This is the kickoff of Brandcasters’ first Q&A session, the strategy session. A lot of people will agree that the first podcast episode is the most daunting. Since it is the do-or-die episode for every podcast host, it requires perfection and energy. Today, we give away the techniques and the three core components of a perfect podcast introduction episode. Learn how to nail your first one and make your listeners look forward to the upcoming episodes.
What are the Three Core Components of a Perfect Podcast Introduction Episode?
I have an interesting episode that I have probably repeated myself so many times that I thought, “I have to bring this to you as an episode.” We are going to cover how to record the most amazing introduction episode ever. Recording a podcast introduction episode is daunting for a lot of people. It’s what hangs them up. They get worried about that first episode. We have a couple of techniques we use. I want to share them with you because it might get you moving. Not just that, I’m going to have a part two to the series next time. In part two, I’m going to talk about how to take that introduction episode and turn it into a 4,000-character amazing description. You’re going to want to stay tuned for that as well.
Here’s how I do it. First things first, if someone is nervous and worried about this introduction episode, then I make sure that they don’t start with their introduction episode. I want you to start with an interview because most people are comfortable in Zoom. Especially you coaches out there consulting clients, you have all those people that you are connecting with on Zoom all the time. You’re used to that interaction back and forth. You’re used to that interplay that happens and the dynamic that happens. Plus, you have the energy of having to be on with someone and having that inner play and interaction. It makes you much calmer and much more relaxed. It makes it much easier to start your first episode with a guest episode. That’s where I like to get everybody to start.
The first episode that I recommend is, go find a guest that isn’t going to be all upset if you’re not perfect if the recording goes all wrong and if something happens. You want to make sure that your first guest is someone that is a little bit understanding. Pick your best friend. Pick somebody relevant to your audience. Go ahead and get somebody who you know. If you need to record it again, they’re going to be understanding. They’re going to be happy and fine to help you because they want you to succeed. Make that happen. That’s where we like to get people to start.Find people that are going to be happy helping you because they want you to succeed. Click To Tweet
Then we move into the number one topic, the thing you could talk for endless hours on, the thing you get to question again and again and again. The thing that is the core basis to your business, to your show, to the things that you want to have, to the things that you want to talk about, that you want your show to be based on. That’s your main topic. We want to go for a good twenty minutes on that easily. You don’t want to do less than that because this is a strong basis. The reality is, it’s probably going to be your second or third episode when you’re launching anyway. You want to make sure that it’s the best that it can be. It might be the core of why would you want to start a podcast. In my product business, it is, “Why we have the 7P process and why that is critically important to success. Tie it to a critical factor, a reason they’re failing or a reason they might succeed if they change their mindset and if they do something different. Those are the episodes.
We’re essentially almost working backward. I usually like to have my guest episode as the third episode, the topic episode, then I work back into the introduction episode. That’s what we’re here to talk. How do we approach and record the best introduction episode we can? That is a technique I refined over time. We didn’t always do it. If you are an existing podcaster who’s listening, who already has a show and you’re thinking, “I’m so embarrassed. I can’t stand my introduction episode.” I can tell you, I never want to hear my WTFFF interview introduction episode ever because it was bad. I was nervous. It wasn’t good. We didn’t have the best recording equipment. I’m sure there was no energy in it. I never want to listen to it again so we don’t go back to them.
In this case, you may want to rerecord. It’s perfectly okay if you do that because we take care of your statistics. We take care of all of that. If you replace out the episode, we’re going to make sure that it’s okay for you. Replace it out if you’re embarrassed by it and you want to change that out and follow this new technique. I’m going to be giving you something new that you can do something with. What makes the best structure for an introduction episode?
First things first, you turn on the microphone and you start recording. You don’t worry about how it sounds because, the first time you do it, you’re probably going to delete it. I don’t want you to delete it. I want you to save it for a different reason. It’s a rehearsal. Do not worry if you don’t get it. Don’t worry about writing everything down the first time you do it. I want you to make a quick little outline for yourself, a few bullet points or a few little questions, whatever’s going to prompt you to get through these three sections, that I’m going to talk about and help you flow through that. I don’t want you to script it all out, not this first time. This first time is a rehearsal. Let yourself off the hook for that. Record this rehearsal because it’s important. You want to hear your sound back. You want to test out a bunch of things. You want to hear how it sounds and decide what else was missing. This is one that you definitely want to listen to. Don’t go on how it felt. Listen to this one back. This is an important part of the first impression of you in your show.
It’s All About Your Audience
What are the three core components? The first component is to remember that this is your show, but it’s not about you. If you got no listeners, then you’re not creating an attractive enough environment to do what you want to do. You’re not getting your message across. You’re not conducting business. You’re not building a tribe. You’re not doing the things that are necessary to grow a show if it’s all about you from the get-go. The first thing that I want you to do is to put yourself on the mindset of the listener. If they’re coming across and they’re searching in iTunes and they’re finding something in your category, whether it’s health and wellness or how to start a podcast, they might click it. It’s like a trailer. This is a little bit longer than a trailer. It’s not 30 seconds or a minute. It’s longer than that. They are going to look at that. They’re going to use this as a judgment as to whether or not they want to continue and whether or not you have what they’re looking for.
If your goal is coaching and consulting and training, then it needs to be more the pain. What are they searching for? What are they struggling with? Why are they looking for education to get them out of? What are they aspiring to be? Where are they aspiring to be on the continuum of education? What are they trying to do? How are they going to go about doing that? Where is their pain and where’s their pleasure? That’s where you’re going to be starting. You’re going to be moving through that in maybe five minutes or so. Go ahead and be longer. If you’ve got some stories to tell, it’s not all about you but you can do a few contextual stories and tell little bits and pieces of things. You’re not introducing yourselves, although you should have at least at the beginning said, “Hi. I’m Tracy Hazzard and welcome to Feed Your Brand,” or, “Welcome to my show.” You want to have that in, but you’re not going into yourself yet, not until you finish getting them excited, that you get where they are and get where they want to go.If you've got no listeners, then you're not creating an attractive enough environment to do what you want to do. Click To Tweet
Why Are You Uniquely Suited To Deliver This Education
Now, we move on to section two. Section two is you. Why are you uniquely suited to deliver this to them? Why are you uniquely suited to bring them from that pain into the aspirational pleasure? Why can you do that? What’s in your background? What’s in your story? What’s in your history? What’s in your résumé? What gives you the perspective and unique ability to be able to deliver this for them? That’s what you’re telling. You’re not going to recite off, “I went to Rhode Island School of Design. In 2002, I did this.” You don’t want that whole history. They can read your bio for that. You want only the things that are relevant to delivering on the promise of this education, aspiration, inspiration or whatever your podcast is about, like why you can deliver that and why you are the best one to be hosting this show. That’s your second piece.
You can go as long as you want in there, especially if your story is uniquely intertwined with that. I wouldn’t though go longer than you did on the first one. If you did ten minutes the first time, do ten minutes again or do five minutes. Try not to go longer than you did about you than about them. Otherwise, it sounds like this whole introduction episode is all about you. While it is an introduction to you, you want to drip out all your amazing stories. You want to save them for everything that’s coming up. You want to get them excited and interested and oriented enough with you to want the next date. They want to go past this blind date that they’ve checked into, the speed date.
Your Podcast Model
We move on to the third section. This is the section in which you’re going to talk about the exciting things that are coming. That’s another reason why I wanted you to do an interview episode and the topic episode because it’s gotten you thinking about all the other episodes you’re going to create for them and all the other ideas you have. You probably have a list at this point. You probably have all of that going on. You want to be able to give them a model of, “Here’s how my podcast is going to go look. Every week, you’re going to get this. Every episode, I might have different structures. I might have different pieces. I’m going to give you a tip of the day if I’m doing a five-day.” Whatever your model is, you want to make sure that you’re giving that to them then, so that they know what to look forward to.
If you got some great guests coming up, that you already know that they’re scheduled, they’re recorded, they’re in the can, then we want to make sure that you have been able to preview that. Tease them as to what some of these early episodes are going to be. We refer to that as open looping. You can listen to the Feed Your Brand episode on open looping if you haven’t already listened to it. Did you see what I did there? I open looped you to something else that you’d want to go to. I’m tracking back. I’m giving you something that’s coming up.
Normally at an episode, I might go forward and backward. I might refer to things that already happened. I might refer to things that are coming up. I did both that for you. I left open the idea that I’m going to give you, how to turn this into a description. I’m not going to give that to you. I’m going to give that to you in part two, so you’ll tune in and come back for more. We’re giving you something to look forward to. We’re also giving you more you can consume. We’re getting you into a binge listenable mode, where you’re going to go to the next episode automatically. We want you to be able to do those things. Start to tease them and get comfortable with that in this introduction episode as well.
Now that you’ve done these three parts and we’re going to review quickly. The first is all about your audience, all about their pain and their pleasure, their aspirations or where they want to go. The second part is about why you’re uniquely suited to deliver that, what in your background, what in your story gives you the right perspective to be able to deliver on this education or at their inspiration. The third part is the model of your show, what it’s going to look like and what they have to look forward to if they go past this introduction episode. You’re getting them excited for that. After you’ve done that, you download that recording and you save it. If you’re our client, you send it to us. We write a description from there. If not, my number one recommendation is to take that and go have it transcribed for you. That way, you have something all written out. In the next episode, I’ll talk to you about how we’re going to turn that into a description or how you can turn it into a description and how we do it within our organization for you.
You’ve got all the good pieces, now, listen to it. I told you to download it, now I want you to listen to it. You’re going to listen to it and you’re going to hear how it was. Did I have enough energy? Did I look like I was reading from my sheet of paper about what was next? Did I have a lot of ums and uhs? Did I do things that I wasn’t happy with? That’s okay because you’re going to redo it. Now is a good time to make a few more bullet points and say, “I touched on these things. They were good. I don’t want to forget them next time. I want to add in this story right here. I want to move in and maybe restructure how I said, the order of which I did something.”
You’ve made a better outline. You’re going to sit down and you’re going to record it again. Please, do not read your script. Do not go through and take that transcription that you had and read it the next time. It’s only going to get worse. It’s not going to get better. It’s only going to turn into something that is so static. The energy of your opening episode is critically important. It’s more important than perfection. If you can stay in that energy of excitement, then they’re going to be excited enough to give you a shot. That is way more important than having it be perfect and not have missed a word or having stumbled to your own language. Go for it and use that powerful energy.
Some of you are going to have hit it right off the bat and it’s going to be perfect because of the energy of doing it the first time. You had your beginner’s luck, whatever it might be, but it was perfect because the energy was right. After that, it goes downhill. That’s my style. That’s why I like to go for a recording. Not everyone is going to be that way, so I’m giving you the options. I want to make sure that you are at least considering the idea that you could air what you’ve already recorded. Think about that some more.
I hope this has helped you guys dive in. If this has been what’s holding you back and what’s keeping you from getting your podcast finally launched, then let’s remove that introduction episode as a barrier. Let’s move on and make it something that is valuable for you, gets the energy moving, gets you moving and gets your audience moving to listen to more and gets this podcast started. Thanks, everyone and I’m going to be back here with the second part of this episode on How to Build a Description From Your Introduction Episode. Thanks so much for reading.
- Open looping – Past episode