If you’re just getting into podcasting, chances are that during the course of your research, you’ve come across the term “niche”… a lot! And if you’ve been in podcasting for a while, you’ve definitely used this term because you know how important finding your niche is! Just to get us all on the same page by means of a concrete definition, your niche is that specialized topic that you’ve carved out for yourself within a wider subject. Your niche serves as the platform from which you can share your knowledge. Finding your niche is, therefore, that all-important first step to entering the podcasting world.
Many podcasters see the next step, after locking down their niche, as building their audience – which is not wrong. However, what can prove to be even more beneficial in the long run than having a large audience, is having your listeners view you as an authority within your niche. In other words, becoming the podcast people turn to when they want to know more about [insert your podcast topic here].
You may be thinking, “This sounds great! But how do I actually build authority?” You may also be thinking that this sounds like a slow process, taking years to achieve. But that’s where we come in! We’ve come up with eight strategies to help you jump-start this process and speed up your achieving “authority status” within your chosen niche.
1. Ensure That Your Niche is the Right One
Before you can even think about becoming an authority in your niche, you have to make sure you’re actually in the right niche! This is vital! How do you know if your chosen niche is the right one for you? Well, can you eat, sleep, and breathe your topic without it getting tiresome? Will you still be passionate about this topic 30, 40, 50 episodes in? If the answer is “no” — abandon ship, I repeat, abandon ship! And find the topic you have that all-consuming passion for! But if the answer is a resounding “YES!” then you’ve taken the first giant step in developing your authority in your podcast niche, as this proves you have the passion and tenacity to put the rest of the strategies in place.
Related reads: How to Find Your Podcast Topic: 8 Unique Topic Ideas
2. Know What Makes You Unique
This equates to knowing your story and knowing how that differentiates you from anyone else doing a similar thing to you. In terms of establishing your authority, your story is what makes your podcast unique and what will connect you with others, whether these are potential listeners, other podcasts you’re looking to be a guest on, or even with creators of other forms of publications, you may want to be featured in. Knowing your story gives you the confidence to say “This is who I am, and this is why I can speak on this topic from this angle.” That confidence, in turn, builds trust with your listeners, and that trust is the cornerstone of building your authority in your niche.
3. Never Stop Learning
In Strategy #2, we stated how important trust is in the building of authority. And while that trust is initially established through your confidence in what you offer, it is sustained by your knowledge of the subject. That is why Strategy #3 is to never stop learning. Even if you already have copious knowledge of your niche topic, there’s always more to learn. The more you know, the greater the credibility you will have with your audience, and credibility and authority go hand in hand! Do all you can to hone your craft and fine-tune your skills. Not only will this improve the quality of your content, but it will also help establish your podcast as an authority in your chosen topic as your listeners develop trust in what you have to offer.
4. Acquire Credentials
You should then cement that trust through acquiring and increasing your credentials, as this helps back up what you’re telling your listeners you can do. They show your listeners in black and white that you are who you say you are, and you know what you say you know. Credentials go a long way in establishing your credibility, and so in turn, go a long way in building your authority. Remember, these credentials do not necessarily have to be particular qualifications. They can be your years of experience or testimonies from people who have benefited from your expertise. But qualifications don’t hurt either. In your continual learning, why not look for accredited courses related to your topic? These will only add to your credibility and so increase your authority in your niche.
Side note: Mentions on other podcasts or in other forms of publications can also serve as credentials. We discuss this further in Strategy #8.
5. Always Create High-Quality Content
We’ve seen how sound knowledge is a key element in building your audience’s trust in you. But your audience will not discover your knowledge if you do not package it effectively in your podcast. Therefore, if you want to build your authority in your niche, you must always strive to create high-quality, valuable content. If your episodes are full of sound information, golden nuggets of wisdom, and eye-opening insights, you’ll be the first place your listeners go for answers or advice. Aim to make each episode rich in concentrated valuable content, without diluting it with unrelated or unnecessary information. One way to do this is to use tools such as Google Trends, or other software specializing in keyword research to see what topics or questions are most popular within your niche. These results can show you what information your audience is potentially looking for within your area of expertise. By creating corresponding content, you will quickly become the one they turn to when they have specific questions that need answering or when they are looking for particular advice, thus cementing your authority in your niche.
6. Engage With Your Audience
Think of this strategy as providing great customer service, and one of the best ways to provide this customer service is by actively engaging with your listeners and with the communities they belong to. If they ask you questions, either directly or via a forum or chat, freely share your knowledge with them. If they need help, assist where you can or show them where to turn for answers. Aim to be approachable and as helpful as possible. This will greatly assist in building their trust in you! Sometimes, we’re resistant to sharing our knowledge, as we fear it will cause us to lose our power. But actually, someone who freely shares their knowledge and expertise with others is seen as confident in their position, which translates to being an authority in their field.
7. Find Other Ways to Share Your Content
We’ve established previously that experts can be characterized as people who are confident in what they know and what they can do, and have no problem sharing insights and information with others. It follows then that another strategy for building your authority in your niche is to find other channels through which you can share your expertise. You already offer your content via your podcast, but you should also consider having a blog, and at least one other platform, be it YouTube, Facebook, or whichever platform will suit your content and your niche. That way, people have access to your content through a variety of different mediums, proving, firstly, that you are serious when it comes to providing information and secondly, these other platforms serve as additional proof that you are trustworthy and credible.
Related read: How to Improve the Discoverability of Your Podcast
8. Network with Other Authorities
The last strategy for building your authority within your podcast niche is networking. In particular, networking with other figures of authority within your niche, and with those already seen as “thought-leaders” within your topic. Networking with other knowledgeable authorities means seeing “your competition” as peers and not enemies. This mindset should then allow you to approach them with confidence and respect, which in turn, should open the doors to networking opportunities.
Here are two strategies for realizing these networking opportunities:
Be a Guest on a Similar/Related Podcast
One networking strategy with proven success is being a featured guest on a similar or related podcast, particularly one that is respected within your field. If you’ve got sound knowledge and expertise in your subject, there’s no reason why you should have any trouble landing a guest spot on such podcasts. Podcast hosts are often on the lookout for people to appear on their show. If you can prove that you will add valuable content to their episode, it’s highly likely that they will grant your request.
Another way to network is to branch out to other forms of publication. We’ve already hinted that having media mentions can amp up your credentials, which we know can help build your authority. However, media mentions in their own right are a sound strategy for building your authority. In the same way, you approach other podcasters, you could also approach bloggers, vloggers or publishers who reach a similar, if not the same, audience as your podcast. Each interview, published article, or any other type of media mention increases your credibility and so increases your authority status within your niche. Before you know it, you’ll be seen as the go-to name in your area of expertise!
At the heart of building your authority in your podcast niche is getting your audience to trust you by proving your knowledge and credibility. This is no easy task! It may be slow going at first and will definitely require a fair amount of patience, as initially, building trust can take time! But don’t lose heart! Consistently dish up valuable content, put these strategies into practice, and your hard work will pay off! You’ll soon have an audience who trusts you, and you’ll achieve that all-important authority status within your podcast niche.