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The first step to growing your podcast audience is to understand who your ideal listener is. Let’s take some advice from a proven marketing expert on how to create a listener persona.

Why a listener persona matters

When we start a podcast, it’s easy to focus on ourselves and what we want to achieve. But to create something that truly resonates with your audience, you need to shift your focus to your listeners. By creating a listener persona – a fictional representation of your ideal listener – you can gain a deeper understanding of who they are, what they care about, and how you can help them.

“Let’s start to make this a real human and real, a real person, instead of just having it be they them, what’s their name?” says brand strategist Emily Penner. Once you’ve given your persona a name, you can start to ask yourself questions like “Is this something Alex cares about?” or “What question would Alex have at this point?”

How to create a listener persona

Start by giving your persona a name and finding a photo online that fits. Jot down some basic demographics, such as age and gender. Then, think about the characteristics that make this person tick. Are they outgoing or reserved, tidy or disorganised?

Once you have a good idea of their personality, you can start to look at their spheres of influence. Who do they talk to? Who do they respect? Who has influence over them?

Why making something for everyone means it won’t resonate with anyone

Penner warns against trying to create something that appeals to everyone. “Do you want to appeal or do you want to resonate? Sure, you can appeal. You can be pleasant to a wide group of people. But if you want to really resonate with them and engage with your customer on a meaningful, genuine level, you have to know exactly who you’re talking to.”

How to apply a listener persona to your podcast

Once you’ve created your listener persona, you can start to think about how to apply it to your podcast. How can you create content that will appeal to this specific person? Where do they hang out online? Who has influence over them, and how can you reach those people?

Creating a listener persona might seem like a lot of work, but it’s a crucial step towards growing your podcast audience. By understanding who your ideal listener is, you can create content that truly resonates with them and helps to build a loyal following.

Mark Steadman's avatar

Mark Steadman

Helping seasoned, soulful entrepreneurs use their podcast to build trust and create long-lasting, rewarding relationships with their listeners.

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