You: What is your favorite book?
Me: The Cheesecake Factory Menu.

I get lost in the thousand pages that is the Cheesecake Factory menu.

“Are you ready to place your order?”

No. Between the ads for fancy stores in Beverly Hills and Coca-Cola, it takes me nearly a century to settle on what to order in the endless spiral-bound pages of The Cheesecake Factory menu. Naturally, when all is said and done, I end up ordering what I’ve ordered a hundred times before: Crusted Chicken Romano.

I get caught up in “decision paralysis.”

The order by number process at McDonald’s makes decision making easy.

“Yeah, I’ll have the #1. Large.”

Yet, the information overload in the as-big-as-a-phonebook menu at The Cheesecake Factory kills my ability to make a swift decision.

I believe the same thing happens with many podcasts and radio shows.

(By the way, if you prefer the boring white bread over the delicious brown bread at The Cheesecake Factory, we can’t be friends)

Source: TriviaKing

What is the strategy of your podcast?

The mission, vision and strategy for a brand all go together hand in hand. There’s quite possibly a million articles published on the subject, so I won’t bore you with the meaning and purpose behind each.

We have to get past tactical thinking and focus on strategy.

Tactical thinking is in the questing of the ideal length of a podcast episode. The answer by the way, is as long as the content continues to be interesting. Tactical thinking is debating on whether to record the podcast in a studio or on-location. Tactical thinking is “if I post new episodes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll triple my traffic overnight.”

There’s nothing wrong with weighing the answers to these questions, but if the meat, or the content in your podcast is off-strategy, what’s the point? You might as well pack up your toys and go home.

How do you begin forming a strategy for your show?

For starters, it’s going to look different for every brand.

  • What “Serial” is trying to accomplish is going to look different than “The Joe Rogan Experience”.
  • There is no “plug and play” template that will capture the the vision you have for your show’s brand.

By answering these three questions, you’ll be well on your way to forming a strategy for your unique podcast or radio show.

  • What role does my podcast play in the life of those who listen?
  • What makes my podcast unique?
  • What is the essence of my podcast?’

Let’s use Kira as an example.

Kiara works full-time as a medical transcriptionist in Tupelo, MS. To beat stress from the job, she’s developed a love for gardening. She’s learned through trial and error that in her part of the country, herbs like basil, Spanish Lavender, chives and mint thrive.

Rather than belaboring the details like the ideal length or location for recording, Kiara focused on asking herself the aforementioned questions.

  • What role does my podcast play in the life of those who listen?
    “For me, gardening is an escape. It helps me reset and recharge from a stressful day on the job.”
  • What makes my podcast unique?
    “I’m an amateur gardener. I don’t have a lot of money to invest in this project, so I’ve had to find ways to do this hobby on the cheap.”
  • What is the essence of my podcast?’
    “Gardening for me started out of a place of stress and dissatisfaction with my place in life. I want to encourage other woman that something as elementary as growing herbs can help manage the weight of life.”

Whoa. There’s a lot to chew on here. Kiara’s podcast is more than seeds and watering.

Take back at the underlined words above. Do you get the sense that this podcast is going to talk dirt, or is it going to speak on emotions?

From soil composition to the right pesticides to use, Kiara got lost in the technical details when she first started her podcast. However, as she went through this exercise, she was able to find her strategic voice in the cavalcade of gardening podcasts.

With this strategy in mind, prepping for the podcast has become a thousand times easier for Kiara. As she pencils out topics and interviews, she knows to skip over the dirt, and land on content to help the soul.

Kiara’s strategy has helped her to create something that has value and matters to a very specific group of people.

Let’s wrap this up! Back to you. With your podcast in mind, think on these three questions: “What role does my podcast play in the life of those who listen, what makes my podcast unique and what is the essence of my podcast?”

Do you have satisfying answers? Do you have a clear strategy?

Or are you still lost in the pages of The Cheesecake Factory menu?


Rick is a dynamic radio programmer and on-air personality armed with nearly twenty years of progressive experience in commercial radio, digital and mobile strategy, format changes, and research. Rick holds a personal winning scorecard as a programmer and is an expert in Nielsen PPM and Diary analysis and implementation. In 2014, Rick was awarded the illustrious “30 Under 30” award from Edison Research.

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