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JM Podcasting Services

Podcast Coach for Disability Services

S14E1: Niching Your Podcast: Reaching the People Who Need You Most

Your podcast is a great vehicle for developing your branding in the marketplace. It is a longer term marketing strategy that works, works really well but only if you position your show correctly. It needs to give value to your listeners and stand out from the crowd. How you promote your show will be covered later in this season so for this episode I’m going to concentrate on why niching down to focus on the competencies in your disability service is really the best way to go. You’re not necessarily looking for huge numbers of listeners but you are looking for the right listeners. The ones who’ll be most likely to need your services and their circles of friends and relations.

In an apparently crowded media landscape, a broad message can get lost in the noise. To truly connect with individuals seeking support, disability services need a Niching strategy for their podcasts. It’s time to move beyond generic content and tailor your episodes to the specific needs of niche communities within your overall audience.

Imagine a podcast on general disability. While informative, it might not resonate equally with everyone. However, by understanding diverse experiences, you can create episodes targeted at specific challenges. Let’s explore the benefits of this approach:

Deeper Connections and Increased Engagement:

Micro-targeted episodes feel like a conversation directly relevant to the listener’s life. This fosters a connection that increases engagement. Listeners are more likely to:

  • Actively participate in discussions (online fora, social media)
  • Share the podcast with others in their niche community
  • Return for future episodes focused on their specific struggles

Tailored Content for a More Impactful Experience:

Understanding the unique challenges faced by different groups lets you address them directly.  Instead of generic service options, you can offer practical solutions tailored to their specific needs.  Think:

  • Managing Anxiety: Interview a career coach specialising in anxiety management. Link that conversation to the programs your service offers. Follow this with interviews from service users who have felt the benefits of your programs. This could easily be expanded to a ten episode season.
  • Disability Support for those recently onboarded into the NDIS: Explaining the processes required to go from funding to service delivery. The individuals involved: program coordinators, SIL managers, day program team leaders and the disability support workers. How do these individuals support the client? How can the client navigate the processes involved? Do they require advocates? And so on. This too would make a great ten episode season with additional bonus episodes as the NDIS evolves over time.

These are but two examples of a niched down podcast season. Your imagination is the only limit in finding niched season ideas.

Building Trust and Thought Leadership:

Niching demonstrates a deep understanding of your audience’s diverse experiences. This builds trust and establishes your service as a thought leader within your specific niche. Listeners see you not only as a provider but as a champion for their specific needs. Competence in a variety of domains from understanding the NDIS to individualised service delivery implies and indeed, is confirmed, as authority within the broader disability sector and especially in your organisation’s preferred areas of operation.

Expanding Your Reach:

Catering to a wider range of interests within your target audience expands your reach. By creating a diverse content library, you attract listeners who might not have been interested in a more general approach.

I’ll just jump in here, if you’re interested in starting or even re-starting a show that’s podfaded, head over to jmps.au and watch the video “Dreamer to Podcaster”. This explains the two big myths holding mist people back from podcasting and gives you an outline of the JMPS system as delivered through our group coaching program. If this is something you might be interested in, click the link in the show notes. You’ll find it interesting, I think. The first five people to sign up for the JMPS Group Coaching Program will receive a $300 a month discount, so jump in and join the fun.

Back to the episode:

Strategies for Niching Your Podcast:

  1. Audience Research:

Understanding your audience is key. Here’s how to get started:

  • Surveys: Send out surveys gauging specific challenges and preferred content. A good service will already have an email newsletter and by extension an email list. By surveying your current clients, guardians, parents and friends, a stronger understanding of their needs and wants will be available to your organisation for both show refinement and actually making client’s lives better in the ways they are requesting it. 
  • Website and Social Media Analytics: Analyse demographics to identify potential niche communities. This is a critical process. You can use it to measure changes over time once your show hits the ear drums of listeners. 
  1. Brainstorming Topics:

Once you’ve identified niches, brainstorm content ideas that resonate with their specific needs. Consider:

  • Challenges faced by the niche (e.g., anxiety for new SIL residents)
  • Resources they might be unaware of (local support groups)
  • Daily life experiences relevant to their disability (e.g., managing bipolar disorder in a relationship)

3. Diverse Guest Selection:

As a rule of thumb, go with your existing clients first. The lived experience is podcasting gold. Personal stories of transformation, from the small, a better morning routine to the huge, a skydiving dream realised, perhaps are all relevant and, handled with finesse, make great stories. Bringing in other viewpoints can have its place. Say, an interview with a parent discussing how much their child has grown through a particular program would be of value to listeners.

4. Format Variation:

This is where a ten episode season shines. Each episode can have its own structure tied together with the overarching narrative theme for the season. 

  • Episode 1 of every season would lay the problem, concern or focus of the season. Use clips from the season to create interest and promote feedback.
  • Episode 10 would tie everything together with the service user’s lived experience of their transformation as the key material.
  • The other eight episodes could, depending upon the theme/topic for the season bring in outside “experts”, the staff assisting the client, a WH&S opinion, especially for the skydiving example which is a true story, by the way, and updates from the client as they go through the implementation steps required to bring about the outcome they desire.

Conclusion:

By moving beyond a one-size-fits-all approach, your disability service podcast can become a powerful tool for fostering connections with the specific communities you serve. Through niching, you create a deeper impact, build a loyal audience and ultimately, fulfil your mission of providing accessible and impactful disability support.