This is a snippet of a presentation from Sell With a Summit: Podcaster Edition. We’re talking about how to identify your ideal podcast listener and summit attendee with Mary Chan. Let’s jump in!


Jenn: Alright, are you ready to build connections with your podcast listeners? Fostering relationships with your podcast audience can help you go from just a podcaster to having a following who know, love, and trust you. If you’re looking to build those connections, then get ready because this session is going to show you how to build deeper connections by identifying your ideal listener.

I’m Jenn, host of Sell With a Summit: Podcaster Edition, and I’m so excited to introduce you to the incredible Mary Chan, founder of Organized Sound Productions and host of The Podcaster’s Guide to a Visible Voice, not to mention a former radio host, podcast strategist, voice coach, and voiceover artist. Thank you so much for being here, Mary!

Mary Chan: Thanks, Jenn. Yeah, that was a mouthful. Sorry about that.

Jenn: That just means you’ve had an illustrious career.

Mary Chan: Thank you so much for having me, this is going to be fun and yes, building the know, like, and trust factor is so, so important.

Jenn: Yeah, especially as a podcaster because it’s such an intimate medium. So yeah. So before we dive into the details of how to build those deeper connections as a podcaster, can you give us kind of a quick overview of your philosophy around that?

Mary Chan: Okay, yeah. So we were talking about the know, like, and trust, but also imagine building that credibility, the trust, and then the influence only by using the power of your natural voice. Everybody has… well, most people have a working vocal cord, so that’s all you need, really, especially as a podcaster. You get to create your growth for yourself, your brand, or your business, and in the traditional sense of a podcast, there isn’t the visual distractions. Like, yes, you can livestream to YouTube and all that, but podcast is like radio, you know: there’s no visuals. It’s a very, very intimate medium.

And even this past year in 2020, Edison Research had the stat came out that 42% of listeners are listening to your voice alone on a podcast, you know, by themselves. So mostly just through earbuds and they take you with them wherever they go, whether they’re making dinner, they’re running errands dog for a walk, you know, when we could commute to work in a car, driving around, and even to like really intimate places like the shower. I know a lot of people actually listen to you and your show in the shower, you can’t get more intimate than that. Who else would you take with you in the shower, right?

So it all comes down to the tone of your voice and how you say something and not actually the words you use. Words alone – like on a post or a caption on social media, blogs – they will never have the same meaning as when you actually say it out loud. And so there’s no better way to connect to your community because your voice reveals what is in your soul and your heart.

Jenn: Yeah, I definitely, definitely agree on that. So what are some of the biggest ways that you tend to see people go wrong and sabotage their podcast – and for those who are watching, also their summit – audience development when it comes to building those connections.?

Mary Chan: Yeah, well, sabotage always also sounds like such a strong word. I want to say that, you know, first of all, podcasting is all a journey. You will learn with each episode that you produce, and that you can’t necessarily sabotage anything in that sense.

But one of the biggest things that I do hear people do is that they’re not realizing who they are speaking to, that you are speaking mostly to one person – like in that Edison research I was talking to about, they are one person and one person alone. And so it is a very intimate medium. And when you are the host or even a guest on a show, know that connection is built when you use the word like you.

So think of it from a listener’s point of view: if you’re listening to a show and the host says, “hi everyone. How’s everyone doing today?” Versus “hi, how are you?” As a listener, how does that make you feel? Yeah, it’s like a conversation you’re having. So if I’m listening and I hear the word “you” versus “everyone,” I feel like they’re talking to me and I feel special, and don’t you want to make your listeners feel special?

You want to focus and hone in on who that person is, because if you can connect to that one person, there’s probably a hundred others just like them. And that way you are building the intimacy, and connection with your voice, and also know that if you are listening with a group of people that as a podcaster, you are still going to be connecting to that person, one person at a time. So, you know, say if I’m at home and I’ve got the podcast playing on my home speakers and my spouse is there and my kids are there – so I’m listening in a group – but at the same time as the podcaster, when I’m speaking to you, I’m still connecting to one set of ear drums at any one time.

Jenn: Yeah, that’s very important. So we’ve kind of touched on some of that already through that, but what are some other ways that it’s important for podcasters to have a plan for developing those connections? Like why is it so important for them?

Mary Chan: It’s important because of that trust factor. That’s what you’re trying to build. So, if I don’t trust what you are saying, And you’re not talking to me directly, why should I care what you’re saying? You know, through your podcast, a relationship gets built because you are speaking from your heart and that’s the way you’re going to connect to people.

So trust then of course leads to credibility. The platform that you’ve created in your podcast will then showcase your whole thought leadership and what you are all about. So people want to hear you, not just read you, read the words that you’ve created. They want to hear what you have to say.

And then that final piece of influence. You know, once you have the trust and the credibility, then you can start influencing people to grow your own brand or business or whatever your podcast is going to lead you towards. So influential people – podcasters – inspire change, and now that you’ve created this inspiration, you’ve got raving fans that will take action based on almost every word that you have to say.

Jenn: Yeah, that’s true. I know I definitely take action on a lot of the podcasts that I listen to. So that is definitely important because of that…

Mary Chan: You trust their word, right? You trust what they’re saying and you know they’re credible, so why not do what they say?

Jenn: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really… really good point. So if you guys are taking notes – if you are taking notes

Mary Chan: Yes, that’s right! See, you can take that even not just with podcasting, but when you are on a summit, speaking to the host and to the one person who is listening to you on the summit.

Jenn: That’s you, that’s you listening right now!

Alright, so let’s really dive in and talk about how to build those connections. So you gave us kind of an overview, so what would you say that the very first step is that a podcast or should take to build those connections?

Mary Chan: To identify your ideal listeners. I’m talking about that one person, right? Who are you talking to? What are the problems that you’re solving for them and how do you want to make them feel? This is very similar to if you have a business and that’s what your podcast is your marketing platform for. In your business, you may have also created your ideal avatar – it’s kind of the same thing.

And so you’re going to ask those same type of questions to figure out who is that one person? And know too that your ideal listener will help you answer any of the questions that you might have related to your podcast, too.

So if you’re asking yourself, you know, does my podcast artwork look good? Is it doing my show justice? I don’t know. Well, you then have your ideal listener that you’ve created already. And so you’ll think to yourself, huh? What would they say? What would they think? And then you’ll find your answers when you put yourself in their shoes.

So having that ideal listener not only will give you the pathway and guidance to what your content is going to be like, but it will also give you a pathway to the overall show, the overall outlook of your podcast.

Jenn: Cool. So when we’re talking about an ideal listener, how specific do you feel like podcasters should get with that?

Mary Chan: Yeah. And like a business avatar and the client avatar, you can get very specific too. And that can help because if you can get that one person to listen to you, everybody else is just gravy, right? So some of my clients give their ideal listener, a name, you know, Suzie, Karen, you know, whatever it is. What is their age? Do they have kids? Do they not have kids? What about pets and their hobbies? You can get very, very specific and niche right down. Or some podcasters I work with use one of their former clients of theirs if their podcast is part of their business.

So you can speak directly to this one person when you’re behind the microphone, especially if you’re doing a solo show or you have to read the person’s bio like you did for one of your guests, it’ll elevate your voice and how you are delivering your content, because you’re going to be speaking to that one person.

And then at the same time, you know, you were asking about how specific do I need to be? Well, the nuts and bolts of this is knowing how you want your listener to feel. So if you’re getting really bogged down on, I don’t know, there’s so many questions, I don’t know who this person is… start out with just figuring out how this person will feel, go with your emotions first or their listeners emotions and you’ll always win.

Jenn: Yeah. So how about, so we’ve been talking a lot about folks that maybe already have an ideal business client avatar. Some folks are not doing it as part of a business, so like, for those people who aren’t familiar with client avatar exercises, what would be some ways that they can kind of hone in on and identify their ideal listener?

Mary Chan: Yeah, so some of the questions that you might want to ask yourself is right from the beginning. Like, why are they even listening? So if your show… what is the passion behind your show and why should they care? Why are they choosing to listen to your show? You know, are they stressed out? So they just want some relief because you are providing entertainment. Or are they here because they just want to learn something? They don’t know how to reach out to… you know, COVID, everyone’s stuck at home. So they’re listening to podcasts to learn something and also to be entertained because we are in such a stressful situation we should right now, and we want to be comforted and we want to connect with someone because we’re just at home with the same one or two, three people that in your household day in and day out now.

So maybe we’re a little lonely and we want to connect to somebody and connecting with someone’s voice is an ideal way to do it, especially, you know, in this day and age. So answering those type of questions to create the best… can help you create the best content for your listener.

Jenn: Perfect. Yeah, I think that’s definitely a good for ways to think about it, because I know for a lot of folks, it’s they look at it and they go, but if I only speak to one person, how am I going to reach everybody else? So what would you say to someone who’s asking that kind of question? I know we’ve talked, touched on it a little bit, but…

Mary Chan: When you connect with the one person, they become your raving fan. So they’re going to start telling other people about you. And right now with podcasting, that is kind of the best way to reach new listeners is through the word of mouth. So if you can connect with that one person, then that radiates to another person and another person, and that web just starts and word of mouth is always the best form of marketing anyway.

Jenn: It’s free, too. All right, awesome. If there is any… like, what would be one specific thing that someone should do right now, as soon as they finish up with this session, in order to start implementing this and build those connections through their podcast?

Mary Chan: Well, actually one of the quick things I always say is when you’re behind the mic, always smile. That always helps it brings out your personality.

But in terms of the ideal listener, ask yourself that question, what I was saying before: what do I want my listener to feel? Think about that every time before you hit that record button, and then you’ll be able to speak from the heart and really connect with that person.

So: what do I want my listener to feel? You hit that record button and smile.

Jenn: Yeah, I love it. And this definitely translates to summits too, so if you’re thinking about starting a summit after going through Sell With a Summit, then that audience will translate into your summit as well and you can build even deeper connections because you get to engage with them through summits, which is my favorite part of it, so, yeah.

All right. So I know you also have something special for those who are watching that’ll help them get even further with this, so can you tell us a little bit about that too?

Mary Chan: Yeah. So like we were both saying before, sometimes people, they either don’t know what an avatar is or they just get so overwhelmed by this idea and all of these questions that I’m throwing out at you.

I’ve got a little worksheet that will walk you through the exact steps to finding that ideal listener and get through all the questions and those emotions that I was talking about for that journey for your listener to go on and ultimately create that connection that builds trust the credibility and influence with the power only of your natural voice.

Jenn: Perfect. I love it. Alright, so for you watching, you can definitely make sure to share this and go and take that action, go get that freebie, start working through identifying your ideal listener.

So thank you so much for being on here with us, Mary.

Mary Chan: Thank you, Jenn. Yeah, reach out anytime. If you’ve got a question, I’m like an open book, so ask away.


Want even more gold about growing and monetizing your podcast – without sponsors? We’ve got your back! You can get access to Mary’s presentation and all of the other sessions from Sell With a Summit: Podcaster Edition for free by clicking that link. 👈

Get Mary’s keys to amplify your voice! Learn more about Mary at Organized Sound Productions

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