As we discussed in our last blog post, running a podcast can be a great way to expand your network as well as gain access to new audiences through your guests. Your podcast guests have huge value to you and your show, and properly leveraging that means you need to ensure they perceive value in having appeared on your podcast. This means putting in the work from the moment you recruit the guest right up to the release of their episode and beyond.
To get an idea of what defines a great, value-rich experience for podcast guests (and what doesn’t), we conducted a number of survey calls with former podcast guests throughout the third and fourth quarter of 2020. In doing so we discovered some clear trends early on regarding what left podcast guests feeling positive about their appearances… and what didn’t. We’re sharing these findings as a free resource to help you be the best podcaster you can be – for your guests.
This is part of a four-part series exploring how podcast guests have huge value to you and your show, and how properly leveraging that means you need to ensure they perceive value in having appeared on your podcast. These are tips on what left podcast guests feeling positive about their appearances… and what didn’t. We’re sharing these findings as a free resource to help you be the best podcaster you can be – for your guests.
Recruiting Your Guests
Among new podcasters the urge can be strong to recruit any guest you can find, just to make sure you’ve got content for the next release cycle. Take a look in nearly any podcasting-focused Facebook group and you’ll immediately see dozens of posts asking “who wants to be on my podcast?” without any explanation of what the podcaster discusses on their show and what qualifications they want out of a guest.
Something we discuss with many of our clients is the importance of consistency in their podcast: consistent production quality, a consistent release schedule, a consistent format, a consistent engagement strategy with your audience, and consistent topic choices. Nearly all of these points in some way touch on how you are going about recruiting and selecting guests for your podcast.
This central mission of consistency in how you create your podcast isn’t just important for growing and maintaining your audience, it’s also important for giving potential guests reassurance that they’re appearing on a podcast that’s relevant for their own brand. When a would-be guest looks at your previous episodes and sees no common thread of topic or guest expertise, they’re a lot less likely to agree to be on your podcast. Those who do agree to be on your podcast may be guests who didn’t bother to look into what your podcast is about, and the result is you booking a guest who isn’t a great fit and ultimately doesn’t make for engaging content for your audience or much benefit for the guest themselves.
Now, using Facebook or LinkedIn groups to find guests for your podcast isn’t necessarily a bad idea, you just need to be strategic about it. Be sure to select groups that are relevant to the topic of your podcast rather than more broad, generalized groups. The generalized groups will often seem like a better option because they tend towards being larger groups, but this can contribute to you just finding a guest as opposed to the right guest when reaching out through groups that fit your specific niche.
On top of being specific in which groups you target, be specific about what your podcast is and the type of guest you’re looking for! Include some information about the type of stories or conversations you typically platform on your podcast, who your typical audience is, what platform or location you typically use to record, and any specific qualifications you’d want your guest to have. If your podcast has already launched, include a link to the show so potential guests can screen the podcast for themselves. If it hasn’t launched just yet, that’s okay, be up-front about the fact that you’re recruiting guests for your initial batch of launch-day episodes and provide as much information about what your podcast’s messaging and intended audience will be once it launches.
Guests you’ve already booked can be a great resource for the podcast as well! When you’ve completed an interview, ask if they have recommendations for potential future guests to the show. Should they have suggestions for you, request that they specifically connect you with the potential guest by email. This way you’ve got direct contact information you can use to follow up with the potential guest, and the added benefit of an endorsement from somebody who’s already been on your show. For brand new podcasters still preparing to launch their podcast this is especially helpful in overcoming hesitations potential guests may have as a result of not being able to preview your podcast before agreeing to join you.
How Well Are You Doing?
Curious about how well you’re doing at providing a great podcasting experience for your guests? Book a consultation or reach out to us by email to discuss a potential audit of your podcasting practices and how you could take your podcast to the next level.