Podcast Housekeeping: How to Create the Perfect Podcast Introduction

This episode is the start of a four-part series on podcasting housekeeping you maybe haven’t done in a while. If you don’t have a show yet and you’re looking to launch your show, these are really good episodes to start with because these are foundational pieces. If already have a show, these are probably things that you “set it and forget it” with. Today we’re going to revisit them and make sure they’re still doing what they’re supposed to do for our shows. We’re going to start today with your podcast introduction. 

How often should you be updating your podcast introduction?

I recommend with this, and honestly most of the things we’re going to talk about in this series, at least once a year, at a minimum annually, you’re touching base and you’re making sure that it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Because the reality is your podcast introduction may no longer be aligned with your goals, with your ideal client, with your messaging, with your focus, with your format even.

You got to be checking in on this every once in a while. It’s so easy in the momentum and the day-to-day of creating, building, changing, evolving, and occasionally burning down that we miss something, that we forget something. I think of this a lot as the one line in your welcome sequence that references an offer you no longer offer and you get an email and someone’s like, “Hey, could I book such and such?” and you’re like, “I don’t do that anymore.” They’re like, “Oh, your email said you did,” and you go, “Oh, I haven’t looked at that welcome sequence since I uploaded it in on day four of my business.”

Your podcast introduction might be the same.

It might be a matter of you going, “Oh, I haven’t talked about any of these things since the second episode of this show,” because—and I really want to highlight this—if you’ve never looked at it since you launched your show and you’ve done at least 50 episodes of your show, and honestly could probably knock that down to like 30 episodes of your show, check it out, just and go give it a good old once over because you have learned, you have evolved, you have made shifts, you have focused, you have done something that will require you to upgrade, up level, shift. There are lessons that need to be implemented is what I’m saying. Integration must happen, so go in and check it out.

What should I include in my podcast introduction?

When we go listen to this and we go take an audit of this, what are we looking for? 

First and foremost, you gotta know the goal of your podcast introduction. What is the purpose of the introduction in your podcast? Real simple. It is to help a new listener identify what’s happening here and why they should stay.

Notice that this had nothing to do with you. This is entirely about the listener identifying that this is a place they want to stay. This is about you buying enough trust that they keep listening. Your show title, your episode title, your episode description, your show description, somewhere in there bought you the click, that didn’t buy you the listen, it bought you the click. It’s now time with your intro to buy the listen.

That’s why I’ve really shifted to a hook here in front of our actual intro music because I wanted this to be a place where you knew, not just what the show was going to promise you, but what this episode was going to promise you. We’ve shifted to really establishing here’s the episode promise up front, here’s the show promise, secondary, and then we dig into the actual content. It doesn’t mean that’s the way you need to do it, it doesn’t mean it’s the right way and every other way is wrong, but it’s the decision I made with this show.

At this point, as much as we welcome new listeners every week, we also have a lot of repeat listeners. This show has existed for a while. It’s existed for a while in the format and structure that it’s in now, in the focus that it has now. We’ve rebranded this show 2020, 2021, somewhere in there, so more than a year ago and so it’s lived in.

A lot of the people listening to the show have been listening to the show for one, two, four, five, seven, nine years and so I like having that episode promise forefront instead of the show promise forefront because I’m for the most part buying you into today’s conversation, not the global conversation that happens on this podcast.

To that end, we do a little something special with our podcast intro. If you’ve ever noticed, if you click your 15-second forward twice, you’ll get through the intro. If you’re sick of listening to me in that intro, hit fast forward twice and you won’t have to listen to it anymore because it’s not for you, you know what the show is, you know what the show promises so I’m hooking you on the episode promise and then now telling you away, but before just making it easy for you to get to the content, get to the meat and potatoes of the episode.

I want you to be thinking about what is the goal of your podcast introduction. Again, plain and simple, it is to buy enough trust that they keep listening. Tell them what’s in it for them, tell them what’s going to be happening, give them the promise of the show.

How should I structure my podcast introduction?

I want to dig into some of the specifics, some of these structural logistics of your podast intro. One of them is you were a voiceover. This is a question we get a lot when we talk about intros and we talk about changing them up. We’ve, in this last year, launched some podcasts with clients, done some complete podcast rebrands, and for some clients just updated the intro, and across almost everyone, we’ve had the discussion of “Is it me or is it a voiceover?” Is it the podcast host or do we bring someone in to voice over the show?

Personally, I have a lot of strong opinions here in the space you and I exist in. This show is about you and I connecting so that you can get a feel for what is like to be on a call with me, to begin a quarterly strategy call, to hop on a call to discuss something, whatever it is that we’re in engaging with.

This is what that show is built to do. For most people who listen to the show, that’s also what your goal should be. It’s to give that experience, build that trust, start that relationship with the listener before they become a client, help them decide if this is the relationship they want to be in to solve their problem, which means as cool as it can feel to have a drive-time radio DJ introduction.

As appealing and cool as that may feel, it’s probably not going to do a whole lot to garner initial trust. However, if you hear a podcast host come on and say, “Hey, this is what we’re going to talk about, this is what we do here. I’m so and so. Let’s hang out,” it sets that tone differently and that’s what I want you to be looking at. When you’re choosing between voiceover and host-narrated, we’ll call it, who are we connecting with? How are we positioning this?

I want to position my show very intentionally as a partnership, as a give-and-take relationship, and as honestly equals. Oftentimes, not always, but oftentimes, I feel shows where they are expert-hosted and they’re built to sell a service or a program, we tend to position the host as superior to the listener. I don’t like that. I don’t like the dynamic. I don’t like the feel. I’m not better. I just know stuff you don’t know yet.

Notice that I said yet. This has been a core belief for the entirety of my business. There are things I know you don’t know. That does not make me smarter than you. For me, I want this to be a partnership. I want this to be an equal stake. I care about my client’s shows. I care about your show. For me, host read is a no-brainer because I’m establishing a very specific tone to our relationship.

On the flip side of that, it’s also the reason why we have the podcast introduction structured the way our intro is structured. Your podcast introduction should be 30 to 45 seconds. It should not be one and two or five minutes. I have heard shows where the intro lasted longer than the content of the episode did. That tells me very clearly what your goals are for the show, and it is to sell, not to connect. I also have a goal to sell in this content, but it’s because we connected, not instead of us connecting.

I’ve structured it so if you hit a button twice, you’re aces, baby, we’re in it. You don’t need to be reintroduced. You don’t need to be re-enrolled in this idea because the content is enrolling you. Think about that as you’re structuring your show. As you’re looking at your podcast introduction, where are you building trust really early, where are you doing things that support them in getting to the content?

Podcast introduction dos and don’ts.

Real fast, a couple of do’s and don’ts, rapid-fire style because we’re nearing the end of our 15-minute mark. 

Number one, don’t make this about you, do make it about your listener. 

Number two, don’t cuss in your podcast introduction unless you want explicit on every single episode. If you want to be able to pick and choose where you drop the swear, you can’t cuss in your podcast intro.

Now, if, on the flip side, you do want to set the tone that you’re going to have in your show. If you cuss in every single episode and it makes sense in your podcast introduction, do it, because every episode is going to have explicit anyways and it’s going to set the tone for what’s to come in the reps of the episode.

Number three, don’t get too cute. Be clear. Be really, really clear about why you’re here, why they’re here, and what’s going to happen while you’re here together. 

Get support with your podcast strategy.

If you have not yet booked your Podcast Strategy Intensive, I recommend you do so. These are the things we are covering specific to your show, we’re doing a little housekeeping. 

Then we’re doing a little prep as we look at building your next-quarter content plan. Checking in on your show, making sure everything is set up for success for you to reach your goals with your podcast in the next quarter. 

If you haven’t yet, book yours today

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