In the world of content marketing, podcasting has definitely become a force to be reckoned with.
Having come a long way from their humble beginnings as an alternative form of media, podcasts are now a worldwide phenomenon enjoyed by over 60 million homes in the United States alone.
Some of us love listening to an insightful podcast while driving and commuting to work, while others like getting inspired by podcasts as they’re working. Putting on a great podcast is also the preferred way to relax at the end of the day for 49% of listeners — listeners who are also shown to be affluent, highly educated, and loyal to the media they consume.
When we put together all these figures, one thing becomes very clear: If you are not using podcast hosting as a way to reach a wider and more loyal audience, promote your business, and generate leads, you are missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
Are you wondering how to get guests on your podcast or how to be a better, more engaging host?
Are you worried about audio quality or that your topics are not interesting enough for your audience to get hooked? If so, this is exactly the article for you.
Whether you are just researching how to get started or you have already been running podcast episodes for your business, we want to give you the tools necessary to succeed and do right by your vision.
Understand Your Target Audience
The first step when figuring out how to make a podcast work and become a better podcast host is to understand who your target audience is. Knowing who is actually going to listen to your podcast will inform your content, the guests you decide to have on, and even your delivery as a host!
As a business owner, you should already have a clear idea of who makes up your target audience.
But even if you’re already tailoring your website content, advertising efforts, and email marketing to fit your prospects’ interests and pain points, that doesn’t mean you have your podcast audience figured out just yet. Not all your customers, clients, and leads will necessarily migrate to your podcast episodes once they’re live: They might just not fit the demographic.
So, you should figure out what your niche really cares about, where they are coming from, what insights they are looking for, and what will keep them engaged and commenting before you start planning out topics and guests to join you.
Keep your audience in mind at all times as you are jotting down podcast ideas, and make sure you are answering all the questions and curiosities they might have with your content — a host is nothing without their audience!
Have Your Notes Ready
A big part of being a podcast host is being able to come as you are, share your passion, and have an authentic back and forth with guests — but all your conversations won’t be completely spontaneous and off-the-cuff.
Once you have selected a topic you are passionate about, you should get your notepad ready to create bullet points, collect quotes and figures, and write down a rough outline of questions to ask.
Of course, you won’t have to read from a script in order to provide insightful and valuable content (doing so will actually hurt your authenticity), but you should definitely make sure you are fully prepared, focused on the conversation at hand, and well-researched before recording.
Get Your Tech in Order and Find the Best Podcast Hosting Service
Thinking about the tech side of podcast hosting can sound incredibly daunting to some of us, especially if we are not the most tech-savvy in the room.
At the same time, however, having a good production quality is a major factor in a podcast’s success. You might be having the most inspiring and insightful conversations in the world, but if you are not making sure your podcast is listenable, no one is going to have the incentive to come back!
Make sure your podcast’s audio quality is up to standard by investing in a high-quality microphone, recording in a quiet room with plenty of space around you, and carrying out plenty of test recordings prior to the recording date. If you find that the sound is not working as well as it should, you might want to experiment with different input levels, different mic placements, and file compressions.
Finally, make sure that you are using the right podcast hosting service for your needs. Doing so will put you in the best possible position to attract a loyal audience, thanks to podcast hosting platforms’ ease of use and the overall better user experience they offer.
No listener, no matter how engaged, wants to sit through endless buffering and frustrating crashes, so you want to ensure the tech side of podcasting is going as smoothly as it can before you start getting in touch with guests!
Get the Perfect Podcast Guests (And Make the Connections Matter)
Having authoritative guests join in the conversation is the best way of elevating the value and quality of your podcast episodes. It is also the easiest way of reaching a wider audience without spending resources on ads and cold calls, as your guest will be bringing their following to your platform organically.
If you don’t really know how to get guests on your podcast, you’ll be surprised to find out it’s not that different from making any other kind of business connection.
Your first guest list will draw from your existing connections: clients, partners, friends, and online acquaintances that operate in your industry. Indirect contacts will work just as well, so it’s worth reaching out to your close network to enquire whether they know someone that might be interested in recording an episode with you. Of course, if you already have the perfect guest in mind for a topic, you can contact them directly and sell your idea — you have a great chance of succeeding as long as appearing on your podcast will help them in return.
Guests should benefit from working on a podcast with you. Whether they have just come out with a new book or they are trying to get their own podcast going, you want to put their needs front and center so that the value you are offering through podcast guesting is as clear as any other business transaction.
Have an upfront and open discussion on who their target audience is, how it intersects with yours, what their goals are, and what they are expecting to get out of the experience.
At the same time, you should try to get the most out of this relationship, especially if it’s a brand-new connection: Follow their social media accounts, engage on their platforms, share their stories, and build an authentic connection that will truly matter and last much longer than your thirty minutes of recording.
Before you begin recording, you also want to make sure you have communicated all that you need from your guest in advance. A short biography, a good headshot, and a list of key points in case they are looking to promote services or products make for the perfect start to an informed conversation.
You’ll want to make sure all questions and concerns are answered before recording to avoid any misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises. Finally, when the time comes to put your podcast episode out, you’ll want to let your guest know first by sending them the appropriate links, as well as tagging them on social media and on the platforms you use to promote your podcast.
At the end of the day, having a guest coming over to your podcast is like having a guest come into your home: If you make them feel comfortable, understood, respected, and valued, they will be more enthusiastic coming back and talking about the experience with others!
Becoming a Better Host
Getting better at podcast hosting requires plenty of curiosity and drive, constant improvement, and a whole lot of experience.
There is no such thing as the perfect host, but even complete beginners have everything within them to become great hosts — and for everything else, we can offer a helping hand.
By trying to be more empathetic with guests, more in tune with the podcast audience’s interests, and more focused and well-versed on the topics of discussion, you can not only channel your expertise into highly engaging episodes but also establish a stronger authority as one of the best podcast hosts in the game.
In short, being a better host means having a better podcast, and as more listeners start tuning in and more potential guests start reaching out to book a spot, you’ll soon get to reap all the benefits of the hottest medium of content marketing and authority marketing around!