In a world full of great podcasts, it’s increasingly challenging to stand out and capture the attention of your target audience. But here’s the good news: you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to make your mark in the podcasting universe. Instead, you can take calculated risks, as small as 3%, to position your show differently, breathe new life into your content, and create a unique podcasting experience that keeps your listeners coming back for more.
Understanding Your Topic
Before you embark on your podcasting journey, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of your chosen topic. I’m not talking about an expertise of your subject matter; but rather, you must study the competitive landscape. Dive deep into the niche you’re passionate about and identify the gaps in existing content. What are the questions that haven’t been answered? What perspectives haven’t been explored? Your goal is to find your unique angle within your niche.
Analyzing Existing Successful Shows
Successful podcasts offer valuable lessons in positioning and engaging content. Take the time to analyze them. What makes them tick? Is it their format, storytelling, or the way they connect with their audience? This is where you’ll discover patterns you can use as inspiration for your unique approach.
The Power of 3% Risks
Now, let’s talk about the magic number: 3%. The idea here is to take calculated risks that deviate from the norm by just 3%. This small shift can make a world of difference and set you apart from the crowd.
Here’s how to apply it:
- Revamp Your Format
- If interview-style podcasts dominate your niche, consider incorporating storytelling elements.
- Swap long episodes for shorter, more digestible content, or vice versa.
- Experiment with different episode structures, such as debates, roundtables, or live recordings.
- Find a Unique Perspective
- Challenge conventional wisdom within your niche.
- Bring in guest experts from unrelated fields to offer fresh insights.
- Share your personal experiences and anecdotes related to the topic.
- Engage with Your Audience
- Encourage listener participation through Q&A sessions, polls, or listener-submitted content.
- Create a community around your podcast through social media or a dedicated forum.
- Actively respond to listener feedback and suggestions.
Case Study: The 3% Difference
Five weeks ago, I made significant changes to my one-on-one interview, personal finance podcast. In publishing Inspired Money weekly for six years, I always focused on good audio quality, improving my interviewing skills, and landing great guests. In that time, I realized steady organic growth, but it was hard to break out of the very crowded one-on-one interview podcast space. It was time for a makeover, and I wanted to try something bold.
To apply the 3% rule, I decided to:
- Revamp The Format: Instead of traditional interviews where the guest drives the topic, my team decided to map out one hundred episodes that includes everything from budgeting to philanthropy, from luxury watches to wine collecting, from side hustles to retirement. With the topics decided ahead of time, I can strategically reach out and book a panel of three experts per episode and moderate a thoughtful conversation.
- Find a Unique Perspective: With a panel of guests, there’s room to challenge the status quo by highlighting not only success stories but also stories of failure and the valuable lessons learned from them. For example, in an episode on Financial Freedom, we took a critical look at Early Retirement. Spoiler alert: many young, early retirees are not happy after leaving the rat race.
- Engage with Your Audience: Instead of recording an interview and then editing it in post production, I ditched the safety net and turned my show into a livestream podcast. I go live every Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:00 PM Eastern. Despite technical problems, sometimes less than perfect audio, and my flubs, the livestream invites a segment of my audience to watch the podcast live and interact in the chat. It’s cool that viewers can steer the direction of the panel discussion and ask questions in real-time.
By making these small but bold changes, my podcast offers a unique blend of expert discussion, vulnerability, and community involvement—a distinctive value proposition that can set my show apart. Check back in three to six months, and I’ll let you know if it’s increased my podcast’s reach and monetization.
In the world of podcasting, being bold and different doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your content. It’s about taking calculated 3% risks that reposition your show and breathe new life into your content. So, dare to be different, challenge the norm, and create a podcast that resonates deeply with your audience. Remember, it’s those small, clever changes that can make your podcast shine in a sea of content.
What changes do you want to make to your podcast?