Who Is the Right Podcast Guest? The No Hype Guide You Need To Read Now

We have been producing podcasts for a long time now, with over 530 episodes and counting in the past couple of years. Over that period of time, we have invited many guests from diverse industries to our shows and have succeeded in having meaningful discussions with them that brought immense value not just to our professional as well as personal growth, but more importantly, to our listeners as well. If your goal is to become a sought after podcast guest, or even an effective, binge-listen worthy podcast host, we are sharing five major pro tips for you that will definitely help up your game in the podcasting arena.


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Who Is the Right Podcast Guest? The No Hype Guide You Need To Read Now

We’ve got a great question from one of our podcasters that I thought I would go because I think it serves those who are speakers, authors, entrepreneurs who want to guest on podcasts, not just be a podcast host. I thought this one was more universal and I wanted to make sure that all of you out there have this information. This is some insider tactics and tips and things that you may not have heard. “How do you get to be a guest on a podcast?” I did this quite a few years ago. I used the service. Many people do use a service. There are multiples out there. Contact me if you’re interested and I’m happy to share the ones that I recommend. Using a service is great because they have a process. They create a one sheet for you, they create a pitch letter and there’s a system for doing that, but it’s also a little less personal.

I can say we’ve never used a service on any of our three podcasts to bring us guests. As the host, we’ve never used that to get our guests on there. I personally go out there and invite people to be guests or people send me emails, messages, LinkedIn requests to do it. We’ve done over 530 episodes on our 3D print podcast and I’ve never had to worry about it. I’ve never run out of guests because enough come to me and enough I seek out because I happened to cross them, met them somewhere or their name came up in an article and I was interested. I like to handle it more personally because I care about the relevance to my audience as a host. Many hosts are the same way.

Podcast Host: We’re in a new age of podcasting and there is a lot of pay for play going on.


I’m bringing it to you from this host perspective so that you can understand the good things that you need to do and what you need to do to make sure that you are being as attractive as possible to them. That’s this perspective that I’m bringing. The first thing that I want you to understand is that we’re in a new age of podcasting and there is a lot of pay for play going on. That may not be apparent. I guarantee you many people are not talking about that, but we know that it happens. There are these guest placement services. A couple of them are highly associated and or subsidized in a way by big podcast groups and/or podcast hosts. What that means is that they have an investment into taking the people that come through the guest placement agency onto their podcast. They’re invested in that.

There’s also an affiliate kickback that happens from some of the guest placement service companies that happens to the host. We don’t do that on any of our shows. I don’t like it. It’s not authentic and it’s not in keeping with what is it because as getting to be a guest, you’re paying them money to place you on the right shows for you not pay so that you’re subsidizing them searching for guests. I don’t like that process, but it happens. You’re competing against that if you’re pushing your one sheet out there and it’s going out there. You’re competing against some of these people who are paying to be on shows. They’re not paying the host may be directly, but they’re paying these service companies who are paying the host. In the end, you’re paying for your placement. You should know that there is a pay for play going on and you are competing against that.

However, I find that’s on the shows that might have millions of listeners. They might have a lot of listeners, but they don’t necessarily have the highest conversion rate for you. They’re making the host a lot of money because there are ads on there and there are millions of listeners, but as a guest, you want to make sure their audience is dialed in and invested in it and the larger the audience, the less kickback that happens and click through that you would expect. The less people will go out and seek you and find you as the guest on there and go out and contact you. That’s the residual value you want to have. You want them to find you, you want them to do business with you. Finding the smaller podcasts, the ones with good audiences, the ones in the growth mode, the ones where the hosts are still in that management motivate themselves are better for you in terms of returning value to you as long as there’s a good relevant match.

That’s my second item, being aware that there’s pay per play and number two that you need to do your research, actually listen to the show. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had guests on and they’ve never listened to my show. It does a disservice because then they go on their tangents or they go off on the way that they want to present themselves and I’m like, “That’s not what’s best for the listeners.” I’m good about it as a host because I’ve been doing this long enough to reel them in and force them to be relevant, but at the same time, I’m educating them on my show. To me, it’s a waste of their time more than it is a waste of mine because I can structure a show that is great for my audience. I can make that happen. Plus, I edit my show, so I can cut out anything I don’t want, and I also have the option not to air that episode, but it’s likely a waste of your time as the guest if you have not done your homework if you have not done your research. That’s my second recommendation to you.

If you want to be more attractive, make sure you’ve listened to their show and you know about it. You’ve got to be careful because some of those have surprises all the way at the end. I’ve had a few shows who does this fast five and they ask you these five rapid fire questions and you’ve got to be prepared. I’ve had another that asked me some random questions about weird things like, “What would I do if I had a magic wand?” That was my favorite person, Abby Levine. Knowing that they asked these questions, you can be more prepared for it. I was more prepared for that answer. These are some of the kinds of things that you really want to be aware of and doing that is great. Have an angle because you now have researched the show, you know what they’re like. You know what interests the host. You have a sense of who their audience is. You know that they’re a right fit for you. Have a relevant and customized angle. This is where one sheet just doesn’t fit the bill. This is why I’m not a huge fan of using placement agencies because it gives me a sense somebody’s good, like they have a one sheet and I definitely want to see it.

[Tweet “Be brilliantly you. Be the expert that you are.”]

I want to know they’re professional enough and I want to know some statistics about them and I want to have stuff that I can do some due diligence on and look up. They say they were featured in Inc. or they say they were featured in Forbes. I can go look that up and read that article and go, “They’re pretty interesting,” so it helps me do my background. That’s important, but going beyond that and saying, “I typically talk about innovation and disruptive technology. I talk about that, but you are a podcast that’s about educators and I understand that and that’s the major part of your audience that you’re attracting. Let me talk about how that fits into education, specifically early education.” That’s what we want to see here is that customized message you’re offering to give them something special, which leads me to my number four thing that I want you to do.

If you do the same thing, if you follow sound bites, if you say the same thing on every single show, if you go on shows that I’ll ask you the same set of prescribed questions, then what happens is that you end up in this place where you are duplicating content and it’s hurting everybody all around it. I’m going to talk about this on the content side and from a personality perspective of what that makes you look like and I want to talk about it on the technical side. From the personality side, it sounds boring. I’m sick of hearing the same thing. You say the same thing every time. You tell the same story every time. I have heard people do that and I understand that some people are shy, it makes them comfortable to have rehearsed this, to be practiced about it, but it doesn’t make for a great show and I can guarantee you won’t get the results that you want out of it as guesting.

They know when it feels that way. Definitely don’t write anything down. Don’t be that rehearsed, be off the cuff, be flexible, really try to answer the questions different every time. I can tell you I’ve given hundreds of interviews and I have never answered the questions the same way twice even if they are the exact same questions because I didn’t want to be that person who answers it that same way. Embody that. Be brilliantly you. Be the expert that you are and answer it with the aspect saying, “I know you’re asking me this and the pat answer is usually that, but here’s something more. I’m going to keep you more. Be a little bit deeper on it.” That’s really one of the great ways to do that.

On the technical side of that, remember that being on podcasts is supposed to help you. If you’re being a guest on there, it’s supposed to help you and it’s helping the podcast host and their website and what they’re doing. All of that is this back linking and Google ranking and search engine optimization thing that’s going on there and you want all of that to tie together. Here’s what happens. If you say the same exact thing the same way on every single show, you’ve now duplicated content. Not only have you hurt yourself because that baffling to you isn’t doing much good, but you’ve heard every single one of those podcast hosts because you gave them the exact same content across it and Google’s going to devalue all of that. It is of no service for you to do those kinds of pat answers, rehearsed answers, and say the same thing on every show.

Podcast Host: Having a platform is the way to get the media to write about you and podcast hosts are media. Some of them are writers, some of them are blogger.


Definitely don’t be that person because if I’m researching you and a good host or a host that has a vetting group, whether it’s a virtual assistant or whatever, that’s usually what you do is I’ll go check them out. I’ll listen to them on a couple of shows and if I hear them say this exact same thing all the time and it’s a pitch, they’re not going to get invited in. I see guys like that. That’s the fifth thing that I want to head into is that the last thing that makes you attractive to a host is to have an authoritative platform. That means you should have your own show, you should have a book, you should be a speaker, you should have a website that is of good value. I talk about this all the time when I give speeches all over the place. I talk about having a platform is the way to get the media to write about you and podcast host are media. Some of them are writers, some of them are bloggers and they do more than that. They came out of that. Some of them are TV interviews and you’re doing videos.

Think of them like the media, and the first thing I do as an Inc. columnist when someone sends me a pitch is I go to their website. I Google their name, I click on their website, I checked them out, and I go, “Is this a sales site? Is this a platform site? Do they have lots of media coverage? Have they been in lots of press?” I’m going to check that out. I’m going to look at that. What do people say about them? That’s your overall platform, but I also want to make sure that it’s going to serve me well. If you’re a smart podcast host and if you’re coming out of the digital marketing world, which many of them do, we’re going to also do a little background check on your website, on the ranking of it. How powerful is it? Are you valuable to my audience? Are you valuable to me from a Google standpoint, from a technical standpoint, from a search engine backlink standpoint? There’s some of that value and then also its name recognition and industry like, “Do people know you? Do I want to be associated with you?” if you have not yet established your authoritative platform, it’s a whole lot harder to get people to agree to have you on as a guest.

If you haven’t launched your book yet and you have no website and you have nothing else going for you, that makes it a lot, lot harder to be that person that you want to be and be that authority that makes you a great guest. Establishing authority platform is the number one way you can do that. Make sure you do that on a website first. Make sure you have that website in place. You have to have a home. It’s an address. Many of us don’t have an office. I don’t have a real address. My real address is on the internet and that’s where people are going to look me up. They’re going to find me, they’re going to see that I’ve done all these writings, I’ve been on all these shows, I’ve done all these things and they’re like, “My show being associated with that is going to be valuable even if I’ve never heard of her before.”

[Tweet “If you say the same exact thing the same way on every single show, you’ve now duplicated content.”]

That’s it that I wanted to go. We have a question, “Does social media platform play a part in that authority?” Social is a part of it but for many people who are doing the business side of podcasting and for many companies, that is a business of podcasting because you are content generating. Social is only one aspect of that. I want to know that you can talk out on social and you want to drive and you’re going to drive traffic to me from that standpoint, but it’s not the only factor. Because I do want to, at the end of the day, give my site value, give my blog value, give myself a Google ranking. As long as you have a social map platform plus if your social authority is way higher than your web authority, that’s probably still okay. The fact that you have both, that’s best. I hope that answered your question.

This is Feed Your Brand off the cuff because we’ve been so busy getting some backend things happening on Brandcasters that we haven’t had time to record episodes. I wanted to quickly come on because we had some urgent information that’s coming up and I promise you some new episodes are going to be coming out. We’ve got to sit down and do some recording here. Until next time. Thank you all for joining.

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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