Not every potential podcast guest will be a GOOD podcast guest. And I recommend being very discerning about who joins you on the microphone.
There should be a reason for every episode and that includes who you’re hosting and what they’re sharing. In order to find the right podcast guests, you’re going to have to do a little bit of work.
This week on the podcast, I’m sharing how to find the best podcast guests and how to determine if they truly are a good fit for your show. It doesn’t feel great to be on an interview and know that it will never see the light of day. Trust me…I’ve been there!
Mentioned in This Episode Podcast
- Episode 183: Why You Need Solo Episodes on Your Podcast
- Episode 196: Finding Podcast Guests & Hosting Interviews
- Join Podcast Ease
Welcome to episode 207 of the Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets in any business, and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it all right, all of the time.
Here we talk about podcasting and creating content for your audience that they want to hear in a way that’s sustainable for you, the business owner. Because I know that you have a lot on your plate. So I’ll give you the ideas and tools and tricks to publish your podcast consistently in a way that works for YOU.
I’m Abby Herman, former teacher and current podcast manager. When I went full time in my business in 2013, I struggled to find the help and support that I needed that also fit into my budget. That’s what this podcast and my membership, Podcast Ease, are all about. To help the business owner with a tight budget whose podcast is their primary marketing tool.
For more information about the membership and to find out how it can give you the accountability and support you need for a small $99 monthly investment, go to thecontentexperiment.com/ease.
There are a few different formats that are used by most podcasters: solo episodes and guest episodes. And there are definitely pros and cons to each one. Italked about these pros and cons in previous episodes, like 183, 196, and others. But today I’m talking specifically to those of you who host guests.
Where do you find guests for your podcast and how do you find the best ones?
I want to share with you that in over 100 podcast guests in the last three years, I’ve only not aired one guest interview. Only one time did I interview someone and opt to not publish it.
That’s not because I really did anything super special; I just have been really careful about who I ask to join me here. It’s pretty awkward to interview someone and not air it. It feels awkward during the interview…which might be part of why you opt to not publish it.
So how do you make sure you find the right guests to talk about the right topics?
Know your values and your zones of genius.
The first step is knowing what it is you want to talk about on your podcast and what you want your audience to get out of it. Knowing your values is a good start.
This means you know what’s important on your podcast. For me, the most important thing is you, the listeners. I know you want to get value out of everything you listen to – you don’t have time to waste to not get value.
Knowing your zones of genius means outlining what you’re going to talk about on the podcast – three or four big topics that help your listeners and prospective listeners to know if they’re in the right place.
Here on the Content Experiment podcast, we talk about all things podcasting and content marketing. Sometimes that includes mindset and business development but it doesn’t include paid marketing or selling physical products or how to make a million dollars in the next calendar year.
When someone pitches me an idea like that, I can usually tell by the subject line of their email…and I usually delete it without even opening the email. Because it doesn’t align with what I’ve promised listeners.
I rarely accept podcast pitches, but when I do it’s because what they talk about aligns with the message I want to share with you.
Once you know what you want to share, create a content strategy. What do you want to talk about, and when. What’s the purpose of a particular topic?
Within your content strategy, you’ll have topics that you want to cover…that you’re not the best person to talk about. For me, those topics include podcast technology, professional editing hacks, mindset, using your voice, promoting using a specific social media platform, time and project management, and so on. So even though I want to share value around those topics, I know I need to find someone else to talk about them for my listeners.
Now that you know what topics you can’t cover on your own, start doing some research on who can. Here are some ways to find potential guests that you can vet:
Search for podcasts and podcast episodes that cover the topics you’re looking for
This is especially helpful if you find a podcast host who’s an expert in a particular area. If you’re a good fit for their podcast, you can ask to be on their podcast too. More on that in a minute.
Regularly scope out summits that have topics that align with what you’re looking for. The speakers at summits have experience speaking and they might be a good fit for your podcast too.
Reach out to your network. This is especially helpful if you have a really specific topic that you’re looking for a guest for. Ask around in the industry if they know someone who can talk on it.
Scope out LinkedIn. Hopefully you’re connected to people who are connected to your industry. Look for posts that align with the message you want to share with your audience and reach out to those people in direct messages. You can do the same on Instagram. Several of my past guests are people I stalked on Instagram and LinkedIn and asked to be on the podcast.
When you have a list of potential podcast guests, it’s time to vet them. Just because they’ve been on someone else’s podcast or summit, just because a LinkedIn post resonates with you, doesn’t mean that they’d make a good guest.
To vet them, listen in to a couple of the podcast episodes they’ve been on, specifically the ones that speak to the topic you’re looking for. Look at their website to make sure your values align. Read some of their blog posts, if they have them available. Look back at some of their old social media posts. Download one of their freebies. And take notes! I’ve found some really great questions from the guest’s content.
Once you’ve done this work, reach out to the potential guest. This can be scary for podcasters, especially if you’re feeling unworthy – my podcast isn’t big enough, I don’t have enough episodes, why would they ever want to be on MY podcast. These are stories you’re telling yourself and I 100% still tell myself some of these things.
But if you reach out to potential guests with a topic idea, mention where you found them, share who your audience is and what your goals are and the message you want to share, you’ll be really surprised at the results. Give potential guests a clear vision and it’s a much easier “yes.”
I usually send a link to book their interview with that initial reach-out email. Make it as easy as possible for them! Some podcasters like to have a 15-minute get to know you call before the booking. But I believe that if you’ve really done the work to vet the right people, this isn’t necessary.
And if you don’t hear back from them in a 4-5 days, reach out again. If you still don’t hear back, let it go.
The reason you want to find the right podcast guests is because you have a message you want to share with listeners. When you accept every pitch you receive, you’re deviating away from that message. It feels uncomfortable, maybe the guest has an ulterior motive of selling something, maybe their values don’t align with yours.
It shows up in the interview. I promise.
I hope this episode has helped you feel more comfortable about finding the right guests for your own podcast. If it has, I would love it if you’d share the episode on social media. Tag me at thecontentexperiment if you do! The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the earbuds of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.