I’ve been a guest on MANY podcasts at this point over the last 7 years of owning my business. I still remember being absolutely terrified before my first interview. I came prepared with about 4 pages of outlined notes and had literally rehearsed answers to the questions I knew I’d be asked! Not kidding! Who can relate?
Now, YEARS later, I can go on a show and feel confident in my answers with very little preparation (in comparison, anyway!). But I still so make sure I’m always showing up for interviews prepared and trying to be a good podcast guest because truly, it matters. This person (the podcast host - whomever it is!) is allowing you to be in front of their people with your message. It’s worth thinking about ahead of time, and coming to the conversation energized and ready to SERVE!
With that in mind, today I want to share 5 strategies to help you prepare for podcast episodes (whether it’s your first interview or you just know there is always room to improve!). If you have your own show, I also share some insights into how you can HELP your guests prepare better. Stay tuned because I’m planning to do some more episodes about how to interview well too!
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:
Before I dive in, make sure you check out my new website template add-on: The Speaker Template
Before we get to the 1st tip, I wanted to tell you that today in my website template shop, there’s a NEW template (actually, there are a couple of new templates) but the one I want to talk about today is the new Speaker template! This is an add on Showit template for speakers (and people who want to go on podcasts!), so if you are in a season of business where you are pitching yourself for podcast interviews, speaking gigs, summits, and more - this template is going to help you tremendously.
There are two speaker page designs made for pitching yourself again for podcasts or speaking gigs and there’s even a media kit design included for you to send to people once you’ve been booked. I know this is something I’ve needed in my own business so many times, so I created it with you (and me!) in mind. Check it out here!
1. Know exactly who you’re talking to prior to starting the interview.
I don’t mean the hosts or the show - I mean the listeners! When I think about podcast interviews, I think about it as the host and their guest having a conversation, and you want to sort of “bring the listeners of the podcast in” to the conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask the host if you are unsure about their listener profile either - while they may not always know (especially if it’s a newer podcast), do your best to get as familiar as possible. You don’t want to be uncertain about who you’re talking to and who the audience is.
I know I personally always send a listener profile ahead of time to our guests on the podcast because I WANT them to know who we have listening to the show so that they can tailor their responses for you guys! Quick tip for my hosts tuning in: add this to your workflow because it really does help guests prepare!
For example, if I’m going on a podcast to talk about productivity when you work from home (like I did recently on the Girl’s Night Out podcast!), I want to know:
- Am I talking to other business owners who work from home (for themselves)?
- Am I talking to people who may have a 9-5 working from home>
- Am I talking to parents or people without kids, or both?
As another example, if you’re coming on my podcast to talk about copywriting, it would be helpful to know what types of businesses people have, what website builder they use most, how long they have been in business, whether they are more likely hiring for copywriting or DIYing? You get the picture!
We have all been there when you listen to a podcast interview on your favorite show, and it’s so obvious that the guest has no idea who the audience is at all and completely misses talking to you (the regular listener!).
If you want to be a good podcast guest, know your audience. And likewise, if you want to be a good host, prep your guest with your audience profile.
I often like to take it one step further and ask hosts, “What is the goal takeaway you want listeners to get from our conversation?”. If they have it, I always love to know what title they have in mind for the episode so I can structure my answers around it too.
2. Listen to the show before your interview (and BEFORE you pitch yourself!)
This might be the MOST important strategy on the list. In my opinion, it’s a MUST. Please never go on a show blind. Even if it’s just 1-2 episodes, dig in and get familiar with how that host interviews, what types of solo topics they’re doing, read reviews for the show, etc. Basically - do your research!
This is even MORE important when you are pitching yourself as a guest. As a podcast host myself, I can tell you that hosts can smell it from a mile away when you message saying you’re a listener but then your favorite episode is just the most recent one (and it’s bolded or highlighted because you’re just using a generic pitch template you’re sending to everyone). I could honestly do an entire episode (or even an online course) on pitching yourself, but for now, I just want to encourage you to listen to the show before you pitch. Sincerity around this comes through and it will probably help you get picked as a guest (especially on shows that are pickier with their guest selections).
Your pre-episode task list:
- Listen to 1 interview
- Listen to 1 solo episode
- Read recent reviews
- See what they’re doing on IG lately
More research will make the interview better, I promise!
3. During the interview, compliment the host or the listener base if it feels natural.
Everyone loves a compliment, right? If there’s a natural way for you to compliment the interviewer, do it. I know it may feel cheesy but it really does help lighten things up for everyone (and, again, connects you to both the audience and the host). To add to this strategy: if you listen to the show, say that too! It makes you more relatable to the listener base.
Examples of Compliments You Can Give As a Podcast Guest:
- Make one of your points relate to a recent episode, content piece, or product of theirs that you enjoy
- Tell them you love their podcast
- If you’re a customer or student of theirs, say it. That’s a compliment in itself!
- While this might not be a “compliment”, use the host's name during conversation as well!
4. Have a space on your website where hosts can see your images, links, topics you’re keen on, and your official bio all in one easy spot.
Trust me - this makes everything easier on you and on them! While each host will likely have you fill out a form with information like your bio, headshots, and topic, you can still help the host further by having all of your info in one place. I promise we don’t mind if you’re also linking to a page on your website as you’re filling out the form.
Quick tip for my podcast hosts: if you’re not asking guests to fill out a form… start! It will make your podcasting process easier. We use ClickUp for ours!
This is truly where a media page or media kit works so well (for both podcasting and speaking).
On your media page, you’ll want things like your bio, your social media links, and your headshots. Those are the musts! Beyond the essentials, here are some extra things to add to your media page:
- Fast facts about you (your location, how to pronounce your first name, how long you’ve been in business, what your family looks like - you in a nutshell!)
- Two options for a bio (a long version and short version)
- Topics you are experts at speaking on
- MULTIPLE headshot options (ideally wearing different colors so I can choose the ones that work with my brand colors best and create a VARIETY of graphics to promote the episode)
- Your logos or other things they may need (like if you’re an author, add book images or if you sell a product, add product images)
- Links to some of your favorite interviews, so they can get familiar with you too!
All of this is there for you in my new add-on website template for speakers. I’m calling it the speaker template, but I’ve designed it to work SO WELL for podcast guests, too! I’ve designed it to be incredibly customizable and buildable as your business grows and your needs change. You can use it with any Showit website template (whether it’s one of mine or from someone else!).
5. Share about the episode when it airs!
Share about the episode and be an advocate for their show. It’s that simple. As a host myself, I can tell you… it really stinks when the episode airs and the guest never posts or emails their audience about it. I’ve had that happen to me personally with some guests and I’ve had others that are promoting the episode just as much or even more than me!
Trust me - it makes a difference in the number of downloads and definitely will impact the relationship you have with that host. Podcasting is all about relationship building, and if your relationship with this podcast host starts with you pitching to come on their show, getting to be a guest, and then never sharing it with your audience is sure to leave a bad taste in their mouth.
If there’s a reason why you can’t share about the episode when it airs, tell them upfront. For example, as I’m recording this, my interview on the It’s About Time podcast (which is great show, by the way - Anna, the host, is amazing) aired yesterday, and I was out of town. Anna had emailed me a week before it aired, letting me know it was coming (which is a great practice as a host!) and I told her I was going to be out of the office and unplugged on the air date, but I’d share about it as soon as I was back!
A little bonus tip for Podcast hosts: Try to set your guests up well to share too! Don’t just send them a Google Drive link the day of with a graphic and hope for the best. You don’t need to give them weeks of lead time, but I would definitely recommend letting them know 3-5 days before. I’ve also started DMing my guests on the day the episode airs with a few graphics too to make it even easier to share!
Ready to be a great podcast guest?
Here’s a recap:
- Know exactly who you are talking to before your interview!
- Listen to the show BEFORE you interview (or pitch!)
- Compliment your host and their listeners!
- Have a space on your website with everything a podcast host might need!
- Share about the episode when it’s live!
Don’t forget - my new speaker template was designed to make your life easier throughout the process of pitching yourself and getting on more podcast shows!
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June 6, 2023