Want to inspire listeners to crave your content and your expertise? There’s a science-backed way to get your listeners addicted to your podcast by triggering the happiness chemicals in the brain.
By reverse-engineering other successful podcasts, I came up with a content framework that will turn lurkers into loyal listeners and then quickly into high-ticket clients.
It all starts with the introduction. You can’t have a strong podcast without a hook. And you only have two seconds to grab your listener’s attention. This article outlines the exact steps on how to do that.
Have you ever wondered what to say on your podcast to get listeners to turn into clients? Or, better yet, maybe you recorded the same thing over and over, then deleted it over and over because nothing felt right?
I’ve been there.
When I first started my podcast, Radical Shift (more than 100 episodes ago!), I struggled. A lot! I resisted hitting record because I was scared and unsure of what to say that would make this whole podcast thing worth it.
I tried everything — a podcast coach, recording via Facebook Live. You name it, I tried it.
I kept trying stuff until I landed on something that really works: the perfect podcast formula. It’s essentially a framework for creating a podcast that will turn listeners into customers.
Using this formula, I got people who had never even heard of me to slide right into my DMs and become $18,000+ clients (and they are clients I actually like working with!).
These amazing clients didn’t find me by accident — it was by design.
I listened to my favorite podcasts and realized they had a few things in common that made them so captivating and successful. So I reverse-engineered how they created their own content and incorporated it into my podcast (and by the way, this totally could work for video, books and other forms of content).
I spent hours mapping out my podcasting process, breaking it down so I could distill the information in a way that’s simple and easy to follow. Let’s jump in.
The Science-Backed Strategy For Getting Listeners Hooked on Your Podcast
You can actually get listeners addicted to your podcast using science. Think neuroscience, not “Breaking Bad” science! Hear me out.
I was listening to my favorite podcasts and trying to decode why I loved it so much. What did they say that drew me in. At the same time, I was also working with a coach to better understand how our minds work and neuroscience.
My coach taught me about all of the happiness chemicals in the brain and how we subconsciously crave them all the time. Who doesn’t love feeling happy, right?! It’s while I was deep into studying these chemicals that it hit me! If you can purposefully trigger happiness chemicals, you can actually get your listeners ADDICTED to your podcast.
You design addiction by triggering the happiness chemicals D.O.S.E: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins.
I break down this little lesson in neuroscience in a whole other podcast episode, but what you need to know for the purposes of creating the perfect podcast is this: Every part of your podcast has the potential to stimulate these happy feelings.
But how can you trigger these responses in your listeners’ brains? By connecting with them and building trust. It has to be authentic, though! You’re not trying to manipulate anyone.
If you want the best for your listeners and connect with them in a meaningful way, they’ll ALWAYS come back for more.
Successful Podcasts Hook Listeners Early (Very Early)
How long do you think you, as a podcaster, have to capture your listener’s attention? Two. Seconds. That’s it.
To create the perfect hook, you need to write down your main ideas in a few sentences. Explain the problem your podcast episode solves and what’s in it for them.
Remember the D.O.S.E happiness chemicals? Hooks give listeners a rush of dopamine. You know how you feel when you read a sensational headline that immediately captures your attention? You can thank dopamine for that.
For an extra bonus: Give listeners an immediate boost of serotonin by referring to them with a special name. For example, I call my podcast listeners Radical Shifters and my Facebook group members Super Hiros. You can also simply compliment them and call them awesome!
The Perfect Podcast Structure
Okay, so you understand how to trigger some happiness chemicals and you’ve figured out what your hook is. Now, I’m giving you the blueprint for a successful podcast. This is the most IMPORTANT step!
Make sure your podcast has each of the following sections:
👋 Intro – Hook your listener within the first two seconds of the episode with an open loop. Something that makes them think “Wait, what??” This increases dopamine. Rag magazines are the king at these sort of hooks.
💬 Story – Create a story around your main point. Stories are how we connect emotionally, so try to pull listeners into the exact situation you’re describing. Then, finish the story off with the successful result or discovery.
❓ Why – Explain your why: why is this situation important? Why does the story or situation previously explained keep happening? Why is (or isn’t) this method working? Why should I care?
💡 What – The what can go in as many different directions as the topic: What was missing before? What’s the answer? What’s the block? Possibilities of “the what” could be endless! It could be an overarching message or a helpful tip.
✔️ How-To – This is where 80% of the show is focused on for so many podcasts, but it’s not always the most effective teaching method. Instead of hard teaching for the majority of your episode, provide listeners with a framework and the end results. You can’t sell turkey to a person after filling them up on turkey. Keep them hungry! Give them the results and an overview of the process, then leave them wanting more.
🔮 What-If – In one of the final stages of your podcast, you’re going to help listeners imagine a life without the problems you covered during the episode. (Hi, Serotonin boost!) What if you could have this kind of success? What if you could have perfect clients just slide into your DMs? What if you didn’t even have to sell them on your product because they’re already in love with it?
🚨 Recap & CTA – Quickly recap everything and provide a strong call to action. Make the CTA something easy, such as to like, share, or rate your podcast. Once they complete this task, they’ll get a quick hit of endorphins. If you have something else to promote, like a product, service, or future episode, drop that here, too!
Creating a Successful Podcast Down to a Science
While it might seem easier said than done, the framework above is a PROVEN methodology to help you create a successful podcast. It takes out a lot of the guesswork and puts the focus on you and your listeners.
Just remember: you are an expert. You’ve put in the 10,000 hours and know something other people want to learn about. It’s time for you to cash in those chips and start earning.
It all comes down to finding your voice. Use it and you’ll start making money. All you need is a mouth, a mic, and a message (and the perfect podcast structure!).
Take it to the next level! Download our free guide for creating a binge-worthy profitable podcast. Based on neuroscience, this guide takes the guesswork out of knowing what to say and when.