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Podcast Guests: An Expert Guide to Landing Ideal Show Guests

How many times has a featured guest persuaded you to tune in for a podcast episode?

Podcast guests bring new value and insight for our existing listners, along with fetching their following to your show. The right influencer can help increase your podcast’s legitimacy and strengthen your authoritative position in its niche.

But, getting the ideal candidates to be a guest on your show is not always easy. In fact, it is quite a task, especially when you are just starting off.

In its eleven years of podcasting, SayWHA Radio Network has had a number of awe-inspiring and sensational guests on different shows who helped the hosts skyrocket their podcast download. So, are you looking to land some amazing podcast guests to your show, but not sure how?

Here is our guide to finding and pitching your potential podcast guests the expert’s way:

Get People Excited About Your Podcast

First and foremost, you have to get people excited about being on your show. People don’t discuss this enough! New podcasters don’t often consider how they can design their show to draw the type of guests they want to interview, but that’s something you shouldn’t overlook.

In order to attract the best guests, even a new podcaster needs to build the right reputation as a host:

Podcast Personality

You want to attract a specific type of guest, right? Many people wish to have fun guests and joke around, while others may want a more formal presentation. Ultimately, there are no bad or good podcast formats. You just need to find out what your podcast personality is.

Providing formal presentations and citing all kinds of sources is necessary if you are a podcast host. There’s no reason why people shouldn’t want to join a very structured podcast. You’ll attract people who share your interests.

But, above all, the important thing is to own your podcast personality because, in the end, that is what makes you stand out to both your listeners and potential guests.

No Crazzy Curveballs

Asking too many questions can be off-putting to guests. You might lose your most amazing guests if you ask them random or overly challenging questions! On the other hand, by asking them easy-to-answer questions, you take out a lot of the prep work, which allows them to be more relaxed during the show.

Don’t throw any kind of crazy curveballs because you want it to be just like a conversation between friends.

Put Your Guest Under Spotlight

Let your guests share what they have to offer beyond their latest freebie. Give them the chance to shine on your show. When you allow your guests to talk about the most current promotions and even paid products, of course, they will want to be on a podcast that will enable them to promote all of their amazingness.

As part of the podcast, we encourage each and every guest to promote their business in a non-sleazy way, and many of our guests have expressed gratitude for the referrals they’ve received. THAT is what you want!

Top 3 Tactics to Find Podcast Guests

Now you know how to get your potential guests excited about being a guest on your podcast. So it’s time to start the hunt for your ideal podcast guests. But where to find them?

Other than cold emailing any potential guest you find interesting on social media or online communities, here are our top 3 tactics to find your exemplary guests:

1. Meet with Potential Guests

Here are two themes that run throughout the post: first, offer your guests real value, and second, connect with them on a personal level. Meeting people in person is the best way to accomplish this — you can establish a one-on-one connection with them and find out how you can be of real value to them before your pitch.

After you connect with many influencers in your space, finding ways to collaborate with them will be a piece of cake. There are at least two ways to meet potential guests in real life: conventions and meetups even with a new podcast or if you haven’t connected with anyone yet.

Conventions

Hot Docs Podcast Festival

Attending conventions can be very valuable because it brings people together who share a lot of the same interests and goals. As a content creator and leader, you will meet tons of other people in this space. You can easily find a conference related to your podcast topic by searching Google.

Many new podcasts are now available on finance and investing, so for example, If I’m looking for conferences I could attend if I were running an investing podcast – there are a ton of possibilities.

Expert Tip: Found the perfect convention? Why don’t you pitch the convention organizer to be a guest on your podcast? Chances are they will be looking for a platform to reach a more like-minded audience and promote their conference.

Meetups

Meetups: Homepage

We understand that attending conventions, especially when across the border or demanding hefty entry fees, is not the most feasible option for many podcasters.

Therefore, rather than going to a conference, you can also search for local Meetups in your area. In addition, you can find podcast-related events at Meetup.com, where you can find the best group that resonates with your brand.

Share your podcast name on your business cards at the Meetup. However, make sure you talk to people before handing them your business card; because receiving a card before you’ve even shaken hands is not pleasant. Consider inviting someone into your podcast if you meet them and think they’d do a great interview.

2. Allow Guest Requests

If a great guest wanted to be on your podcast, but you didn’t know how to reach them, how frustrating would that be? There are a lot of podcasts looking for guests, and many guests would enjoy being interviewed. In addition to matchmaking services (more on that below), you can also do some of the footwork on your own.

SayWHA Radio Network: Guest Request Form

You can ask potential guests to be on your show by creating a page on your website. A straightforward questionnaire can be set up to determine if somebody would be a good fit without giving out your email address. In addition, you can also embed a free form on your website that will allow potential guests to request to be on your show.

Here, we are attaching our guest request form format.

3. Match Making Services

Using a matchmaking service might make sense if you have difficulty landing the right guests or do not have the time to follow up on leads.

Not convinced? You can feel comfortable using podcast guest matchmaking services since thousands of people have found their spouses using online matchmakers such as eHarmony.

Whether you’re looking to book a guest or be a guest, these three podcast matchmaking services can help!

PodcastGuests

PodcastGuests.com is a tool that can help you find more qualified and interesting guests for your podcast. This is primarily a mailing list, with a member-based website to supplement it.

You can post interviews requests on the newsletters for people to apply to appear on your show. You can also browse their guest database on the website and communicate directly with them. Also included in every newsletter are a few of those listed experts, so you’ll be able to contact a few new people every week if they’re right for your show.

Upgraded members can also list themselves as ‘subject experts’ and get invited to more shows. Using the free newsletter is one of the best ways to find new guests and appear on more shows.

Podchaser

Podchaser Raises Funding to Develop Podcast Catalog for Startups

Podchaser is a platform that’s often referred to as “the IMDb of podcasting” for finding podcast guests.

Podchaser offers a range of excellent features to both podcast listeners and podcast creators. For example, it enables you to create a profile, then links that profile to every show and episode you have ever been involved with.

Podchaser Connect, one of their features, is marketed as a way to connect experts and podcasters to create amazing content and grow audiences. It includes data-driven matching, detailed analytics, and reports on podcasters and potential guests.

MatchMaker

MatchMaker - Connecting Podcasters with Guests | Podcast.co

MatchMaker describes itself as “like Tinder, but for podcasters.”

If you are looking for podcast guests, you can use the directory to locate them, or you can use it to propose yourself for guest spots on other podcasts.

It’s completely free, and you can connect with your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts!

Reaching Out to Potential Podcast Guests

Connect when you’re ready to go the extra mile to reach out to someone. Of course, the email address is a good place to start, but you can also be successful using Facebook Messenger and Instagram Stories. However, unlike their inboxes, most people do not have their stories flooded with emails.

You can still contact them via email, but try coming up with a creative way to get their attention if that doesn’t work. For example, if you have a mutual connection, ask them to introduce you first, and then you will have to work your way around the gatekeepers. By doing so, you will be able to get in the door and set up that interview so much faster.

Cold Emails

The next step is to begin contacting potential guests you found through conferences, message boards, and social media. We recommend creating a spreadsheet with their name, email address, and social media profiles (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.).

If you don’t know your contacts’ email addresses, check out this excellent post from Moz on finding your contacts’ email addresses. Next, create an Excel spreadsheet with your email list, then write an email inviting guests to join your podcast.

Make Personal Pitch

Pitch creation has to be personal. Guests feel more connected to hosts (and guests) who take the time to get to know them. It is completely noticeable and impersonal to deliver a pitch that is 100% templated. Instead, include a personal anecdote and explain why you like this person.

As an example, I loved the conversation you had with Jane – both of you navigated how to set boundaries for yourself during this conversation. Boundaries play a huge role in improving our relationships, which is why my audience is constantly asking me about it. A podcast episode revolving around the same topic would be great.

There is a good chance that your potential guest will receive dozens, if not hundreds, of pitches from creators who want to interview them. Therefore, in order to cut through the noise, your pitch needs to stand out more than the others that your target guest receives. In contrast to a standard pitch, one that sounds more like an invitation goes a long way.

The Perfect Timing

Timing is everything when you’re pitching potential guests!

video-time-on-page-hero

The Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer at Red Antler, Emily Heyward, was just published with a book on a similar topic when Buffer reached out to her about speaking at Built to Last. It was the perfect way to convince her to attend - she could market her book to a new audience.

Timing is important both ways. It’s unlikely you’ll get a “yes” from guests who are hunkered down, busy with their own projects, or whose schedule is packed with other talks. So, before pitching, make sure the timing is right.

Now, Get Started!

There you have it! We hope that this really helped you and if you are ready to approach guests, make those connections to warm them up.

Send a message right now to someone you admire while you’re feeling inspired!

Give your guests the proposal they can’t reject. Don’t know how? We’ve got your back!

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Further reading