What does your podcast’s intro and outro say about your show?
Does it tell the audience what they can expect? Does it set the tone for the show? Does it move them to action — listening to the next episode or subscribing?
Having a professional podcast intro and outro are vital components to the success of your show. Here, we’ll walk you through the basics of how to get the most out of these integral components of podcasting.
What is a Podcast Intro and Outro?
As we were writing this guide, it occurred to us that some podcasters — especially if you’re new to the scene — might not know what the terms “intro” and “outro” mean.
A podcast intro is the beginning of your show, typically including a quick introduction to the podcast, hosts, and episode topic. An outro is a closing element that leaves listeners with an actionable item — such as subscribing to the show or checking out related resources.
An introduction helps set the stage for what’s to come in terms of content and quality. If your intro is well-done, it will grab the audience’s attention and make them want to keep listening. On the other hand, a poorly executed intro can be off-putting or even confusing, causing listeners to move on without staying engaged.
Key Parts of a Podcast Intro
A show’s introduction can be as long or as short as you’d like, but there are some key elements you should always include.
Podcast and Host Identity
Your intro should start with the show’s name and a brief description of what it is about. It can be helpful to create a tagline or catchphrase that encapsulates the essence of your podcast and introduces the episode topic.
Identifying your podcast is especially helpful if your show is included in a playlist or listeners stumble upon it via a search. For your super fans, it becomes a kind of shorthand for the show. It creates familiarity and excitement.
Some of the best podcasts include theme music as part of their introduction. This could be a single sound, an instrumental melody, or even a full song. You can find royalty-free music online to use in your intro and outro.
Additionally, hiring a freelance musician on job sites like Fiverr or Upwork can give your show a unique sound and really make it stand out.
Think of this portion of your introduction as a jingle — make it memorable and catchy.
If you’re recording audio and video for your podcast, you’ll need motion graphics or video clips to introduce and promote your show. Use creative and eye-catching visuals that capture the personality behind your podcast, help listeners understand what to expect in each episode, and create a memorable experience.
Consider using image logos, motion graphics, or original artwork as part of your introduction. You can find these elements on stock media sites like Motion Elements or Adobe Stock, or you can hire a freelance graphic designer for custom visuals.
If your show is interview-driven, a common tactic is to rundown your guest’s credentials before diving into the conversation. You can do this in a few sentences, mentioning where they work and what they specialize in.
For extra engagement, you can draw parallels to your own life, make connections with your topic, or share a funny anecdote to warm up the audience.
How Long Should Your Show’s Intro Be?
As stated above, there’s no true formula for how long your intro should be. It can go on as long as you’d like, but typically it’s recommended to keep it in sync with the overall length of your show.
For example, if your entire episode is only 15 minutes long, you don’t want to tack on an extra 15 minutes of introduction. Your listeners will catch on quickly, and might even skip over your episode — or worse, skip your show altogether.
On the other hand, you could make a lengthy preamble on your calling card. As long as your intro includes engaging content, your listeners should stick around. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you talk about and what you think will engage your audience.
Creating a Professional Outro
Your outro can be just as critical to the success of your show as the intro. It’s a call to action and a way to reinforce the message you’re trying to get across in each episode.
What to Say in an Outro
Think of it as a way to tie up loose ends and leave your listeners with something lingering on their minds. You could mention a next-week’s episode, provide helpful resources, or even address listener feedback.
Some of our favorite shows actually have lengthy outros. They often include shout-outs to sponsors, music credits, shout-outs to fans, and anything else they think their audience might appreciate.
If you have a website, social media accounts, or any other type of platform, use your outro to direct listeners there. This could be in the form of a free giveaway or just an opportunity to learn more about the topic discussed in that episode.
The goal of a podcast outro is to inspire people to continue their interaction with your show. Using your podcast platforms as a springboard to promote and grow your brand is one of the most effective ways to really tap into the success of your podcast.
What Do You Need to Create an Intro and Outro?
To really nail your podcast’s intro and outro, you may need some editing software. There are plenty of free options out there like Audacity or GarageBand.
Additionally, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could hire a professional editor or sound designer to create something truly memorable.
Some cloud-based podcasting platforms allow you to automatically play audio and video before and after your show. This hands-off approach allows you to quickly create a cohesive experience for the listener and viewer.
It’s Time to Create Your Podcast’s Intro and Outro
At the end of the day, your podcast’s intro and outro should reflect not just your show, but also each individual episode. Make sure to keep these points in mind as you craft your podcast’s opening and closing. It can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your listeners engaged!
By taking the time to create a unique, high-quality intro and outro for each episode, you’ll be able to give your show its own distinct sound and visual identity.