Did you know that there are separate and distinct goals that your intro and outro should be trying to accomplish?
Seriously — and focusing on these goals can help you get whatever results you want with your podcast. Failing to do so could be costing you big time.
Alright, so what are they?
Your intro has two main goals.
Podcast Intro Goal #1: Set the tone for the rest of your show.
Have you ever heard a podcast intro that was just… blah? The recording quality was awful, the music was tinny, and it seemed highly incongruent with what you thought the show was about?
I have, and I’ve clicked off almost every single time. Why is that? Because the intro is the first impression your show gets to make. And if my first impression is that you don’t care enough to have an intro that’s remotely pleasing, then the content isn’t likely to be great either. Sure, there are exceptions to that rule, but in most cases, I’m right.
Besides that, if your show is exciting, I want your intro to excite me. If it’s scary, I want it to frighten me.
A perfect example from TV — do you remember the old school Nickelodeon show “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?”, because I do! I loved that show when I was younger. One of my favorite parts was the intro. It was (and still is) one of the creepiest intros I’ve ever seen, and it set the tone for the dark, creepy, scary show that was about to start.
The right podcast intro can have the same effect.
Podcast Intro Goal #2: Get your target audience to keep listening.
The right intro will speak to your target audience perfectly. Got a show about losing weight? The intro should quickly show the listener that you understand what they’re going through, and tell them what results they could get through listening to your show. I’m not saying you should promise them they’ll lose 100 pounds next week… that would be a lie.
But appealing to your audience and letting them know what you want to help them with will ensure that they give your show a fair shake.
What your intro SHOULDN’T be:
It’s not an “about the host-fest”. Yes, it’s fine to mention a reason why you’re qualified to listen. Back to the weight loss example — if you’re a weight loss expert who has helped over 100 people lose a combined total of 900 pounds or something, that’s a great thing to mention. Or, maybe you were once overweight and now run marathons. Yep, that’s great.
But we don’t need your resume. We don’t even really need the bullet points. One major thing that shows that I should listen to you, get me pumped, and then get into the show.
Podcast Outro Goal: Get the listener to take action.
It’s a little bit tougher to define this part, because not all podcasts are designed for the same thing. Some are for businesses. Others for fun. Maybe to give back. Whatever your intentions are, the outro is an awesome place to tell people to do something.
And just a note here — A few people recently have told me that outros are pointless because “no one listens to them” — that’s hogwash. I’ve got thousands of email list subscribers who opted in to an exclusive giveaway only offered in the outro to prove it. People DO listen to your outro, so don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s pointless.
With that said — a COMPELLING call-to-action belongs in your outro. And unfortunately, “subscribe, rate, and review” is not a compelling call-to-action. When people are listening to your podcast, they’re usually doing other things — often they’re not sitting at a computer desperately waiting for you to ask them to subscribe, rate, and review. Instead, they’re out running, driving, doing the dishes, whatever. And hours later, when they finally get to a computer, they’ve already forgotten your request.
Remember this: WIIFM. What’s In It For Me. That’s what everyone wants to know, even if they don’t know it. People are busy. They’ve got a lot on their minds. So instead of asking them to do something that really doesn’t offer them any value — provide something THEY want in exchange for something YOU want.
And if I can try and steer you in one direction or another — the best thing you can ask people to do is opt-in (give you their email address). It gives you the opportunity to reach out to your listeners where they already are. There’s no guarantee they’ll ever listen to your show again, but you KNOW they’re not ignoring their email.
I’ll give you some ideas for really effective ways to get them to opt-in in a future post, but for now — make the call to action compelling, and offer them something of value — an ebook, PDF report, or other gift… but REALLY make them want it. It doesn’t have to take you a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to be the world’s most valuable giveaway, but it does have to clearly solve your listener’s problem.
Phew, this was a longer post than I planned to write, but it’s important. If you’ve read this far, you’re already ahead of so many other podcasters. Now implement. And if you want our team’s help accomplishing the goals I laid out above, just head over to to the pricing page — we’ll write the script, find the songs, and craft the perfect intro and outro for your show, so you can get the progress you work so hard for.
Until next time, podcast on!