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Aligning Your Podcast’s Purpose with Your Why and Your Audience
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In this post, Brent Dowlen emphasizes the importance of reassessing your “why” when podcasting, regardless of your initial motivation. Your show must align with your beliefs, goals, or dreams to connect with your audience authentically. Without a clear purpose, you risk attracting the wrong audience or failing to engage with your intended audience. When your “why” aligns with your audience’s interests, your podcast will resonate with them, and your audience will grow organically!
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I firmly believe that every person on this planet has a unique purpose and direction in life that can lead to success, fulfillment, and satisfaction. When we align our skills, knowledge, passion, and integrity, we tap into a powerful force that can help us achieve our dreams.
Living with purpose means having a clear direction that flows through every fiber of your being. It gives you clarity when making choices and helps you focus on what’s truly important. When we’re aligned with our purpose, we’re able to tap into our genius work and achieve greater results.
Related: 3 Key Factors For Podcast Success
I remember when I started my show, and the imposter syndrome crept in. I found myself questioning whether anyone would want to listen to me or what I had to offer. Then I leaned in on my purpose.
Let me share a personal story with you. When I was just 19 years old, I had a clear understanding of what my purpose in life was. I had all the necessary skills, talents, and charisma to follow in my preacher father’s footsteps and lead our church’s youth group. But the idea of living that life was something I detested, despite everyone around me recognizing it as my calling.
I attempted to run away from this purpose at every turn, but every failure only brought me closer to it. I served as a youth minister, all while trying to find a way out. Eventually, in a moment of emotional desperation, I made a life-altering decision to join the US Air Force.
Can you imagine the feeling of desperation as a 19-year-old signs up for military service, waving goodbye to their sense of purpose? That was me. I was determined to live my life on my own terms, even if it meant leaving everything behind.
20 Years Later: What Now?
Looking back, I realize now how naive I was in my younger years. But fast forward 20 years, and I felt something stirring inside me once again. It was a desire and a mission slowly taking shape in my heart and mind. At first, I tried to ignore it, unsure if I was ready for this purpose. But the idea only grew stronger with time, and I knew I had to face it head-on.
I dove into my feelings and started exploring what this mission could look like. I asked myself questions about the medium, platform, and audience for my message. Eventually, I began writing a book, but quickly realized that I needed to build my own audience to reach anyone beyond my closest circle. So, like many others, I turned to social media.
Unfortunately, I quickly learned that I was terrible at social media and actually hated it. It was clear that this wasn’t the answer for me. But instead of giving up, I continued to search for other ways to achieve my goals.
Podcasting is something I came to love just by listening to it. I remember thinking, “I can do that too.” After all, I’ve been speaking in public for almost three decades now, and it runs in the family. My dad was quite the talker too. I knew I had the gift of gab, so I went for it. I spent a couple of days writing my first 10 episodes and then recorded them all in a single day.
Now, I’m a person who likes to be prepared, so I made sure to have at least five episodes in the queue ready to publish and five more ready to schedule. That way, I would have time to work on the next ones without getting overwhelmed.
Related: The Power of Batching in Podcasting
And let me tell you, making it past 10 episodes is quite an achievement. Many aspiring podcasters don’t make it this far, so if you’ve reached this point, congratulations! Keep up the great work.
But once I hit that 10-episode mark, things started feeling real. I found myself evaluating my decision to become a podcaster. Is this really what I want to do? Do I have more to say? Does this still fit with who I am? It’s natural to question yourself when you embark on a new endeavor like this.
The Three Elements Of Purpose
If you’re a podcaster, you’re likely passionate about sharing your message and creating meaningful content. You might have started your podcast as a hobby or a way to expand your business, but regardless of your initial intentions, the question remains: how can you make your podcast successful and impactful?
To truly make a difference with your podcast, there are three essential elements you need to bring together: your why, your purpose, and your authentic self.
#1. Your Why
Determining your “why” is an essential step in starting a successful podcast, but I won’t go too deep into this topic because there are already fantastic resources available that can provide more in-depth guidance than I can in the time we have here. Simon Sinek’s “Find Your Why” and “Start with Why” are two excellent resources that I highly recommend you explore.
However, I want to emphasize that your “why” needs to be more than just a superficial or trivial reason for starting your podcast. It needs to be rooted in your core values and beliefs; otherwise, it won’t withstand the test of time. While I’m discussing the topic of purpose, it’s essential to note that your podcast’s purpose doesn’t have to be related to personal development. Business podcasts, true crime podcasts, and entertainment podcasts all serve a purpose.
It’s crucial to determine what your podcast offers and how it aligns with your purpose. If your podcast doesn’t align with your purpose, it can lead to a disconnect between you and your audience.
Discovering your purpose can be a challenging task. It involves introspection, understanding your passions, and what drives you. But even if you have bills to pay and can’t pursue your dreams as a full-time gig, it’s essential to recognize your purpose and bring it into every aspect of your life, including your podcast.
Purpose isn’t necessarily a tangible thing, but it produces tangible results. It shows up in the way you speak about a subject, and it influences how you present your show. Purpose comes in many forms, from being an encourager or a nurturer to being an educator, motivator, or comedian. Whatever it is that fills your heart and brings you fulfillment, that’s your purpose.
Your purpose should be infused into every aspect of your show, from the way you talk to the delivery of your content. Your purpose adds depth and meaning to your podcast and helps you connect with your audience on a deeper level.
So, whether you’re podcasting about a specific topic or just chatting with guests, bring your purpose into it. Share what fills your heart, what brings you joy and satisfaction, and what you’re passionate about. Your purpose is what sets you apart and makes your show unique, so don’t be afraid to let it shine.
#2. Authentic Self
Being authentic is an essential part of building a successful podcast. It’s easy to get inspired by popular podcasters like Joe Rogan, Dax Shepard, or the Drinkin’ Bros, but it’s important to remember that you’re not them. You might admire their style, content, or humor, but trying to imitate them won’t get you far. You have to be yourself.
Your unique perspective and voice are what make your podcast stand out from the thousands of others out there. No one can be you better than you. Embrace your authenticity and let it shine through in your content. Your audience will appreciate it.
Sure, you might not have as many listeners as Joe Rogan or any other big podcaster, but that’s not the point. Your purpose is to connect with a specific group of people who resonate with your message. They are out there waiting for you to be your authentic self and share your thoughts, experiences, and insights.
So, don’t be afraid to be yourself on your podcast. Embrace your quirks, your strengths, your weaknesses, your passions, and your values. These are the things that make you unique, and your audience will relate to them. Be confident in who you are, and your podcast will thrive.
Don’t Pay The High Price of Avoiding Your Purpose
When we’re young, we can make decisions based on emotional reactions rather than logical thinking. That’s how I signed up for the Air Force at 20, driven by a sense of purpose and direction. But my path took a dark turn, and I ended up with permanent injuries, mental and emotional scars, drug addiction, and alcohol dependence. It seemed like I had hit every branch on the way down.
Ironically, though, I eventually found my way back to my purpose. I volunteered in ministry less than a year after leaving the military and became a full-time minister within three years. My purpose was still there, waiting for me to embrace it.
The lesson I learned from that experience is not to run away from your purpose, even if it seems like it’s causing chaos in your life. Instead, run towards it, knowing that it’s a fundamental part of who you are.
Now, I’m not sure where my current trajectory will take me, but I’m committed to following my purpose and asking smart questions to clarify my vision. And that’s what I encourage you to do as well. Ask yourself why you’re creating a podcast and who you’re creating it for. Align your purpose and your authentic self behind your content, and your audience will grow naturally.
Ultimately, the key question you need to ask yourself is this: are you ready to make an impact and grow your show beyond your wildest dreams? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to take action and start building your audience. But remember, it all starts with aligning your why, your purpose, and your authentic self behind your podcast. So, be intentional, stay true to yourself, and be better tomorrow because of what you do today.
About Brent Dowlen
Brent Dowlen is the Host of The Fallible Man Podcast, a YouTuber, a Speaker, and more. He is a preacher’s kid and a former youth minister who has dedicated a large portion of his life to working with teens in some capacity. Brent aims to encourage, inspire, empower, support, and motivate men to take charge of their life by choosing to improve themselves for themselves.
- Visit Brent Dowlen’s Website
- Listen to Brent’s Podcast: The Fallible Man
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