What do your favorite podcasts have in common? Is it the chemistry between co-hosts? The content itself? Or perhaps the line-up of incredible guests and panelists?
Depending on the format of your podcast, the need for exciting, informative guests can be constant—especially if you publish new episodes every week. And we get it! As podcast producers ourselves, DPM knows we all want the most interesting and dynamic individuals to share with our audiences.
But consistently finding interesting expert guests for your podcast can feel intimidating or downright daunting. But don’t panic! If you invest a little time into some research and make bold requests, you’ll save the day and rake in incredible guests for your podcast.
Here’s where your next podcast guest might be hiding.
First, Know What to Look For
What makes a compelling guest anyway? Expertise is certainly a plus. But it doesn’t need to be absolutely specific to your one topic. Having an expert, however niched, can produce interesting conversations that can then be tied into the bigger picture of your mission.
And yes, someone well-spoken and well-versed in the podcast universe (or even a celebrity) is great, but sometimes these big fish are difficult to get a hold of and less likely to say yes to appearing on a show. Even if you can catch a big fish, there are only so many of them in the sea! If your podcast is successful and runs for years (dude, nice!), you’re eventually going to run out of great whites, and you’ll have to start reeling in some hammerheads.
Instead, start pursuing the big fish in small ponds. Check out lesser known experts, micro-influencers, or first timers. It can be an inventive way to gain access to great material. Plus, the enthusiasm of a newcomer can add energy to any show.
Find Podcast Guests on Social Media
We are living in an extremely connected world, so you might as well take advantage of it. Fabulous guests are hiding everywhere online. It’s time to go find them.
Places like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat are all places to connect with micro-influencers. Is there someone out there continually sharing unique and weird posts you find informative and fun? Or perhaps you follow a colleague of a colleague online whose writing inspires you every day? Either of these people might be your next guest!
Make sure your profile is up-to-date, has a call for interviewees, and prominently displays your current contact information. Spend some time on a variety of platforms and join community groups in your industry. Don’t know where to start? A simple search with keywords might reveal some perfect leads for your podcast’s guest list.
Trade Time With Other Hosts
I don’t care what you’re talking about over those airwaves, you’re probably not the only one doing it. Find other hosts with similar, complementary interests and offer up a trade: ask them to join you on your show, and offer to come on their show as a guest in exchange.
You’re not the only podcast producer who has a hard time finding guests. Plenty of other hosts would be happy to exchange ideas, talk to a fellow pro, and boost their following in the process.
Pursue Guests Within Your Org
Who do you work with? Is there anyone in your organization that might be a hidden gem waiting to be interviewed? Using people within your company is a way to boost morale, amplify your message, and share more about your company with your audience. An added bonus here is a friendly rapport between work friends will inevitably add warmth and fun to your podcast.
Don’t be afraid to look beyond your department. Say your podcast focuses on company culture. Consider all the ways this could impact different areas of your company and some of the unique perspectives you could pursue as a result. You probably already have had several HR execs on your show, so pass on your organization’s Director of Human Resources. But have you talked to any customer service experts? Or a CMO? Bring in a team member from an entirely new area to explain how your business’s internal culture affects their outward facing relationships.
Seek Your Audience’s Advice
It sounds simple, but asking your audience goes a long way. You are here to deliver material that your listeners want, right? So why not ask them for requests and interests? They probably know all kinds of cool experts you haven’t even heard of (or, if you’re really tuned in, they might be an influencer themselves and are just waiting for the chance to pitch).
You’d be surprised how helpful this can be. Hosting a podcast that proves itself to be receptive to the desires of its audience is a dynamic way to craft compelling content, show your audience you care, and turn occasional listeners into loyal subscribers.
Include a callout for potential guests at the end of your recorded show or list your contact info somewhere in your show notes. Either way works!
Grab Your Fishing Pole and Get to Work
You can’t get anything if you don’t ask for it. So, grab your pole and start looking for those big (and small) fish! Don’t be shy about saying hello and building relationships with other influencers you admire, hosts of other awesome podcasts, and your own audience.
Introduce yourself, and share your story. Tell prospective guests why your show is valuable, what the guest will get out of coming on the show, and how fun it will be to record together for an afternoon.
Is there a prospective guest with a new book out? Maybe she wants to come on and talk about it. Is someone in your audience launching the next brilliant business idea in your industry? You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
Like any good fisherman knows, sometimes you have to toss your line into the water more than once before you catch anything. Make a tracking sheet that serves as a wish list of ideal guests, and add new names to it continuously. Each week, make an effort to do something to build a better relationship with each and every person on the guest list. Some of them will be receptive, a few of them won’t, but with a consistent effort, eventually, you’ll get some nibbles. And then a bite. And then you’ll hook your next podcast guest.