Being a guest on podcasts is one of the best ways to get in front of the specific audience you want to reach.
But once you get invited to be a podcast guest, it’s not enough to just show up. You need to bring your A-game and really deliver the goods. If you don’t, and you’re just OK as a guest or, even worse, you’re boring, you probably won’t get invited back. And it’ll be harder to land guest spots on other podcasts.
But not to fear! In this post we teach you everything you need to know about what podcast producers and hosts are looking for in guests, and how to be at your best when the recording light is on.
Ready? Let’s go!
Getting Invited To Be A Podcast Guest
In order to be a great podcast guest, first you need to pitch yourself (or whomever you’re helping) to podcasts hosts and producers and actually get invited. So, before we get into the tips, here are a few guidelines for getting on podcasts in the first place.
Make Sure You’re a Good Fit
This should be obvious, but it’s amazing how many podcasts get pitched by potential guests who aren’t a good fit. For example, if you’re a B2B marketer, look for podcasts about B2B marketing. Duh! Don’t waste your time, or the podcast producer’s time, by trying to get on podcasts that you’re not qualified to be on.
Listen to the Shows
Don’t just read a summary of the show or glance at some show notes. Actually listen! Because that’s the only way to tune into the tone and vibe of the show and to make sure that, even if your background and experience make you a good fit, that your personality is a good fit, too.
Include a list of topics you can talk about, tailored to the show you’re pitching. Don’t use the same exact list for every podcast. And take a look at the topics a show has covered over the past 20 or so episodes, so you can propose topics the show hasn’t yet covered.
If you’ve been on other podcasts, make that part of your pitch. Hosts and producers see that as a good sign and will check out your performance on those shows.
It’s very appealing when a potential guest describes in detail how they plan to promote the episode.
OK, so now that you understand how to pitch podcast hosts and producers, you need to know how to make a great impression and deliver a great performance.
That’s what the following tips are for!
Being a Great Podcast Guest, Tip 1: Do a Prep Call ☎️
Making time for a prep call may seem like a hassle, but it’s absolutely worthwhile. Because it gives you and the host a chance to develop rapport and to get to know each other. If you haven’t been on podcasts before and you’re a bit nervous, taking time to chat with the host really helps.
A prep call also provides you with opportunity to offer your take on how to approach the topic. If there are specific aspects or things you want to talk about, let the host know! Ditto for things you prefer NOT to talk about.
Bottom line, you’ll come out the other side of the prep call feeling more relaxed and confident and excited about the interview.
Being a Great Podcast Guest, Tip 2: Do Your Homework 📚
Don’t just “check out” the podcast. Listen to at least 2-3 episodes. Get familiar with the format, style, and tone. Know who the audience is and what the host is trying to accomplish with the show. Note how long a typical episode is so you have a sense of how deep into the topic you’re likely going to go.
Also research the host to learn about their background, work, and education.
Bottom line, the more you know about the show and the host, the better prepared you’ll feel going into the interview, and the better you’ll perform.
Being a Great Podcast Guest, Tip 3: Don’t Overprepare! 🙇🏽
Once you and the host have found a topic, prepare enough to be ready to talk about it in depth. But don’t spend hours and hours compiling notes and copious facts and figures. Instead, prepare some anecdotes and examples you can share.
It’s OK to prepare some notes and have a few data points on hand. But don’t waste time by writing out full answers or trying to memorize what you want to say. Reading answers during the interview will sound stiff and wooden. And reciting from memory will sound too rehearsed.
Remember, you’re on the show because you’re an expert on the topic you’re going to discuss. Draw from your experience and knowledge, and don’t worry if you don’t know something. It’s totally fine to admit you don’t know!
Being a Great Podcast Guest, Tip 4: Equipment 🎤
Hosts and, especially, producers want the audio to be as good as possible. You’ll make them very happy if you have a mic and wired headphones, or at least a decent-sounding headset.
But don’t spend a lot of $ on a mic and headphones! You can get a perfectly good mic for less than $100. And the headphones can be outright cheap.
Take some time to set up the mic and learn how to use it before joining the recording session. If the host and/or producer knows what they’re doing, they’ll do a mic check to make sure the volume is properly set. Taking time to set your level yourself will be much appreciated by everyone and make you look smart and on the ball.
Being a Great Podcast Guest, Tip 5: Take the Pressure Off 😟
Unless you’re doing a live stream, know that the podcast will be edited. So it’s OK if you stumble over words or lose your train of thought or want to pause and redo an answer. In other words, you don’t need to worry about being perfect or not messing up.
And if you’re feeling nervous, that’s OK! It’s perfectly normal to feel a little jittery, especially if you’re new to being on podcasts. Once the conversation begins and you’re in the flow, you’ll naturally relax and the nervousness will melt away.
Being a Great Podcast Guest, Tip 6: Bring the energy! ⚡️
Guesting on a podcast is a performance. Yes, you want to be yourself and be natural, but you also want to connect with the audience, which means being fully engaged and ready to have a lively conversation.
To that end, make sure you’re well rested and comfortable. If the interview is during the middle of a busy day, take 15 minutes or so before the recording to prepare yourself mentally.
And finally, have fun! After all, how often do you have the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with an audience eager to learn? Take the opportunity seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Just be open, honest, candid, and ready to see where the conversation takes you!
If you’re interested in exploring podcasting for your brand, contact us today for a free consultation.