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Today I am talking to you about how to become a guest on a podcast. I have talked about some of the benefits of being a guest on a podcast, how to find podcasts, how to ensure that the podcast is a good fit, and how to reach out to the podcast host.
Be a Fan First
Most of you reading this would be surprised how many people pitch podcasters for a guest spot and have not even listened to their podcast. It is extremely obvious when I receive a form letter or a blanket pitch that also got sent to dozens of other hosts. Those are always the first ones to get deleted. Don’t even consider pitching a podcast for a guest spot unless you've heard at least a handful of episodes. Good hosts work extremely hard to create valuable content for a specific audience. If you aren’t part of that audience, in my opinion, you have no business being on that show in the first place.
When you’re a fan of a show, the host will know it right away in your pitch. They will be able to tell from the detail you add and enthusiasm you show that you’re a genuine listener. You may dismiss this advice, but it truly matters.
The number one way to be a great podcast guest is to be a fan first!
Research the Show
Many shows have websites or pages dedicated to their podcast. Even if you already listen regularly to the show, be sure to check the site first to see if the host has any requirements for potential guests. You would be surprised how many people don't do this simple research. Take some time to check the site. Determine if the host has any specific requirements for guests.
Personalize Each Email You Send
When you are ready to begin your email campaign to get interview spots, do it in a tone that represents your personal brand. If you are funny, be sure to be funny in your email. If you are a blunt person, be blunt. Always show your personality in that initial email. It will help you get the guest spot.
Make sure that your email aligns with the show's purpose and the host's guest requirements. Do NOT send a boring form letter pitching your expertise and asking them to do you a favor and bring you on their show. You want them to think an appearance by you is a no-brainer. The only way this will happen is if you go the extra mile and make your email intriguing.
How can you be extremely intriguing? Use the two B's: be bright and be brief.
Do not write a bunch of text. Good hosts are very busy, so limit your email to 200 words maximum. Be respectful of the host's time and they will be respectful of your time.
Here is a great structure you can follow.
- A quick greeting and introduction to your expertise.
- Demonstration or proof that you actually do listen to the show (perhaps indicate your favorite episode and why)
- Most importantly, an invitation for the host to check out a piece of content you've created that could lend itself to interesting discussion on the show.
Clarify Interview Details
You want to clarify how the interview is going to take place. Most are using Skype to handle their interviews. Make sure you ask them whether it's going to be audio-only or whether they want video as well. Some podcasters will record a video and post that on YouTube.
If your interview is going to be on Skype, make sure you send them your contact information in Skype so that you're not scrambling to get connected when your interview supposed to start.
Use the Right Gear
Once you've got the interview scheduled, the next step
There are some things you don't want to do. You don't want to use the built-in microphone in your laptop. Now, at a bare minimum, I recommend a microphone called the Logitech Clear Chat. Its a headset, a combination of headphones with a microphone. You can get that from Amazon. It's very inexpensive. Now my favorite option is this Audio-Technica ATR 2100. This is also a very reasonably priced item on Amazon. This is a dynamic microphone, so it doesn't pick up background noise.
You also need a pair of headphones. The problem with not having headphones is that using your speakers will cause your microphone to pick up the host's voice. This causes problems in post-production that are easily avoided by using headphones.
That's all you need for the gear.
Prepare Your Space
You should also minimize background noise and distractions. Be sure you turn off your phone, close your web browser, close email, close anything which could make a noise.
If your room is noisy, be sure to use some towels or blankets to dampen the sound. Lay a towel over any hard surfaces in the immediate recording area, close the curtains over nearby windows—basically, do whatever you can to absorb excess sound waves.
Be Sure to Hydrate
Being hydrated is something people forget completely. Make sure to have a glass of water 20-30 minutes before your interview. Make sure to have room temperature water or warm tea on hand while recording. Make sure to use lip balm before recording as dry mouths and lips make mouth sounds and that is irritating to listeners.
Be sure you warn the host when you are about to sip so that they can be prepared to cut out the slurping sounds. Be sure you are not snacking or eating while recording. That sound can be pretty revolting.
Do A Great Interview
The next step is to give a great interview. Here are some tips to help you have a great interview as a guest on a podcast. Be sure to show up on time. Even better would be to show up a couple of minutes early.
Make sure to think of this as a coffee date rather than an interview. That will relax you and have you give a better interview. This also helps you get focused on the interview topic.
Make sure you use your host's name. Podcasting is all about intimacy, authenticity and personal connection. Using your host's name will foster that intimate connection that makes the appearance an amazing one.
Be sure to remain silent while the hosts
Most podcasts hosts are going to want to chitchat with you for a little bit before the actual interview starts. Try to be as helpful as possible with your responses. Don't hold back! Share your best advice. Anytime you give a suggestion, be able to back it up with two examples or a case study or a success narrative.
Understand the Length of the Episode
Be sure you know approximately how long an episode lasts. You don't want to overstep your boundaries by going on and on longer than the host wants. You don't want to make the
Make it All About the Host
Once you've been booked on a show, do something that is going
Have a Call to Action
As you wrap up your interview, have a call to action you can mention. Tell the listeners something you do. Often a podcast host is going to ask you how their listeners can get in touch with you. Let them know your website address as well as your social media. Give them a way to get in touch with you.
Make sure you use this time wisely as it is your chance to promote yourself more than you did during the interview.
Once the interview is over, write a quick thank you email. You can wait a day or two before doing this. Let the host know you enjoyed your time on their show and offer to promote the episode on your platform when ready. Hosts truly appreciate guests who will do this on their own.
Stay in Contact
Make sure to stay in contact with the host after your interview. If it makes sense, invite them to be on your show as well. Continue to interact with them on social media.