Help your guests grow their network, and ask them to help you grow, too.
Finding new audiences for your podcast is by far the biggest challenge. Where do you go to find new listeners? How do you make sure your show is attractive enough to click on? And even more so, how can you make sure people stay listening? The right guests can help. If you have an interview show, or occasionally like to have a co-host, picking the right people to come on your podcast might be the answer to your discoverability woes.
Here are the main points to think about when choosing your guests:
- BUILD YOUR UNIVERSE
When you are choosing the right guest, make sure you don’t alienate your existing listeners. Your guest needs to add to the show, not distract from it. A celebrity guest might be a great get, but think about this: do they really align with the interests of your loyal subscribers? Make sure the guest is bringing some new insight and authority to a subject matter in question while also being respectful of your format. You want to build a universe around your podcast that feels welcoming and organic, while also being informative and fun.
“Make sure the guest is bringing some new insight and authority to a subject matter in question while also being respectful of your format.”
- REMEMBER THAT DIVERSITY IS KEY
Besides relevance and guest’s expertise, it is also crucial to make sure you have a diverse slate of guests. Inclusivity promotes a safe and positive environment that feeds into more interesting conversations and points of view. A diverse range of opinions is also important. While familiarity and common ground can help listeners feel part of the group, listening to a group of friends agreeing with each other for an hour gets tiresome. Different voices from an array of backgrounds can help you win new listeners and inspire your audience.
“While familiarity and common ground can help listeners feel part of the group, listening to a group of friends agreeing with each other for an hour gets tiresome.”
- DON’T WASTE ANYONE’S TIME
When you invite someone to be on your show, they don’t owe you anything. It doesn’t mean that a person with a huge social following will suddenly start reposting your content or even mention that they have been on your show at all. Make sure to have conversations about any expectations ahead of time. Does your guest have the time to help you promote their episode? And are they happy to repost any collaborative posts on IG or TikTok? If a guest suddenly becomes unavailable for a recording, make sure to have a backup list of people you can call on to step in. Be prepared for the worst – and hope (and plan) for the best!
“Have conversations about any expectations ahead of time.”
- WORK ON AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS
One of the reasons why podcasting is so popular is because it is very easy for a listener to grasp the authenticity of a conversation. You want to make sure that you have great rapport with your guests and your listeners, so attend in-person events and have conversations with your guests ahead of recordings. You want to bring people on who you have genuine chemistry with and that will help anyone listening to quickly hit ‘subscribe.’
“You want to bring people on who you have genuine chemistry with and who feel authentic to your show.”
Most of all, remember that an enthusiastic guest who is an expert on a topic is invaluable to your podcast. Treat everyone you record with respect and kindness, they are giving up their time to be on your show and that is no simple feat. For an interview show, your guests are your everything – choose them wisely, and treat them like royalty.