Your Complete Guide to Being a Great Podcast Guest
Guest podcast interviews are a great strategy for establishing yourself as an industry expert as well as getting in front of new potential clients and customers in your target audience.
Consistent guest podcasting can be a great tactic to add to your marketing and promotional strategy whether you have your own podcast to promote or not because being the guest allows you to gain additional exposure without having to handle the actual production of the show.
So how do you get books as a podcast guest and make the most of your interview? Below are our top tips for being a great podcast guest on any show.
The Checklist for being a great podcast Guest
The Benefits of Being a Guest On A Podcast
How to Become a Podcast Guest
How To Be A Great Podcast Guest
The Benefits of Being a Guest on a Podcast
If you’re reading this, chances are that you already have a goal of being interviewed on your favorite podcast or maybe you’ve already landed an invite. Congrats! But if you still need some convincing that being a podcast guest is the right move for you, let’s dive into the benefits.
Podcasting Continues to Grow
If you’re a long-time podcast listener, you might be surprised to learn that podcasting as a medium continues to gain new listeners all the time. According to Buzzsprout, female listenership hit an all-time high in 2021. This year, 62% of the population over 12 years of age have listened to a podcast and over 1/3 of Americans are listening to podcasts regularly.
Even though podcasts as a medium are now nearly 20 years old, the format continues to see growth. There are a diverse amount of shows, more and more celebrity hosts, and big players like Spotify and Amazon are investing in podcasts. Podcasting is expected to continue to grow with the help of technology, like smart speakers, in the coming years.
Expand Your Current Reach
Guest appearances allow you to speak to the podcast’s audience, which is likely highly engaged and made up of new dream clients or customers for you. Fans of podcasts are loyal and tune in regularly. They trust the host, finding value in the information and expert guests being shared. This is the perfect opportunity to gain top-of-mind awareness with a highly targeted group of listeners.
Establish Authority in Your Industry
Being a podcast guest is a great way to lend more credibility to your industry authority. Podcast interviews typically allow the guest to highlight relevant stories, and great advice, and promote their experience and work.
A guest podcast interview also gives you content to share that features you and your message from another source. Most podcast hosts will provide guests with images and links to share on their own social media marketing accounts and website. Take advantage of these!
How To Become A Podcast Guest
So if you are thinking that being a podcast guest sounds great, but now you’re wondering how you even become a podcast guest, we’ve got you covered. Before finding podcasts and trying to pitch to be on the show, make sure you gain an understanding of their audience.
Is the podcast hosts’ approach something with which you resonate and makes you comfortable? Is the show aligned with your target customer? What can you offer to the show’s listeners?
How to Find Podcasts
We have an exercise we like to use for building community and identifying people we’d like to collaborate with in the future. We call this the Hot Shit 200. This exercise can easily be applied to your ideal list of podcast guesting opportunities. You can grab this download and then check out this video on how Kathleen has used this list to her benefit.
Think about relevant podcasts that you love to listen to, podcasts that your industry peers have been guests on, and look at podcasts in industries that are adjacent to yours.
Interact With Podcast Hosts + Shows
The next step is to start interacting with these hosts and shows. Follow them on social media, subscribe to their newsletter, listen to their show, and start to respond and interact with them. You might be surprised but just showing up and interacting with these hosts might land you a guest interview invite because the host will see the value you are providing naturally.
Actively Pitch Podcast Hosts
It is so easy to get a cold pitch email wrong. Podcast hosts get a lot of asks in their inboxes, including numerous guest pitches. Here are some things to consider that will help you stand out in a crowded inbox. HINT: We suggest starting the first step before this!
Make your ask clear and immediate. If your desire to be a guest on the show isn’t clear in your pitch email, you are going to leave the host confused and your email will likely get archived.
Suggest topics and how your perspective is different from previous guests or other industry thought leaders. Don’t make the podcast host guess when it comes to how you’ll have a compelling conversation.
Express the value you’ll bring to the audience overall. We already mentioned setting your topic apart from others but now is the time to share anything else that makes you unique and can make for a great episode.
Stay away from overly templated or formulaic emails. Again, podcast hosts get A LOT of guest pitches. If you are using a template pitch email that you snagged from an expert online, it is going to blend in with every other pitch that is using the same template.
For more tips on cold pitches to podcast, hosts check out this Being Boss Minisode How To Pitch A Podcast.
How To Be A Great Podcast Guest – Before, During, and After
What To Do Before Your Interview
Congrats! You made the connections and landed your interviews. You’ll want to make the most of your appearance and be a good guest. That requires a few steps before, during, and after your podcast interview.
Listen to an episode or two of the podcast you will be a guest on
If you pitched a podcast to be a guest, you should have already done this step! Being familiar with the podcast host or hosts, who their podcast listeners are, and the format of the show is important.
Not only does it help you get more comfortable with how the conversation will flow and what to expect but it also allows you to offer the most value to the new-to-you audience that will be consuming your interview.
Take note of any consistent segments or questions the host asks guests
You don’t need to have a prepared and scripted answer for every single question or situation, in fact doing so might make you come across as a little robotic to the audience. But featured questions or segments are usually a great spot to use a prepared answer.
They are an opportunity to give the audience a great sound bite or action item. For example, on Being Boss, our guests are typically asked to share their entrepreneurial journey as a first-time guest or “What’s making you feel most boss?” to end the show for almost every show.
Review any materials or notes the podcast host sends
The host may or may not send you questions or topics ahead of time, but here’s the deal: many podcasts focus on having candid conversations with their guests—that’s what their listeners want to hear! However, as a guest about to jump on a podcast, we know that just showing up for a conversation can be a little nerve-wracking.
What if I trip over my words?
What if I sound like an idiot?
What if I forget the name of the new course I’m launching?
So if that’s your fear, we suggest doing a little bit of prep ahead of time:
Bullet out a few things you might want to talk about on your end
Some good, mic drop phrases you feel hit home what you have to offer (practice saying these out loud a few times so it sounds natural, not scripted)
List out some of your best blog posts or products so you can easily reference them if they’re applicable to the conversation
BUT keep in mind that these things you prepare are just a safety blanket. This is just to get it all out in front of you so you don’t feel frazzled when it comes to the interview. If you don’t talk about everything you wrote down—it’s okay.
The more human you come across, the better. Think of it this way: a podcast is just a conversation—it just happens to be recorded.
It’s okay to SAY WHAT YOU ALWAYS SAY
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Say what you always say. That’s good branding.
Keep in mind that you are likely tapping into a new audience. Sure there may be some crossover, but many of the listeners of the podcast probably have never heard of you before. Plus, it takes multiple times of hearing something before it truly sinks in.
What To Do During Your Recording
This should go without saying, but if you’ve committed to the thing, show up. If things change for whatever reason, communicate. A lot of work and time goes into finding podcast guests and getting everyone scheduled. When a host is willing to share their platform and audience with you be boss and show up.
Have The Right Equipment + Location
Have you ever tried listening to a podcast full of poor audio? It can be hard to get through. That means you are going to lose listeners that aren’t committed to your topic or story before they’ve had a chance to change their minds.
We recommend headphones with a mic at a minimum but many higher-quality mics are very affordable these days. If you are considering doing regular podcast guesting it might be worth the investment.
You’ll also want to be aware of your location during the recording. You want to have access to a mostly private space with minimal background noise or low potential for background noise. You’ll also want to take your digital environment into account.
Make sure to turn off any notifications from your computer or your phone. You’ll also want to close any browser windows that aren’t critical to you or the interview so that you don’t become distracted during the recording.
Don’t be too scripted or long-winded
Back to our previous point about being nervous and afraid to say the wrong thing, don’t over-script yourself. Having notes to guide you is great but you’ll want to avoid being stiff and sounding overly scripted. Approaching your interview like a conversation will make it much more engaging for the listener.
You also want to avoid rambling answers. Try to keep your answers concise and allow room for the conversation to flow naturally. As a guest, it is a great idea to ask the host questions as well. You can clarify which direction would be more valuable for their audience before fully diving in or ask what their experience has been with a particular talking point.
Bring a takeaway for listeners
Many people listen to podcasts to learn something, even if it is just to understand a different perspective on a topic. You can drive home your value and showcase your expertise by delivering key takeaways during your podcast interview.
Is there any practice or exercise that you could direct listeners to do directly after your interview that would help them solidify a lesson or experience an immediate change?
What To Do After Your Interview
Promote Your Episode
Part of the benefit of being a podcast guest is your message reaching new potential clients and customers. Do the podcast host a favor and share your episode with your own audience allowing the show to possibly find new listeners as well. Most shows will provide shareable graphics to promote your episode that will feature your name, face, and the topic you’re speaking about. Bonus points if you tag the host and show when posting.
Stay Connected To Listeners + The Host
Once your episode is live, it is a great idea to interact with posts that the host makes to promote it. Take a minute to visit their social media channels and interact with the comments being made.
Staying in touch with the host can be beneficial for both of you. If you did the work of interacting and connecting with them before being a guest on their show, don’t stop now. Continuing to build a relationship can lead to other opportunities. This is also a great time to recommend an additional guest for their show or ask for referrals or recommendations of other shows they think you’d be a great fit for.
Don’t Try To Force A Specific Air Date
Be smart about where the air date of your podcast episode falls—especially if it’s a big-deal podcast—but don’t force a whole launch around it.
Think of it this way: Being a podcast guest is planting seeds in a new audience.
If these people have never heard of you before, they’re likely not going to be chomping at the bit to buy your new service anyway—even if you have a stellar interview.
What they will do is sign up for your newsletter or follow you on Instagram or check out your website and read a couple of your blog posts.
Think of your guest episode as the top of your sales funnel—right on par with free worksheet opt-ins. These are brand-new audience members that you need to nurture before you make that hard sell.
If your episode happens to air within your launch week, great! Otherwise, simply think of it as a valuable, evergreen, top-of-sales-funnel tool.
Start Guest Podcasting Today!
We truly believe in the power of being a great guest and hopefully, you’ll give it a go! A little bit of preparation in finding podcasts and for your recordings can go a long way for any podcast interview and take your episode from being pretty good to being a fan favorite.
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT:
- Maybe you’re less interested in being on podcasts than starting your own? Listen to Being Boss Episode #75: Podcast Like a Boss
- Being a guest on someone else’s podcast may not be the most solid launch plan, but we’ve got some tips on that front too: Being Boss Episode #63: Launch Like a Boss
- Get comfortable saying what you always say. Tara’s got some great advice on how to shape up that positioning statement on Being Boss Episode #109: Packaging, Positioning, and Process with Tara Street
- Check out our entire library of shows for more resources and our top episodes.