For podcast listeners, a great guest can make or break a show. Choose the wrong guest for the inappropriate topic? You’ll likely lose listeners. But selecting the perfect company to explore your niche can elevate your show and help you attract new listeners.
Starting an independent podcast is an incredible way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. From the very broad to the hyper-specific, podcasting is an opportunity to talk about the things you love to an engaged audience. But as with any good show – no matter the medium – having the right guests is key to success.
We’ll explore how to find and interview great guests for your podcast in this post.
What Makes a Great Podcast Guest?
To understand where to look for exceptional guests, we first need to understand what characteristics they need. When vetting potential candidates, think of the acronym PPE. No, not the protective gear we heard so much about. This PPE stands for:
Preparation – A great guest comes prepared with thoughtful questions and comments. They’ve done their research on you, your show, and your audience.
Personality – A great guest is engaging and personable. They understand how to work a room and make conversation.
Expertise – A great guest is an expert on the topic you’ll be discussing. They can provide valuable insights and perspectives that your audience will appreciate.
This combination isn’t everything you need, but it’s a great start. With these three characteristics in mind, let’s explore some strategies for finding impressive guests.
Where to Find Great Podcast Guests
Now that we know what characteristics to look for, it’s time to start your search for the perfect guest. Here are some strategies to help you get started:
1 – Social Media
One of the simplest and most effective ways to find great guests is through social media. Search Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook using relevant keywords. For example, if you’re looking for a guest who’s a marketing expert, you could search “marketing expert.” Cull through and identify individuals who meet the PPE criteria from those results.
2 – Google
Another great way to find potential guests is through good old-fashioned Google searches. Use relevant keywords and filter your results by location, if necessary. For example, if you want to interview a guest who’s local to you, you could search “marketing expert + Los Angeles.”
3 – Events and Conferences
If you have the opportunity to attend relevant events and conferences, take advantage of it. These in-person events are excellent places to network and find potential guests for your show. You will be able to assess their PPE qualities more quickly, but you’ll also have the chance to build a rapport before the interview.
4 – Personal and Professional Network
Your personal and professional network is an excellent resource for finding qualified guests. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues if they know anyone who might be a good fit for your show. You may be surprised by how many people are willing to make introductions.
5 – Previous Guests
If you’ve had previous guests on your show, ask them for recommendations. This is a great way to find new guests, but it’s also an excellent way to deepen relationships with your previous guests. Having a warm introduction from a mutual friend will make it more likely that they’ll say yes to your request.
Once you have a list of potential guests, it’s time to reach out.
How to Book Your Guests
Identifying the best candidates for your show is just the first step. The next step is to reach out and book them for an interview. Here are a few tips to help you secure the guests you want:
1 – Keep It Short
When reaching out to potential guests, keep your message short and sweet. No one wants to read a novel, so get to the point quickly.
Introduce yourself and your show, explain why you’re interested in having them on as a guest, and provide a few dates and times that would work for an interview.
2 – Offer to Send Questions In Advance
One way to make sure your guests are prepared is to offer to send them your questions in advance. This will allow them to think about their answers and prepare for the interview. It will also help you to identify any potential red flags. For example, if a guest seems evasive or unwilling to answer your questions, it’s possible that they’re not the right fit for your show.
3 – Personalize Each Message
Don’t send a generic message to every guest on your list. Take the time to personalize each message. Mention something you read on their website or social media, or reference a previous conversation. This will show that you’re interested in them as an individual, not just potential guests for your show.
4 – Follow Up
Don’t be afraid to follow up if you don’t hear back from a potential guest after your initial outreach. Send a brief email or message restating your interest in having them on your show. If you still don’t hear back, move on to someone else on your list.
5 – Be Prepared
When you finally sit down for your interview, you must be prepared. Read through your questions, and make sure you understand the topics you want to discuss. This will help the conversation flow more smoothly and ensure that you get the information you need from your guests.
Guests talk to each other. You want to be known as the well-prepared show, respectful of their time, and genuinely interested in what they have to say. Following these tips will help you book the best guests for your podcast and ensure the success of your interviews.
Get Ready to Hit Record
You’ve identified potential guests, reached out to them, and secured an interview. By following these tips, you’ll be able to find and book the best guests for your show. You can build relationships with interesting people and produce a high-quality podcast with little effort.
Now it’s time to hit record – have a great show!
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