Why and how to be an outstanding podcast guest

What’s your favorite podcast? Podcasts mean numerous radio-style shows with a narrow focus on almost any topic. They offer great opportunities for business people to reach new audiences as podcast guest experts. There are podcasts dedicated to the Watergate scandal all these years later (Slow Burn = awesome).  Not to mention entrepreneurship, murder, marketing, business and beer. And a few other topics too.

While most don’t necessarily have the broad reach of a radio station, podcast interviews can be an incredible tool for you to market your business. Below are several reasons why you might consider serving as a guest on a podcast.

8 benefits of serving as a podcast guest expert

  1. Introduction to a targeted and engaged audience. While the podcast audience may be small, these listeners seek out the program. They go online to listen. Or they download episodes through an app. They want to hear the host and learn from guest experts on the show. It’s a matter of quality over quantity. Often magazines with a specialized audience charge more money for their ads than those with a larger, general audience. This is because they know the value of niche marketing. The same concept applies here but with one major difference… 
  2. Free advertising. While magazines charge a premium for niche market ad space, a podcast interview is usually free. While you need to provide helpful information and shouldn’t be self-serving in an interview, a podcast is like an ad for your business. You get to talk about your background, what your business accomplishes for customers and any other important messages you may need to get out there. And it’s free.
  3. Third-party verification. The very best advertising is word-of-mouth from a third-party, whether that third-party is a friend, a stranger who left a review online or a beloved podcast host the audience thinks is worth “tuning in” for. Their verification of you being “guest-worthy” speaks volumes.
  4. Increased website traffic. When you offer helpful information to an audience that is a good match for what your business offers, they may choose to visit your site for more information. You can up the chances for a visit by offering a free download that’s useful. (See point #5 for more.)
  5. A bigger email list. You can grow your email list with the podcast’s audience by offering a free download. It could be something you already have created (like a free e-book) but they have to enter their email address to download it. Voila! Now you have a bigger email list with qualified prospects.
  6. Increased search engine optimization. The host of the podcast should create a backlink to your website and social media channels from their website. To Google and other search engines, a link from a trustworthy website back to yours is like a vote of confidence. The more backlinks from reputable sites you have, the higher the chances that your website will be returned for searches related to your business.
  7. Street cred. When you appear on a podcast, you position yourself as a thought leader, raising your street cred among your peers and prospects. You can use your appearance to boost your reputation with phrases like “As heard on ______________podcast” if it’s well-known. Other places to leverage your appearance are your bio or LinkedIn page.
  8. New content for your own audience. I’m a huge fan of leveraging content. Once you create content, don’t let the opportunity to use that content slip by! A podcast is another reason to share your expertise with your own audience. You can link to it in your blog, social media channels, website, emails, newsletters and your other communication channels. And make sure you share the love and link back and tag the podcast and/or podcast host.

While the benefits of being interviewed on a podcast are tangible, for some people it can be nerve-wracking. It may feel more comfortable than public speaking to some, but stage fright can still come into. But don’t let that stop you from benefitting from a podcast appearance. A little preparation goes a long way.

Even if you’re not nervous, you’ll get a lot more out of the podcast interview if you’re well-prepared.

When I was recently invited to be a guest on A Brighter Web podcast, I’ll admit I had stage fright. I know I know. You’d think someone who prepares others for interviews and has given many presentations would be fine. But I was nervous. I said yes anyway and followed the same rules I use to prepare clients for radio shows and speeches. Thanks to the host, Mickey Mellen, for putting me at ease and being well-prepared – it went great! Below are some tips to make sure your podcast or radio interview goes well too. 

7 helpful tips to be podcast-interview-ready

  1. Ask your host for information. Hosts are usually happy to share questions, the timing for answers and helpful guidelines. Find out if you’re allowed to share your website or offer a free download to listeners.
  2. Create speaking points for each of the questions. Remember– your answers should help others. You can’t be self-serving and just talk about your services or products. However, if the host allows, you may be able to offer a free download of something useful for listeners on your website. That’s a great way to offer value and collect email addresses for your email list.
  3. Submit your answers back to the podcast host ahead of time. Ask for feedback. You can even ask if any of your answers spark other questions so you can prepare for those too. Make sure the host knows you want to prepare well so that you can respect their time limits for the show.
  4. Practice out loud. Things that look good in ink don’t always sound good when you say them out loud. As with speech preparation, the more you practice out loud, the less tongue-tied you’ll be during the real deal.
  5. Time yourself. When you rehearse your speech, time yourself to ensure you’re staying within appropriate time limits. Your smartphone probably has a stopwatch built in so you don’t have to watch the clock.
  6. Practice ahead and often. Practice as you would for a speech. That is, over and over and over and over. You should know the speaking points so well that you don’t have to refer to your outline very much.
  7. Practice on camera. If there will be a video component for the podcast’s website, you may want to make a video of yourself practicing. This tip is really handy for giving speeches too. Recording yourself can help you recognize anything you do that you may want to change. For example, you may realize you look too serious (depending on the topic of the podcast) and can practice smiling more.
  8. Smile. Whether or not there’s a video component, one thing I learned when I did ad sales for a magazine is to smile. Whether you’re pitching a sale over the phone or recording a podcast, a genuine smile goes a long way. People can hear it in your voice. Smiles add energy and are contagious. This may sound crazy, but multiple research studies -including this one in Psychology Today – prove that smiling builds trust and confidence. So, smile during your podcast interview (even if they can’t see it).

Contact ClearWing to for help with public relations and communications strategy as well as interview prep and media training.

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2 thoughts on “Why and how to be an outstanding podcast guest”

    1. Thank you Mickey! I welcome any additional tips you might offer if you think of any. And thank you for being a gracious host and inviting me to serve as a guest for your wonderful podcast.

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