Do you want people to enjoy & look forward to your podcast? Do you want more subscribers and for each one to tell others about it? If so, paying close attention to your podcast intro and outro is a must do. How you start your podcast and how you end each episode can really affect how people feel about you and your podcast and so it’s important to get it right. If it’s not memorable and doesn’t excite your listeners in the right way, it could actually be turning them away from you.
I’m a jingles composer (see my jingles & intros page) and have created intros, outros and theme tunes for various podcasts, web series, commercials and more. Those who come to me understand the impact that a good podcast intro and outro can have. Here I will try to share a few tips and ideas that may help you to think through what kind of podcast intro or jingle you may want and how to make it effective for you…
1. Know what your podcast intro is for
This may sound obvious but I feel that it’s always a good place to start. What is the purpose of your particular podcast intro? What do you want it to do for you?
Is it there to excite people before you start talking? Is it there to represent your brand and personality? Is it there to give people a flavour of what you’re about?
2. Keep it short, simple and sweet
Most podcast intros and outros I’ve worked on have tended to be between 30 seconds to 60 seconds long. Some are shorter, snappier 15 second intros and others are much longer theme tunes e.g. up to 3 minutes for bigger shows, however, 30-60 seconds seems to be the norm. Think about how long you want your intro to be.
By keeping it fairly short and having a simple tune, it can be easier to make it catchy and memorable without boring or overwhelming the listener. You don’t want it to feel long or repetitive or confusing and one of it’s main purposes will most likely be to capture people’s attention before you get into your content, so keep this in mind when thinking about what kind of opening and approach you want to go for.
3. Go for something positive and uplifting
In most cases, going for something with a happy and uplifting feel is a good approach as it installs positive feelings towards you, your podcast and brand. It helps to put people in a good mood and thus can help people to look forward to listening to your show.
There are, however, some cases where you may want a different feel – for example if you’re podcast is about horror movies or something else that might have a dark, mysterious or other kind of mood. In those cases, you may want to consider having a jingle that reflects what your podcast is about, but otherwise positivity is best!
4. Be consistent & know what info to share when
This is a more general tip about how you may want to format and organise your podcast. Firstly decide whether or not you want your podcast intro music to stand-alone and then be followed by content, or if it’s there as background music, which you will then talk over. Neither option is necessarily better than the other but it does go back to our first point, which is to know what the exact purpose of your intro is.
You can certainly experiment, and allow yourself lots of creative freedom in how you present information in your show. However, from my experience there will tend to be some bits of information that you will want to share on each episode. By establishing a fixed format for these elements, you can build professionalism and consistency into your show. So, some of these things may include:
Episode Title &/or Number
Saying who your podcast is for
Sharing what the show is about or summarising what’s to come in the episode
There are my 4 tips to help you with your podcast intro or show intro.
What to read next: 5 Things to Think About When Creating Podcast Intro Music
About the Author:
Ninichi is a freelance jingles composer, game music composer and film music composer. She has created theme tunes, intros and outros for various adverts, podcasts and shows, as well as composing original soundtracks to different indie games and films. Learn more about Ninichi here.
If you need help with music, contact her now to discuss your project and music needs.