Want to get more visibility to your work, your personal brand or company? Be a guest on someone’s podcast. Podcasts are growing in number (600,000+). Being a podcast guest is one of the best ways to spend your time, energy and resources. In this article, I share 16 tips to help you stand-out as a podcast guest even before you book yourself on a podcast.
…and everyone’s talking about it!
You are this toymaker living in a silent little town, away from all the hubbub and bustle in the city. And one morning you open the newspaper as you are sipping your coffee….and see this advertisement:
“The Biggest Toy Show is Coming to town! Time to see your sales rocket – Book your stall right now! The best spots are running out fast! Call 1-800-TOY-SHOW”
…frantically picking for your phone you dial 1-800-TOY-SHOW.
“The spots are fast filling, but I have a couple of really good stalls. The first stall is one that every single person who walks into the show will definitely stop over…” says the person who answers the call, adding “..it would cost you about $2000 for the three days to get this stall.”
Your mind is now thinking.
The voice on the other end continues “…and there is this second stall in the kids camp that would cost you about $800 for the three days, and it’s located in a place where you’ll just have people who are interested in toys.”
“Woah! How can I book that stall?”
There are a ton of ways you can market and promote your business, product or personal brand. But podcast guesting is the best. I say this for a couple of key reasons:
“But the podcast is not all that big…”, says that rat inside your brain.
Imagine this. You have an opportunity to talk about your brand or product or business in front of a 100 people interested in your topic, seated inside a room. Wouldn’t you do it?
It doesn’t really matter how big the audience is, so long as they are real people interested in your niche giving their undivided time and attention to listen to you.It doesn’t really matter how big the audience is, so long as they are real people interested in your niche giving their undivided time and attention to listen to you. Click To Tweet
But how do I get to this point?
If you’re reading this article, it’s because you are seeking to overdeliver and stand-out. By the end of this article, you’ll exactly know what to do (and what not to) to get on someone’s show, and be good.
Let’s jump into the 16 tips, if you will.
Now, I’ve actually always found something to be very true, which is most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody who didn’t want to help me when I’ve asked them for help. – Steve Jobs
If you want something, you should ‘Ask’. If you want to be on a certain podcast, look for an apply button on the website or reach to the host.
And that brings us to the first tip…
Podcasters (and their teams) are constantly looking for guests who can add value to their listeners. I always do. But it’s tough to find someone who doesn’t want to be found.
Well, if you don’t have any online presence (other than social media) where you put out your thoughts or express your interest to be interviewed, how is one supposed to know about you?
The second tip I have here is for you to not just have a website, but also a contact page where you clearly mention that you are open to getting interviewed on podcasts.
Podcasters constantly reach out to guests they find interesting, to check if they’d be interested in being on the show. But what happens when there’s no response?
Obviously we move on.
So, always make it a point to respond to podcasters. Even if you are busy, respond. Here’s a response I once received from Seth Godin.
thanks so much
alas, I won’t be able to take this on, I’m swamped
If Seth Godin can respond, you can.
…to be on the someone’s show. Nah, neither is this an avenue to make money nor is it a way to show you are busy.
99% of podcasts out there don’t pay their guests to be on the show. It’s never been that way, neither will be.Podcast Guesting is the Least Expensive and Most Effective Way to Market Your Personal Brand, Business or Product to a Net-New Audience! Click To Tweet
To make things easy, write down what kinds of podcasts you want to be on. Shortlist the genre and specific podcasts, if you have any.
If you are an author of a business book, look for podcasts under Business in iTunes and listen to them. Don’t just focus on the top 50 or 100. There are a lot of good shows beyond the first page on iTunes, for each category.
Bonus Tip: When you listen to podcast interviews in your niche, if you ever feel like “Ah, I wish someone had asked me this question”, reach out to the host!
Listeners of every podcast are waiting to get something out of every interview they listen to. It sometimes is just feeling inspired, or sometimes it is something they find useful.
Can you make someone do something better? Or can you make someone feel charged up and take on their life or career or whatever with more energy?
Always be of service.
Write about yourself in a blog or get your story out in the media. Extending tip #1, if no one knows your story or your views, chances are that they don’t pick you.
Like Simon Sinek put out so well in his book Start With Why, it all starts with ‘Why’. If podcasters know what you believe in, they are more likely to know if they should invite you. Express your belief.
You can do this by starting a blog or a column on a newspaper or magazine.
Social media is a noisy place. When people find you on social media, it better be something about you that makes them reach out.
Build your online brand on social media. Be mindful of this and use social media responsibly. Share your blog posts, your views on topics in your niche, engage with your audience.
When reaching out to podcasters and podcast hosts, do it yourself. It’s always not a great idea using an agency or even an assistant to reach out on your behalf.
“But, I am busy…”
I understand. But remember, podcast hosts (most of them I know of, including me) spend a lot of time researching their guests before inviting them or interviewing them. They are busy people too. Being busy is never the right reason to hire an agency to reach out.
Always reach out to podcaster yourself, and be available to answer any questions they may have.
Seriously. Give genuine answers, tell podcast hosts what you genuinely think of their show and why you want to be on it, because pretense shows.
Even if I cannot make out pretense when someone sends an email expressing interest to be on my show, their answers to my questions during the interview will help me understand that easily.
Being genuine helps get the best out of you, and listeners will love you for that.
I once had this Chinese boss (a very nice guy personally), and the meetings were always spent in trying to decipher his words. Listening to him was a stressful exercise. Imagine listening to him on a podcast inside my ears!
If you want to be on an English podcast (which a majority of them are in), try and be comfortable speaking in English. You needn’t be speaking like an Englishman, but so long as your words are clear and understandable, it’s good.
Please practice, practice and practice!
That’s the secret. There are so many new things happening when you are on a podcast (especially the remote interviews). You are speaking looking at no one, into an inanimate object (a microphone) that sometimes listens to you only when you speak in a certain direction.
In addition to this technical complexity, there’s the content. You may have written a book, but talking about it by answering specific questions takes a bit of practice. Rambling is the last thing you want to do.
There are always a few things every podcast host is going to ask you for – a brief bio, a high quality photograph of you, your Skype handle, topics of expertise, phone or email.
It’s a good idea to have them all available in a ‘Media Kit’ on your website and pass on the link to the podcast host.
You might be thinking “Now you’ve got to be kidding. Of course one should be prepared!”
But the preparation I’m talking about here is different.
Preparation is about feeling comfortable.
By preparation what I mean is to be comfortable with yourself and your content. Even though you might be an expert in the area, there is a good idea that you might fumble.
If you need to have some numbers handy, have them on paper. If you want to refer to websites on the go, have a browser window in front of you. Sometimes I’ve seen people not do their research before answering questions – please avoid that.
Love sipping cola? Avoid it.
At least during the interview. Remember people are just hearing you. Unless you are a big film star, chances that people are going to put up with your broken voice is very slim.
Seriously. If you can, stop reading this article right now and make yourself this concoction. Try singing your favorite song and see how you feel!
One thing is about your voice, and you now know a concoction that works. But what about energy levels and more?
There are voice exercises you can use to further increase the quality of your voice. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about exercises that can pump your adrenalin a little.
Exercises are great for sounding great on a microphone. Try this – do 10 pushups or run on the spot for 30 seconds about 5 minutes before getting on the podcast interview!
If the podcast show format has specific questions, do ask your host for questions to prepare beforehand.
“Well, that’s obvious”, you think.
Think again. I’ve interviewed over 100 people from across the globe. I’ve come across quiet a few people who literally prepared their answers to my questions (which I used to give beforehand)!
Even when a podcast host shares questions with you, it’s to make you comfortable. It’s to give you some idea on the topics so you can prepare, do your research, and do everything I mentioned in tip #13.
When it comes to growing your brand, business or product, we oftentimes let the checklists rule.
We should do this joint campaign with this school – Check.
I should be on a podcast – Check.
I need to have a stall in the Kids Camp – Check.
In an attempt to get this done, we let the checklists rule and lose sight on quality.
While podcasts are obviously the best place to market and promote your personal brand, business or product, you are speaking to real humans on the other end.
Make sure you put your best foot forward, and hope these 16 tips help you do that to a good extent. This is obviously not a conclusive list of tips, but it’s definitely based on what I’ve seen working great after interviewing more than 100 guests and observing several others.
Go ahead and find a podcast you want to be on, reach out to the host. Use these 16 tips and let me know how your experience was in the comments below. Share this article with a friend if you think it was helpful.
And if you are interested in starting a podcast, join my free course where I help you start your podcast in 4-weeks.