Why does it seem so difficult to grow your podcast audience? Podcasts pose some unique challenges compared to other types of content:
- Podcasts are traditionally audio-only, which means that getting your potential listeners’ attention immediately is of the utmost importance
- Audio cannot inherently be shared like text or video; People consume it differently
- Discovering new podcasts and podcast episodes is a slow process based on personal taste and recommendations
For all of these reasons, as a podcaster, you need to be skillful and strategic about seeing and hearing your show. Growing your podcast audience is largely a base effort – it depends, among other things, on word of mouth recommendations from some loyal listeners.
Having guests on your show gives you a head start over the rest as your guests can share your podcast with them your Audience. But first you have to earn it.
How can you make sure you get the most bang for your buck from every new podcast guest?
The best way to make sure this happens is to make a really good impression.
You need to stand out from the crowd.
Let’s look at five ways you can prepare for podcast guest interviews and impress your guests when they come on your show!
table of contents
- Do extensive research
- Send your guest a preparation email
- Personalize the scheduling link
- Create a guest page on your podcast website
- Optimize production tracking
- Conclusion: podcast guests have good impressions!
1. Do extensive research
Since most podcasters don’t do much (if any) research upfront about their guests, a surefire way to impress your guest is to show that you really did your homework.
Not only will this help you produce a better podcast, but it will also increase the chance that your guest will share the episode with their audience, forward you to other guests, and do you a favor in the future.
It sounds simple, but that one small gesture can go a long way in making a lasting impression.
Here are a few ways you can get to know your guest beforehand.
Use Twitter Advanced Search to research your podcast guest
Dave Gerhardt knows about podcasts. He’s behind the hit podcasts Technology in Boston, Search for wisdom, Ecommerce Marketing School, and B2B marketing executives.
Here’s a little sneak peek at how he uses Twitter to post interesting content from his guests that he can poll on his podcast.
Twitter’s advanced search makes it easy to filter by the number of likes (as shown here) as well as the number of retweets and any keywords or phrases.
Use search hacks to find the best content from your guests
Your guest might blog on their personal website, write on their company blog, or contribute to other blogs as well.
Using search operators in Google or a tool like Ahrefs (paid) or BuzzSumo (free for some searches) will allow you to find all of the content related to a particular person.
For example the query Author: “Tim Soulo” The Content Explorer feature allows you to find content authored by Tim Soulo, CMO of Ahrefs.
It even shows the popularity of each article so you can see what content is resonating with the audience.
Research your guest’s LinkedIn profile
If your guest’s professional background is of particular interest, their LinkedIn profile is helpful.
Here you can see an exact schedule of their jobs and engagements in various companies.
From their profile, you can also see their “Activity” to find out what they’ve posted about.
Listen to your guests’ other podcast appearances
Listen Notes calls itself a podcast search engine that makes it easy to unearth your guest’s past guest appearances on other podcasts.
Podchaser also allows you to search for someone and get a curated list of their guest appearances in a special tab.
It doesn’t take more than listening to 1-2 other podcast appearances that they have made to familiarize themselves and pick out other topics and questions that should definitely be explored in your podcast.
Quora has grown into one of the most popular websites in the world with its unique Q&A format.
If your guest is active on Quora, browsing their previous answers can give you some great questions as you can literally see how they are responding.
Entrepreneur and investor Jason Lemkin has answered over 3,600 questions, many of which are “off the beaten track” that he is typically asked about.
2. Send your guest a preparation email
Once your guest has booked a recording time with you, you can send them a list of questions or topics to prepare for, as well as a package of marketing materials that they can use to promote your episode.
Not only does this show your guest that you are well prepared and in control of your game, but it also allows your guest to serve you the best possible content.
You can email them a few days before the recording like this:
Hey NAME – look forward to our conversation.
I wanted to send you this list of topics we are likely to cover.
- example 1
- Example 2
- Example 3
Do you have any questions before our admission?
Derek Sivers has an article in which he talks about asking the host to send him questions months in advance if someone invites him to a podcast.
Here’s why: “People say your first reaction is the most honest, but I disagree. Your first reaction is usually out of date. Either it is an answer you came up with long ago and that you are now using instead of thinking, or it is a knee-jerk emotional reaction to something in your past. “
He has observed that his best answers come after some time to reflect from experience. He spends hours writing from different perspectives before choosing the most interesting answer. Then, as soon as the recording starts, he tries to make his answers sound spontaneous.
Giving your guests time to think about questions and topics is guaranteed to impress, but it’s also a great way to make them even more impressive to your listeners.
Pro tip: Set up Zapier automation to send prep email to guests after they book a time through your SavvyCal schedule link. All you have to do is find SavvyCal in Zapier, select “New Meeting” as the trigger, connect your account, and send an email to the email address that booked the meeting as an action.
3. Personalize the scheduling link
If you’re still scheduling recording sessions with guests by exchanging emails back and forth, it’s time to use a scheduling tool that allows guests to book a time right on your calendar.
But even then, appointment links have become so ubiquitous that an unwritten taboo has developed. Like it or not, some people resent receiving a generic booking link.
So, if you want to impress your guests (and avoid insults), get in the habit of personalizing your scheduling links.
With a planning tool like SavvyCal, you can generate personalized planning links for each individual guest with just a few clicks.
You can enter the name and email address of your guest in advance so that you can book an appointment with you with just two clicks.
For example, you can set up a personalized link with your guest that shows their avatar, their name in the meeting name, and even their name in the scheduling link.
If I wanted to record with Derrick I could send him the link savvycal.com/corey/derrick and he’ll know it’s just for him.
Now all they have to do is overlay their calendar when they go to the schedule link to see mutual availability and then choose a slot that best suits their schedule.
4. Create a guest page on your podcast website
You want to make the guest experience as smooth as possible. A guest should never feel confused. If they do, it’s your fault.
One way to move your guest booking process from a Motel 6 experience to a Ritz Carlton experience is to provide a “guest page” with important details such as contact and reception information.
Here’s an example of podcaster David Perell providing his guests with key pre-recording information.
So his guests have everything they need before they go live.
Some planning tools like SavvyCal even allow you to automatically send guests to a guest page after booking a recording time.
5. Optimize production tracking
If your guest has audio locally recorded on their end, do them a favor by providing a link to your Google Drive or Dropbox so they can easily upload it.
Audio files are big and not everyone has a good cloud storage solution. Asking your guest to send you their Drive or Dropbox link is by no means bad, but it can be a hassle. Make it easy for them and give them an easy way to upload them straight to you.
After you’ve scheduled the episode to go live, send your guest a quick message about what day it is expected to go live. That way, if you send another message with shareable links for a day, they’re much more likely to reinforce that and help you grow your audience.
Conclusion: podcast guests have good impressions!
If you want to get noticed and make a good impression on your podcast guests:
- Do extensive research
- Send a preparation email
- Personalize the scheduling link
- Create a guest page
- Optimize production tracking
If you do these five things, there is no way your guests will be able to share your podcast, refer you to other great guests, or do you another favor in the future.
Are you still waiting for the right moment to start your podcast? Take the reins with our help complete podcasting guide.