Every time you turn around, someone is starting a podcast. Your friends are starting one, every celebrity has one, even your competitors have their own.
It’s natural to find yourself wondering if all the hype is worth it.
Turns out, it is.
Although podcasting started in early 2000s, it didn’t hit its full stride until the last few years. And now, podcasting is now one of the fastest growing content types in the world. There are 850,000 active podcasts (shows, not episodes) that anyone can download. They also have an audience larger than you may think—roughly half of all U.S. citizens 12+ listen to podcasts.
And, most importantly for marketers and businessowners, more than half of podcast listeners say that they’re at least somewhat more likely to buy something after hearing their advertisement on a podcast.
That’s why businesses are advertising on popular podcasts more than ever.
It’s also why businesses are starting podcasts of their own.
But starting a new podcast is hard, and lots of rookies face a lot of the same challenges. Production, editing, and content ideation is harder than people think.
But for most businesses who do an interview-style show, there’s an even bigger challenge: getting people on their podcast.
It’s a problem that Jason Portnoy, the Founder of JPORT Media, talked about in his recent session at the DigitalMarketer Certified Partner Training Day in November. This was a problem that Jason used to have too, and now podcasting is the most powerful tool that he uses to grow his business.
He has spent a LOT of time honing his podcast, Perfectly Mentored, to help his business build authority and drive more customer interest. And his strategy for finding the right guests and then getting them to sit down for an interview has been critical to his success.
So here are a few tips he walked us through that will help you get people on your podcast too.
Finding the Podcast Guests That You Want
What makes for a good podcast guest?
That’s going to very much depend on your podcast.
You want to find people who will resonate with your audience, and drive toward your podcast’s main goal, whatever that may be.
For Jason, whether he’s talking to a business tycoon and marketing expert, or a potential customer, they all lead back to the same result: getting more clients.
Big names make for great podcast guests. They’re flashy, eye-catching, and make people want to listen.
But if your goal is to have a guest on every episode that’s more famous and successful than the one before, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The not-so-famous podcast guests can be just as good as the big names. And, sometimes, they can be even better for your business, even if they don’t attract as many new listeners as the big names.
That’s because you can use that podcast with that person to create a relationship, whether it be transitioning that person into a client, or creating a mutually beneficial strategic relationship. It’s a strategy that helps you make content and find qualified leads. Which is something that the big names don’t necessarily offer.
But you don’t even have to find someone that meets all of that criteria. Truthfully, all that really makes a good podcast guest is someone who actually has something interesting to offer. Someone that your audience can actually learn something from.
Because, just like all forms of content, your podcast needs to provide value.
So, if there was any way to summarize it, don’t be too picky with who you let be on your podcast. And, at the same time, don’t let just anyone on it either. It can be a fine line to navigate, but one that will get exponentially easier over time.
How to Get Your Guests On
Finding a good podcast guest is only half the battle. The second part is actually getting them to agree to coming on. And the difficulty of that really depends on who you’re asking…
Because the big names are going to (probably) be a lot harder to get.
But it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you may think. Because, at the end of the day, you have to do the same thing to get the famous podcast guests on as you do to get loyal customers on.
You just have to ask.
It may seem like an obvious answer, but it really is as simple as that. And, according to Jason, you’d be surprised how many people don’t even get that far.
That’s mainly because the big names are intimidating. People think those super qualified, world-famous professionals will never agree to come on their podcast. Because of that, lots of people never ask in the first place.
It was a mental hurdle Jason had to overcome when he was starting his podcast. And now, he’s had names on like Ryan Deiss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Daymond John.
The worst thing that they can say is no. And, truth be told, that may be the answer that you get at first. But persistence is key, as well as meeting their demands when they finally come around to say yes.
So, what does that usually entail? Flexibility and credibility.
As you can probably guess, business tycoons and esteemed marketing professionals are busy people. It may take a little bit to find a time that works for them to come on your podcast, and you may only have 15–20 minutes with them to get the content that you’re looking for. Those are hurdles that you are going to have to overcome, but that’s why flexibility is key.
Of course, that’s assuming you can get them to agree to talk in the first place. And that’s where the second part comes in…
If you’re not a famous, multi-million-dollar business owner, then the big names may not know who you are. And, because they also want a beneficial outcome from doing your podcast, you may need to establish some credibility before they’ll agree to come on.
Asking Daymond John to be your first ever podcast guest probably isn’t going to be a winning strategy. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say, unless you have a personal relationship with a big name like him, they’re all likely going to say no.
So you need to do a lot of the foundational work first. You need to get those lesser-known guests on, build up a catalog of episodes, get some experience under your belt, and begin to build a listening audience.
Then, once you have all of that, you can attempt to target the bigger names that will really help your podcast’s popularity grow.
And all you really need is one or two of those big names to agree. Assuming they went well and those episodes get a lot of traffic, you will have established all of the credibility you need to convince others that being on your podcast is worth their time.
Then all you have to do is sit back, have insightful conversations, and watch your business grow.
All because you started a podcast, and all because you had the courage to take a chance and ask someone to come on.
If you can do all of this, your podcast will become one of the most powerful tools in your business toolbox.