The bond you will establish with your audience will be based on the content of your podcast. It is important to think about the opening and closing of your episodes carefully. The introduction should incite the listener to stay with you, while the conclusion should make a good lasting impression so that they end up subscribing to your shows. Do not forget the golden rule of show business: leave the audience wanting more. This is often why your favorite bands open a concert with an upbeat song, while saving their biggest hit for the encore.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of a podcast listener: there are thousands of shows online and yours happens to feature in their playlist. Maybe they had a good feeling about your title or your picture, or maybe one of their friends recommended your podcast. With so much competition queuing in the playlist, your podcast better be mesmerizing right from the start, or else they you might get the quick hook and they’ll move onto something else.
There are rules to follow: an introduction should always contain key information, such as your name or nickname, the name of your podcast, its general idea, its theme, its purpose. This should take no more than 30 seconds. As for the rest, let your creativity run wild as usual:
- You are free to choose your opening music (as long as you abide by the copyright laws);
- You can create your own introduction or ask a professional to help you on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork or Airtasker;
- You can either record the same introduction for all episodes or change it every time to match the content of each episode.
Pay close attention to your introduction when you first launch your podcast. It will come naturally after a few episodes, but be careful not to overlook any details over time, thinking the audience is already familiar with you. Think about newcomers and a first-time listener who does not know you and who may come across one of your random episodes someday.
The introduction is something that should be prewritten and rehearsed. But not the only one. Why is that? Because you should do the same with the conclusion. Funnily enough, many podcasters tend to neglect the last 30 seconds of their shows, and yet, it’s a crucial part, because it is essential to make a positive lasting impression. As a matter of fact, the listener will most likely decide whether they subscribe to your podcast or not during its conclusion. Therefore, make the most of this slot to push them in that direction. Feel free to talk about your social media, your potential website or even tease the next episode, and ask listeners to leave you a positive review on their favorite podcast app.
Using the same musical theme in both your introduction and your conclusion will help give your podcasts a sense of continuity between episodes. This audio theme could feature a motto or a catchphrase which the listeners will subconsciously integrate. They might like it so much that your identity could become their comfort zone and be like music to one’s ears. It is up to you to design this cocoon for them!