Where to Discover the Best Guests for Your Podcast
Let’s face it. It’s not possible to be an expert on every subject. That’s why you have guests appear on your podcast. They’re sharing their knowledge with your audience and offering more information than you can provide on your own.
But how do you find podcast guests? It’s easy – if you know where to look. Here are five places to discover podcast guests.
Think about the number of interactions you have during a given day or connections you’ve made from school, work, and other activities. Your network is probably a lot larger than you imagine.
Molly Beck, author of Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence, shares her strategy of reaching out to one person on the fringe of her network every weekday. This person isn’t a best friend or close family member, but maybe someone you took a class with in college or a person you met at a networking event.
Beck’s strategy applies to contacting podcast guests, too. Your network is full of interesting people, and maybe you haven’t been in touch in years. But a quick message to catch up could lead to a great interview on your podcast.
BuzzSumo and HARO
BuzzSumo is a tool to analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. You can search by a keyword or phrase, or browse the trending topics section. Once you’ve narrowed your search to the appropriate areas of focus, you can reach out to influencers within the space.
Meanwhile, HARO (formerly Help a Reporter Out) is a tool journalists use to find sources for their stories. However, as podcasts rise in popularity, more brands are using HARO to locate the perfect guest for their next episode. It’s a pretty nifty tool – simply sign up, post what you’re looking for, and people will email you. While not foolproof, you’re likely to find at least one person that fits the bill on HARO, and the tool can lead to a steady stream of engaging personalities.
Twitter and LinkedIn
Chances are you’re on Twitter all the time anyway. You may as well make some connections for your podcast. Search hashtags for relevant topics or look at who your competitors are following for some good ideas of people and brands to contact.
Twitter chats are another source of potential guests. Once you find a chat related to your topic, everyone who tweets using the chat’s hashtag will be someone that can contribute. In fact, I was invited to speak at an ASJA conference because of my answer during a Twitter chat about podcasting.
Similarly, LinkedIn is an excellent place to source guests. You can find them via LinkedIn Groups, read featured articles from the LinkedIn newsletter, or by checking the comments of updates from previous guests or other thought leaders in your industry.
Picture this: you’ve just had a fantastic, engaging, hour-long conversation with your guest. You thank them for joining the show, have them plug their social handles or website, and let them walk out the door. Unfortunately, you missed out on a significant opportunity.
Your guest is hardly the only person they know with great insights to share. For example, if your podcast is all about thriving in business and your guest is a business consultant, they have business owners in their network who can talk about the challenges and successes of starting their own company. They’re connected with event planners who can speak to the potential pitfalls of hosting an event and how to avoid them. Your guest also knows some social media wizards who can dive into that ever-changing world to ensure you and your listeners are up to speed on all platforms.
It’s a simple ask when the episode finishes recording. Tell them you enjoyed the conversation and ask if there’s anyone else they’d recommend as a guest. They’ll likely have a few names you can reach out to, and they’re usually happy to make an introduction.
Reaching Out to People and Brands You Admire
If all else fails, there’s no harm in going for the gusto. Are you a fan of a brand’s design work? Do you think a company crushes every marketing campaign it attempts? Does a CEO inspire you? Tell them about it.
People love hearing that they’re doing great work – and most of them like talking about it. Put the two together, and you have a terrific podcast guest. You can share a recent article or piece of news that you think is relevant to your potential guest (even something they may have written themselves) and share that you have a podcast that covers those types of topics. Ask if they’d like to appear on an episode and give them a rough overview of what you’d discuss. You’ll find that a substantial majority of people you contact will be receptive to the idea.
Having a strong guest can improve your podcast, but you don’t want to only record an episode. An app like Temi can help you transcribe your podcasts automatically and ensure your guest’s wisdom is reaching even more people.