• Charlotte Foster

Turn Up The Volume On Your Voice Episode 2 Who Is Your Podcast Even For? (Transcript)

Welcome to the Turn Up The Volume On Your Voice podcast with Charlotte foster.

Turn Up The Volume On Your Voice is a podcast all about podcasting, but with an eye on the UK scene in particular. My name is Charlotte and I've been podcasting since 2017 before that, I was in radio. In fact, the first time I went live behind a microphone was in 1998.

[00:00:34] Yeah. Last century. I love listening to podcasts, making podcasts, and helping others make podcasts too. All through my business, Charlotte, to foster productions. I promise you, I am far more creative when it comes to podcasting than I am when it comes to making up names for businesses.

[00:00:57] Welcome to episode number two of turn up the volume on your voice podcast. This episode is going to be about who your podcast is actually for. The first episode was all about why you should or indeed shouldn't have a podcast. If you haven't listened to that, go back and have a quick listen and come back and find us in just a moment and when you do come back, we are now going to be talking about who your podcast is for.

[00:01:26] I want you to just have a little thought to yourself about this for a moment. Who is your podcast for? Who are you doing this podcast for? Now, if your answer is it's for you or it's for your business, I want you to just sit down for a minute and take a moment because I'm going to tell you something that might surprise you.

[00:01:50] You're wrong. Your podcast is not for you. Your podcast is not for your business. I going to say it again your podcast is not for you. So who is it for? If it's not for you, who is this podcast you are making for? It's for your listener.

[00:02:12] Now note, I said your listener, didn't say your listeners, I said your listener.

[00:02:19] So now we know who your podcast is for, and it is for your listener. We need to just figure out exactly who that listener is and I am going to keep referring to the listener as a single person. And there's a very good reason why I'm referring to the listener as just one single person. Now, back in the day when I worked in radio, and yes, I know radio and podcasts are different, but there are plenty of crossover points and this is one of them.

[00:02:46] So when I worked in radio, we always, always had a target listener, our ideal listener, the listener that we were talking to all the time.

[00:02:56] Now in commercial radio. This was mainly a woman in her thirties she always had a name. One of the names was Debbie for one of them, and I think we also had, Jane was another one as well.

[00:03:11] So we had plenty of different names going on for our, our listeners, our target listeners. But generally in commercial radio, they were very much a similar person. It was a woman in her thirties generally. She had children generally. She was married, generally had a home, generally had a job. Um, was very much the person in charge of, uh, what's the word?

[00:03:34] The household budget, that's the word in charge of the household budget and wore the trousers in that relationship, in that family, she was the boss. Now obviously this was a lot to do with selling adverts in commercial radio. Certainly it was so that, uh, the sales team could go off and go, so this is who we are talking to and this is who your adverts will be talking to. Give us all your money.

[00:03:56] The target listener was also a feature when I was at the BBC as well. In fact, if you listen to different radio stations, you've probably noticed yourself, they sound different, right? So Radio One is definitely not talking to the same person that Radio Four is talking to for example.

[00:04:12] Radio One is absolutely not talking to the same person that Radio Three is talking to. Radio Two is not talking to the person who is listening to your local commercial radio station, say like Heart. There are distinct listeners for each radio station, and you can hear that not just in words that are used, uh, the songs that are played, it's, it is through out the sound, to the sounds of the jingles, the sound of the presenters, who the presenters are, what they're saying, how they're saying and even, and this may or may not come as a surprise, even the news is targeted to who is listening or who you want to be listening.

[00:05:01] That's not to say news is ignored, but you're unlikely to hear about a celebrity on Radio Four on the Today program. It has been done. I remember hearing Kylie Minogue when she had breast cancer leading. I think it was, maybe not leading, but very high up in the running order on the Today program.

[00:05:19] But you're more likely to hear celebrity gossip, so something that's going on, in I know I'm A Celebrity ,that's just started again here in the UK, so I'm A Celebrity, you might more like to have an I'm a celebrity update on Heart, than you are on, let's say Radio Four unless of course something big kicks off on it and it becomes, you know, it's a big talking point, but you know, the day to day, this is what's going on in I'm A Celebrity world is more likely to be heard on your Hearts, your local radio, maybe, probably even Radio One. Different audience, different listener. So now we understand that there are different people out there to listen to different stations for when it comes to radio. How does this work for your podcast?

[00:06:00] Very much the same way you need a listener. Don't panic. You're going to get more than one person listening to you. I promise there will be more than one person listening to your podcast. I guarantee pretty much guarantee it. But you need a listener because as I've just described with the radio, it gives you a focus.

[00:06:26] It gives you a frame to work out what's happening with your podcast. So if you're trying to figure out a topic to talk about with your podcast, what can I talk about this week? Well, what is going on in your listeners world that you can talk about, that you can deal with, you can solve a problem for them.

[00:06:45] Has something bad happened in their world that you need to cheer them up, do you need to give them a solution to a problem that's going on. Do you need to give them a bit of light relief? Do you need to give them a virtual hug, you know, a comforting arm via a podcast. What is going on in their world?

[00:07:02] What is frustrating them? What is annoying them? What can you do to help them?

[00:07:08] What about if you're thinking about getting a guest on, well, how would you know where to start? Well, what does your listener wants from their guest? What do they want to hear?

[00:07:17] It just helps you frame your podcast. It helps you work out how formal you want it to be, what your podcast sounds like.

[00:07:23] Do you want to be, you know, formal Radio Four Today, blah, blah, blah. This is the news formal, formal or do you want to be more chatty? Do you want to be more off the cuff? Well, is that what your listener wants? Does she or he want to hear you in a coffee shop or do they want something performed a little bit more formally or presented a little bit more formally?

[00:07:42] Is that what they're after?

[00:07:44] You can ask your listener in your head. This is where it gets a little bit weird. cause you can just not have any conversation with this imaginary person. Now, some people like to make their listener a real person and frame it that way. I tend not to, I tend to have a made up person on the grounds that.

[00:08:07] It's easier for me to put myself in their place than it is because then I can work out through that what I am doing rather than picking up the phone and having a conversation or going and meeting this person and say, so if I did this on the podcast, would that sound good? Because it's more their opinion rather than you working out.

[00:08:27] There is a method to it, I promise. It does make sense. I'll give you an example. From my previous podcast, cultural quarter of an hour, it was all about culture in Stoke on Trent. You can never be too niche on a podcast and culture in Stoke-on-Trent is pretty niche, right?

[00:08:45] My listener for cultural quarter an hour is Frank. Now Frank is named after a real person and some of his traits do follow real life, Frank. But this Frank is an imaginery person. I really hope real life, Frank doesn't hear this. So Frank is in his late forties, he lives in Stoke On Trent, very, very community minded. Totally you know, focus is on the community.

[00:09:16] He wants to know what is going on, where it's going, on, why it's going on and who's involved. And if he's not involved, why isn't he involved. He likes listening to local voices, especially on the radio. He likes that, that sort of amplification of the local voice on his local radio. He likes listening to local news as well.

[00:09:36] He likes to know what is going on. He likes to b not centre of the attention, but he likes to, you know, be able to say, this is happening. This is happening. This is happening. And be knowing of that, of what is happening. He very much likes to support local causes, local people. He champions the area.

[00:09:51] He's a big champion of the city, whilst at the same time understanding that there are issues in the city, and in fact, he wants to solve those issues if he can, but he needs to know about them. He is very much into events, community events, being part of the community, and he does like his culture as well.

[00:10:11] He also appreciates the underdog. So that's Frank. That's who I was talking to when I did my cultural quarter and our podcast, and I got plenty of Frank's listening. However, I'm pretty certain in fact, I know for sure they were not Frank's listening. I don't know, let's call them the Janet's, the Louise's, the the Sarah's, the Simon's, the Rachel's, the Craig's the Pauls.

[00:10:42] I'm just making up names here. They were listening as well. And the reason I know that is because they got in touch to tell me what they liked about it about the podcast. I also had listeners in America. Well, they're not Frank because Frank lives in Stoke-on-Trent. I had listeners in Japan, definitely not Frank.

[00:10:59] Frank lives in stoke on Trent. Remember? And the listeners in America tended to be ex pats who wanted to hear a little bit about what was going on back home. The Japanese listeners, believe it or not were generally people who are really into ceramics.

[00:11:13] If you don't know, Stoke-on-Trent is known as the potteries. So a lot of the potteries were made. The big potteries themselves based here at Wedgwood is based here. We've got Emma Bridgewater here as well, but certainly, you know, in the good old days, Stoke on Trent was where all pottery was made. So anyone who's got any interest in ceramics would pick up my podcasts because quite often I'd end up talking a bit about ceramics as well as everything else that was going on.

[00:11:39] So, Frank was just one listener, but because I framed everything through him, it helped me focus my podcasts. So if I was going to an event or choosing which events to go to, cause there'd be some days that the, the, the events that were on, were all on the same day and I couldn't get to them all.

[00:11:56] So I had to sit down and go, why would Frank want me to go to this event rather than that event? What would Frank want to hear when I'm interviewing people, what does Frank want to know from this person? It just helps you keep a focus on who you are talking to, why you were talking to them and what they are going to get from it.

[00:12:19] And believe it or not, I have had many a conversation in my head with Frank about what we're doing on the podcast and whether it's the right thing and having that conversation is helps me find clarity as well. Don't worry, I don't do this in public, like have this conversation for the imaginary person.

[00:12:34] It's usually at home. I write it down and it works out. Okay. One thing I do get my clients to do is I get them to draw a picture of their listener. Who is their listener? I like to give them a name, a bit of background about them, and what I do then is I get my clients once they've drawn their picture to stick it up on the wall where they're going to be doing their recordings and talk to their listener while they are recording.

[00:13:02] It works really well. Honestly. It really does. People find it really weird at first, and then once they've done it, they go, Oh, actually that makes sense. And having someone to talk to when you're talking out loud on your own, you feel a little bit strange right? You feel a little bit, this is a bit weird, I'm just talking out loud.

[00:13:20] But actually having someone to talk to, even if they are just a stick man picture that you've drawn. I like it. It helps me. And certainly when I first started out in radio, I had a picture in front of me. When I was reading the news, I had an actual photo that was who I was talking to every single time.

[00:13:35] And when I started doing my presenting, I did the exact same thing. I mean, admittedly, I also had a co- presenter that I had to look at that was useful to just get that response from someone. But when I was presenting on my own, I had a picture. A real picture. It helps. You might feel a little daft, but if you're certainly doing a podcast, which is a podcast of you, just, you know, doing your monologue, then having a photo or a picture of someone to talk to really helps you narrow down what it is you are doing.

[00:14:04] Summing up then, having a listener that again, one listener who you keep in mind the whole time helps you get a focus on your podcast. It helps you understand why you are doing what you're doing. It helps you figure out your style. It helps you figure out what you want to get from your guests when you interview guests, if you're having guests, if you've got a co-host or helps you understand what you need to get from each other, it helps you with your content.

[00:14:33] It's just really, really useful. Otherwise, you could find yourself trying to talk to everybody and missing, missing the point every single time.

[00:14:44] If you try, you know, I don't know if your parents ever said this, but you can't please everybody all the time. And what's it? There's another one, you can't be everyone's cup of tea if you are, you're a mug.

[00:14:53] They do sound like glib cliches, but actually there's a lot to it. Figure out who your listener is and your podcasts will get better, I promise.

[00:15:03] In fact, I would love to hear from you right now if you have a listener in your mind, and if you don't, maybe try and find your listener. Get in touch, let me know who your listener is.

[00:15:14] You can get in touch in all kinds of ways. I'm on Instagram, Charlotte Foster productions, that same Facebook as well you can find me at Charlotte Foster Productions on there.

Twitter @CFosterPDNS I promise. By the end of the week, I'll get over my anger at someone having see foster productions ahead of me.

[00:15:33]I'm also on linked in. You can find me on LinkedIn, Charlotte Foster, I brand myself the podcast queen. Must get a crown.

You can also connect to me via my website as well So let me know who your listener is. Love to hear that.



Charlotte Foster


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