3 Things You Must Know When Choosing Your Podcast Topic

Welcome to episode 317 of Hit The Mic with The Stacey Harris.

Let’s talk podcasting. I get a lot of questions about podcasting, especially now that we’re 300, now 317 episodes into the show which apparently means I know stuff. One of the most common hurdles for podcasters, or wannabe podcasters rather, is what to talk about. That’s what we’re going to cover today. We’re going to talk about the 3 things you must know about choosing a podcast topic because A, it is not as difficult as you think it is and B, I want you to stop using this as an excuse to no hit record on a podcast because that’s what some of you guys are doing. I know things. Let’s talk about choosing a podcast topic and let’s jump right in. I want to keep this episode pretty brief because I want you guys to be taking action on it, so we’re going to jump right in today.

Number 1, what problem do you want to solve for your audience? What problem do they have that they are looking to you for? That could be inspiration, that could be understanding, that could be education, that could be training, that could be permission to take things less seriously. It could be a lot of things and I’m talking in sort of a grand scale. In the abstract at a really, really bird’s eye level, what problem are you trying to solve? This might be the problem your trying to solve in your business in a lot of other ways, but now this podcast is how you manifest.

For example, I have a podcast because a problem I want to solve is I want you guys to stop telling me you’re dumb. I get a lot of I’m dumb when it comes to Twitter. I don’t know anything about podcasting. I’m dumb when it comes to technology. I’m dumb when it comes to Facebook, and I hate it. Honestly. It drives me crazy because you’re not dumb just because you don’t know something. It just means you haven’t learned it yet, and some stuff you don’t have to know. That doesn’t make you dumb, it just makes you focused, okay?

That’s the sort of grandiose problem I want to solve with this show. That leads to me doing 2 episodes a week answering questions in a way that’s very driven by making you not feel dumb. Making you understand that you can figure this stuff out, that you don’t have to know everything, and that it’s okay to just learn it as you go or say forget it, I don’t need to know it, because that’s cool too. There are things in this world I have learned I do not need to know. I do not need to know a lot of things. I can’t think of anything right now off the top of my head that isn’t insane, but I don’t need to know a lot of things. I don’t need to know how my car works. I don’t. I just want it to work. It’s the joy of marrying a mechanic, I guess, because he can deal with those kind of things but I genuinely don’t have any interest in knowing it, I don’t have any need to know it, okay?

There are things in my business I don’t need to know. I don’t need to know how the SEO on my site works. I know some, but I don’t need to know it all. I A, have a plugin that gets me a lot of the way there, that helps with my limited knowledge. If I really, really want to amp up the SEO, I will hire someone who does know, because it’s just not something I need to know. I do not need to know how to custom code my website because A, I have WordPress and B, I have developers. They know that stuff, okay?

Social media, podcasting, that may be stuff you don’t need to know a whole lot about, but that’s the point of me doing this show is so that you don’t feel dumb. You can get the minimum viable knowledge that you need, you can dive deeper if you want more than that minimum viable knowledge, or you can say, you know what? I can hire Stacey. I can hire somebody else who can take care of that for me, and that’s okay.

Number 1, what problem are you trying to solve? What are you trying to give your listeners.

Number 2, who are your listeners? Who do you want listening to the show? Now for 9 and half out of 10 of you, it’s going to be who you ultimately want to buy something in your business, but the important distinction to make is what section of you customer base do you want listening to your show? As an example, I don’t tend to get a lot of consulting clients where I do large scale launch strategies and things like that through the podcast. Most of those people don’t listen to this show.

However, this is a primary way that people find out about and jump into Backstage. It’s kind of your next logical step after listening to the podcast because it’s the podcast plus, so to speak. It’s the podcast where we dive deeper on all the things we talk about here and you get one-on-one attention from me in the Facebook group. You put profile in there, I do a profile review just for you. You ask for feedback, I give you feedback. It doesn’t have to be that all of your clients will come from your podcast, but what section of your business do you want really to be fueled by your podcast? In a lot of ways, it’s going to make the best sense if it’s sort of your passive income or your one-to-many income kind of base.

For a lot of podcasters, it’s how they fuel their one-on-one business, their one-on-one coaching or one-on-one consulting. I know a few really successful health coaches and fitness coaches who have built, personal trainers, who have built their businesses through podcasting, through sharing their information because they’re able to really showcase their expertise, but also give people an insight into their personality and who they are and how they talk and how they work and all of that through their show. People can feel really connected to them and then it’s a logical next step to hire them.

Get really clear on who you want listening. Not just age, rank, and serial number kind of stuff, not just like, “Oh well she’s a 25 year old female and she’s a stay-at-home mom.” That is not an ideal listener profile anymore than it’s an ideal client profile. I spoke at an event in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago now, a month ago now, 6 weeks ago now, something like that, in October. It’s November now. In October. Somebody asked about their ideal clients and where they should be spending time on social and I said … Where they should be spending time on social to connect with their clients and I asked who their ideal clients were. They said shallow middle-aged women who don’t want to get old. I was like, “Well let me just raise my hand, dear.”

Then I asked her what middle-aged was. She said, I don’t know, like 30 to 65. I was like, “First of all, not middle aged. That’s all adult women.” Almost all adult women. That’s super general. That’s really hard targets, impossible to figure out what kind of content to create, who to speak to, how often to do your show, sponsors, all of that stuff when you talk about a range that large. Get really specific. Who are they? What else are they listening to? What magazines do they subscribe to? What websites do they check out? What email lists are they on? What experts are they paying attention to in your space and in spaces around yours? Get really, really ridiculously clear on who do you want listening to the show?

Number 3, what we’re going to wrap it up with is where does this podcast fit in your overall business model? Again, that’s going to tell you a lot about what you should be talking about when you think about, okay, where does this fit? Again, I don’t talk about a ton of really, super, high-level big business kind of tactics and tools here because although my consulting clients are going to be interested in that stuff, they’re not listening to this show.

For most of the people listening to this show, they’re trying to figure it out. They’re trying to DIY it. They’re trying to work with their new social media manager. They’re trying to grow their business. They’re trying to really support their micro-business in social media, on social media, and use it as a tool for that so what I talk about is different because I’m feeding into the Backstage part of my business model, not the high-level consulting. Not even, honestly, our social media management arm of the business. Those clients don’t come through the podcast. They come through referral, they come through networking events, they come through social, but they don’t come through the podcast.

I know where this fits into my overall marketing funnel and into my overall business model. As sort of heartless as that sounds, It’s critical because it’s impossible to serve everyone all the time with your content. When you get clear on who you’re talking to, what problem you solve for them, and where you’re trying to move them to in your business, where in your business you can help them even more, it gets really easy to pick your topic, it’s really easy to build your editorial calendar. Start with those 3 things and it’s going to make all the difference as you move forward in really understanding what it is you talk about on your podcast week after week, month after month, year after year, all right?

All right, if you want to learn more about launching your podcast, if you’re ready to shift from idea to actual podcast, I’ve got 2 things to tell you. We’ve got a brand new podcast training that we just launched this month. It’s totally free. You can find it over at TheStaceyHarris.com/Podcast. Also there is a gear list inside of there, as in I’m talking about all the gear you need to start and run your show. It’s not as much as you think it is. Also, we’ve got inside of Hit the Mic Backstage, the 5 module Rock Star Guide to Podcasting program where I actually teach you from start to finish how to record, edit, and launch your podcast, whether you’re a PC user or a Mac user. Also check that out.

That’s all inside of Backstage, so $40 a month. You can join us for as long as you need it. If you do check out the free training, though, there might be a 7 day, $1 trial for Backstage, and by might I mean there definitely is. Check that out if you want to give it a try, if you want to see if it’s a fit for you. If you love, you stay in, fantastic. It’s not a fit, you cancel, no hard feelings, we’re all good, okay? All right. I will see you backstage and I will see you on Tuesday.

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