Being a Guest on Large Podcast Shows

“I want to be on the big podcast shows!”

That comment is something we hear a lot working in the podcast industry. In theory there is nothing wrong with that goal, in fact, it almost seems like the obvious strategy. However, years of booking podcast interviews for hundreds of expert guests has taught us that those who see the best results do not necessarily focus their energy on the “big shows”.

There is a common misconception when people first start podcast guesting. They tend to look at it purely from a monetary returns aspect, simply seeing it as another marketing strategy to achieve sales, win new customers, sell more books, drive more traffic to the website, etc, etc. They want results and quick ROI. 

Now of course, these things are important, there has to be a business aspect to it.  After all, generally speaking, you don’t decide to start podcast guesting because you have spare time to kill. 

However, in addition to thinking about the marketing benefits of podcasting, there are other important factors that should be considered. They will impact your success significantly. 

Pay or not to pay, that is the question.

Firstly, let us address those “big shows”. There is a simple way to get on them if your heart so desires. Pay!

Recently, some of the more popular podcasts have started charging for guest interviews (we’re talking 4-figure sums). Now in some ways, we can say “good for them”. After all, they have worked hard to get to the point of such popularity that they can charge. 

However, on the other hand, this is kind of a shame. The unique world of podcasting has always been less about commercialism and more about a community. Its a source for quality information that shouldn’t really be determined by profit or those who can afford the price-tag. John Smith might be the more experienced expert and better interviewee, but Jane Doe can afford the $2000 fee to be featured on the show. The listener looses out ultimately.

The podcast world has always worked generally with the concept of give-freely, receive-freely, to the benefit of all - host, guest and listener.  

So is it worth paying the price to be on a so-called “big show”? For some, maybe. If there is a particular show that has your exact target audience type, with big listener numbers and a guaranteed high download figure, then it might be worth the investment if you have the money in your marketing budget. 

But can you be successful with podcast guesting and achieve good results by not being featured on those super big shows? Absolutely! 

The traditional way

If you can't afford, or simply don’t want to pay thousands of dollars to do a 45-minute interview, then you can go the more traditional route - getting invited onto shows for free. 

This works in 2-ways. A kind of, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, type of arrangement.

Firstly, a show host accepts you for an interview. They provide the platform of an established show and an engaged audience to showcase your expertise, service, book, etc. The host edits and airs the episode, with the final result hopefully being a great interview that can be downloaded for months/years to come, making it evergreen content. Additionally, its content can be re-purposed for posting across your website and multiple social media platforms. 

On the other hand, you as the guest, who graciously accepts the invite, will give freely of your knowledge, providing valuable insights on your expertise, deliver useful information, and tell entertaining experiences and stories relevant to the topic being discussed. 

This understanding is a win-win scenario, as both parties benefit and a great listener experience is delivered to the audience.

Think community before commercialism

This give-freely, receive-freely setup means that hosts are more selective about the type of guest they will have on their show. They choose interview topics and content motivated purely by what they think their loyal listeners will enjoy and find of interest. This is good for the guest as this quality-control, in turn, develops a loyal and engaged audience, one that trusts the host and those they choose to invite for interviews.

A guest who is less concerned about the “big shows” and recognizes the value in being featured on a wide variety of good-quality podcasts, will see great results. If they combine that attitude with a community mindset, seeing it as a way to extend their reach, contribute to a global community, and pay-it-forward, they will do well!

And it gets better. As the troops on the ground in the podcasting interview world, we have seen again and again, that this approach brings results. It seems to automatically, organically, bring you the returns you originally wanted to achieve - more customers, more sales etc. It’s a clever approach. For example, when was the last time you went to a showroom to buy a product of reasonable value, a car, a sofa, or even a new iPad? What type of salesman did you encounter? The pushy type, that slightly hypo fella, who talks too much and listens too little? Or the guy who was friendly, relaxed, and informative? Who do you trust more, who would you go back to, which would you be more prone to buy from? 

It’s the same with podcast guests!

As an expert being interviewed, let your knowledge do the talking and master the art of not selling! When it comes to the types of shows you want to be on, quality is essential, but the size isn’t necessarily the key to your success.

Focus on giving generously of your knowledge and experience to a wide variety of audiences. For instance, your target audience (or ideal client profile) maybe CEO’s. Business, entrepreneurial and leadership podcasts might be the obviously choice. But keep in mind that CEO’s might also be listening to other types of podcasts, lets say, that self-improvement show that helps them with their mindfulness, or that relationship podcast that reminds them of the importance of balance between family and work. You get the idea. The fact is, people listen to all types of podcast shows, sometimes to be educated on a subject, and other times just because they enjoy a certain topic. So be open to trying different categories of shows if you have different angles in your message and expertise that you can adapt. In doing so, you will reach more people, your reputation will continue to be strengthened and listeners will automatically respect you as a subject-authority. They’ll trust you, and will be far more likely post-interview, to visit your website and follow you on social media…the beginning of good things.

Check out this article if you would like to learn more about the value of podcast guesting