Podcast Housekeeping: How to Create the Perfect Podcast Introduction

New listeners to your podcast usually get their first impression from the intro. Is yours as effective as it can be?

This is the first part of actually getting into the foundational pieces of your podcast in this housekeeping series. If you happen to be a new listener of The More Profitable Podcast looking to launch your show, this is a good episode to start with. And if you’re an older listener with a podcast, it’s a good refresher to clean up or update things if you haven’t done so in a while.

Today on the show, we’ll revisit the four checkpoints for how to craft the perfect podcast introduction. This is one aspect of podcasting where we tend to have a “set it and forget it” approach. But you’ll learn how to make sure it’s (still) doing the job you want it to for your show. 

2:42 – How often should you update your podcast intro

4:55 – The purpose of your podcast introduction

7:18 – A little something special we do with The More Profitable Podcast intro

8:16 – My strong opinions on how you should structure your podcast intro

12:58 – Quick dos and don’ts of crafting the perfect podcast introduction

Mentioned In Podcast Housekeeping: How to Craft the Perfect Podcast Intro

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How to Craft the Perfect Podcast Description and Cover Art

How to Craft the Perfect Podcast Episode

Let's talk about housekeeping. This episode is the start of a four-part series on the 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. But for most of you who have a show, these are probably things that you said 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. Let's dig in.

Welcome to The More Profitable Podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey, and this is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team, because your show should be built to generate and convert leads, so let's get into it.

The goal of this series is to keep each episode under 15 minutes so that if you, down the road, listen to them in a batch, you would in fact have essentially a one-hour training on auditing your podcast. We're going to hit four checkpoints, we'll call them, where I want you to be stepping in, looking at your show, and making sure that what is there is doing what it needs to be doing.

We're going to start today with intro. Next week we'll talk outro. Following that, we will talk about your podcast description and your cover art. Then we will wrap up talking about process. We'll wrap up talking about, not the production process but just your recording process, some ways to change that up or some ways to improve that, and some nuances that maybe you hadn't considered.

Before we dig in, I want to remind you that The Podcast Newsroom is, as always, giving you up-to-date and what you need to know right now content. These are the conversations we're having in that space; what do you need to know, what do you need to be aware of, and what you need to be checking in on right now. If you haven't yet subscribed, you can go to podcastnewsroom.com. There you will submit your email address and I will send you your very own private personal link to the private podcast, The Podcast Newsroom.

This cannot be found by searching Apple Podcasts, you need to go to podcastnewsroom.com to find it, because it is a very special and private podcast. Thanks to Hello Audio. If you would like a private podcast of your own, check out podcastnewsroom.com because we have some great conversations on how to use private podcasts in that space. Let's dig into our intros and let's talk about it because I do want to keep these episodes short and actionable.

First off, let's talk about how often we need to be changing this, how often do we need to be paying attention to this. 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 intro 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 day four of my business.”

Your podcast intro 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 do solo solid 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.

When we go listen to this and we go take an audit of this, what are we looking for? That's what I want to dig through now. First and foremost, you gotta know the goal of your intro. What is the purpose of the introduction in your podcast? Real simple. I'm going to give you an answer right now, it is to help a new listener, notice I said a new listener, identify what's happening here and why they should stay.

Notice that this had nothing to do with you, 0, -15. It has less than 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.

Because 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 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 intro. Again, plain and simply, 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.

I want to dig into some of the specifics, some of these structural logistics of your 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, even to the extent of dropping me a message in Monday—and by the way, Monday's the project management software we use in case you're new—dropping me a message in Monday and me messaging you back, that tone, that give and forth, it's giving you an expectation of what engagement is like.

I don't mean engagement in like, “Oh, likes and follows,” I mean engagement in like you and I having a mother love in conversation, this is what it's like. 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 red 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 intro structured the way our intro is structured. Your intro should be 30 to 45 seconds. It should not be one and two and five minutes. I have heard shows where the intro lasted longer than the content of the episode did. That tells me of 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 intro, where are you building trust really early, where are you doing things that support them in getting to the content?

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 intro unless you want explicit on every single episode. If you want to be able to pick and choose where you drop the swears, you can't cuss in your 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 intro, 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.

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. 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, 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, head on over to uncommonlymore.com/intensive and book yours today. I'll see you there and see you next week when we're going to talk about outros.

If you made it to this part of the show and you still happen to be listening, which statistically is unlikely, I want to say thank you for listening. Thanks for hanging out with me today. I want to hear from you, so reach out on social or via email and let me know what actions you're going to take from today's episode. Because honestly, that's why we produce the show, that's why I record this show, that’s why my team does all the work to release this show, is so that we can help you. We can help make a difference in your show, and consequently, in your business. If you haven't left a review for the show, head over to ratethispodcast.com/more. It’s an easy way to show some love to the show. Also, help us reach more podcasters who are looking for the same kind of support you were looking for. If you have any suggestions or ideas or thoughts you would like me to address on the show, be sure to reach out. Again, like I say a lot, this is the start of the conversation. I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

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