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  • Alex Lee-Ammons

The Power of the Niche

One of the first questions I ask potential podcast clients is, “who is this podcast for?”


The most common answer I receive is, “well, for pretty much everyone! It’s an inclusive podcast that anybody will be able to relate to.” This sentiment is understandable - the greater the demographic, the greater the potential listenership, right?


This, I think, is one of the great pitfalls of podcasts with a ton of potential. Think about your podcast like a fishing net. The wider your demographic, the wider the net’s holes are. You might be able to catch a few large bass with a wide podcast net, but think about all of the little minnows who will slip away! All of the plankton who might have identified with a more specific message, but you lost them!


Is this metaphor going off the rails? Maybe. Do I believe fishing is terrorizing for fish and other sea creatures? Absolutely. But my point is this: find your niche. Be unapologetic about it. It is difficult to market to “everyone” effectively. Why? Because it’s likely your unique message will not appeal to “everyone”. The tighter your target audience, the more likely you’ll be able to market - and gain regular, dedicated listeners - with the most efficiency.


In 2019, there were an estimated 88 million podcast listeners. Regular podcast listeners tune into about 6 podcasts per week. And finally,


"The most successful podcast episode had around 50,000 downloads in only 30 days. An episode with 9,000 downloads earns a place in the top 5% of podcasts, and 3,400 downloads puts you in the top 10%. The average podcast racks up 141 downloads in the first 30 days.”


Ask yourself: “Of those 88 million listeners, what demographic will be the most likely to make this podcast a regular part of their lives?” Is it queer folks between ages 15-25 who need to hear coming out stories for courage and solidaraity? For people who live with fibromyalgia or another specific chronic illness? For brand new witches who want to advance their magical practice through spellwork? Horticulturists in Texas who want to create vertical urban gardens?


Do you see how these folks might be easier to target than “everyone?” You could contact LGBTQIA+ centers, chronic illness support groups, tarot forums, and gardening groups. And out of those 88 million regular listeners, there are at least 250-500 who would squarely place themselves in your unique niche and tune in weekly to your message.


Here are a few things to consider when identifying your niche. They may not all be relevant, so take what works and leave the rest. Write them down, and watch how, the clearer you can get, the clearer the way forward becomes.

  • What is your listener’s age?

  • Where do they live? (ie region, city, state, area - rural or suburban or urban - or country)

  • What do they do in their spare time?

  • What is the biggest challenge they face?

  • How does your podcast help address that challenge?

  • What are their goals?

  • How will this podcast address their goals in the next three months?

  • In the next year?

  • What does a perfect world look like for them?

  • Who are they most likely to share your podcast with?

  • What social media channels, if any, do they interact with the most?


Happy podcasting,

Alex


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