Be a Specialist. Have a Hyper-niche Podcast.
In my hometown of Traverse City, MI, there is a fancy restaurant named The Boathouse. It’s right on the water, at the edge of vineyards, overlooking an island. West Bay is part of Lake Michigan. Crystal clear water invites summer travelers and locals alike.
The Boathouse has one of my favorite soups, it’s a morel mushroom soup. Morels are a rare mushroom that has yet to be cultivated anywhere but in the woods. It’s a notoriously difficult mushroom to grow and has a short season in May. The soup is delicious and expensive.
I might get kicked out of The Boathouse if I asked for a grilled cheese sandwich, instead of ordering from their menu. If they didn’t kick me out, I imagine their sandwich would be amazing.
If I were at a mom and pop diner and asked for mushroom soup, they’d probably open a can and pour it into a bowl.
At a fancy restaurant, if they go off their menu it is amazing. But, at a general restaurant, their off menu items are probably gross.
A specialist can always be a generalist, but a generalist can rarely be a specialist.
In the same way, your primary care doctor won’t do heart surgery, but a heart surgeon can tell you about that rash.
3 (of Many) Reasons to Have a Hyper-niche Podcast
There are three main reasons to niche more deeply than you think:
- You attract your exact best listener
- Sponsors will pay more
- You can limit your time to go deeper
Attracting Your Exact Listener
We live in a world that is past information and cares most about implementation. There’s more than enough opinions, research, and content. Instead, having a niche helps you to bring together the best implementation to save your audience time.
Whether you talk about pop culture, business, or strategy on your podcast, your main role is to save people time. Think about it, the news gives you a summary of what you care about and saves time. This magazine brings together the best podcasts, advice, and stories, it saves you time. So much of what we consume and buy is to save us time and implementation frustration.
By hyper-niching, you’re giving yourself the gift of extreme focus to help your audience.
Sponsors Will Pay More For a Hyper-niche Podcast
Think about why pay-per-click is so powerful. You can focus exactly on who you want to attract. Want Tony Robbins fans who make over $100K per year? People who like Star Wars and are in a knitting group? People in Arizona who are recently engaged? You can advertise only to them.
Advertisers are used to spending money necessarily, knowing they’ll have a small portion of the audience respond. What an amazing shift to be able to say, “I have 100% of your target audience as listeners.”
Sponsors want a clear return on investment, by having a hyper niche, you allow them to target listeners that meet their desired demographics. That’s why as a podcaster, you have to also monitor and collect data to better tell advertisers about your listeners.
Go Deeper With a Hyper-niche Podcast
Recently I started listening to the Deeper Pockets Real Estate Podcast. I’m looking to diversify some of my income streams and want to potentially invest in real estate. We already have two Airbnbs, but I want to learn more about larger real estate investments.
My group of friends don’t invest at the level of buying apartment buildings or huge investments. So where do I turn? Podcasts.
We all have topics we are interested in learning. I’m really glad that the Deeper Pockets guys dig in so deep. It’s like a masterclass giving me the basics. Also, their sponsors are directly helping people like me. They’re talking about software I’ve never heard of.
Imagine you decided to spend the next five episodes really diving into a topic. Maybe it’s something you get questions about, how cool would it be to point people to your podcast instead of answering that question for the millionth time?
By going deeper, you’re also setting yourself apart from general podcasts. A general podcast can’t go deeper like you’ll be able to explore.
Seriously, You Need a Hyper-niche Podcast
Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “I shouldn’t niche because I’ll exclude people.” That’s true. But by repelling people who aren’t a good fit, you’re refining your audience, positioning yourself to make more on sponsors, and allowing yourself to go deep – just like a good morel mushroom soup on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Do you have questions for Joe to answer about your podcast? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is a private practice business consultant who has the #1 podcast for counselors in private practice, The Practice of the Practice Podcast. His podcast, social media channels, and blog help over half a million private practice owners per month. For over 30 FREE marketing tools, resources, checklists, e-books, and other downloads.