Using an interview format for your podcast has many benefits. It’s one of the best ways to keep episodes entertaining, informative and interesting. It also makes it easier to organically grow your shows audience, and gives you the opportunity to network with experts in your niche.
Finding any guest for your podcast isn’t difficult, but finding great guests can be. So let’s talk about how to find great guests for your podcast.
If you want to consistently grow your audience, you will need to implement long-term strategies.
Find Sources Within Your Niche
More likely than not, many podcasters within your niche also use the interview format.
One tactic to not only find a great guest but to also grow your show, is to find podcasters and do an interview swap. This is a great way to establish a mutually-beneficial relationship with a podcaster in your niche, you get a guest whose expertise benefits your target audience, and you both get a chance to promote your show to a new set of listeners.
Another tactic is to analyse the episodes of the podcasters within your niche. By going through their show notes and listening to their episodes, you may find the experts you need for your show.
People who agree to guest on other podcasts once are more likely to say yes to your invitation. Just try to find a new angle that will allow them to discuss their expertise in a new way. This will keep things fresh for you and your guest.
At its core, networking is an effective strategy for many because it creates relationships that help you to achieve your business goals.
Traditionally, you can meet people through industry events, conferences or any activity where you can interact with people. With the right tactic and segue, you can mention your podcast and discuss ideas to create interesting content.
Alternatively, you can reach out to participants of virtual events or members of an online community.
Online communities that focus on one area can be a gold mine of potential interactions and relationships. Be active on social media platforms like Facebook Groups and Clubhouse, and pay attention to people whose posts you think could lead to great podcast interviews. Post your need for a guest with specific criteria.
Maximise your podcast’s website
Never underestimate your website’s contact page.
Create a form or process on the site specifically for people who want to be a guest on your show.
Add in a calendar link so potential guests know the dates that are still available. They can then coordinate with their own scheduled availability. This tactic will minimise the time spent in coordinating your schedules.
Reach out through social media
Social media influencers who create content similar to what you want to talk about in your podcast, will likely accept an invitation from you.
Similar to reaching out to podcasters, these influencers usually accept the chance to talk with a new audience.
You may find it hard to approach “famous” people if your show is just starting. A good tactic is to send a text, audio or video message that’s unique and intriguing enough to catch a potential guest’s attention.
- Be honest with your need for a guest.
- Always be respectful and professional. You are reaching out to experts who have established reputations of their own.
- Make your message short and straight to the point. Only give as much background information as necessary.
- Point out the benefits for this person if they agree to an interview on your show.
Finally, just reach out. You never know who will accept your invitation. The guest you didn’t get, was the guest you didn’t ask.
If they agree, the influencers can promote your show, or at least the episode they will be part of, to their audience. This is free publicity to a different audience.
Look through traditional media
Although people are more in tune with social media these days, traditional media still contains a lot of information.
So, be alert to guest possibilities in your favourite television show, radio program, newspaper, or magazine.
These could be show hosts, guests, writers, columnists or contributors. Since the majority of their work is all about reaching out to viewers, listeners or readers there will be a high chance that they’ll be willing to talk on your show.
Find someone who wants to promote something
There are thousands of people who want to promote a product or service within your niche. This could be a new book, course or program.
If you pursue this strategy, though, make the conversation centre around a topic rather than the promotion.
No one wants to listen to a whole show that’s just an extended advertisement. You wouldn’t want your show to have a reputation of being the podcast equivalent of a Home TV Shopping channel.
Instead, highlight your guest’s expertise through an engaging interview. Let the sales pitch be incidental. It could be alluded to once or twice only, possibly during the end of the interview so listeners know how to avail themselves of the product or service.
When you reach out to invite guests, explain your plans to them so there will be no mismatch of expectations.
This strategy might even net you additional income if the guest sets up an affiliate link or other promotion with you.
Reach out to your network
Your listeners already resonate with your show’s niche. It could be because they are experts in that niche or they work within the industry that you want to tap.
So, encourage your listeners to reach out to you for topic or guest suggestions through a call to action during the end of each episode. They may offer their own expertise or refer to you people they personally know.
Additionally, don’t be shy to ask past guests who they can recommend for you to interview. They can even be your conduit or referral point person to a possible addition to your network.
If you have a popular episode, invite those guests to a second interview on a different topic for your show.
There are plenty of effective, useful and easily available online tools if used properly. It’s so easy to comment on a post or tag someone to catch the attention of potential guests. Here are online resources you can use to discover guests for your show.
It’s already a given that if you have a podcast, you will want to create an account on Apple’s Podcast directory.
However, there’s so much more you can do with this directory than just upload your show notes and show links.
Search through the directory and look for shows related to your niche. You can start your research either through the Podcast app or through this preview page, which lists all shows according to their genre.
No one can deny that almost everyone is on some form of social media platform.
Maximise your current personal Facebook network by asking friends to introduce you to potential guests for your podcast. Like and comment on public posts of potential guests. Follow personalities you believe can be guests for future episodes. Earn a badge as a top fan of a professional account like a podcast show whose host you’d like to connect with.
There are also a lot of Facebook groups centred around your niche. Request permission to be part of these groups so you can connect with other members.
If your podcast is geared towards anything that affects professionals, then LinkedIn is the medium you will want to tap. More than 700 million active professionals, companies, businesses, and other organisations use it. Your research on this platform can focus on industry, company, event or content.
Instagram has evolved from a repository of photos to a multifaceted platform. Influencers aren’t the only ones using it now. There are many business owners, coaches, and other content creators on Instagram. The best way to conduct research here is to search for hashtags that relate to your podcast.
Twitter is another fantastic way to connect with key experts. You can follow experts via a hashtag search.
Just like Instagram, Pinterest has gone beyond just DIY ideas. It’s become a social network of experts who like to share content. If your podcast is geared towards artists, parents, and other creatives then this is a platform you will want to look through.
YouTube is filled with millions of audiovisual content. So, a quick search can yield thousands of possible content providers and makers. One advantage of searching for a guest through this platform is that the experts already have experience in using an audiovisual form of communication. So, audio will likely be a comfortable medium for them as well.
As a podcaster, you can get your hands on online tools created specifically for you.
Poddit.net is your new secret weapon. They know the chore of discovery, inviting, and coordination is flat out exhausting. Their platform makes is super simple to connect podcast hosts with expert guests
PodcastGuests.com is a free mailing list, which has extra features that qualify guests for your podcast niche. You can post interview requests that interested experts can apply to. You can also browse through the database for possible guests. If you pay for premium services, you can become an expert and thus get invitations for other shows.
Podchaser Connect is the podcast equivalent of IMDb. It aims to connect experts and podcasts through profiles. Its system matches podcasters with potential guests through detailed analytics and reporting.
MatchMaker.fm markets its services as the Tinder for podcasters. You can use it to search for guests and let others search you for possible podcast “dates.”
The Internet is full of information from online newspapers, magazines, blogs and newsletters. You don’t have to manually trawl through millions of online content, though. You can set up a Google alert that will do the research for you. Then you can go through the digest of updates that Google will email to you.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) was deliberately created to find experts on specific topics that media people are working on. In a way, as a podcaster, you’re already part of the media. So, maximise this platform. Look through the queries from reporters or send out your own query. The results may take some time, but with a unique message may win you a great, unexpected guest.
In relation to our suggestion of finding someone who wants to sell something, looking through e-commerce sites like Amazon for new publications or products might yield potential guests for you.
Looking for guests doesn’t need to be a time-consuming, anxiety-inducing process. With the right tool and the correct strategy, you can have a long list of guests that will ensure your podcast longevity.
If you’re on the lookout for podcast help, contact us.