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Podcasting Pitfalls- Starting a Show Without Knowing Your Ideal Listener

avatar ideal listener podcast target audiunce Nov 26, 2021

Podcasting Pitfalls- Starting a Show Without Knowing Your Ideal Listener

At Spark Media, we see a wide array of podcasting pitfalls - those mistakes that could be avoided with a little research, planning, and experience. One does not have to be a seasoned professional to spot these mistakes and the impact that they have on the experience of the listener. In this series, the Spark Media team will cover common mistakes that we have seen and continue to see in the podcasting space and provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to overcome them. The first common pitfall of podcasting is starting a show without an idea of where to go - these podcasters start a show without asking the necessary question, who am I serving? 


Let’s set the scene: imagine that you are a new podcaster. You have hopes, dreams, and aspirations of hosting a show that will positively impact your audience. But, you do not know much more than that. Your desire is to be an encouragement to others, but you are not certain what content will resonate with your audience. So, you throw together your show hoping that you will speak to a need. Starting a show this way is the equivalent of trying to travel to a new destination without a map or GPS. If you start this way, you are sure to hit some roadblocks. 


So, how can this common pitfall be avoided? 


The simple answer to this common question is planning, planning, and more planning. If you are new to podcasting, let us take you through a method to help determine your ideal listener, so that you can create content that resonates with your audience and start a podcast that makes an impact. 


If you have been in the podcasting space for any amount of time, it is likely that you have heard the terms, “avatar,” “target audience”, and “ideal listener.” If you are just starting out, you may find yourself confused and perhaps a bit perplexed by this terminology. Simply put, all of these words and phrases are referring to the person that your podcast is most likely to encourage, equip, inspire, or assist in doing something. Your target audience is the person or the group of people that you are uniquely equipped to serve and to serve well. 


How do I know who the target audience is for my podcast? 

To find the target audience for a podcast, you must first focus on the one. Picture this: you are a mom or dad of young children who are hungry and they want a snack.They want this snack immediately. And, being the kind parent that you are, you desire to feed your children. But, how are you going to feed them if you do not first ask which one of them is hungry?


Likewise, your audience is hungry for something when they come to listen to your show. They may not be wanting literal food, but they desire encouragement. As the host, it is up to you to encourage, inspire, and equip your listeners through the words that you speak. This is an immense responsibility. To steward it well, you must prepare yourself by knowing your audience. 


Here are a few tips for defining the target audience of your podcast. 


Pray, pray, and pray some more. 

As Christians, we have access to the Lord at all times. We have been commissioned to share the good news of the gospel and to be the light in an increasingly dark world. The best way to do these things effectively is to saturate ourselves with God’s word and to pray constantly. Our first and most crucial step in determining the target audience of a podcast is to pray. Pray a lot. And, do not stop praying. Here are some ideas of specifics to pray for during this process. 


  • Pray for your listeners. 
  • Pray to keep a humble spirit with eyes fixed on the Lord as you serve.
  • Pray to stay in the center of God’s will. 


Create an avatar.  

Secondly, you may wish to create an avatar. This is essentially the person that you were praying for in the previous step. An avatar is just a fancy way of saying “picture your listener. Know your listener. Serve your listener.” 


Picture your listener. 

In this step, you simply need an idea of who it is that you are serving. Ask yourself these questions to clarify this. These questions will help you get to further know your ideal listener. 

  • What needs do my listeners have? 
  • How does (or will) my podcast solve the listener’s problems or meet their needs? 
  • What do my listeners like and dislike? 
  • What pain points do my listeners have? 


Know your listener. 

The reality is that every podcast is not suited for every person. Your show will likely not serve everyone. So, it is wise to learn as much as possible about those whom your podcast does serve. You want to know your listeners and do so in a genuine manner that is not sales driven, but that focuses on their needs. As a host, it should be your desire to know the ones whom you serve. 


Serve your listener. 

To serve your listener well, you must keep what you know to be true of that person (or group of people) at the forefront of your mind when creating content. Content should not merely be created for the sake of creating it. Instead, it should be created with an intentional purpose. The purpose of all content is to serve others and to glorify the Lord. 


If you are apprehensive about starting a podcast, these valuable tips can help point you in the right direction. The best way to start a podcast is to do so intentionally and to do it all for the glory of the Lord. Remember, ultimately it is the Lord that you are serving. So, work diligently to starts show that honors Him. 


Thank you for joining us on the Spark Media blog today. For more Christian podcasting resources, be sure to join us on the Spark Media email list. We promise not to send you endless streams of emails, but only that which we would find value in ourselves. 

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