Build a Listener Persona

Know what drives your listeners, and where to find them

Customer personas are what marketers use when creating new brands. They help us get to the heart of the problems we’re solving with the work we do.

As podcasters, we think carefully about the show we want to make. We consider the format, we research our topics, we think about the guests we’ll book. Some of us have audiences we can already speak to, but most of us are developing them from scratch.

A listener persona informs the way you talk to your listener, the copy in your show notes, the social channels you use for marketing, and so much more. It’s fundamental to making a podcast that resonates with the people who’ll become your most ardent fans.

Over the course of a few short videos, you’ll

  • Create a realistic portrait of your ideal listener
  • Understand their needs, and how your work can fit them
  • Discover who they come to for new things
  • Learn who they’re likely to tell about your show

Meet brand strategist, Emily Penner

Emily is the founder of the marketing house Penner Collective. She helps entrepreneurs and other small business founders build a marketing strategy that works for them. Her work starts with the customer in mind, so she’s the ideal guide to help us understand personas, and create our own.

A listener persona for a real podcast

In 2019, Mark started the entertainment podcast List Envy. While it had a good format, listeners enjoyed it and it was well-reviewed, there was no marketing strategy.

With Emily’s guidance, you’ll see Mark develop a persona for the ideal List Envy listener. This is a real show with a real target audience.


01 Introduction

02 What is a persona?

03 Your podcast is not for everyone

04 Introducing List Envy, our test subject

05 The persona template

06 Characteristics

07 Demographics

08 Spheres of influence

09 Values, goals, and problems

10 From the horse’s mouth

11 Alex in a nutshell

12 Some dos and don’ts

13 What comes next?