So You Want To Be A Podcast Guest…September 16, 2019 September 23, 2019 /
If you’ve been hosting a podcast for a while (for the sake of this post, let’s say longer than a year), you’ve probably received unsolicited requests from people who want to be a guest on your podcast (and if you haven’t, hang in there, you will).
Not only are they unsolicited requests, which we’ll talk about in a minute, but it’s usually from someone who is doing the outreach for someone else. Which, in and of itself isn’t really a big deal. It’s how they go about doing it.
The first few years I was podcasting I was completely open to talking to anyone (O.K., maybe not anyone, but most people).
I reached out to people I knew, people I admired, and friends.
Getting interviews wasn’t difficult, but pre-screening people needed some help.
I knew when I launched my show that the format would be to alternate between solo shows and interviews.
I did that for two reasons:
- I know that I like listening to business updates, behind-the-scenes, etc. from the host only
- I also wanted to make sure I was positioning myself as an expert, not only highlighting other people.
That format has worked really well for me, but truth be told, I’m a little bored with it.
Ever since I pivoted from ‘The WordPress Chick’ to my personal brand I haven’t had the same momentum with the podcast as I did before.
The last year + has been rough personally, which tends to impact the business. The best thing I could do for myself with the podcast was simple: just do the best I can. I refused to beat myself up about it being inconsistent (which is pretty much rule #1 when it comes to podcasting) and also refused to give it up.
I focused on being transparent and simply sharing where I was at and what was going on.
I’d love to say the personal challenges are behind me, but I’m not that ignorant. Fortunately, everything I went through with my son the last few years is behind me (and he’s doing great) and I’m on my way to healing with losing my Mom. Having been through losing my husband I know there isn’t a step-by-step process for getting through grief, but I have a much different approach to that today than I did 16 years ago.
Back to the podcast…
I have more than a handful of interviews done and in the can, but I may go back to some of those guests and ask if we can re-record. I’d prefer to do something fresh, touch base with them where they’re at, and make sure the interview serves them and my gut says a re-do is the way to do that.
I’d like to incorporate more solo shows that are one-off ideas and probably only 20-30 minute episodes in addition to the weekly hour-long show.
Which brings me full-circle back to being a podcast guest.
I have very definitive opinions about guests but thought I’d reach out to my tribe and posted a question in my Facebook Group (Content Creators) for a tip or advice for people who reach out to be a guest on someone else’s podcast. Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint.
There was definitely some overlap on the answers, but I thought I would leave it all in for the sake of driving home a point.
I more or less have three things that will determine whether or not I want to have you on my show:
- What value are you going to provide my audience? (show me you’ve done your homework)
- Have you listened to my show? (Do more than reference a post title… that’s a brainless maneuver to tell me you loved episode “X”)
- How are you going to promote the episode you’re featured on?
- This is a hard & fast rule for me now. When I ask a guest to be on the show, I have ZERO expectations. If you come to me asking to be on the podcast I expect you to put some effort into promoting it.
Here are the responses I received from other podcasters about having guests on their show. I also included a few “bonuses” from people who want to be guests on podcasts for some additional tips on getting booked on podcasts.
Podcast: Brand on Broadcasting
Because I record my podcasts live and use the video for the live recordings, I have a few tips specific to that setup:
- Prioritize the conversation, don’t read the chat and respond to social media and other distractions
- No shout outs to the live chat in the middle of an interview segment
- The host decides if we address a question or comment from the chat (not the guest)
- Although I do a clean show, I don’t want to be responsible for any fallout from young children coming on camera or running afoul of any platform rules. Please don’t bring kids into the picture.
- If you have a greenscreen or are using Wirecast or OBS virtual camera, keep whatever background you start with consistently throughout your time as the guest, unless you and the host agree ahead of time you will be changing your background, sharing your screen or doing any other production with the video feed you are sending.
Podcast: Stunning Digital Marketing Shows
- As the guest, you need to be prepared to share and promote the episode you’re on.
Daniel Kingsley Daines-Hutt
- Make sure the show is relevant to your topic
- Make sure you can add value to each other
- Always pitch from the host’s benefit
- How can it be easy to say yes?
- How can you make it simple for them?
- How can you add more than the usual guest?
- How can you make it a success?
- How can you promote it?
If you come at it from this viewpoint, you’ll be FAR more successful AND create a great show!
Podcast: Doo the Woo Podcast
- Listen to 2 or 3 episodes before you ask to be on
- Introduce yourself on your first, not topic ideas in that initial pitch
Podcast: Marketing Development Podcast
- It may take more than one call to get the show done. By that, I mean a pre-call to understand the content and establish some rapport between the host and guest, and then a call to test tech, all before you hit the record button.
Connect with Pete here
Davinder Singh Kainth
Podcast: Smart Web Creators
- Be ready to invest some time before the actual recording (example: you have to fill in my prep document)
- Be ready to promote the episode to your social networks
- Don’t decide on which MIC to use while we begin recording (test and decide beforehand)
- Be yourself on the show, not the internet celebrity you wish to become
- Be a good human and all should be fine
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Podcast: Imagely Podcast
- Create a podcast guest media kit. Have a folder in cloud storage for fast access. Include a photo, a bio, links, and anything else you feel might be relevant.
- Be prepared by verifying if the show is audio-only or video too. The last thing you’ll want to do is be a late guest because you need to fix your hair, put on clothes or do makeup because there is video involved.
- I don’t care if your video quality sucks. Make sure your audio is amazing because more people listen to podcasts than watch them.
Connect with Scott here
Podcast: Agency Highway Podcast
Never one to mince words, James had one point:
- DYFR (do your F*cking Research)
Connect with James here
Podcast: Live In The Feast
First, I have to share Jason’s comment before his tips:
“Thank you so much for tagging me here! This is something that needs to be addressed far and wide – PLEASE!”
I certainly would echo most of what’s been said already, but I have some thoughts that may help as well:
- MOST IMPORTANT! It’s my audience. I will protect their attention. I respect their time and attention, so best be certain that I won’t waste it with irrelevant or unsolicited content. If you pitch me and make it seem that you are better than my audience or me, it’s an immediate delete.
- Learn the context of the show. If it’s a seasonal show, don’t pitch topics that aren’t relevant to the current season. or at the very least before pitching, ask if the current season is in the can already and what’s up next.
- Make sure the pitch is helpful to the audience and appealing to the host. Do your research first and make sure the podcast is even an interview show in the first place. If it is, see what topics have already been addressed in a previous episode that you want to talk about and how you can fill in the gaps.
- Make the first email quick, short, and most of all interesting. Stop with the copy and paste emails that are a resume. Long emails automatically get deleted. Even if you have someone sending the pitch on your behalf, keep it short and interesting.
- If you want to get on a show, see if you know a previous guest that can introduce you. A warm intro. always works much better.
- If you want to be on my show, you need to follow my process.
- If you cancel/no-show without reason, best be sure that you will not be invited back.
Podcast: Inner Abundance Podcast
I have a podcast and I’ve learned to tell people to dress for the camera (I tell them I’m using Zoom). You would think people would know this, but I once had a guy show up without a shirt. 😉 I put the audio on Apple Podcasts and the video on YouTube- one episode, two purposes.
I don’t like it when people come on the show to try to sell in the conversation. I prefer tips/takeaways that the audience can use. I like to learn something new or hear a new take on an old subject.
Podcast: Your Confident Self
I created a blog post and audio to help my prospective guests.
My favorite tip is, “Ask yourself why you want to be on my show, specifically. If you can’t answer that, then how I can I answer whether or not you’d be a good guest?”
Podcast: Innovabiz Podcast
Pretty much what Davinder & Jason said.
It’s good when the guest knows how to pronounce the podcast name, my name, and what I call the listeners. Easy if you just listen to a couple of episodes, before coming on my show. Of course, it’s my responsibility as the host to protect my audience and to position my guest to give their best.
Podcast/Live stream: Yes To Entrepreneurship
- Guests should do their research and listen to a couple of episodes prior to pitching
- How to maximize your episode reach and attract new followers: Guests should immediately schedule out 3 -5 promo posts once they know when their episode is going to be released. They should then make sure and schedule a repeat of these promo posts within the first few weeks of publishing. Then again a month later.
- Guests should take their episode and not only promote it via a link but break it into valuable content that one could share across social media channels (photos, text on photos, stories, live broadcasts, audio clips, etc.). This is a win-win for everyone!
Kyle Van Deusen
Podcast: The Admin Bar
Come with a plan on how YOU can promote the show to a new audience. Podcasters are often talking to the same group of people, and an opportunity to have a guest that can introduce the podcast to a NEW audience is great… and mutually beneficial.
These were submitted by people who used to podcast or actively pursue guest opportunities.
It’s amazing how often I’m getting pitched and, as you know, I haven’t done an episode in a couple of years! They obviously haven’t even looked at my podcast.
So step #1 is to know the podcast you’re pitching.
I’m not a podcast but I help my clients get on podcasts. If I think someone would be a fit for a particular podcast, I don’t send a one-sheet or a mile-long text or email. Instead, I send a brief few lines and a link to the best representation of the client (their website, speaker page, or Linkedin page if they are a major influencer). I’ve developed relationships with podcasters who have asked me to do the same for them.
If I see someone that I know online that would be a good fit for a podcaster I’m connected to, I will also make an introduction if they are open to it. A win-win for the podcaster and my online contacts.
Connect with Sharon here
Todd E. Jones
It all comes back to relationships. I watched as a copywriter I know just asked his own audience if they knew of some podcasts he would be a good fit for. He laid out his expertise very well and those of us who knew him started helping him to get booked (he was on Davinder’s podcast because I connected them).
I just don’t think you can mass produce that kind of relationship building. I imagine many who do this are putting names and email addresses in some software and crafting a boilerplate email and sending it to hundreds.
Have I said relationships matter?
Jessica J. Olbin
I use a bit of colorful language myself. I always, always, always make sure it is discussed with anyone’s audience I am in front of.
I say f*ck, is that cool?
Totally not offended if it isn’t – I respect the host’s audience and want to make sure I know my boundaries and expectations in return.
Connect with Jessica
Don’t be a d*ck and everything will be fine.
(Another one who doesn’t mince words! haha…)
So, there you have it.
I have no doubt there are plenty of additional opinions and points of view on this topic, but let’s break it down to a little wisdom from Eyeore (as in Eyeore from “Winnie the Pooh”):
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
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