written by
David Hooper

How to Be a Great Podcast Guest

Podcast Interviewing Skills Media Training 4 min read

Jessica Rhodes is the founder of Interview Connections, the largest guest booking agency for podcasters and guest experts in the United States. She's the host of Rock The Podcast, a podcast about how to get booked on podcasts as a guest, how to be a great podcast host, and how to leverage the power of podcast interviews to grow your business.

Jessica Rhodes - Interview Connections

I asked Jessica for her thoughts on getting booked on podcasts, how to best prepare for podcast interviews, and how to be a great podcast guest...

What do potential guests need to consider before approaching a podcast for an interview?

When approaching a podcast for an interview, it’s important to consider what valuable information you have to offer the audience of that podcast.

Too many guests are only thinking about what’s in it for themselves. The most important consideration when pitching a podcast to be a guest is what you can give its listeners, not what you can get from them.

How to win over podcasters who have never heard of you...

Podcasters are simple people. To win them over, listen to their podcasts, subscribe to them, and leave reviews. Tell your friends about them...or lots of friends. Email your list about their podcasts. These these things will help them grow their audiences, stroke their egos, and get their attention.

How should guests prepare for podcast interviews?

One of the most important, but overlooked, steps to prepare for a podcast interview is to listen to the podcast you’re going to be a guest on. This helps you get a feel for the host’s style and will give you some small talk for the "green room chat" before the recording starts, which will help build rapport that will come through during your interview.

What are the elements of a memorable (and successful) podcast interview?

What makes a memorable podcast interview is when the host and the guest have great chemistry together. There are plenty of great guests and great hosts who have terrible interviews together because they just weren't a great personality match for each other.

When you’re looking for podcasts to be interviewed on, look for hosts whom you could see yourself chatting with over some coffee or going out for a drink with. Those will make for the best interviews.

The balance between giving solid information and pitching...

This is simple. Podcast interviews are not a place to make a pitch! Focus on giving solid information in your interviews. Period. 

If you think that 45 minutes is enough time to give away all the information you have to offer people, you should reconsider how much of an expert you are. There's no such thing as giving away too much information in a podcast interview. When you give as much great content as you can in an interview, listeners will be more attracted to you and want to know what else they could learn from you.

At the end of an interview, most podcasters will give you an opportunity to offer a call-to-action, but this is not the same thing as making a pitch. A call to action in a podcast interview is your opportunity to invite listeners to connect with you, through your website, by joining your email list, or connecting on social media.

Thoughts on podcast size...

I don’t have black and white rules about what kinds of podcasts, or what size podcasts make sense for people to be a guest on. It comes down to your individual goals, and how much time you have in your schedule to do podcast interviews.

The more time you have available, the wider your reach can be in terms of sizes of shows. If you don’t have a lot of time for podcasting, then it’s normal to be more selective and focus on bigger audiences.

Small Podcasts

If a small, new podcast has your exact target audience and is hosted by somebody who'd be a killer connection for you, do that interview.

Big Podcasts

Big podcasts are great for your ego and "as seen on" credibility, but that’s usually it. I have clients who've said they've gotten a ton of traffic and buzz after being on big podcasts, but it's usually the smaller podcasts that actually produce sales.

What to do "after the interview."

Stay in touch! After you appear on a podcast, connect with the host on social media, send a thank you note in the mail, and for the love of all that is holy, promote your interview after it goes live.

Final thoughts for people looking to be interviewed on podcasts...

This is not a quick fix marketing strategy for businesses who are in a cash flow crunch. It takes 2-3 months at a minimum for your interviews to go live, and even longer for you to see results (as in leads, and new clients) from your podcast interviews.

Podcast interviews are most successful for guests who view them as a way to expand their networks and build relationships with hosts than guests who view them as a "media tour."

Listen And Subscribe

If you want more on the subject of being a podcast guest, marketing your business via podcasting, and getting the most out of the podcast interviews you do, be sure to listen to Jessica's podcast, Rock The Podcast.

You can subscribe to Rock The Podcast via Apple Podcasts or RSS.

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