(By Traci Long DeForge) You’ve got podcasting questions, and PBJ‘s Traci Long DeForge is here to answer them. Traci is the founder of Produce Your Podcast.
1. What is a podcast trailer and do I have to have one?
When you think podcast trailer…think movie trailer. It’s a short segment of audio to grab the attention of your listener and encourage them to subscribe and download future episodes. They’re an effective tool to put out on social media to tease the show. You can release it to iTunes and begin building your subscriber base before the show officially launches. Trailers can be created by using outtakes or highlight a special guest with an audio clip from a future episode. You can build a montage of clips to give a sample of what the real show will sound like to create curiosity. Do you have to have one? Well…how many movies have you gone to see because you saw the trailer? Exactly.
2. How many podcast episodes should I launch with?
Three to five episodes is considered a robust number of episodes to release at launch. This gives your audience a solid sample of the tone, style, and content of your podcast. As you’re deciding how many episodes to release when you launch, you’ll want to consider if you will be releasing a series where people can binge listen, or a podcast where each episode is mutually exclusive and does not have to be listened to in sequential order. If you are releasing daily, weekly, or monthly shows, then ask yourself if creating content on a consistent basis will be challenging for you? If so, be conservative with the number you release at once so you can maintain a backlog to allow yourself to create more and adhere to your release schedule. Be careful not to overwhelm your listeners with too many episodes because that can backfire. I launched my podcast Journey to There with 10 episodes and the feedback I got was that there were just too many. The listeners expressed feelings of being behind when I was just getting started! In hindsight, I could’ve saved 6-7 of those episodes for future releases.
3. Should my first podcast episode be different from my other episodes?
Creating an introduction episode as your first episode gives you the opportunity to offer your listeners insight into why you’ve chosen to launch a podcast, and set expectations for what they can expect from the podcast. It also creates an evergreen future introduction to listeners who may find you after you’ve released multiple episodes. Are you a professional launching a podcast as a marketing tool or to position yourself as an expert in your field? If so, an introductory episode can be useful in setting up the podcast with information on you, your work history, and your business. It also gives the listener a chance to get to know you as an individual before you leap into the more business-oriented content you will be presenting in future episodes.
Here’s an outline to follow when creating your business-focused introduction podcast:
1) Introduce yourself and any co-hosts. Give insight on your backstory. Talk about why you started the podcast and what you want your listeners to take away from listening to your show.
2) Introduce your business and/or your areas of expertise. This is important to establish the credibility of your role as the host and the content you will be providing.
3) Do you have a definitive philosophy, purpose-driven mission, or focal point of the podcast? Share it here.
4) You may want to highlight the services you or your business offers but be cautious of the time you spend talking about them. You do not want to sound like an infomercial.
5) Introduce the podcast format and establish what listeners can expect. Will you always have guests? Release every week? Offer a specific tool or takeaway for the listener?
Have FUN with the introduction podcast episode! It’s your first impression to the listener. It provides them an insight on who you are, gives them the opportunity to sample your energy level and delivery style, and most importantly, gives them a reason to come back for more!
Send questions to Traci at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to check back each week!
Traci Long DeForge is the founder of Produce Your Podcast, and a consultant, speaker, and strategist. She can be contacted at email@example.com or 912.223.9525. Visit her websites at TraciDeForge.com and ProduceYourPodcast.com.