How To Be a Podcast Guest

Guest podcasting is the new guest blogging, but no one is taking it seriously enough. If you actually want to get results from it, you have to treat it like a performance.

How To Be a Podcast Guest

a thread by @coreyhainesco, make sure to follow him.

Here's how to be the best podcast interview on every podcast you go on.

Think: What makes a great podcast interview?

When you listen to other interviews, what makes a guest really stand out? What makes you go follow them, subscribe to their newsletter, or buy their product?

Let's reverse-engineer it.

These are the commonalities of the best interviews:

  • Upbeat, energetic, and entertaining
  • Knowledgable, demonstrates expertise, and gives specific advice
  • Great storytellers with personal experiences, anecdotes, and examples
  • Professional grade audio/video quality

ENERGY is the first fundamental to smashing your podcast interview.

Most podcasts are audio-only, which means that you only have one way to bring energy: Your voice.

Smile a lot, incorporate voice inflections, annunciate clearly, & use a lot of gestures to sound more upbeat.

As the person being interviewed, it's entirely up to you to make it a podcast worth listening to or not.

Treat it for what it is: A PERFORMANCE.

You have to fight to keep listeners' attention through the whole interview.

Bring your A-game like a musician or comedian would.

You can have all the energy in the world but you still need to know what you're talking about.

DON'T WING IT. Come prepared.

Even if you do know what you're talking about, you'll probably still fumble your words and blabber on and on unless you develop talking points.

Ahead of your interview, ask the host:

  • Who's the listener?
  • What have been some of the more popular episodes you've done?
  • What topics are we going to cover? (they might even send you specific questions they'll ask)

Listen to one or two episodes ahead of time so you get a feel for the host and know what to expect.

If you listen to the more popular episodes, you may even be able to pick out why it was exceptional and how you can replicate that.

Based on the topics/questions sent ahead of time, you can develop talking points that really showcase your knowledge and expertise.

e.g. @RamliJohn sent me some questions ahead of recording the Product-Led Podcast. I wrote down bullet points so I could thoroughly answer.

What if they don't send topics/questions ahead of time?

Create a public list of topics you like to talk about.

Here's a simple list I have on my personal site that a lot of podcasters have told me was helpful.

Create a "podcast interview cheatsheet" for yourself.

Your cheatsheet should have 3 things:

  1. Life background
  2. Outline of talking points
  3. How people can take action

I'll add these on top of what @david_perell recommends:

  • 2 minute script for "tell me about yourself" that summarizes how you got to where you are today
  • Principles and values you live by
  • Books, podcasts, & resources you recommend
If you plan to go on podcasts, make a two-page sheet with your life background. Things to add:

• Favorite stories
• Turning points in your life
• Weird hobbies and habits
• Projects you’re proud of
• Your spiciest hot takes

Do it, and your interviews will be much better. – @david_perell

Expand on your talking points with bullet points & concrete examples.

Don't create scripts, create an outline.

Give yourself starting points that you can easily recall.

This way you'll still be conversational instead of sounding rehearsed or monotone.

For example ↓

At the end of the interview, it's common for the host to ask "Where can people find you?".

This is your chance to make it worth your while.

The more specific you can get, the better.

Create a unique coupon code, send them to a lead magnet, or have them contact you directly.

Recently I've been experimenting with giving out coupon codes on podcast interviews I do and it's been one of the best performing campaigns I've done.

Because each code is unique, I can see exactly how many @SwipeFilesco members came from each podcast appearance I made.

Keeping that same theme of a performance: Invest in some quality hardware.

Professional grade audio/video is super affordable these days and will 10x the listening experience.

BUY A MIC. The ATR2100x is only ~$100 and you'll sound like a pro.

The Logitech C920 is ~$70 and sits right on top of your monitor.

The webcam on your laptop is low-quality and probably won't be at eye-level.

The C920 won't make you look like a professional YouTuber, but you won't look like you're in a dungeon either.

If you want to take your audio/video another step up without breaking the bank, invest in a mic arm and some lighting.

Any mic arm will do. The Lume Cube sticks to the back of your monitor.

@wistia also created the Soapbox Station just for this.

The TLDR version:

  • Be lively and energetic; don't be monotone and boring
  • Come prepared with talking points and a cheatsheet for yourself; don't wing it and stumble over your words
  • Tell stories and give examples; don't say "it depends"
  • Buy a mic and camera!

I always feel silly saying this but if you enjoyed this thread, hit that follow button for more on marketing, growth, and persuasion.

I also send an occasional newsletter on cutting edge, comprehensive, and sometimes even crazy marketing ideas: https://www.swipefiles.com/

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