"Because" is a magic word when you want to get people to do something.
You've probably heard of the famous "copy machine" study related to this. A professor at Harvard had researchers request to break a line of people waiting to use a busy copy machine on a college campus, with each using three different, specifically-worded requests.
- “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?” (Under 40? Look it up!!)
- “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”
- “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”
Did the wording affect whether people let the researchers break in line? Yes!
- 60% of people said yes.
- 93% of people said yes.
- 94% of people said yes.
What's the lesson for podcasters? Let people know why you are asking for something from them.
Want people to subscribe to your podcast? Let them know why.
Want people to leave a review for your podcast? Let them know why.
RELATED: You can susbcribe to Build a Big Podcast here. Why? I'm going deeper into this studio and how to make it work for you and your podcast on the audio edition of this issue.
Going through this list of 17 copywriting tips it struck me how many similarities there are between the written word and podcast hosting.
First of all, the article itself is a great example of "No filler. No wasted words." It's always best to get to the point!
A few other "big ideas" that will help your podcast hosting:
BIG LESSON ONE: Don't kill your personality
People often ask me for a magic trick to growing a podcast audience. And if there was a magic trick, at least for the audience attraction part of this, it would be "personality."
In short, let them feel you.
Several years ago, when Napster turned the music industry on its head and "free music" was suddenly something a lot of people were talking about, somebody asked musician Busta Rhymes if he was worried.
"No," he said. "They can't copy me."
If we're honest about our podcasts, most of the content we publish is pretty similar to the next guy who talks about the same subject. So how can we compete?
Personality is what makes what we do stand out – it's the foundation that our podcasts are built on.
BIG LESSON TWO: Stories make you memorable
While personality is the foundation, it's stories that give your content structure.
We started this week with Easter. Even if you're not Christian, you've heard (and probably know) the story of Easter. Why? Because stories are memorable, they get passed around, and they put a handle on big ideas.
You can use this same technique to spread your message.
A story doesn't have to be elaborate – it could be as simple as a couple of sentences about Buster Rhymes.
BIG LESSON THREE: Think slippery slide
The purpose of a written headline is to make a reader keep going. The same is true for both the title of your podcast and its opening intro – make a potential listener want to listen, and a listener want to keep listening.
Need a good intro for your podcast? Here's a 3-part formula you can use on your next episode.
Get all 17 suggestions here. Every one of them is applicable to podcasting.