Podcasters worry in the back of their minds whether or not their audience resonates with their message and if their podcast is providing true value to their listeners. In fact, this is one of the biggest concerns our Podfly clients have. Our clients try to increase the value of their podcast by using our services to boost up their intro/outro, make it sound more professional with either high-quality mics or selective editing, and create detailed show notes for their listeners to read. Though, is all of this enough? Obviously as we mentioned in previous posts, content is king, so how do you know for sure you're producing something great?
HOW DO WE DEFINE VALUE?
As defined by Google it is:
“The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.”
Really though, anybody can Google the word 'value' and get a text book understanding of the word, but how do you really define it? What makes things valuable? Value is a relative term that each individual will see differently. What might be valuable to you may not be valuable to your neighbor and so on and so forth. So, instead of thinking about you and what you find valuable for your show, turn the tables and ask what does your audience find valuable?
Now, you don't always have to cater to your audience's self-interest; it would become a boring show to host. However, developing good, valuable content for your audience is the baseline of how you build strong followings and communities. It also increases your self-worth, because you know you're helping others find usefulness in something.
WHAT DOES YOUR AUDIENCE CONSIDER VALUABLE?
If you don't know this question, then it's time to sit down and do a 'fake' profile of who your ideal audience is. Their age, gender, and cultural background are all important things to figure out when creating this profile. Go see if your podcast hosting service has user stats on your audience. I know Libsyn has fantastic stats you can use to help compare your ideal audience profile with your actual listeners.
Profiles are essential. They help give you a clear focus of who you're catering to or, at least, who you want to cater to. I could go into a whole other article about how to properly profile your ideal audience, but to keep it simple and concise you will want to write down your ideal listener's demographics, interests, hobbies, potential dislikes, etc.
HOW TO PROVIDE VALUE IN YOUR PODCAST
Once you know who your audience is, you can now go and produce valuable podcasts without any self-doubt. What are some of the main problems or annoyances your audience has? Work on helping them solve it. Bring guests and experts on to your show that talk specifically about those problems. What would inspire your audience? What would be the ultimate 'oh-my-god' guest for them?
To make your podcast valuable, focus on fixing problems and helping your audience accomplish more. It can be easy to do a deep dive into your guest and learn about their back story, but that doesn't help your audience grow as people. Remember, people, for the most part, want to learn useful information that they can apply when they're consuming a podcast.