PodSchool Podcast | Why you need to define your podcast concept


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Why you need to define your podcast concept

You have to give people a reason to care

Unless you’ve got an existing profile it’s very hard to grow an audience with a podcast that’s general.

That’s because when people are searching for shows they’re usually drawn to concepts they’re interested in or people they know.

So, if they do happen to stumble across your show you want them to know exactly what it is in a couple of seconds or they’ll probably walk right on by.

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A clearly defined podcast concept is more compelling than a general one

If your idea is “conversations with interesting people” that’s not going to be enough of a hook to make someone stop scrolling in their podcast app.

However, if your show is “conversations with cult leaders” or “conversations with billionaires,” that gives your potential audience a clear idea of what they’re going to get when they click play, follow or subscribe.

It also gives them a reason to try the show regardless of who’s hosting it.

And when you’re starting out and trying to build a profile you’ll have to hook people in with your concept because you won’t be able to rely on your name alone.

How to come up with a great podcast idea


Being specific will help you attract guests

Defining your concept is important if you want to book guests to appear on your show, especially if you’re looking to attract people with a profile.

If you can’t define the concept, guests will be reluctant to say yes, unless they know you personally.

When I reach out to guests for my show “You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere,” I tell them very clearly “This show is focused on how you got into show business and the early days of your career.”

I’m not emailing them and saying “this is a general chat about your life” which, for most people is terrifying because they don’t know what they’re in for.

When you can clearly explain to potential guests what you’re going to cover they’ll feel more confident saying yes because they’ll know what they’re saying yes to.

How to attract high-profile guests to your podcast


How do you get your message across?

You could make your concept clear in the title of your show e.g. Amy Porterfield’s “Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast,” or you could choose a clever name and put more detail in your show description.

Either way, it’s important people understand the idea as soon as they come across your podcast or they’ll just ignore you.

How to come up with a great podcast name


But what if you want to talk about everything?

If like me, you’re a multi-passionate person and you want to talk about lots of different things, there’s no reason you can’t make all those interests into separate podcasts.

Not every show has to come out weekly for the rest of time.

So, maybe you do three months of one, wrap it up and go on and do a new show on a different topic.

You’re better off doing this than trying to squeeze 20 different things into one podcast until no one knows what it is anymore.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Hello and welcome to the show. This week I was catching up with a mate of mine who started a podcast a while ago and was having difficulty growing an audience. He asked me to have a listen to the show and tell him what I thought might be the issue. And I thought it would be worthwhile sharing some of my thoughts on the show because it's a common mistake that a lot of people make. And that is that their concept is too general. His show covered a bit of pop culture, they sometimes had guests on who were people they knew who'd chat about what they did and then they'd have a conversation about what was generally going on in the news and it was just very difficult to define exactly what the show was and what content you were going to get each time you listen.
This is okay if you already have an existing profile e.g. if you're a Ricky Gervais. Some people think "Well I love everything Ricky has done so I know whatever he does is going to be hilarious. So I'm happy to turn up every week and just listen to him rabbit on about whatever he finds interesting." But when you are starting out you don't have a profile and people don't know who you are so they don't have an existing relationship with you, it's important to give them a reason to listen and the only way you can do that is by giving them a concept they can grasp on to. "Interesting chats with interesting people" isn't strong enough of a hook if people don't know who you are. If it was "interesting chats with cult leaders" then bang! I don't need to know anything about the hosts because that sounds like content I want to listen to. I immediately get it. "Interesting chats with billionaires." Bang. If I'm interested in that then I want to jump on board and listen. You need to give the people wandering by in the iTunes store a reason to give it a go and the only way you can do that is by giving them something that is definable and that they can understand.
This is also going to be really important if you're thinking about booking guests to come on your show especially if you want guests with some kind of profile because if you can't define the concept they're going to be very reluctant to jump on board. If you're going to sit across from somebody in an interview you want to know as much about that interview topic as possible so when I reach out to guests for my show "You've Gotta Start Somewhere," I can tell people very clearly "this show is all about your big break, how you got into the business, the early days of your career and how you've worked up to where you are." I'm not emailing them and saying "this is just a general chat about life" because for a lot of people they think "Gosh! What are you going to ask me? Where is this going to go?" And you want to make every guest feel like they are in safe hands and the way to do that is for them to feel like they know what's going to happen. Sure they're not going to know the questions but at least they know how this aligns with what they're doing. You don't need to be super specific but your concept should be something that a listener can pick up in a single description line. Maybe you sell it in the title of your show, maybe you've got a clever title and the description tells new listeners what your show's about but either way they need to get it immediately or they'll just walk on by and ignore you. So if at the moment your concept is I just to have interesting chats or just to talk about stuff that interests you, maybe take some more time to refine the concept and to try and come up with something a little bit more specific.
If you are like me, a multi passionate person, and you like lots of different things and you want to talk about everything all at once there's no reason you can't do 20 different podcasts. Not every podcast you do has to come out weekly for the rest of time. You could maybe do three months of a season of one podcast and then say "okay that's that specific topic area sorted maybe I'll go on and do a different show in a different topic area." Be a bit creative about how you approach it. Just don't throw every single thing that you love into one show because if you're brand new to this and you're just building a profile it's going to be very hard for people to latch onto. Thanks so much for listening. Head to podschoolpodcast.com for the show notes for this and every other episode as well as a link to my online podcasting course PodSchool.com.au and my tech guide which will take you through everything you need to set up a home studio if you haven't done that already. I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!