No doubt about it, having a guest on your podcast is a winning strategy. Not only is it a great way to mix up your format, but the knowledge and insights guests share give your audience even more valuable content when they tune in to your show. The expertise and specialist knowledge guests provide can make for very interesting conversation, not to mention a whole lot of laughs! Guests can also help bring your show to new audiences, and help both you and your guest expand your authority within your niches. So while there’s no doubt about the benefits of interviewing guests on your podcast, what is often lacking is the time it takes to source, invite and book these guests. From creating content, recording, and, of course, editing, there’s often just not enough hours in the day for all the things you want to accomplish.
But that’s where we come in! We want to help make landing that great guest just a little bit easier, so we’ve laid out the steps you need to take in an easy-to-follow guide. And to make it even easier, we’ve included user-friendly email templates for you to use to help you land that fantastic guest! The templates have been included as PDF downloads, and all that’s left for you to do is populate the email template with the relevant details. How simple is that? You’ll soon have a calendar full of great guests ready to share their knowledge and expertise with your audience.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s jump right into the 6 simple steps of booking great guests for your podcast.
1. Create a Short-List of Potential Guests
Ok, so you know you want to give your audience even greater value by including some stellar guests in your episode line-up. Great idea! Now just who are you going to invite? Well, that will really depend on your show and your audience, as well as your purpose in inviting a guest. You want to look for guests who can add value to your show and your audience. Looking for people whose audience and topic align with your niche is a great way to start building your pool of potential guests, but you can also think outside of the box. You could look at people in related topics and niches, or even polar-opposites to your show, as this can create a space for some interesting dialogue. To help you with this process, check out our post on the Best Practices for Finding a Podcast Guest to help you find some great potential guests for your show. Once you’ve got this list, you can hop along to step #2…
2. Send the Initial Invite
Now that you have a short-list of guests, it’s time to send some invites. Eek! This part can be a little daunting. First contact can be a little scary, as we don’t always know how our invite will be received. But don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from taking this next important step! Whoever you’re asking to join you will also benefit from being on your show! You also have something to offer! Keeping this perspective in mind can help make this initial contact feel less intimidating.
With regards to this initial invite, remember that your guest will probably get more than a few invitations on a daily basis, so it is important to make sure that you stand out from the “email crowd”. The best way to do that is to provide potential guests with some of those reasons why it would be beneficial for them to be on your show. This might help put the odds in your favor. Step 1 had you researching why someone would be a good fit for your show – now use that research to show potential guests that being on your show, sharing their knowledge and experience with your audience, would be of great value to them too.
Check out our template for a unique and creative way of inviting your guest here.
3. Send A Follow-Up
When sending out emails, there is always the possibility that you may not get a response. If potential guests do not respond within a few days, go ahead and check in with them again with a follow-up email. Provide them with a reminder of your previous email as it may very well have been missed, lost to cyberspace, or flagged as spam and sent to their junk folder by accident. A follow-up email can help give legitimacy to your request, and it can also create an opportunity for the recipient to ask any questions they might have. Your follow-up does not need to be too long; a short insightful sentence will get the job done nicely.
Here’s our template for a quick and easy Follow-Up email.
4. Prepare For The Interview
So you’ve done it! You’ve landed that guest you were after! Whoop whoop! Now that you’ve finalized those all-important arrangements, such as the date and time of the interview, it’s time to prepare for the actual interview. A lot goes into making an interview happen seamlessly, such as setting up properly beforehand and both you and your guest prepping for the interview questions. Sending your guest a Preparation email can help get all your proverbial ducks in a row, and help make sure that you are both on the same page when you hit record.
We’ve also created a template for the Preparation email which you can find here.
But we’re not stopping there! We’ve also made a list of some of the best ways you as the host can prepare for your upcoming interview and hit it out of the park!
Tips for Podcast Interview Preparation
#1 Do Plenty of Research
Tip #1 is do as much research as possible in preparation for your interview. Research your guest (to an appropriate level), their background in their industry, as well as their topic. This will give you a great foundation from which to ask poignant questions and will help create space for an in-depth discussion.
#2 Get Comfortable With the Content
This is particularly important if your guest is an expert or specialist in a specific field outside of your area of expertise. You need to then learn all you can about the subject, otherwise, you’ll spend the interview grasping at straws, and the audience will notice! You don’t need to become an expert yourself, you just need to understand the topic and the content to the degree where you can effectively guide the interview.
#3 Draw Up A List of Questions
Once you’ve done your research and have a good handle on the subject, it’s time to decide on the questions you’ll ask during your interview. Try and think of what your audience will benefit most from hearing, and draw up your questions with this in mind. Send the list to your guests so that they can start preparing their responses. You should also give them the opportunity to add any questions to the list.
#4 Acquire the Particulars
There are a number of other items you’ll need to help make your interview a success. In order to create eye-catching promotional content, for instance, you’ll need a photo of your guest. You’ll also need a short bio, which you can use both to introduce your guest during the interview itself, as well as in the show notes and episode details. Acquire these particulars well-before your scheduled interview to prevent any unnecessary stress.
#5 Arrive Early
On the day of your interview, whether it will be in person or over the phone, make sure you arrive with plenty of time to spare. It is unprofessional to make your guest wait while you set up, and this could even set a bad tone for the rest of the interview. But if you get to the studio early, you’ll have all the time you need to make sure the recording equipment is working as it should, that everything is set-up correctly, as well as giving you time to sort out any technical difficulties, should they occur. You’ll then be cool, calm, and collected when your guest arrives.
Want a little more info on how to prepare? Check out our 8 Best Practices for Podcast Interviews to help you nail that interview!
5. Send A Reminder
There’s just so many dates we need to keep track of and things we need to remember that, often, things just slip through the cracks. But you don’t want that to be your interview! So we recommend sending a reminder email to your guest the day before the interview will take place. This reminder can serve a number of purposes. Firstly, it will let them know that you are excited about the interview, but it can also give you both the opportunity to go over any minor details or ask any last-minute questions. You can use this reminder email to give your guests any final information they might need before the interview and review any of the preparation points they might have questions on. You can also use this email to ask for any information you might have missed previously, and make sure your guest is set at ease and ready to create some great content with you! Finally – and perhaps most importantly – it will give them (and you!) a friendly reminder not to forget about the interview!
Check out the Reminder template here.
6. Send A “Thank You”
So the interview went off without a hitch, your audience loved it, and you got some really great feedback! Congratulations! But before all of this can happen, there’s one thing you need to do first – send your guest a “Thank You” message. Not only is this great etiquette and can help strengthen your working relationships, but you can also use this as an opportunity for your guest to review the episode before it airs and request any changes, ensuring that you are both happy with the final result.
You should then also use this email as a way to thank your guest for their time and the knowledge they shared with your audience. Once the final episode is ready, make sure to provide your guest with the links to promote the episode and share it with their audience. If you’ve created quotes, audiograms, or any other promotional material for the episode, include these in your “Thank You”. Remember to give them the date that the episode will be published and list all the directories the episode will be listed on so that they can share this with their audience also.
The “Thank You” template can be found here.
Guests are a great way to diversify your content, reach new audiences, and add even more value to your show. But the process of booking guests can be time-consuming and just straight-up hard work. We really want to make that process as easy and seamless as possible, giving you more time to focus on creating that great content and making your show the best that it can possibly be. Follow these steps, make use of the templates, and before you know it, you’ll have a diary full of recording sessions with some great guests your audience will love!
Related read: How To Land A Guest Spot on a Top Podcast