How to Find & Get Podcast Guests For Your Show
Starting your show can be the most exciting thing on the planet, but the nerves roll into lining up podcast guests for the next month (oh friend, we've all been there).
The process of getting podcast guests is fine-tuned after repeatedly doing it. Eventually, you'll learn what works to bring amazing people your podcast and what flops.
Is it necessary for podcasts to have a featured guest? Technically, no. However, having guests on your podcast will give your audience unique insights. It also gives your podcast the credibility to interview guests on topics you aren't an expert on. Having podcast guests also relieves you of the burden of coming up with a new topic to discuss every week. After talking into a microphone all by yourself, interviewing a guest is a welcome shift that expands your professional relationships.
Getting A-list celebrities or prominent thought leaders can be challenging if you're new to podcasting. Still, you can try different strategies to attract guests to your show. I'll walk you through the ins and outs of booking awesome guests for your next podcast interview.
Research and come up with a podcast guests list
Doing your research is the first step in asking someone for an interview. If you email someone who isn't a good fit for your podcast, they'll probably ignore it. The audience of your potential podcast guest is your primary concern. For the material you develop jointly to be relevant, your and their audiences should be similar.
Potential podcast guests won't bother if they don't believe that appearing on your podcast will help them expand their brand. So before inviting someone to an interview, you need to know something about them. You can gain a lot of respect by pointing out something uncommon.
It's also crucial to stay organized when finding podcast guests so you can keep track of everything. You can create an excel sheet where you keep good names, whether you have reached out to them or not. You don't have to do this yourself. Instead, get someone from your team to do it for you or, better yet, hire a virtual assistant (VA)!
Connect with guests in online communities
Social media is full of opportunities to connect with other podcasters and people specifically looking for podcasts to guest-star. The best part is you can contact them without looking up their contact information. And if your guest is active on social media, they'll be able to promote it there as well, providing you more visibility.
There are many social media platforms, and depending on the themes of your podcast, some will be more relevant for you. Since I interact with individuals from the B2B sector, I've mainly been using LinkedIn, which has worked great.
Check out which platform professionals in your industry use the most to connect with their audiences.
Note: If you want to use social media, first follow them for a while. This is called warm pitching. Try to strike up a conversation through comments first.
Put a Call Out on Twitter
Are you on Twitter? If yes, use the social media platform to communicate with individuals within your network and beyond. Finding podcast guests can be as simple as tweeting your request. Mention the type of information you're looking for or the issues you want to talk about. Then, ask your followers to help you by tagging or retweeting people they think you should know. Keep track of all referrals by immediately making a list of names and usernames.
Follow and engage with influencers in your industry. Building ties with thought leaders in your niche is a smart approach to getting them to be guests on your podcast. People interested in your podcast or niche will be following thought leaders in that industry on social media. Browse Twitter lists containing leaders in your trade and follow those relevant to your podcast.
Remember to use Twitter hashtags. Twitter hashtags will expand your reach to many individuals, and you might even get lucky and meet someone you've always wanted. Here are 3 hashtags you can use on your next tweets:
Join Podcasting Groups on Facebook
Everyone – or nearly everyone – is on Facebook. Since individuals share their hobbies, interests, and personalities on Facebook, it's a wonderful place to meet and identify possible podcast guests.
Facebook groups are an excellent resource for finding podcast guests. If you're in groups related to the niche of your podcast, you've got a gold mine of podcast guests simply waiting for an invitation.
However, make sure you engage with other group members to have a history with the community. This will let the moderators know you're committed to bringing value to the group. Don't go into online communities and ask immediately — show massive engagement before you do! Remember that human connection is always the key!
Here are action steps to use Facebook to find potential podcast guest:
- Request that friends of friends introduce you to someone using Facebook Messenger.
- Share information from the potential podcast guest's website and tag them in the post; then, send them a Facebook message explaining why. It'll give you a cause to contact them — again, human connection is key!
- Post a request for guests on Facebook using your account. Your account receives more attention than your podcast page.
- You may also use LinkedIn to look for professionals in any industry. Perform a quick search for your desired industry and view the people listed. Once you've identified a potential candidate, use LinkedIn‘s connect and messaging features to introduce yourself. Then inform them about the opportunity to be featured on your podcast.
Reach out to your existing network
You must have established a strong network in your niche through partnerships with other podcasters, guests, and brands with whom you have collaborated. You can ask them for suggestions or bring them to the show whenever you need them. You can trust them enough to ask them to refer you to others in their business who have the knowledge to offer value to your show.
During your interview, you can get your guest to unconsciously recommend other guests for your show by asking them questions like, “Who in the world of X would you most like to take for lunch? or “Who would you like to have a roundtable conversation with?” Then you go ahead to reach out to that person. If you do this for every guest that appears on your show, you'll soon have a long list of valuable podcast guests to bring on your show.
Conferences and networking events
I am a firm believer in old-fashioned face-to-face networking. I attend B2B seminars, podcast summits, entrepreneurial seminars, conferences, and meetup groups.I can tell you that roughly half of the guests I've interviewed for my podcast are individuals I met at a live event.
Speakers at events are typically friendlier than you may imagine. Simply walk up to the speaker at a break or the program's end and introduce yourself. Inform them that you host a podcast on X topic and would love to have them as a guest on your show in the future (don't try to schedule an interview with them immediately). Pique their attention and get permission to provide them more information about your show. Set a communication mechanism (email, social media, phone call, etc.) and follow up with them after the event.
What I love about this strategy is you're leveraging the potential guests you have within your community. You not only get to meet people in your expertise, but you can also connect with them in person. Connecting in person can help determine if you and a potential podcast guest have good chemistry.
Try a podcast guest service
Do you know you can pay someone to help you find excellent podcast guests? We all know that “PR” stands for public relations, which refers to the professionals who help bridge the gap between people who need their product or service advertised and news sources looking for content. However, you may also think of a PR rep as your go-to person who can help form mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationships on your behalf. Yes, they can connect you to potential podcast guests.
Try to connect with public relations firms, management firms, and influencer marketing organizations, as they're always on a lookout for new opportunities for their clientele. They conduct the research and even assist in onboarding the guest to your show. The only drawback is there's a fee, but if you are short on time or don't want to do the work, a booking service may be the way to go.
Numerous guest booking firms specialize in linking podcasts with guests. Since there are a plethora of these services, it's a good idea to read through their testimonials and case studies to ensure you pick the ideal fit.
Here are a few PR firms to get you started:
- MatchMaker – a free “matchmaker” service for podcasts and future guests
- Interview Connections – a paid service that represents both podcasters and guest experts
- Interview Valet – a podcast interview marketing service; free for podcast hosts to register their podcast
- Podcastguests – member-based website that connects podcasters with experts, authors, and other podcasters to be guests on their podcasts
Pro Tip: Just Google search “podcast guests matchmaker” and you'll see more options to choose from.
The caliber of your podcast's guest can significantly impact the number of listeners and subscribers you have. The appropriate guests might help you make a positive impression on your listeners and establish a solid reputation in your niche.
Selecting the ideal guests can be rewarding, but it also takes a significant amount of your time and resources. Having podcast guests that bring value can be challenging without the right strategy.
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