“What’s the best Disney film of all time?”

Jay Acunzo asked the question of attendees at his CEX presentation, From Forgettable to Favorites: Inside the Development Process That Makes Content Stand Out.

None of the shouted answers hit on his “best” – A Goofy Movie.

The lesson for your content brand? “You don’t need to be the biggest or the best. You need to be their favorite,” Jay says.

So Jay, podcast coach and founder of Creator Kitchen, shares these five things to do to become their favorite content.

1. Don’t be generic: “Most podcasts are no one’s favorite because most podcasts are generic. That makes them excruciating or forgettable,” he says.

Creators make podcasts to give general advice or share interviews on broad topics and themes. They often deliver content not served well by an audio format. 

This content promises a transactional value – tactical tips, trends and analyses, general success interviews, etc. That’s usually better served by friends, a checklist, or an article, not a podcast.

“The point is to acquire something and move on,” Jay says. But podcast creators shouldn’t want their audience to move on.

2. Make a transformative promise: Build the podcast around your vision – bring your personal vision to the show.

The 3 Books with Neil Pasricha podcast does this well: “A completely insane and totally epic 20-year-long quest to uncover and discuss the 1,000 most formative books in the world. Each chapter discusses the 3 most formative books of one of the world’s most inspiring people.”

Neil makes a specific, transformative promise to his audience that will keep them returning for each episode.

3. Act differently: Don’t be satisfied with helping your audience or acting like an expert. Be a visionary. Act like an explorer. Lead your listeners somewhere.

Jay advocates swinging for the mountain peak – and bringing your audience on the journey. They immerse themselves in the podcast. I liken it to appointment viewing. Your content isn’t just a nice-to-listen-to product. It’s appointment-listening. They have to know what happens next or experience the next opportunity. 

4. Create a premise pitch: Jay offers this fill-in-the-blank sentence to help create your premise promise: 

Your premise is the [specific], [defensible (can you own the idea in the marketplace)] purpose for your show, pulled from your [personal vision (are you present)] for your [audience (what are their demographics and psychographics)].

Your premise isn’t just what you explore (topics). It’s what you explore and how you explore it that gives others a reason to care.

5. Grow super fans: The audience growth pattern requires the creator to move listeners from strangers to super fans. And that requires you to grab attention, hold attention, and then convert attention.

“You’ll have lots of spiky points of view on lots of topics, which can get you attention, but to own an idea outright in the market, your point of view should be informed by your premise,” Jay says.

Your premise creates a shared culture – a critical theme to immerse your listeners into your podcast experience. Your audience will want what you want. They will believe what you believe. They will feel an excitement to join or continue the journey. They will subscribe. They will share a language that they use to evangelize your show.

And that journey is what every content entrepreneur wants their audience to take.

Remember, Jay says, “You’re not an expert. You’re an explorer. Don’t explore topics; explore a premise – a specific, defensible purpose pulled from your vision.”

Learn from expert presenters at Content Entrepreneur Expo (May 5-7, 2024).  Registration is now open!

About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.