How to Be a Great Podcast Guest
I am creating course called Livecast Lifestyle: The Secret to Fun, Fulfilling and Consistent Content Creation for Entrepreneurs. How to Be a Great Podcast Guest is one of the lessons from that course, so you're getting a sneak preview now. If you're interested in getting on the early bird waiting list for this course, sign up at http://course.livecast.life. Those who are on the early bird waiting list when the course goes live at the end of June will get a special friends and family discount.
This course offers insightful, hard earned, powerful tips, steps to take, and information about creating your own livecast lifestyle and it's a great companion to our book, Livecast Life. The book is available at http://book.livecast.life. We have a valuable but free downloadable workbook that helps you get started at http://guide.livecast.life.
Podcasts Are Instrumental for Visibility
Why do we need visibility? We want to have a great presence online so that people can find us and begin to know, like and trust us enough to buy our products and services.
About 60% of US consumers listen to 8 podcasts per week on average. So you gain great visibility through this popular platform.
I listen to two or three podcasts each week. How about you?
It's a great thing to do when you're walking, washing dishes, or cleaning the house. You can wear a wireless headset or airpods, walk around living life and listening to your favorite podcast. Sixteen million people in the US are avid podcast fans. That means they subscribe and listen to more than one podcast per week.
The Pathway to Visibility and Credibility
If you want to become visible online and gain credibility as a thought leader, start by listening to podcasts. That way you have an understanding of what they're like, what people are saying and doing on podcasts, and how you can make the best podcast possible.
Next, host your own podcast. You can set up a podcast studio in your home with minimal equipment, or using your current smartphone if that’s all you’ve got. Start recording. Start uploading. It doesn't cost you anything but time and energy, so you can do it if you just get started. The longer you podcast, the more people will find you. So the sooner you get started, the sooner you can grow your audience.
Get On Other People's Podcasts
A great way to gain visibility is through other people's audiences. They find out about you on somebody else's podcast, and then they come and join your podcast and start listening to you.
Be a Great Guest and Offer Value to Every Host and Audience
When you're a great guest, you become popular. When you offer value to people every time you show up, you become somebody who they want around more. They want to continue to have you back, promote you, and refer you to their podcasting friends.
Be a great guest from the beginning and your reputation will keep the requests flowing.
Connect with Hosts
First, you need to think about what's in it for them.
People reach out to me and say, I know all this stuff and I've made all this money and you must want me on your show!
No, I don't.
Why should I have you on my show? Tell me what you're going to do for me.
What are you going to provide for my audience?
You've got to talk about what's in it for them, or they're going to say no. Include that in your outreach because that’s the best way to sell yourself as a guest and connect with the host.
Listen to Their Podcast Episodes
What do they sound like? Who are they talking to? What are their topics? How can you become a good fit for that podcast?
Or you may listen to their podcast and think, this isn't right for me. I don't have anything to add to this audience. I'm not going to reach out to them. But you don't know until you've listened to their podcast episodes.
If somebody reaches out to you and says, would you be a guest on my show? You should first listen to some of their podcasts and discern if you are a good fit. Is this an audience you want to speak to? How can you best serve them?
Know Their Topic and Audience
You can find out about their show as you read their show summary and bio. Look at their website and listen to their podcast. Then propose a topic that fits their show and offers value.
We've had people who come to us to ask to be on our show and their topic is way out there. It doesn't have anything to do with our audience and their interests and what they need.
Even if you have expertise that doesn't fit with us, for instance, maybe you're a physical trainer and you want to be on our show. You'd better have some reasons that you fit in with what we're talking about and how you can serve our audience.
You've got to figure that out before you reach out to that host.
Follow Their Process
Do they have a form or an application that you need to fill out in order to be on their show? Follow their process, find out what it is, and then follow the instructions and follow through on everything.
Make sure you're doing what they ask. If they ask you for a photograph, then send the best one you’ve got. If they're asking you to fill out a release, be sure to read it, understand it, and fill it out.
Respect Their Time and Platform
They are offering you a wonderful opportunity to reach a whole new group of people that you wouldn't otherwise be able to reach. Respect and honor that gift. Get to the point when you're talking, share insightful, detailed, emotional stories, and make really good use of your time with that host.
This is an opportunity to begin a new collaborative partnership or friendship.
Prepare to Give Value
You need to know what value you can offer their audience and prepare yourself in advance of being on podcasts.
Milton Hershey said, “Give them quality. That's the best kind of advertising.”
You don't have to promote yourself, your business, and your methods. You just need to give them good quality content, something that they enjoy. Then they're going to listen. They’ll want to connect with you if they enjoy what you talk about and how you speak about that topic.
Give the Audience What They Want
Sometimes we want to give people what we think they need. They don't necessarily want that. Give them what they want. If they want funny stories and to laugh, give them that. It doesn't matter what you think they need. Give them what they want.
What do podcast listeners want?
They Want Knowledge
Most people subscribe and listen to podcasts to learn things. They still want it to be fun, but their number one priority is usually learning new things. What insights can you share?
They Want to Be Entertained
We all want to be entertained. We don't want to be bored. So if you can give them both knowledge and entertainment, then you’ve got infotainment and you’ve got an interested audience who is listening.
They Want Inspiration
A lot of times we listen to podcasts to keep us motivated, to give us a lift, and to help us keep on track with what we're doing.
As an entrepreneur, I listen to podcasts from other entrepreneurs and people who support entrepreneurs. That way I can feel motivated because I know there are other people out there like me who are having the same challenges. I learn about how they got through those challenges and how I can tap into that support network.
Give people that value of knowing they're not alone and you have great information to share. Support and talk to them where they're at and give them that inspiration to move forward.
The most important thing is to wrap knowledge, entertainment and inspiration in a story.
Tell Them a Story
People love stories. They lean in and listen to stories. They want information, entertainment, and inspiration contained within a story. We are hardwired to listen to stories, and we expect them to have a beginning, middle, and end. They should have a point. Stories are the best vehicle to teach about good choices. They might contain some good ideas about how to make more money, create better relationships or increase good health. Talk about some of the struggles you went through to get to where you are now. People can resonate with those details much more when they're in a story format.
“Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can.” Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow of The Storytelling Edge.
Think back to a talk that you've listened to, that you really enjoyed and that stuck with you. What was it about that talk that made it so good and so memorable? I bet it was a story. You were able to tell that story to other people. You could say I heard this talk on this topic and here's the story they told. Then you retell that story. Stories travel the world very quickly in this way.
A story comes in a delightfully memorable package that makes sense to everybody. There’s the beginning, the middle, the end, the point to it, the feelings, and the details that were contained in that story. We are able to share that so much easier because it becomes a part of us.
Promote Your Appearance
Tell the world, Hey, I'm on this show, go watch it. Go listen to it. It's a great show!
Share the link on all your social media. This is where you can find the show. Click the link.
Talk about it wherever you go. If you speak at an event, talk about the podcast you've been on and direct people to it. If you meet up with people regularly on a mastermind, tell them, Hey, I was just on this podcast. If you'd like to go check it out, here's the link.
Talk about it with people, tell them why it's so interesting and why they should listen to it.
Bring Your Audience
Whenever you're on somebody else's show, if you don't bring your audience with you, you haven't brought much to the table for them and you’ve missed an opportunity to engage with your most loyal fans. You're just using the host, their audience, and their platform. When you bring your own audience, you’re providing value to your host and collaborating.
Tell your followers in advance, I'm gonna be on this show, come see it. Or after it's up and processed, you can say, go watch this or go listen to this. It was great. They did a great job interviewing me, and we came up with some really good concepts.
Answer the Questions in the Comments
If people are live chatting during your talk, make sure you speak to those comments. Or if they leave comments on the video or podcast after the fact, take a look at those comments and answer them. Social media, same thing. If you post about the show and they ask questions or make comments, then respond to those.
Let them know, yes I see and I hear you and I am interested in what you have to say. That's going to encourage your online presence to grow, and you'll seem more responsive and approachable which adds to your know/like/trust factors.
Send Out An Email Blast
Every entrepreneur should have an email list that they communicate with frequently.
We send out a weekly newsletter. We put information in there about all our shows. That’s a good time to say, Hey, I was just on this podcast and we had a great time. Go check it out.
Put the link in the email and send it out to people to let them know when you are on somebody else's show. They're lending you their platform and their audience so make the most of that opportunity by announcing it to your email list.
Reciprocate and Collaborate
Subscribe, share, like, and comment.
If you want to be on somebody's show, you should be subscribed to it. You should share it. You should make comments. You should like it. Review the channel or podcast and give them a good review on iTunes or Podchaser.
They’ll see that review again and again for a long time and remember you for it. Those small favors will help them appreciate you as a guest and a friend.
Send a Thank You Message
After you've recorded the episode or after the episode is aired send a thank you message. It can be as simple as Thank you for having me on your show. I had a wonderful time. I really appreciate you sharing your audience with me and I hope I added value. It is a simple gesture but very few people do it.
Refer Future Guests
After you've been on their show and worked with them and have a really good idea of the type of guests that they're looking for, if you come across somebody that would be a good guest for them, then send them a referral.
That's going to help make their show easier to produce and it's going to lift you up as a really great guest.
Follow Up With More Value
We have a guest who's done this a couple of times. He was on our show a few months ago and since then he's written to us two or three times just to offer value.
Hey, I saw this article or I saw this opportunity and thought you might be interested.
He keeps in touch in that way and it helps us to remember that he's a great guest. So if somebody says to us, do you have any suggestions for a guest I could have on my show? We would recommend him because he kept in touch with us. He's top of mind, and he's offered us so much value.
10 Ways to Be The Best Podcast Guest Ever
If you want to be one of the best guests ever, here is a list of what I believe you should do. This is based on some of the best guests we've ever had, and we've had a lot of guests over the years.
- Host your own show and invite hosts to be your guest.
That is reciprocation. Hey, thanks for letting me be on your show. I enjoyed our conversation. Come be on my show. I would love to share your stories with my audience.
- Tell great stories and bring excitement to the conversation.
We've had some really wonderful guests who told delightful stories. It's a much more exciting and vibrant conversation for people to listen to when you have those stories to share. So bring that excitement and those detailed stories to the conversation.
- Understand and use the best tech you can.
It takes practice using your equipment to be familiar and comfortable with it. Have a good headset and mic, good internet, and all of the things that make the experience seamless and without friction, so you can produce content easily.
When you have that in place, it makes it so much easier on the host. They don't have to instruct you on how to use your tech or worry that your audio will be flawed. If you're doing a video podcast, present yourself professionally with good lighting. They can see you. You look great. The background's good. All of it is beautiful and they don't have to do anything. You just showed up ready to go.
In New Mexico, we make a lot of films and television programs. I used to work as a television and movie extra and occasionally I would act in some small independent films. The filmmakers had no budget for anything and they would ask you to come to set camera ready. That meant they didn't have anybody to do your makeup, hair, or wardrobe, you just came ready to be on camera and say your lines. That saved them all kinds of time and money.
When you show up camera ready and bring the stories and the excitement then you are on the list of best guests ever.
- Fit your expertise to their audience.
If you’re a life coach and talk about life coaching topics and their audience is encore entrepreneurs, then how can you fit life coaching to their needs?
What can you do to help that audience have a happier life or even a happier day?
How can you shape your expertise to fit their audience and topics?
What's something that you can bring that's going to be unique and different for each podcast that you're on?
- Follow the instructions and fill out the forms they ask you to fill out quickly and completely.
If you have any questions, immediately email them and ask those questions. Get those things done and squared away as quickly and completely as possible.
The less work you are for the host, the better your chances of getting on more shows.
- Show up early to check your tech and chat.
If we're doing a live stream at one o'clock, please be there at least 10 minutes early. At 12:50, sign in. Hello? Is this working? Are we looking good? Are we sounding good? Do we need to change anything?
Once that's established, then we can say, how are you doing? How was your week? We get that chat out of the way. We start to have that good cohesive conversation so that when we go live, we are already friends. We're already having a great time and people jump on that live stream to take part in that fun and friendly conversation and they get jazzed up about it.
- Share the episode extensively.
Don’t share it just once. You can continue to share it for months and bring it up in other places. When I was on Messages and Methods, we talked about how to make the most of your content marketing.
Keep sharing it and keep talking about it because that's what a great guest does. You seem more popular, more professional, and interesting when you say, oh yeah, I was on that show and the host was wonderful. It could be a whole new story to tell.
- Offer future guest referrals.
If you feel somebody you know would be an excellent fit for that show, then bring that host and guest together. Be that connection-making facilitator, because that will make you shine and improve your reputation when you can do that for people.
- Watch (or listen to) the host’s show and support their training and add your own suggestions.
We had a guest who did this. We didn't know him. He was a stranger to us, but when he showed up for our live stream show, he started bringing up past episodes and the tips we had given. He brought it out as good advice that made a lot of sense and then added his own spin on it.
He was the best guest ever. He wasn’t there promoting himself, but instead, he was promoting our show, ideas, and training. Then he added to it and made it richer and fuller with his ideas.
That consideration of the host makes for an amazing, wonderful guest. If you can do that for your host, then you're going to be a very popular guest.
- Offer help and cool stuff to your host and their audience.
Create a free but valuable download, a minicourse, or a webinar that's free to the audience, and you can also offer it to the host. Think of something that's valuable enough that the host will be interested and take advantage of it.
It could be a PDF. It could be a checklist. It could be a minicourse. It could be an episode or a popular blog post. As long as it's valuable to that audience and host, offer that. They may or may not want to have that as part of their show. Some hosts will encourage it and others will not, but have it available. You can always make the offer.
Set up a landing page and a simple URL for your free download. Most email programs will offer a landing page that you can use. Then you can create a simple forwarding domain. For instance, we have a variety of URLs such as book.livecast.life which takes you to our book page on Amazon, and guide.livecast.life to get our free downloadable livecast workbook guide.
The URL takes you to a landing page where the interested person will fill in their name and email address to get the free download. Set up a free download like this that will be attractive and helpful for your target audience before you start going on shows.
Offer the free product to your host, so they know what it is, and offer it with excitement. I have this really amazing livestream checklist that people love. It's so helpful and I want you and your audience to enjoy it. Here's the URL so you can go check it out.
BONUS: Offer additional merchandise.
If you have a book you’ve published or other cool merchandise like a mug with your logo and tagline, offer to send a free one to the host. It will be fun for them to receive and help to keep you top of mind.
The book or branded merch will be a reminder that you were a great guest on their show. They might look at that book and think, I have this great book that Shelley wrote and she told this great story I can share.
They'll incorporate you more into their future conversations because you gave them something of lasting value.
Take Action Today
Be a host and a guest.
If you're doing one, the other one is easy. Even if you’re just planning to start a podcast, you can also start planning to be a guest.
Sign up with Podmatch.
We've signed up with Podmatch and you can start an account for free. You can stay at the free level forever, or you can upgrade. It's your choice, but start with the free level to try it out. There are hosts and guests on Podmatch. Fill out the information to be a host and a guest.
Reach out to possible future guests for your show.
Even if you haven't started your show yet, if you have a start date, you can start booking guests. Then you can record them and begin releasing them as a soft open to have some content to work with as you prepare for a grand opening promotion. Or schedule them for a live stream to create accountability to start doing your show.
Have your calendar app, application, and release set up when you are going to start booking these people and reach out to them.
Create a query template
Write a short intro about yourself, along with who and how you help. Remember to focus on what's in it for them and their audience. I will help your audience by offering tips on livestreaming and consistent content creation so they can share their message with the world and grow a loyal audience.
Write that short intro and query as a template you can personalize and then you'll have that for all your future outreach to be a guest on other people's podcasts.
Send your personalized query to three hosts every week.
Don't automate this or have an assistant write this query for you. I have received requests from assistants such as Mr. Man has amazing expertise and experience and you should have him on your show.
If it's your plan to have somebody else do your outreach for you or to act like you're your own assistant and reach out to people, I would discourage that idea.
If you want to be on my show, I want to talk with you about it to see if we are a good fit. We have tried working with people through an assistant, and if they show up, they don't know what our show is about. Some of them didn’t even know why we were meeting! They had an appointment on their calendar they showed up for and beyond that they were clueless.
Send out a personalized query to three hosts a week and then keep track of those. You can set up a spreadsheet for that, or you can keep it simple and use Podmatch to keep track of those conversation threads.
Go Out There and Be Great!
That's my take on how to be a great podcast guest. I hope these tips are helpful and that you will take action to get yourself booked. Then do a really good job of promoting your appearance. Treat the experience like it's something really special–because it is.
If you ever want to be a guest on our Messages and Methods live show, I hope that you will follow all of these steps. You can go to http://journey.AGKmedia.studio to be a guest on our show, or you can go to http://livecast.life and click on Register as a Guest.
We do require an application and a release to be filled out before we will move forward. If you're going to be a host, you should do the same. You can get Podpage to host your podcast website. There's an automatic release on that guest registration page that you can use. Go to Podpage and sign up there.