Picture, if you will, your dream home – beautiful greek columns, a sprawling kitchen, an infinity pool in the courtyard overlooking your personal mountainscape. Imagine it could all be yours, but there’s just one catch…there is no roof…or foundation. Would you be interested?
Whilst I must confess that is a pretty comical (if not absurd) hypothetical scenario, crafting your dream podcast and then packaging it for your listeners without giving proper consideration to what goes at the beginning and end of your content is a pretty comical (if not absurd) thing to do!
Picture your podcast intro and outro as the all-important roof and foundation to the aforementioned dream home. They bookend your content, they open things up and wrap things up, they communicate who you are, and are the locus of essential information for your listeners.
Let’s give your audience as much value as possible by getting the most out of your content. In today’s article we explore tips on How to Maximize the Impact of Your Podcast Intro and Outro.
Jump in with us, and let’s begin building with tip number 1!
1. Reflect Your Style
Tell us who you are, without telling us who you are (TikTok, anyone?). Before new or potential listeners have even tuned in, they are already judging your “book cover”, and you only have a short window to make a good first impression. Right off the hop, you’ll be evaluated by a number of things including the genre of your podcast (the particular niche, or category that you cater to), your podcast title, and your podcast artwork.
For more help on making the right first impression with your podcast artwork check out this related read: What Great Podcast Artwork Can Do For You
After a potential listener engages further and becomes an actual listener, your intro is now a strategic way for you to reflect your style, brand, and message. Consider two things here…
1. Use The Right Sound
Maximize the impact of your podcast intro and outro by using the right background music or atmospheric sound. Is your podcast about extreme sports? Turn it up to 11! Be intentional about using high energy, upbeat music that reflects the extremeness of your subculture.
Is your podcast a meeting place for baristas, the coffee cognoscenti, and arabica aficionados? Maybe get creative and use a soundscape instead of a song or instrumental. Try incorporating coffee shop sounds: humming espresso machines, the distinct clink of cutlery against mugs, or general walla (a sound effect imitating the murmur of a crowd in the background). These things build brand familiarity – your listeners will begin to remember your catchy tune, hum the cool melody, and feel good whenever they hear those familiar auditory cues each time your podcast comes on. This is a really impacting point of connection.
2. Use The Right Voice
During your intro and outro is where your listeners will, at the very least, find the most direct information about your show: your podcast title, the name of the host(s), your mission statement (e.g. “We help realtors close on listings by sharing the best sales techniques in the industry.”). Choosing the right speaker or voice over artist is key. Are you as the podcast host an established personality in your own right? Do you want to have a personal touch and address your audience directly? Go ahead and record the voice over for your intro, the presence of your voice will be very effective here.
Do you need a booming baritone to exude authority? Do you need a relatable gentler voice to open and close proceedings? Maybe invest in a voice over artist – try using a freelance service such as Fiverr to find the perfect fit that makes your vision a reality.
Related read: What You NEED To Include In Your Podcast Intro
Whatever unique approach you choose to take, make sure you are considering the message of your podcast when assembling the elements of your intro and outro features (namely sound and voice), and you will be sure to maximise the impact of those sections.
2. Start With A Hook…
So, the podcast surfer with commitment issues has tuned in and listened thus far! Your background music is a perfect reflection of your show, and the soothing voice over artist has drawn them in further – how can we add to this impact? Hook em’! One great way of doing this is by using a teaser. You can mention what they can expect to hear in today’s episode – a controversial conversation, tips and advice from an industry professional, a particularly embarrassing story that they just can’t pass up on! You could take another approach and use an excerpt from your show – hook the listener with a particularly climatic moment where your guest recounts an emotional story, or the punchline to a joke prompts a laugh-out-loud response – these things are hard to resist! You’ve already done the hard work of producing the content, so tantalize them and invite them to stay around by hooking them with the promise of the awesome stuff that is to follow.
3. End With A Call To Action!
So, you’ve maximized the impact of your frontend, how about the backend? Just like your intro, your outro can have it’s own unique strengths. One of the great things you can do at the conclusion of your podcast episode is to stimulate further engagement with your audience with a call to action. Ask your listeners for their thoughts on a particular topic that you explored in today’s episode and invite them to write in the comment section or even leave a message on one of your social platforms. Get them involved with user generated content: you could ask them to submit videos, or contribute statements that appropriately speak to the content being explored with your podcast community. Settle difficult questions by inviting them to participate in a poll, conduct giveaways and competitions where specific clues, keywords or promo codes are found in your shows outro.
For more help on how to further engage your audience, check out this related read: How Can I Connect With My Listeners Beyond My Podcast?
Your outro is more than a polite goodbye, it’s a rich opportunity swollen with potential to initiate further engagement and build greater connections with your listening community. This is a great way to have an impact with just a short snippet of a longer piece of content!
4. Keep It Fresh
Now that you’ve been made aware of the many possibilities that live in the realm of your intro and outro, and you’ve established a pretty solid formula, don’t allow yourself to get into a creative rut, but continually keep it fresh. Feel free to push yourself to create a unique intro and outro for each episode.
Here is a paradigm shifting idea: many of us podcasters see the intro and outro as the two plain slices of limp white bread that sandwich the meat of your episode together. This doesn’t have to be the case! Let’s give your listener’s rich, hearty, house-made, artisanal breads to savour…
What is this show’s joke of the day going to be? Which inspirational quote is the host going to kick off with? What is the question that I’m going to have to answer in order to win this episode’s prize? Who’s getting a shout out this week? What funny bloopers and outtakes will be thrown into the outro this time round?
When you keep your intro and outro content fresh, it will actually have your listeners excited to hear what you have to share, because each unique episode has a unique greeting and farewell section. The power of the intro and outro, when wielded properly, transforms these sections from mere house-keeping and perfunctory politeness to dynamic segments that stimulate listener engagement. That sounds like maximised impact to me!
Related read: What To Include In An Effective Podcast Outro
There are few better ways to preserve the impact of your show’s introduction and sign-off, whilst preventing listener fatigue, and staving off the dreaded skip syndrome! Make sure you’re using your opening and closing segments to reflect your style; help your listener to discern who they’re tuning into and entrusting their time to from the get-go. And they will grow to trust you.
Use the right voice, whether it belongs to you or a third party professional, but make sure your mission and passion is communicated clearly and communicated winsomely. Start things off with a tasty teaser, hook the listener in and let them know why they should lend you their ear for the duration of the show. End with a call to action and invite them into a deeper, continued relationship and community. And keep it fresh; don’t hesitate to settle into an effective template, but maximize your impact by introducing novel features and content every episode. Those precious sections at the opening and close of your show should be, and can be leveraged for optimal impact. Employ the tips laid out in today’s blog, and with just a few tweaks you can add more value to your listener, and build the profile and enjoyment of your podcast.