The art of using podcast interviews to connect with a wider audienceMay 04, 2022
If you've been listening to podcasts for any length of time, interviews are something you've grown accustomed to. Experts, authors, and celebrities are regularly invited to be guests on various shows. This arrangement benefits hosts and guests alike. Guests are given an opportunity to promote their current project, and hosts gain credibility and new listeners by featuring guests who entertain, inform, and inspire their audience.
Inviting people on your show
I have been podcasting since 2015, but for many years, I didn't invite guests onto my shows. I regularly speak with celebrities and other highly valuable guests now, but the process of doing that happened almost by accident.
A friend of mine who knew I had a book coming out offered to connect me with another author. In the process of introducing me to that author, my friend mentioned that my shows have millions of downloads. That resulted in the author thinking I was inviting him to be a guest on one of my shows. His assistant set up the meeting and I went through with it like it was an interview instead of a conversation. I figured that if I liked how it came out, maybe I'd feature it as a bonus episode on my podcast, and if I didn't like it, I didn't have to air it.
Thankfully, this accidental interview went great and it inspired me to start thinking about who else might be willing to come on my show. I invited people like Michael Sweet, Nikita Koloff, Christy Wright, Dan Miller, John Deloney, Alveda King, John Cooper, and many other "big names" and they kept saying "yes." Then I started inviting people I knew personally to be guests on the show as well. It's been a joy to discover that the people we all seem to admire and look up to are just like us.
But how do you get these people to come onto your show? I think there are a few things that help.
1. Demonstrate that you take your show seriously by producing good content on a consistent basis.
2. Reach out to their publicists when possible. Their job is to arrange media events for their clients, and you'll have much greater success if you go through publicists than if you attempt to book interviews with the artists and authors directly.
3. Have a decent website that you can direct artists and publicists to when you invite them on your show. This will give them a good opportunity to learn more about you and the content you create, and it will help them to make a decision as to whether or not to agree to be a guest on your show.
4. Don't be discouraged when you're told "no" or when you don't get a reply. This happens to me all the time. When I get a "no," I just tell myself, "Their loss. If they don't want free publicity, I'll give it to someone else."
How to structure the interview
When a guest agrees to come on your show, do your best to make it a positive experience for them.
- Give them a good introduction.
- Ask a mix of questions related to what they do.
- Let them do most of the talking.
- Demonstrate that you're actively listening by asking some follow-up questions.
- Prepare a list of questions that address what they think, how they feel, and what they're doing.
- Promote their project and their website.
- Find out how much time they're available and stick to that time.
- Send them a link to your episode once it goes live. (Who knows? Maybe they'll share it on their social media?)
Becoming a guest on other shows
But what do you do if you want to be a guest on the shows of others? How can you start a train of podcast-guesting opportunities that will help you promote your platform and the services you offer?
The good news is that podcast hosts are always looking for quality guests, so this isn't as hard as you might fear.
Here's a few suggestions...
1. Create a pdf that includes your picture, a one-paragraph bio, your website link, and a list of subjects you're available to talk about. If you have had an interesting experience or a unique skill, mention that as well.
2. Reach out to shows in your niche (or related niches) and include the pdf. Let the host know if you're familiar with his or her show, and offer to come on the show as a guest if the host ever has a last-minute cancellation. This happens all the time, so having a reserve of guests on hand can be a huge help to certain hosts.
3. If you have a show, invite them to be a guest as well. It demonstrates goodwill, and it can help facilitate a culture of mutual help between your platform and theirs.
Podcast guesting may be the rocket fuel your platform is looking for. Whether you're inviting guests onto your show or you're doing interviews on others' shows, it can be a quick way to add a noticeable boost to the work you're doing and the audience base you're attempting to grow.
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