Guests can be one of the main catalysts to grow your podcast. Selecting the right guests can bring in new, unique audiences from around the world. Whether you need their expertise on a particular topic, or you simply want to hear about their life experiences. A great guest can be a fantastic opportunity not only to expand your audience, but improve your own skills as a podcast host. This is especially true when your guest is another podcaster themselves.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how to select the best guests for your podcast, and how to make sure they enthusiastically share the episode with their own fans and audiences once it’s live!
Finding & Contacting The Right Guest for Your Podcast
Before going through the process of finding and contacting guests, you’ll want to determine whether or not the guest would be brought in as an expert on a particular topic, or they are another podcaster or personality you’d love to have on the show. This will help you narrow down where to look for guests and how to pitch yourself to them.
Twitter and other social media platforms are an excellent way to directly contact potential guests. Sending them a short message asking for their direct contact so that you can invite them onto your podcast can potentially circumvent any agents or secretaries that may be gatekeepers. You will want to be careful when sliding into someone’s direct messages. However, depending on the audience size and profession of your potential guest. Many experts and professionals still prefer that interview requests go through the proper channels. You might want to reach out to their professional email first, and then follow up on Twitter.
Clubhouse is also a cool platform to hear exactly how a guest’s voice sounds, as well as hear their expertise on certain topics. If social media isn’t your thing, you can always search in traditional media outlets and magazines, directly on a company’s website, or even on blogging platforms like Medium.
Is your goal to grow your podcast audience?
When the goal is to grow your podcast audience, there are a few factors that should influence your decision of whether to contact a potential guest. For example, you will want to check that they have an active social media presence themselves. Do they consistently share other media or interviews they’ve done? If they have no history of social media presence or any kind of following, you may want to find another guest that would also put in work sharing the episode as well.
When looking for another podcaster to be on your show, you can look through Audry. There you’ll find podcasters who are also looking to grow. And you can see their audience numbers and topic niches. This will give you the highest chance of finding a guest who will not only provide excellent content but has something to gain from sharing the interview once it’s published.
If you have ever had to pitch a project, a product, or even your own work to a potential employer, you’ll know what it’s like to pitch your podcast. There’s no need to worry if a potential interviewee has never actually listened to your podcast. Give them a feel for your show by sending them highlight reels, Headliners, past guest profiles, and more. You can even send them listener reviews and audience metrics if you like. The more you can show them that being on your podcast has value, the more likely they will be to participate.
Preparing Your Guest
Once you’ve determined that a potential guest could bring in new audiences and publicity, you’ll want to make sure that they feel prepared, respected, and listened to. At every step of the interview process. The better an experience a guest has on your show, the more likely they’ll be to recommend you to other guests, audiences, and podcasts. You can make any potential guest feel comfortable by simply listening to their needs and concerns leading up to the interview. For example, some guests have never been on a podcast, or, if they’re a podcaster themselves, they may be hesitant to be on a podcast where they’re not in control of the conversation.
Ensure them that your goal is to make them sound good, and that you can always omit anything they’re not comfortable with. A comfortable guest is an open guest. So show them that only benefit can come from being on your show.
One of the best ways to ensure that your guest feels comfortable and excited to be on your podcast is to hold a pre-interview. All this involves is a five-minute call with the potential guest. During the pre-interview, you will be able to tell them more about the show, the line of questioning you’ll be focusing on, and how you can work together to promote the episode once it’s published. Make sure your potential guest is willing (and enthusiastic) to share the episode with their own audiences. This is one of the main questions you will want to ask going into the interview itself. If you are going to be preparing easy-to-share media, headliners and even blog posts from the interview that they will end up not sharing, you’re simply wasting your own time.
This will also give you the opportunity to gauge whether or not the guest actually would be a good fit for the program. Remember – you don’t have to bring on every guest who agrees to be on your program, so be honest if they’re not a good fit.
After the Interview
The conversation doesn’t end after the interview. Even if you won’t be publishing the episode itself for a few weeks or months, maintain contact with the interviewee throughout the production process. Ensure them that they’ll be notified as soon as the episode is live. In the downtime between recording and publishing, you can pull quotes and produce teasers and trailers that they can share with their own audiences. The easier you make it for them to share about the interview. The more likely they’ll be to post frequently and enthusiastically.
Lastly, always make sure the guest feels like their time is valuable and that their presence on the podcast is valued. Periodically check in with past guests to see how the interview on your show provided them with traction, quotes, or media that they’ve used in their own work. The more positive metrics and anecdotes you can show to future guests, the more you will grow your podcast!