I GET THE INFO?
So, where do we get the podcast avatar info?
I received that very question from Alessandro.
Hi Erik, thanks for your awesome podcast. I have one question for you You define your avatar with a bunch of well-crafted questions, but where do you get the data to answer them? Is it hard data you have got from your following (if any)? Is it just a fruit of your imagination? Is it a mix of both? How much of the avatar is based on hard data, and how much is a projection of yourself defining it? Thanks and keep up the awesome work!
Great question! It is actually a little bit of both. It will evolve over time.
If you are just starting out, you need to create your ideal customer (podcast avatar) out of your imagination. Who would you like your ideal customer to be? Start there.
Who do you want?
Who will listen and get involved
Who will be best served by your content
Who will buy your stuff
Once you begin to get some feedback from your audience, refine your target with that information.
Who is posting in your comments
Who is sending your e-mail
Who is asking for more information
Finally, when you have an audience of decent size, survey them.
It does not need to be a formal survey.
One of strongest is an e-mail often used that simply says “where can I help you?”
To get specific demographic info, you will need a formal survey. Ask questions that will help you know and serve them better. Do not ask questions that will not give you info you can use and will only waste the time of your listener.
Overall, you want your podcast avatar to represent that individual that in most engaged with your show and likely to take action when you make that request.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.
You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.
Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.