Hooks, Taglines and the power of words | Engaging Episodes #4
This is Chapter 4 of the Engaging Episodes series, which is all about creating powerful podcast content.
I’ve got a secret. But please keep it to yourself. Here goes - “My name is Kevin, and I’m obsessed with taglines.”
If a client or business chum asks me for my opinion on their tagline, it’s not uncommon for me to lose hours crafting dozens of alternatives for them. I realised I needed help when I started pulling together an ultimate list of taglines and hooks from famous and not so famous businesses.
As a professional writer, I spend a lot of time with words. Usually, those words are combined to create articles, whitepapers or webpages – so getting the opportunity to write short, snappy copy is always a welcome change.
Tagline Torture, Hook Hell and Word Woe
I know that many people struggle to craft memorable taglines, hooks and other short forms of writing. So are they worth the trouble? And do they add value to your podcast? Yes – on both counts.
A tagline is part of your personal brand. Your listeners, especially the loyal among them, will probably be able to recite your tagline off by heart. Taglines come in all shapes and sizes. They can be long or short, simple or cryptic. There’s no prescribed formula but creating your own one can be fun. The best way to get started is to look at some of the taglines from popular podcasts
The Incredibly Simple Example
Steal The Show (Michael Port)
“Welcome to Steal the Show With Michael Port. This is Michael.”
Simple is engaging. Simple is memorable. Simple works!
A common variation of the introductory tagline involves the combination of two individual tagline elements. It creates a slightly lengthier introduction, but if it’s clearly broken down it can work well.
Here are a few examples. We’ll get to constructing your own in the next section:
Smart Passive Income Podcast (Pat Flynn)
“This is the Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn Session Number 189.
Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. “
The Podcast Host (Mr Dr. Colin Gray)
Your very own Podcast Host, Mr Col... sorry Dr. Colin Gray (he insists) uses the two-step approach.
Welcome to Podcraft. Honing the art of podcasting. The Bite-sized show that covers one topic in depth, each series.
Podcraft brings the pieces together, so you don’t have to.
The Bio Format
Some podcast, especially by well-known personalities, take a more biographical approach to their intro. Where building a person brand is important, this approach can help position you as the expert and star of the show.
The School of Greatness (Lewis Howes)
“The School of Greatness. Welcome to the School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today – now let the class begin.”
Beyond The Tagline – Hooks
You can apply the same tagline principle and use them in other areas of your podcast. Maybe your show has a couple of key sections that repeat in each episode. I make the distinction and call these elements Hooks.
For example, you might use a hook –
- To introduce your interview section.
- As an End of Show Call to Action. (iTunes Review, eMail Subscription, etc.)
- As a way to promote your sponsor.
It’s worth noting, that when it comes to sponsors, many will provide their own hook for you. But if they don’t here’s an idea – why not create your own for them? This demonstrates your commitment to them and will be a strong relationship builder with one of your key commercial partners.
Think of Hooks as the chapters in a book – they help your listeners navigate the course of your podcast. Don’t over do it though – but a strong opening tagline, combined with one or two hooks can help make your podcast memorable.
Tagline Tips & Hook Hints
While there’s no hard and fast formula – hopefully, these words of wisdom will help.
A podcast tagline should be:
- Short (10-20 Words)
When I constructed the tagline for my business, I wanted to share three things –
- The Problem you are experiencing
- The solution I’m offering
- Who it is that I serve.
That problem, solution, audience combination makes for a magic combination that draws people in.
In Lewis Howes ‘School of Greatness’ introduction it work likes this -
- Problem - Not living up to your potential. “Unlock your inner greatness.”
- Solution - Education and Inspiration. “each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you…”
- Serve - Although not specific, it’s clear this is for entrepreneurs who want positive change through education. “School of Greatness.” “Class Begins.”
When I do launch my podcast, its tagline will likely be an adaptation of my business tagline. Maybe a similar approach could work for you?
Over To You
I’ve been kind enough to share my shameful tagline obsession. And yes, I REALLY am creating an ultimate tagine list. Here’s what I want you to do for this episode. Share in the comments your own Podcast tagline or your favourite Podcast tagline. I’ll then pull them all together in a future blog post. Don’t be shy, the more examples we have, the more you’ll learn.
And if that’s not motivation enough – this is a great way to get your show featured on our blog and a future podcast episode.