As the saying goes, you only get one shot at a first impression, and I recently had an eye-opening experience that reinforced this idea. Today, we’re going to explore the importance of being discoverable in your niche and ensuring that you don’t blow that crucial first impression.
The Listener’s Journey: It Starts Before They Press Play
The listener’s journey begins well before they hit the play button. They embark on a quest to find an expert or a solution to a specific problem, often turning to platforms like Google, YouTube, and, of course, podcasts. For example, most of my clients become clients because they look for a ‘podcast coach’ when they decide to launch a show or feel the need to make their show better. Your potential audience is searching for content that can help them address the challenges you help them solve with our business. Maybe that’s how they find you – but will they find you?
The Gift of a New Perspective – My Listener Journey
I recently turned 50, and it was time for a health checkup. High cholesterol runs in my family, and I was keen to explore alternatives before jumping onto medication. So, I did what any inquisitive individual would do – I started researching. My journey into the world of cholesterol experts led me to a variety of podcasts, both individual episodes and longer-running shows.
The Good, the Bad, and the AI-Generated
My search unveiled a range of options and I couldn’t help but think about what it was like to be a listener intentionally looking for a podcast. Some of these podcasts were AI-generated (some even AI-hosted) and to be honest, they were pretty awful. One episode featured a robot giving me a definition of cholesterol – not very helpful, as I was already well aware of what it is. Others were essentially incomprehensible, using a synthetic voice reminiscent of Stephen Hawking’s. A few were promising, with human hosts, but they turned out to be one-offs, despite promising more content in the future. This initial experience wasted my time and led to quick disengagement. Not a very good first impression — and last impression.
Long-Lasting Shows: Titles Tell the Tale
I decided to give longer-lasting shows a try, sifting through their episode titles and descriptions. It became evident that the titles and descriptions conveyed a lot about the show’s stance on medication, hidden agendas, and overall approach. This process reinforced everything I’ve discussed on this podcast about the listener’s journey.
The Listener Journey is Not Linear
Here’s the key takeaway – podcast listeners don’t follow a linear path. They won’t necessarily start with episode one and work their way through sequentially. Until they get to know, like, and trust you, they’ll cherry-pick content based on their immediate interests. This means your podcast library needs to be a treasure trove of valuable, relevant content that speaks to their needs and positions you as the go-to authority for solving their problems.
Step into Your Listener’s Shoes
So, how can you, as a podcaster, benefit from my experiences as a listener on a quest to solve a new problem? It’s simple: put yourself in your listener’s shoes. Imagine what’s happening in their world that triggers the search for your expertise. What keywords are they entering into their search bar on Google, Bing, or their favorite podcast platform? Can they find you in the search results? Being discoverable is the first step to winning over your audience.
Master That First Impression
Once your potential listener finds you, it’s essential to make a strong first impression. Consider the artwork, the podcast’s description, and the episode titles. Do they accurately represent what you have to offer? Does your podcast library feel cohesive and demonstrate your expertise? This first impression is critical in establishing your authority. They may not give you a second chance!
Respect Their Time and Don’t Sound Like Junk
When your listener presses play, it’s make or break time. As a listener, I’m not only assessing the content but also the audio quality. However, even more importantly, I’m looking for hosts who respect my time. As someone trying to gather information to solve a problem, I don’t want to hear about a host’s personal life or unrelated anecdotes. Podcast listeners have certain standards, and they expect you to deliver valuable content efficiently.
Would You Pass My Test?
Here’s a challenge for you – test your discoverability and evaluate the effectiveness of your first impression. Put yourself in your listener’s shoes, especially when they’re triggered to seek out your expertise. Ask yourself the crucial questions: Can they find you? What do they see when they discover your podcast? How does your content sound, and is it engaging enough to hold their attention?
Elevate Your Podcasting Game
Understanding the listener’s journey and the significance of first impressions is paramount in the world of podcasting. By embracing these principles, you can create content that positions you at the top of the search results and keeps your audience coming back for more. If you find that your podcast needs a tune-up to improve its discoverability and first impression, I’m here to help. Consider my Podcast Tune-Up program and let’s work together to enhance your podcast’s performance.