If you want to grow your personal and business brand, promote your product and services, that next book or event, being a podcast guest is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing you will ever undertake. However, there are some essential tips you need to be aware of and my guest Yann Ilunga from Helsinki, Finland is an expert in this particular area.
Yann is the host of The Podcaster Lab and a university trained communications expert, so he understands the how and why of being the perfect podcast guest, and mistakes many guests make that can easily be avoided with some thought and planning.
Why is being a podcast guest a good idea?
- It is a great, low-cost marketing tool.
- It leverages the power of your voice.
- It allows you to connect with people on a more personal level, something you cannot do with a written blog.
- It is much easier for people to consume audio compared to video, so they can take you anywhere.
- You can be in their ear 24/7 and become part of their daily or weekly routine.
- It's a simple process compared to video and has a lower barrier to entry in regards to cost, equipment and technical knowledge.
You need to have basic equipment
Being a professional podcast guest means you take what you do seriously and whether you're being interviewed at home or in your office you need to make sure you cover the following bases:
"It's not just about WHAT you say; it's also about HOW GOOD YOU SOUND when you say it".
Poor audio always reflects poorly on the guest, not the host, so it is essential you start with a good microphone, like the Audio-Technica ATR2100 or its European counterpart the Samsung Q2U, which both cost less than $100.
Worst-case scenario you can use the headphones with a built-in microphone you got with your smartphone, but NEVER use the microphone built into your laptop computer because it produces poor audio.
Buy a windscreen or a pop filter to protect the microphone from spit and to stop that popping sound when you say certain words.
If you can, purchase a small tripod or detachable boom, so you don't have to hold onto the microphone. A boom will allow you to speak more freely. And if the host is also recording video, you can buy an external webcam to give you a higher quality video image.
If you're serious about becoming a professional podcast guest, you will buy a proper microphone, and once you do, you need to practice how to speak into it correctly. You can Google microphone techniques or check out Yann's website and view the microphone category.
"A poor recording will negatively affect your brand".
Recording your side of the conversation
This is optional, but you can also purchase software so you can record the podcast conversation as well. There are plenty of options, and it's useful as a backup, but make sure you tell the host you are recording as well. You may want to use snippets of the conversation but ask for permission.
Pitch Yourself To The Right Shows
Ask yourself, what topic do I want to cover as a guest and does it relate to your personal or business brand? When you know this information, then find a podcast that suits.
If you approach a podcast host and they say NO, do not argue with them, it's their show, and they'll know if you're a good fit or not, but to increase your odds of them saying YES, make sure you don't make your pitch all about you because it's not.
Think about the listeners of the podcast
What is the goal of the podcast show and what are the listeners going to walk away with after listening to you? You need to be able to answer these questions.
Also, what's in it for you? Are you promoting a book, conference, your coaching services, etc.?
Before pitching yourself, you must listen to a few episodes of the podcast and take note of the dynamics between the host and the guest.
The Hosts listeners expect the same dynamics from you, so can you deliver this? Some hosts will only have guests they have previously connected with in person or on social media and have developed a relationship. If you listen carefully to a few shows, you'll pick up on this relationship between the host and guest.
You need to create a guest website
If you want to be a professional podcast guest, you should have a website and also a one-sheet downloadable PDF that has your:
- Bio information
- Topics you can cover
- A List of relevant shows with artwork, you've been a guest on
- Professional photograph of yourself
- Your social platform details
The downloadable PDF should link people back to your website for additional information, other photos and an introduction video if you have one.
Advanced Tip: As your reputation grows as a podcast guest, you may want to add a booking and onboarding section on your website to handle scheduling and to make sure you're a good fit.
You can use Google Forms to manage all your questions and add a scheduling program as the last step.
The location of your podcast interview
Remember, poor sound quality reflects on the guest, not the host, so where are you planning to do your interview? Regardless if it's at home or in your office, you need to do a quick audio test if you have recording capabilities.
First, press record and say nothing, and record your room on quiet, and then listen back to it. Is there a fan, air-conditioner or traffic noises in the background? Then, record again, but this time talk. Does it sound good, or does it seem like you're in a cave?
If you do not have recording capabilities, a professional host will be doing a few tests themselves from their end.
Bonus location tips
- Make sure everyone knows you're recording, regardless of where you are, work or home.
- Put your telephone on silent.
- Close all programs on the computer, especially emails
- Protect your bandwidth. Kick kids off of Netflix.
Make your best effort
Your goal as a professional podcast guest is to make your best effort to limit distractions and noise. Sometimes things are not in your control, and you cannot always stop a dog from barking, but many sound distractions can be avoided.
Work out when is the best time for you to be a guest. If you have children, school holidays may not be a good time to do an interview at home. Do you have a pool guy, a lawnmower man? If so, be aware of their schedule.
Don't Let Fear Hold You Back
Everyone is nervous at the start, but over time you will get better, and your first podcast interview will be your worst. But even the hosts had to learn to control their nerves.
If you have a favourite podcast, download the latest episode and the first episode and pay attention to how the host has changed and developed over time.
Side Note: As an example - Episode 05: Fish Out of Water with Calvin Wayman. My introduction did not roll off the tongue as easy as it does now.
As a guest focus on your delivery, and not just what you say, but how you say it and don't be afraid to mix up your stories. You cannot keep repeating the same stories on every podcast interview; it will get boring for you and also listeners if they've heard you on other podcasts.
Get on their radar
Before you pitch yourself, especially to a more prominent podcaster, you need to get on their radar. To do this, you must listen to their show and afterwards send a few tweets, and be specific, and honest, about what you liked about the episode. Tag the host in your tweet, and if you do it multiple times, you will be noticed. Everyone loves positive comments and feedback.
This is where the psychology of communication comes in. Once you get on the hosts' radar, you start to position yourself as someone they know, even though it is only through social media.
Here's an example of what you can write:
Hi, I'm (your name), you may know me from Twitter (twitter handle).
I'm a fan of your show and was enquiring if you are looking for a guest for your podcast.
I typically talk about (topics), but I'm happy to cover (other topics).
I'm looking forward to your reply.
Make sure you direct them to your podcast webpage where they will find a lot more information about you. You don't need to add how good you are in the email. You want to keep your email brief, and this will increase the likelihood of them saying YES.
If you're at a conference or meetup, use the same tactic to get on their radar and then make sure you introduce yourself and get a selfie with them. You can then send an email, as above.
Focus on just one call to action
When you are a guest on a show be specific and clear with which brand you're putting forward, is it your personal brand or business brand? Also if you want to promote a book, make sure you only push the book and nothing else. You want to give them one call to action and one item for them to focus. That's all you need to do, aim for one link per show.
Create a specific landing page
You need to think about which landing page you want listeners to go to after your interview. Keep it specific and related to your one call to action.
If you have too many calls to action, it's unlikely anyone will remember then, but everyone can remember one call to action and one landing page.
Most landing pages are set up for cold contacts found via a Facebook Ad etc. Cold Contacts do not know who we are so you need to try and sell yourself harder, but a podcast landing page is different.
Your listeners have just spent 30-60 minutes with you already. They are more positive, and if they visit your landing page it's because they are ready to work with you in some capacity or at least thinking about it.
The three YES approach
So, your call to action has got them to your landing page. Once they arrive, you need to apply the Three Yes's Approach.
- First YES is 'the small sizes yes'. It requires a low investment in time and money. It could be free and involves downloading a FREE PDF document.
- Second YES is the 'medium size yes'. There is an investment in time and money, but it's minimal. This could involve a video series, webinar, etc.
- Third YES is the 'big size yes'. This will involve the highest investment in time and money and may include your coaching services or online course. Think about what else can you offer.
Can you be on too many podcast shows?
It comes down to your threshold of how many you want to do. John Lee Dumas does over 200 interviews per year, that's his threshold.
If you're eager to promote each podcast show, you guest on as a thank you to the host, and if you're concerned because of time, you can use scheduling programs like SocialBee and MeetEdgar. You can organise it, so posts go out automatically.
The post-interview chat
When the interview complete, don't be in a hurry to leave. Hang around for a post-interview chat. This is where you create a long-term connection with the host.
While you have their attention and they are still warm you can ask:
- To connect with them on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- If they'd be interested in being a guest on your webinar
- Them to speak at your event, or you talk at theirs
Monday Morning Tip
As soon as you can start to compile a list of podcast shows you want to be a guest on and start connecting and getting on the hosts' radar via Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you're an author, go to Amazon and find similar authors to yourself and then go to Apple Podcasts and see what podcasts they've been on. This will give you a long list of podcasts to add to your list. If you're not an author, but have expertise in a particular area follow the same steps.
If you have any questions about this podcast, please email me atr you can contact Yann Ilunga via his website www.yannilunga.com
Other resources mentioned in this podcast:
Tom Schwab's book - Podcast Guest Profits
If you like this episode, you will enjoy:
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