Who Are You Talking To?

Why you need to create your own ‘Jennifer’

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When you turn on your mic, who do you picture your listening? Who, exactly, are you talking to? If you don’t know, chances are your audience isn’t as big as it could be.

It’s time for you to figure it out – even if you totally make it up. In fact, I encourage you to fabricate your quintessential listener. Lie a listener into existence.

I learned this trick in radio. One radio station I worked at created the perfect listener. It was kind of like a Frankenstein experiment – a few traits from people we knew listened, a few from the type of people we wanted to listen, a dash of personality quirk and presto – we made a listener and we called her Jennifer. She was who we talked to every time we turned on the mic. The program manager even found a photo of a woman who looked like the ‘Jennifer’ we’d created in our mad marketing lab and posted it in the studio.

And yes, this is marketing. If you don’t know who you’re talking to – your ideal listener – then you can’t connect with them, you can’t give them what they want and you certainly can’t attract the right sponsors (you know, the kind who sell exactly what Jennifer wants?)

But, let’s leave marketing out of this. Let’s talk about how it’ll help your podcast performance. By creating your own Jennifer (or avatar, as some people call it) you are creating a direct line from your mic to your listener’s ears. You can visual how your Jennifer will react to the content. You can ask theoretical questions with your listener in mind and have a better sense of what Jennifer wants from you and your show.

I suggested this tactic to one of my clients. He did the work, really got to now his theoretical listener. Gave him a name. He even found a picture and posted it right in his line of sight – just to the right of his mic. It changed everything for him and you could hear the difference. He was able to tap into a more conversational tone, he was clearer about his topics, and as a listener, I felt more connected to him – even though I am nowhere near his ideal listener!

So, how is talking to one very specific person going to help you appeal to a lot more listeners? Give me 5 minutes and let me explain.

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