Being a podcast guest expert on other people’s podcasts is by far the best lead generation strategy and authority builder you can have for your business. And, it also increases your brand visibility–all in a span of a few hours. Clearly, it gives you so much bang for your buck!
In this guide, I’ll give you the information you’ll need to be the ideal podcast guest. You’ll also find reasons why you should appear on a podcast and how you can prepare for the interview. So let’s get right to it!
Why Should You Be a Podcast Guest?
Being a podcast guest is a fun and exciting experience, but it’s also a great way to grow your business and increase your visibility.
Here’s how a guest spot on a podcast interview can help you grow your business:
- By being a podcast guest, you instantly extend your circle of influence, tapping into other people’s audiences.
- You meet and network with new podcast hosts, creating new personal connections, and building more relationships and networks along the way.
- It provides you with content for your website to create organic traffic and boost your Google rankings.
- You build your credibility as listeners view you as THE Go-To Expert in your industry.
- You have an engaged audience listening to your message – over 50% of listeners tune in to the WHOLE episode!
- It takes less time and cost than blogging (hiring and keeping writers can run up those expenses).
- It’s content made easy that you can leverage and utilize manifolds after the podcast –it is easy to reuse and restructure into different formats (I’ll share more below).
- Think of the bragging rights when you land a guest spot on coveted podcasts.
- Opens doors to new opportunities like guesting on high-end podcasts, virtual summits, speaking at conferences and other joint venture gigs.
- And we can’t forget MORE LEADS. You get to share your lead magnet and pull people into your funnel to nurture and convert. In fact, lead acquisition is WAY less expensive than Facebook Ads. And what do more leads mean? You guessed it–more sales!
How fantastic for your ROI, right? Now, let’s discuss how you can become a podcast guest.
Securing a Spot as a Podcast Guest
If you don’t know any podcasters in your immediate circles, securing a guest spot on a podcast might be a bit difficult. Foremost, you’ll be called to improve your networking skills and connect with different podcasters.
Find the shows you would like to appear on as a podcast guest and contact the host with the perfect pitch. Your approach should convince the host that you can make a great episode together. You can also hire a podcast booking agency to do the pitching for you.
When you’re looking to secure a guest spot on a podcast, try to take a selfless approach. Of course, you will benefit from appearing on a show, but consider how the podcast host benefits from your expertise. Then, amplify the benefits for both parties in your pitch.
What Do You Need to Start Podcast Guesting?
To be a podcast guest you need a couple of things. Use this checklist as a starter:
- A well written bio
- Researched and thought out interview topics and questions; after all, you want to attract more hosts to book you!
- A Designed One Sheet that showcases who you are and highlights your expertise
- A Press Page that showcases your one sheet, headshot, bio, interview topics, and examples of shows that you’ve been on
- A process for connecting and building relationships with the host
- A strategy and a solid call to action to leverage the episode and increase your audience, lead generation, and sales
- A tracking method to analyze which types of shows are getting you the best ROI
- Promotion strategy to create more organic traffic, boost credibility & authority, and lead generation
- Leverage strategy to get more use out of that content for social, nurturing your list and more
Why Are These Elements Important?
I know you’re probably thinking, do I really need all of this? While some of these elements are must-haves, others are simply nice-to-haves. In fact, let’s take a look at the full picture.
A well written bio is a crucial part of your podcast interview. Podcasters read your bio when deciding whether to have you on the show. Your bio is also included in the show notes of the episodes. It’s basically the ‘Cole’s Notes’ for the host (and the audience) to learn more about you and how you can help them add value to their audience.
Think of your bio as a long business card. It has to pack a lot of punch in a short amount of words. I like to create both a long and a short bio for various scenarios. Try to focus on your credibility and what you’ve accomplished. Are you a speaker, a CEO, a serial entrepreneur, an award winner, an author, or have you been featured heavily in the media? You get the picture!
The rule of the thumb is not to include too much in your bio. You don’t have to share your dreams or what you do in your spare time. Avoid listing your educational credentials as well. Everything that’s boring and won’t ‘wow’ the host or the audience needs to go.
Interview Topics & Questions
Podcasters are busy, just like you and I. They want to quickly envision the interview to see if it’s a fit for their show and serves their audience. So make it easy for the host to decide if you are the best fit.
I know that when I get a pitch and it’s vague, and I can’t ‘picture’ or imagine what the interview would even be about, I quickly lose interest. Who has time to research the guest, what they do, and figure out what the episode would be about? No one! You want the topic to be so attractive in that ‘ooh I want to know that’ wow factor.
A vague topic like ‘I’ll share tips on Facebook marketing’ is not very exciting or novel. ‘5 strategies to increase your Facebook Engagement by 40%’ is a much more specific and appealing phrase in terms of a topic. See the difference? And providing questions, again, gives the host direction, makes it easier for him or her, and guides the conversation to help you ‘sell from the stage’ and showcase your expertise.
Designed One Sheet
You need to create a one page sheet (just front, or front and back) that shares your bio, your social links, your credibility, your accolades, as well as your interview topics and questions. Again – clicking on a link that shares the one-sheet makes it super easy for the host – and is easy for you to share!
This is in the category of ‘nice to have’. The press page includes a sharable link that has your image, your bio, interview questions, and links to your headshots, your one-sheet, and social links.
A one-stop-shop page is easy to share when applying or pitching to be on a show. Additionally, it affords you leverage to share the events and shows you’ve been on, including testimonials and reviews from listeners and show hosts.
A Good Relationship With the Host
Podcast guests and podcasters need to nurture their relationships. Don’t make the mistake of guesting on the show and then disappearing. Leverage that relationship!
Create a process or checklist that ensures you:
- are connected with the hosts on social media
- are engaged in their content
- research their content
- thank them after the show is recorded
- create social posts that lead up to the interview (share you are excited to record that episode today for example – and tag them)
- have a conversation in the green room
- share other potential guests
- be a connector and so much more
Plan to Increase Lead Generation
Instead of simply sharing your website during the episode, give the listener a solid reason to head to any site you share. Having a solid lead magnet is the best approach. It’s also advisable to see if it ‘fits’ the topic of the interview, as it is naturally the ‘next step’.
Plus on a lead magnet page, they only have ONE action to take – opt in, versus getting distracted on a website, then leaving and not making it on your list. You want to ensure the lead magnet is a part of your ascension ladder and leads them naturally to something you sell. Likewise, you want to leverage all opportunities to grow your list but also convert those leads into sales.
I spoke at Podfest Global about this very topic. You want to track what shows you’ve pitched and what shows you have been booked on so that you can follow up and not miss any opportunities. Monitoring the results of your pitches can help you figure out what you’re doing wrong and what needs to be improved.
Once you are booked on the show, make sure to keep track of which shows have gone live. It’s amazing how many hosts forget or don’t share that information with the guest and the episode gets lost in a black hole. You simply shouldn’t miss the chance to leverage the episode as much as possible. And most importantly, you want to track which shows are bringing you the most ROI.
Again, can’t say it enough–leverage the episode like crazy! Don’t make the mistake of doing one social post that leads to the host’s page – you miss the boat on organic traffic, content, credibility, and exposure. First, post it on your website – that content is gold! Next, share it everywhere – as a LinkedIn article, all social media platforms and your e-list.
This content is evergreen, meaning you can share it again 3 months from now. And don’t forget to tag the host – they will love you for it, since it extends your reach so their audience sees it too.
You can get way more use out of the podcast episode than simply sharing your post. Think of all the golden insights you shared in the episode! You can recycle the topic and create videos with tips from the episode. You can also go live talking about the episode, and then share the link to your post.
Use transcripts and re-jig it to be a blog post as well. Or break it into chunks and share its highlights as tips on social media or with your e-list. Create IG and FB stories with teasers. Create quotes and memes to share on social. There are so many ways to make that one piece of content work for you!
Podcast Interview: Answer Techniques
Being a guest on a podcast can both be super exciting but also an overwhelming experience. You want to present yourself in the best light, so naturally, you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to perform well. I say: just relax! Podcast interviews don’t have to be difficult. All you need is thorough preparation.
What’s Your Message?
To understand how to prepare for a podcast guest appearance, you need to know what the goal of the podcast interview is. Think about the message you want to convey to the audience and write it down. Then, ask the host to give you the questions in advance, so you can wrap your main message around those answers. If the host is open to it, you can even suggest a couple of questions you would like to discuss.
Prepare a Few Talking Points
Although you shouldn’t write a script and read it, you could prepare a couple of talking points first. Depending on the length of the episode and the questions provided by the host, the podcast guest should choose 5-10 key points and ideas you would like to share with the audience. You can even have your notes by your side during the interview to make sure you don’t miss anything crucial.
Check Your Facts
If you want to share some facts in your answers, make sure they’re accurate, the listeners consider you to be the podcast guest expert after all. Giving incorrect facts and showing suspicious data can severely damage your reputation, even if it’s unintentional. Before the interview, check each statement and validate it.
You can even create a side note and write the source of each claim. Of course, you don’t have to cite the source during the podcast interview (use every second of air time efficiently). The notes are just for you, to have proof of your statements in case you need to explain more.
Although your answers should be based on accurate facts, as mentioned, you shouldn’t give a lot of dry facts to the listeners; nobody likes that from a podcast guest. Instead, try to tell a story to prove your point. The audience would find you more relatable as a podcast guest if you share an anecdote or use an example from your business practice when describing an idea or a tip.
Speak in Simple Terms
Most listeners don’t want to follow complicated thought-processes from a podcast guest. Therefore, avoid technical jargon and terms that need additional explanation. Instead, use simple, relatable phrases to convey your message more clearly. If your answers are long, add a summary at the end. One or two sentences should be enough for listeners to understand the main message.
As a podcast guest, you need to provide clear answers to the questions, but you can’t do that if you’re talking too fast. By slowing down a bit, the audience will be able to follow you more easily. Remind yourself to slow down when necessary and give yourself time.
While you should avoid long pauses, it’s okay to take 5-10 seconds to begin answering. It’s way better to take a pause to gather your thoughts than to use plenty of stutters like “umm” and “hmm”. That’s because the pauses can be edited in post-production while the podcast guest stutters are usually in the middle of the sentences and can’t be cut out.
Limit Your Promotion
It’s great to have a humble call-to-action during the episode, but try not to overdo it. You aren’t on a podcast to read an ad for your business but to provide valuable insights to the listeners. As mentioned, the best way to promote your business is to have the perfect lead magnet.
How to Be the Perfect Podcast Guest?
Honestly, perfect the perfect guest doesn’t exist. Each podcast show is different and has a unique audience, so the criteria for the perfect guest may vary. Some podcasters prefer more formal and professional conversations, while others like to have a more laid-back conversation with their guests. However, there are some tips that can help you improve your podcast appearance, and I’ve listed them below. Let’s dive in!
To be a great podcast guest you need to be relaxed and friendly. Naturally, this can be hard if you’re stressed out or nervous in general. Try to decrease the stress levels on the day of the podcast interview. You can do that with relaxation techniques and stress relief activities. Once you’re relaxed, you can give your maximum on the interview and wow the audience.
Relaxation will also help you avoid the mentioned nervous stutters, such as “um”, “ahhh”, etc. It’s hard to act natural while recording, but try to forget about the setting and think about how great it feels to share your message with so many interested listeners. Simply imagine you’re having a regular conversation on a coffee date, as this will make it easier for you to get into the chatty mode.
Even if the podcast is very formal and strict, you still need to be relaxed to carry on a good conversation. You would have to change your tone and polish the answers a bit, but your attitude should still be friendly. You’re there to share valuable insights with the audience and nervousness won’t help you do that.
Get to Know Your Host
Good podcast guests do their homework and research the podcast (and its host) before the episode. You want to learn more about the podcast to figure out what exactly the host expects from you. The easiest way to do this is by listening to a couple of previous episodes. Keep an eye on the topics discussed, the tone of the episode, the speaking time each person takes, and other notable factors.
You can also contact the host directly and ask about everything you want to know. Depending on how famous the podcast is and how busy the podcaster, limit your question to a single email or a phone call. Podcasters are usually happy to help, because they want to create a quality podcast show. Familiarity will make the conversation flow naturally and the chemistry between you and the podcaster will be more palpable.
Check the Tech
Make sure you have the equipment needed for the (remote) interview. There’s nothing worse than experiencing technical problems in the middle of the interview. Of course, accidents happen and there are some things you can’t control. However, a lot of technical problems can be avoided or solved during a checkup before the start of the recording.
Depending on the type of interview, you need to:
- Charge the batteries on your phone/laptop
- Install the required software (for example Zoom or Skype)
- Test the microphone and the headphones
- Check your internet signal. Turn off other devices and background apps to avoid overloading your WiFi.
Prepare Your Environment
In addition to checking the technical requirements, you should also prepare your environment. Get rid of the noise and distractions and make sure your family (including your pets) won’t interrupt you. Also, keep a water bottle by your side and take small sips, so your throat doesn’t get dry during the conversation.
Be on time, or even better, 15 minutes early. Use the extra time to check everything again and do a small rehearsal with the host. You’ll even have a bit of time to chat and relax before you move on to the interview.
Promote the Show
Naturally, you would want to promote (and leverage!) the episode on which you have been a podcast guest. However, you might want to consider giving a shoutout to the entire show. Leave reviews, comments, and make promotional posts about the entire podcast. Launching a podcast is hard work, so the host will definitely appreciate the support! The podcast host might even recommend you as a guest to other podcasters.
Don’t forget to thank the host for a wonderful experience. Offer your assistance after the show is over, in case some of your answers need further clarification. The podcast host will publish the show’s notes, ensuring your message was loud and clear.
Enjoy the Experience
Forget about being the perfect podcast guest for a second and try to have fun! Podcasting is all about connecting authentically with others and the hosts would love for you to enjoy the time on his/her show. Relax, be yourself, and enjoy the process of creating the episode. Ultimately, your positive energy and unique approach will make you the perfect podcast guest.