Make a sticky note and put this up in your podcast studio: The Weight is in the ‘Why’, Not the ‘Who’.
Let me help you decipher this one. The weight or the value of each episode comes from why someone would listen NOT who you have on your show.
Let that sink in. Why, Not Who.
The reason I wanted to share this with you today is because I see this mistake all the time.
I see titles that are just the guest’s name.
I hear people start an episode with something like ‘My guest today is…*reads bio*.
You know you’ve heard this. Maybe you’ve done it. That ends today, my friend!
Unless your guest is a household name or some kind of titan in your industry… nobody is tuning in to hear them…besides their mother (and she probably isn’t your target audience).
This comes up a lot with my clients. They ask about including their guest’s names in their podcast episode titles. Don’t bother. Don’t waste that valuable and limited episode title real estate on a name nobody has ever heard of.
I remind them of the golden rule of podcasting: focus on your listener. Be listener-centric. Your podcast is not about you and it definitely isn’t about your guest. It’s about and for your listener.
If you want them to press play on an episode, you need to acknowledge this fact. You need to tell them why they should press play.
Put this on a sticky note too: WIIFT
What’s In It For Them.
What’s in your episode that’s going to make it worth their time and attention?
This is the WHY of your episode.
Put yourself in your listener’s shoes.
It’s podcast time! Yay! They’re looking at fresh episodes…
What’s going to motivate them to press play? Is it some random name they’ve never heard of or a very clear benefit to them?
A conversation with Sue Trinham or The #1 Way to Make Money Growing Bonsai?
Seems pretty obvious when you look at it that way, doesn’t it. I get that you see other people listing their guest’s name in the title and starting the episode with a full bio like this is the most important part of the show. Now you have the opportunity to be a better podcaster than them by focusing on WIIFT instead of your guest.
I just had this discussion with a client and he pushed back. He felt that the interview was the point of the podcast. But here’s what he’s missing: the interview is just the how. It’s how the information is shared… but it’s NOT why someone would listen.
Yes, your guest qualifications are important but I expect that as a podcaster you’re vetting your guests and only bringing on the best people. I expect that they will be impressive.
Let me be clear, I’m not saying you won’t eventually tell me about who is on the show and share a bit about why they are qualified to offer information on a topic… I’m saying that is not the POINT of the episode. It’s not the focus. It’s not the reason I’m going to tune in.
My client still pushed back. He thought it was misleading if he didn’t mention the guest in the title. Or even in the first minutes or 2 of the episode.
It’s not misleading at all, it’s leading with the gold.
The point of the episode comes down to what someone will get out of listening and why they should care. I’m going to assume that your guest is qualified and that you’re going to deliver a great conversation every time. It’s a given.
So, stop treating your guest’s name like it’s some kind of super magnet and keep it out of your title. Here’s how you can effectively incorporate their name:
Put your guest’s name in the author field of your episode details. You can do this by entering your name as you normally would followed by “with guest Sue Trinham”.
That way, if anyone searches Apple Podcasts or Spotify for their specific name, your episode featuring them will show up.
You can have your cake and eat it too. Have a compelling title filled with WIIFT AND make it easy for anyone to find your episode when they’re searching for podcasts featuring your guest.
Just never forget that the weight is in the WHY, not the WHO.
By the way, shifting to the listener-centric approach can be a challenge for many podcasters. It’s not just one thing (like your title), it’s the entire structure, content, marketing, and feel of the show.
If you’d like some help coming over to the right side of podcasting (aka listener-centric podcasting), start by booking a Free 15-Minute Podcast Coaching Call
Book your FREE 15-Minute Podcast Coaching Call
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