There are many advantages to having guests on your podcasts. It’s an interesting way to create instant content for your show, and it sure beats going it alone with a 45-minute monologue. It’s also a nice way to meet other podcasters and industry experts. Meeting and talking to guests is fun, and you learn new things while making connections and creating friendships along the way.
One of the largest advantages of having guests on your podcast is that it is an opportunity to increase your reach and grow your audience. The power of increasing reach through connections is no secret, and it has been used in business, marketing, and networking circles since inception.
Most casual podcast consumers have probably noticed an overlap of guests and hosts in certain podcasting genres and industries, but it goes beyond that. There is an entire cottage industry built around finding guests for podcasts. Businesses like Interview Connections and Radio Guest List can help podcasters and potential guests find and book shows.
Have an Interesting Guest with a Compelling Story
Having an interesting guest with a compelling story can make your show worth listening to. If your guest also promotes the show to their audience, you can increase your reach. If your guest’s listeners like the show, they may just stick around and subscribe to your show as well.
To grow your audience, you need to find guests who have reach with an existing audience, and who are willing to share and cross promote the show with that audience. According to Jessica Rhodes from Interview Connections reaching out to guests should be personalized. Nobody wants a scripted form email. Just send an honest email or social message of some sort asking them if they would like to be on your show.
If audience building is your main goal, check out the reach of your potential guest beforehand to see if they are a good fit. Things like their blog audience, book rankings, podcast audience, and social media following can all be good indicators of the following they already have. Conversely, when you reach out, you may want to share some of your stats and let your potential guest know how being on your show can benefit them.
Everybody wants to interview influencers and land big guests on their show. Just having the name in your blog titles can increase your audience along with podcast street cred. These people are busy. Just to get them to open your message will probably take some effort and out of the box thinking. If you can land a big fish do it, but you will probably need to start with guests that have an audience closer to your existing audience. This still isn’t a bad thing. If you both cross promote, you each might be able to grow your audience. A 10% audience increase is better than no increase.
Focus and Big Name Guests
Most people involved with podcasting are fans of EOFire and John Lee Dumas. There were a lot of factors that went into John’s success including focus, drive, strategy, and timing along with landing some big name guests right out of the gate. Still according to the podcast by John’s wife, called Kate’s Take, one of the guests who really stood out was Kevin Rogers.
He was a guest who took the time to do his homework before and after the show. He created a blog post telling his readers how information in the upcoming podcast would help them. He sent emails to his subscribers explaining what they will learn and asked them to listen the day of the show. He also leveraged his social media accounts to announce the upcoming show. He then sent a follow-up email reminder. He clearly explained how listening to the show would benefit them and made it easy for them to do so. These are the type of guests you want to book.
Just for fun here is a cool post from Stitcher about Top Guest Appearances on a Podcast. Not everyone can get Mindy Kaling on their show, but there are a lot of great people who do want to be on your show and are willing to put in the work with you to promote and grow your audiences.
11 Ways To Find Podcast Guests
- Interview hosts from podcasts in your genre or related genres
- See who has been a guest on related podcasts and send them an invite
- Your existing network of connections
- People in groups, forums, and mastermind groups that you know or want to know
- Social media contacts – it helps to invest time in relationship building
- People you meet at conferences and networking events – a face to face introduction is powerful in the Internet age
- Cold calls or emails – Once again personalize it, offer a benefit to them, connect and build a relationship, be resourceful and persistent, but not pushy
- Ask for introductions and referrals from current guests – your friend is my friend
- Your own website – Have an application form or an invitation to be a guest on your website or podcast website
- Author groups and Amazon – Authors love to promote their work
- Brokers and services – there are services, websites, and agencies that specialize in this very thing
We offer a few tips on landing big podcast guests here. It really boils down to building relationships, having a connection, offering a mutual benefit, and taking the time to build your audience and your content.
8 Ways to Make It Easy for Your Podcast Guest to Promote the Show
- Create a pre-show packet to send to guests
- Include the questions, so they can prep for the show
- Discuss promotional strategies and share relevant ideas
- Supply them with pre-written tweets, social shares, and email subscriber blurbs
- Make it easy for them to promote the upcoming show
- Do your part, share with subscribers and followers
- Create promotional media like blog posts, images, snippets and teasers, or video
- Customize the promotion medium to fit the show and the guest
Building an audience takes time. You can leverage your relationships and the network of your guests to help build the audience faster. Just remember it’s about relationship building and a sincere desire to help. Being overly promotional without being helpful will backfire. Take your time, enjoy the journey and think outside the box with promotion and relationship building.