Starting a podcast can be an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you’ve established the basic framework of your podcast, the next step is to find guests.
Asking someone to join your podcast can feel awkward or overwhelming, but with a few tips and tricks, you can create a seamless experience for both yourself and your guest.
In this post, we’re going to be laying it all out there and helping you land great podcast guests, one after the other!
How To Find Guests For A Podcast
The first step is to research potential guests for your target audience. Depending on the type of podcast you are doing, there may be several people who could potentially make great guests. You can see other podcasts from your niche and see what kind of guests they are having on their podcasts. Here are a few easy ways you can find your next podcast guest!
Ask your family and friends
Your family and friends may be the first people you think of when it comes to asking someone to be a guest on your podcast. They already know you and are likely more than willing to help out in this way. Figure out if there’s a topic within your social sphere that you’d like to explore—this could be anything from a cousin’s business success story to a friend’s creative journey.
Start by researching those in your field of interest and analyze their professional experience and the platforms they have built, if any. Make sure to select potential guests who can add value to your podcast and provide interesting content that will keep your listeners hooked.
Try social media
Use hashtags, groups, and other features on social media to find potential guests. You can reach out directly or join groups related to your subject matter and start conversations with those who could offer interesting perspectives.
Use podcasting websites
While this one might seem like a no-brainer, it’s one a lot of people forget about. We might be living in a world of social media, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t websites that can help you find quality guests for your podcasts!
There are a variety of websites out there specifically made for connecting podcasters with potential guests. Use websites like MatchMaker.fm, Feedly.com, and PodMatch.com to get the perfect guests on your podcast!
Research first, guest later
While it might make more sense to find the right guests for your podcast and then start researching according to them, you can actually do it the other way around too.
You can even research your genre and see if there’s a potential guest out there that meets your needs.
Often, the best podcast guests are the ones you least expect, so it’s worth researching your niche extensively to ensure you get the right people on board.
Ask previous guests for recommendations
Your previous guests may be able to suggest other people with interesting stories and backgrounds, so make sure you reach out! Ask your previous guests for recommendations, and they may be able to give you some great leads.
Most of the time, there are other people in your current or previous guest’s immediate network that might make finding guests a whole lot easier!
Tips On Asking Someone To Be On Your Podcast
Now that you know how to find potential podcast guests, let’s go over how you should ask them to be on your podcast!
Invite guests with a formal interview request
The best way to ask someone to be a guest on your podcast is with an invitation. Ensure to provide them with all the necessary details, such as the podcast name, the topic you’ll be working on in the upcoming episode, how long it will be, and some brief info of anything else they might need to know.
You should also include a link to your website or any other relevant information they may need. End it by leaving your contact info and closing out the message. This is better than bombarding them with endless details, and if they’re interested in being a guest, they’ll just write you back!
Following up with podcast guest
Most of the time, when you’re booking a guest for your podcast, they’ll simply agree to come on the show, and that’s it. But there will also be times when you’ve sent out lots of invites but haven’t gotten any answers.
In this case, you can also send a follow-up request to see if they’ve just missed your email altogether. This is one of the technical difficulties people forget about, especially if you’ve booed industry peers. Sometimes, interesting people simply miss emails, so it doesn’t hurt to ask again!
Most of the time, inviting them again does the trick, and the person agrees to come on your podcast! But just because you’ve secured a great guest to talk to doesn’t mean that all the work is done. There’s still a lot of pre-interview prep you need to do before you start recording!
Once you’ve got the OK from your guest, it’s time to get started on the podcast interview preparation. You need to make sure you’re both prepared and ready to go when it’s time to record.
This means doing a bit of research on the guest beforehand so you know what questions to ask. This is essential to do before you start interviewing guests so you’re prepared for anything that might happen on your own podcast.
Research as much as possible about your guest and the topic in general. This will help you come up with thoughtful questions and ensure that your podcast is as informative as possible.
Furthermore, this research will help you be a better interviewer, as it’ll give you an idea of what topics to talk about and which questions are best to ask.
Related: How to Start a Podcast With Someone Far Away
Write out your questions about the podcast episodes
Once you’ve done all the necessary preparation, it’s time to start writing out your questions. Writing down your questions will help ensure that you’re asking the right ones during the podcast. Make sure to keep your questions succinct and focus on topics that you think your audience would be interested in hearing about.
Keep in mind that the conversation should always be natural and flow from one topic to another. Avoid asking yes or no questions, as they can lead to dead ends in the conversation. Additionally, be sure to leave enough room for your guest to elaborate on their answers and share stories about their experiences.
Give your podcast guests a heads up
It’s important to give your podcast guest a heads-up about the upcoming episode. You should provide them with any materials or resources that you think might be helpful for the upcoming interview. This could include a list of topics you plan to cover and any relevant questions.
Additionally, it’s polite to let your guest know the approximate length of the episode and any other information you think they might find useful. That way, both you and your guest would be on the same page and can get through the whole process easier!
Get there early
Next, make sure you arrive at the podcast recording session early. This will give you enough time to set up your equipment and get everything in place before your guest arrives.
This will also give you a chance to chat with your guest, get an understanding of what they’d like to talk about during the podcast, and prepare any other necessary materials for the show.
Send the guest a thank you email
Once you’re done with the podcast, don’t forget to thank your guest for coming on the show. Send them a thank you email or a message letting them know how much you enjoyed their conversation.
This is a great way to express your gratitude and build a relationship with the guest for any future podcast episodes.
Follow up with the published podcast
Finally, make sure to follow up with the published podcast. Reach out to your guest on social media and thank them for their time.
You can also tag or mention them in the podcast post and let them know how much their contribution was appreciated; plus, it’ll promote them and your podcast too.
Additionally, keep track of any feedback or comments you receive about the episode, as it can be valuable for the future.
This is an extra step that will be appreciated by your guest because most people would prefer getting some time to go through the edited podcast before the audience does!
Related: Podcast Agreement with Guests
How To Create The Perfect Invitation For Your Podcast
It’s important to have a clear and concise invitation that communicates all essential information about the podcast episode. Here are a few key elements that your invitation should include:
- Date and time of the podcast recording
- Location of the recording
- Brief description of the topic for the podcast
- List of materials or resources that the guest should prepare prior to the recording session
- Any special requirements needed for the podcast (i.e., audio equipment, etc.)
- Instructions for submitting a waiver form if necessary
- Link to your website and social media profiles so that the guest can get more familiar with the podcast
- Link to your podcast episode page (if applicable)
- Approximate length of the podcast and any other stipulations from the host or guest
- A thank you message for accepting the invitation!
Following these tips will make sure that both you and your guest have a great experience with the podcast episode. With proper planning and preparation, you can make sure that your guest interviews go off without a hitch.
Inviting someone to be on your podcast is an exciting opportunity to gain insights from new perspectives and expand your network of contacts – make sure you take advantage of it! Good luck!
Related: How to Onboard Guests Into Your Podcast
10 Things Podcast Hosts Need to Keep in Mind When Recording With a New Guest
While everything we’ve mentioned above will keep you prepared for getting everything sorted for when your guest arrives, there are times when no matter how much you prepare, something will go wrong. Here are some of the things you should still keep in mind before you start recording.
1. Make sure to get your guest’s full name and pronunciation of it before the podcast recording.
This is something that is often overlooked and can lead to embarrassing slip-ups in the podcast. There’s nothing worse than having to ask your guest to repeat their name three or four times or them having to correct you during the recording process. It’s also a great idea to ask them how they’d like to be addressed just in case they have a preference!
2. Introduce yourself and the podcast to those who are unfamiliar with your platform.
This is important for those who may be unfamiliar with the podcast and can provide a great opportunity to make sure everyone is on the same page before getting started.
3. Have an agenda or plan of topics in mind before getting started.
But also be willing to adapt if needed. It’s always good to have a loose structure of the topics you plan to discuss, but it’s also important to be flexible in case your guest has something they want to add.
4. Develop a rapport with your guest before getting started and make sure they are comfortable with the conversation.
Creating an atmosphere that is friendly and relaxed will help create a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
5. Make sure to have a set time for how long the recording session will last, and try to stay within that timeframe.
It’s important to be respectful of your guest’s time and not go over the allocated amount of time without their explicit consent.
6. Always record clear audio as it is essential for any podcast.
Make sure to check and double-check your recording equipment before getting started to ensure no audio issues arise during the interview.
7. Be open to allowing some moments of silence during the recording session if needed.
These pauses in conversation can provide an opportunity for guests to think and formulate their thoughts, leading to more meaningful answers.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions during the podcast.
This can help you get a better understanding of what your guest is saying and can lead to more interesting conversations. It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but with practice, it will become much easier.
9. After the recording session, make sure to thank your guest for their time and enthusiasm during the interview.
Give them a chance to ask any questions they may have and keep the conversation going, as this can help create a stronger connection between you and your guest.
10. Lastly, don’t forget to post links to their social media accounts or website.
Doing this is a great way to show appreciation for their contribution and provide easy access for anyone interested in learning more about them.
With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to having a successful podcast episode with a new guest. Make sure to take the time to plan ahead and prepare as much as possible so that your guest interviews go off without a hitch.
The Bottom Line
Creating a successful podcast isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth the effort. It’s important to remember that preparation is key when it comes to hosting and interviewing guests on your show.
Doing research beforehand, writing out questions, giving your guest a heads up about what to expect in the episode, getting there early, and sending them a thank you email afterward are all crucial elements to creating an engaging podcast. You can create an email template as well for inviting more guests to your podcast and sending them a thank you note.
So take the time to get it right, and you’ll be well on your way to making a great podcast!
Related: 12 Cool Tricks to Grow Your Number of Podcast Listeners