(By Matty Staudt) Hey, how are you doing? I just got finished eating breakfast. It was just a small bowl of cereal and a hard-boiled egg. It’s getting really hot here in LA and I’m glad we have air conditioning since we are stuck inside. You should see my dogs, they got clipped yesterday and they look so skinny, I will post a picture and show you sometime…Anyway……It’s Matty and welcome to my article.
That’s a pretty bad way to start an article, don’t you think? But that is exactly how so many people start their podcasts. Meandering through thoughts and ideas without really telling the listener what’s going on in that episode, who is talking, and what the show is all about. I tell my clients and students that you must treat every episode like it’s your first because unless you already have a million listeners, the hope is that each week you have more new listeners.
People decide if they are going to listen to a podcast in the first minute. If you don’t give them the full picture in that time or hook them with interesting audio they will most likely move on to one of the other million podcasts out there. Here’s what I suggest and have seen work best on all the podcasts I have produced.
Voice First- People want to get right into it and hearing your voice right away does this. Podcasts should feel friendly and familiar. Do not start with an overproduced open with a professional VO. This screams cheesy radio show, not a podcast.
Set Up The Show- In that first 30 seconds hook the listening on the show. I usually suggest a quick tease of content followed by these three important elements. Name of the show, who you are, and the show’s tagline/mission statement. It’s one sentence that tells the listener what the show is all about. This is the first thing I have people craft before they even start their podcasts with me.
What’s On Today? Give a brief but very descriptive couple sentences about that show’s content. Tease it, make them want to get through that first ad break to hear the episode. Don’t say things like, “I have a guest you won’t believe!” Tell the listener who the guest is and a tease of something they are going to share. “Matty Staudt is going to tell us his tips for starting a podcast off right”
One last thing. Do your intros after you have produced the rest of the show. It should be the last thing you do so that you know exactly what you are going to tease. A good intro takes thought, good writing, and the remembrance that each show is a new show for someone.
Matty Staudt left his gig as a morning show host and EP of San Francisco’s #1 morning show to help start Stitcher 12 years ago. He’s been helping people get into podcasting ever since. His current company, Jam Street Media, focuses on podcasts for brands as well as show and company development. You can reach him at [email protected]