I’m a bit of an ice cream fiend.
I’ve sampled ice cream at dozens if not hundreds of ice cream shops around the world and my very first podcast was actually a show about local ice cream in Vancouver.
Since I know you’re curious, my favourite shop is Salt & Straw in Portland, OR.
What I love about Salt & Straw is not just that their ice cream is good–it is–but the experience of the visit.
In addition to their staples, they have wacky seasonal flavours that change regularly (one Halloween flavour was made with pigs blood… No, I didn’t try it). On any given visit, you never know what you’re going to get.
It’s a popular spot, which means you’re almost guaranteed to wait in line around the block.
It might sound crazy, but some of my very favourite memories are of standing in line with friends on a hot summer day, chatting about our lives, businesses, and, of course, ice cream.
For me, no trip to Portland is complete without a trip to Salt & Straw, and I think about the experience of visiting regularly when I’m away.
While I could go on about Salt & Straw, here’s why all this matters for us as podcasters.
While ice cream–good ice cream even–can be found almost everywhere, there’s something about the Salt & Straw experience that’s hard, if not impossible to find anywhere else.
That rare experience makes it valuable.
This is the same reason your favorite cafe probably isn’t Starbucks.
And your favourite burger probably doesn’t come from McDonalds.
The same principle of course drives our economies. Gold (or Bitcoin if you’re into that) is valuable because there is a finite, limited supply. The same is (unfortunately) increasingly true for fresh air and clean water.
The fact that scarcity = value also applies to podcasts.
While podcasts themselves are certainly not in short supply, the things we choose to deliver through them can be.
While information is ever more abundant and accessible, context, perspective, wisdom and meaning are scarce.
So too are connection & community, and the experience of being genuinely seen, heard, and acknowledged that accompany them.
Our opportunity to stand out as podcasters is to create podcasts that offer something rare. Something not easily attainable–not just from other shows but from the world at large.
Maybe it’s the work you do on your listeners’ behalf.
Maybe it’s the unique angle on the topic you approach.
Maybe it’s the way you’re able to connect with guests and take them (and your listeners) somewhere they haven’t gone before.
Maybe it’s the dignity, respect, empathy, and attention you bring to your audience.
Whatever it is, to create something capable of growing, you have to provide something that can’t be found easily elsewhere.
The sooner you decide what that is, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing your podcast.