In this article, I want to share the areas that will yield the best return…
How to Find a Good Podcast Guest
As podcasters, we are constantly looking for new guests with new stories. But finding new talent can be a challenge. Once you’ve tapped out your immediate circle of friends, acquaintances and industry people, what do you do to begin filling the guest chair for each episode?
Here are some of the ways I go about finding guests for my podcasts.
There’s no substitute for research
If you want good quality guests – and let’s face it, if you’re reading this you obviously do – then there is no substitute for good old fashioned research. Take a look at your upcoming podcast episode topic list then jump on google and start researching the ‘experts’ within the topic areas you want to discuss. Check out their websites, their social profiles, read some articles and, if possible, listen to other podcasts they’ve appeared on. Once you have an idea of who you’re looking for, it will make reaching out to them a whole lot easier.
One of my biggest sources for finding good quality guests for my podcast is LinkedIn. By using the Advanced Search feature, I was able to narrow down the people I was looking for and then send them a well worded message. Contacting people directly through LinkedIn gave me around a 90% success rate, whether or not I was directly connected with them.
Reach out to your business networks
We are the sum of the amazing people we know, so tap into that resource and put a call out. Be very specific with what you are looking for, but don’t be afraid to use your social groups. I’ve found that people in general get a buzz out of helping you connect with others. I can’t count the times I’ve received a “Oh I know such-and-such, I’ll connect you, I’m sure they’d love to chat.”
This one was my secret weapon. I’d put a call out in Source Bottle about every 3 months and I would be inundated with enough quality candidates for several episodes. If you don’t know what Source Bottle is, it’s basically a Public Relations call out site that matches journalists (or bloggers, podcasters etc) with industry experts willing to offer commentary. It’s free to list your call out, just be prepared to wade through a lot of enquiries. Google them and check it out – it really is a guest finding dream.
Last but not least, I would always ask my guests at the end of the interview if they knew of anyone else they thought would be a good fit for the show. It doesn’t always reap additional guests but the ones it does have always been good quality.
The big key to remember is to be organised and forward-plan your guest list. If you are going after ‘big fish’, you may have to juggle calendars for months to get a time slot that works for the both of you, so you need to make sure you have enough content to fill your episode while you hunt down the big names.
By using some of the techniques I’ve shared above, you’ll quickly find your interview calendar is always full and your quality of guests (and by extension, your podcast) will reflect the work you put in.
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