In an increasingly crowded digital space, entrepreneurs are turning to podcasts more than ever before as a way to market themselves and connect with their audience. Podcasts are a great way to increase visibility, raise brand awareness, and encourage engagement. Our friend Charles Weinraub, host of the Handsome Homebuyer podcast and owner of Mandalay Holdings Inc, says that podcasts, “are an inexpensive way to build powerful connections with your guest and audience. Not to mention providing hours of useful content that can be chopped up me repurposed.”
From a listener’s point of view, they are a great way to stay up on industry news and have the added bonus of being easy to consume on-the-go.
As someone who is notoriously camera shy, the idea of an audio recording appealed to me. Funny enough, my first podcast appearance was on a show that records and shares their episodes on video as well, but thankfully I didn’t know that going into the recording. I’ve learned a lot from the shows I’ve been interviewed on and I wanted to share those tips with you for when you’re ready to lend your voice and expertise to your favorite show.
Tip #1 | Research
Start by making a list of podcasts that your customers and prospects would listen. Pick a couple to start and do some research. Listen to the shows, follow their social media profiles, and look into both the host(s) and their former guests. Get a feel for their followers by reading reviews of the podcast as well as comments on their social media posts. Still interested in making an appearance? Get comfortable with their format, sense of humor, and energy. Make sure that their values, target markets, and content relate to your business and who you are as a professional.
Tip #2 | Prepare
If you haven’t already, start interacting with them via social media, email, traditional networking groups, or private or invitation-only social networking apps like Mighty Networks or Clubhouse. Propose a coffee chat and then make your pitch! Be sure to mention what you can offer their audience and be as specific as possible to let them know you’re already a listener.
Not sure what to say? Make a brief, bulleted list of five things you definitely want to mention on the episode and select the one that would be the most relevant to their audience. This will let them know that you’re not just pushing yourself and your services. Keep that list and bring it to the recording; not only will it keep you on task, but it can even save you during a lull in the conversation.
Tip #3 | Breathe + Have Fun with it
If you’re like me, this is important. Nerves can get the best of us, but most podcast appearances are just professional conversations like you have all the time, only this one will be recorded and shared! Speak slowly and clearly — and don’t forget to have some fun. Take your lead from your host and feed off of their energy.
As a general rule, people enjoy hearing the story of how your business came to be (just ask the audience of NPR’s wildly successful podcast, How I Built This hosted by Guy Raz). We all have a story and it’s generally easy for us to tell because it’s something we know so well. Be honest, candid, and authentic. Give the audience access to who you are at your core, how you got to where you are, and what your expertise is. Share anecdotes of how you’ve helped people just like them. Which brings me to my next point…
Tip #4 | Mind Your Manners
While I encourage you to be honest, this is still a professional conversation. Err on the side of discretion. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want shared with your top client, your biggest competitor, or your parents. Be polite. Compliment your host and make sure to thank them as well as any sponsors for having you as a guest on the podcast. Much like being a guest in someone’s home, it’s the polite and entertaining people who get invited back.
Tip #5 | Hype it up!
The onus of promotion does not lie solely on your host. If you want to get the most marketing mileage out of your interview, it would behoove you to spread the word on your end as well. Posting in real time during the recording and while you’re at the studio (if it’s an on-site appearance) is a great way to generate buzz.
Have an understanding of when the podcast will drop and adjust your social media calendar to accommodate promotion of the episode. Ask your host if they have digital assets that are ready to share via email, social media, and any other promotional platform. Offer a digital file of your brand’s logo to be added to any marketing materials they might prepare. If your host doesn’t have anything, create something! Share it with your personal and professional networks and encourage them to share the episode as well.
If a recording is available to you, create teaser clips that you can post before the release. After it drops, feature images, videos, and graphic quotes in your feeds — and don’t forget to let your audience know how and where they can listen to the episode!
Tip #6 | Cross PR
Cross promote and support the podcast and host(s). Likes, comments, etc.
There is a lot of time and effort that goes into creating a podcast. Oftentimes the interview comes at no cost you, so a nice way to repay your host is by continuing to promote and support the podcast with likes, comments, shares, and mentions. A podcast interview should be a win-win, adding value for all parties involved.
If you’re hesitant to be a guest on someone’s show, I encourage you to try it. It can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone! Who knows, you may even love it so much that you wind up hosting your own podcast someday.