Podcasting is one of the most intimate forms of public communication available. Unlike radio, television or even online video, which are frequently consumed in groups, podcasts are an individual experience allowing you to talk to one listener at a time.
When someone listens to your show, they usually experience it alone. You're plugging directly into their ears, you're alone with them in their car, or you're there with them as they go about their daily routines without anyone else around. It's just you and them one-on-one, and that's what makes podcasting so unique. What other mediums of communication allow you to connect with hundreds or thousands of people around the world, each on an individual basis?
And yet, many podcasters fail to realize and take advantage of this unique opportunity. Instead, they treat their podcast as a stage and address their listeners as a group. They're “talking to the masses.”
These podcasters address their listeners in a way that doesn't invite that one-on-one connection, saying things like “Hi everyone” or “you guys are going to love today's show.” The listener may not realize what is happening, but on a subconscious level, you're telling them they are just one of many listeners, which in their mind, lessens their importance to you.
Regardless of how small or how large your audience is, you should talk to one listener at a time. Address your listeners as if each one is the only person listening to your show.
Instead of saying things like “Hi Everyone, thanks for listening” or “you guys are going to love today's guest,” try saying something like, “Hi, I'm glad you decided to listen” and “I think you'll like today's guest.” Address one person and make each listener feel like you're doing this podcast for them.
Talking to your audience as individual people creates a closer connection between the two of you, that bond will make them feel like you are talking directly to them and no one else.
It's a fantastic feeling to receive feedback from listeners expressing how much they like your show because they feel like you're “talking to me.”
And when someone feels that bond with your podcast, they'll become an advocate for your show and start telling everyone they know about it.
If you've been making the mistake of “taking to the masses,” try to make a conscious effort to change the way you address your audience and talk to one listener only.
If you find the idea of talking to one person difficult, many experts suggest sticking a photo of a person that represents your audience, often referred to as your “listener's avatar” in front of you while podcasting. Address this person in the photo as if there's no microphone in front of you. It's just you talking to them and nobody else.
Visit the website This Person Does Not Exist find a suitable photo to represent your ideal listener. Keep refreshing the page until you find a picture of a person you like and print it out. Don't worry, as the title of the site explains, these are computer-generated portraits, not real people. But they make great avatars for your audience.
Be conscious of how you address your audience. If you stop “talking to the masses” and start talking to the individual people listening to your show, you'll turn your listeners into advocates. Before you know it, hundreds and possibly thousands of people will be telling others to listen to your podcast.
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