Podcast Guest Swapping: Unleash The Power Of Audience Sharing

Growing an audience and finding a steady stream of guests are two of the biggest challenges every podcaster has, especially for those who are just starting. They may seem to be unrelated problems at first, but what if you could hit these two birds with one stone? Enter podcast guest swapping – the power move that will help you unleash the power of audience sharing. In this episode of Feed Your Brand, Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard share their power moves in negotiating podcast guest swaps with other podcasters in your niche and using that as an opportunity to grow your audience. If you’re just starting out and you don’t have your first move yet, better tune in to this. Your first power move is right here.

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Podcast Guest Swapping: Unleash The Power Of Audience Sharing

In this episode, we’re going to talk about Podcast Guest Swapping: Unleash the Power of Audience Sharing. I’ll tell you if you have a podcast where you interview other people or have discussions with other people with guests of any kind whether it’s every episode or the occasional episode, you want to pay attention to this topic because you’re going to learn a lot about the power. It is quite something. Tracy, in my opinion, is the authority on this subject having done over 3,000 interviews. You’re a hyper-user of an AI tool that matches you up with guests. It’s not to reveal too much but this is cool stuff. There may be some things you’re all surprised to learn.

Here’s the thing. Podcast guesting is difficult. If you don’t have a podcast show or never had one, you don’t understand this podcast thing from the guest perspective and us podcast hosts know that. We know you don’t get it yet. This is the easy thing. Our good friend over at PodMatch, the Founder and Creator of it, Alex Sanfilippo, said this to me. “When it’s easy for someone to pick a guest who’s already been a podcaster because they understand intimately what us podcast hosts are struggling with.”

Audience growth, how we want to converse on there, and the fact that we don’t want to have a lot of selling, they get it, and because they get it they’re easier to select as a podcast guest. That’s one thing that happens but here’s what I know. If I swap shows, I go on your show, you go on my show and we have the same audience, we’re both going to grow. It is not a win-lose proposition. It is a win-win proposition. Tom, why is that? What’s the stat that makes that so powerful?

You said the same audience and I want to make it clear to our readers. You don’t have the same exact audience, subscribers, or listeners, but you have the same profile audience or target audience. It’s likely that you have compatible audiences and that’s important. What we know about podcast listeners is they continue to subscribe and listen to more and more different podcasts on a weekly basis.

The stat was 6 to 7. It’s now up to 7 to 8 on average shows each listener listens to again and again every week. Just because you have listeners and you want them to be loyal to you doesn’t mean you don’t want to share your audience with other shows. You’re not going to lose listeners. Some of them are also going to listen to that other show and more importantly, some of their listeners are going to come and listen to your show. That’s why guest swaps are so powerful.

 

FYB | Podcast Guest Swapping

 

Also, it goes up one level. Since you’re the person who introduced me to that great podcast, I still want to say subscribe to you because I’m afraid you might introduce somebody new that I don’t know yet either because it was such a good fit. It does have a compounding effect on audience growth. More importantly, the other side of this is that when I am sharing my audience, those are all podcast listeners.

When I invite a guest who’s an author or I invited guest who’s a TikTok star, that’s great. I’m hoping to expand and get some TikTok people, but how much percentage of that audience is a podcast listener? If I go on someone else podcast and they are a podcast host and they come on mine, chances are good the large majority of their audience on social media and everywhere that they go is a podcast listener. I have a higher percentage opportunity to grow my show from guest swapping than I do from inviting any other guest on my show.

We get bombarded with guest requests by PR agencies and all sorts of promoters who are trying to get someone who’s an author who has a book to go on every podcast. We know from experience a lot of times those guests are very formulaic. They say the same thing over and over and it’s not going to be a unique experience for your listeners anything different than what it was on someone else’s show. Again, that shows one of the differences between a guest who is a podcast host or a podcaster is they get it. They understand the benefits for each of you and know how to help make it something a little different on your show than they did on the other last five shows they were on.

Let’s talk about some high-power ways to do guess swapping. First things first. If you’re new to your niche or if your podcast is new, the most important thing you can do is reach out to the other podcasters in your niche. You may not realize this yet because you’re new to it but the podcast community is so collaborative. If there’s a new kid on the block, we want to help them. We want to pull them up because we know how hard it was to be that new podcaster.

Invite the guys and girls you want to imitate. The ones you want to be, invite them to your show. That is a power move. They will not take that wrong. You say, “You’re the OG in the industry. I absolutely love your show. You inspired me to start mine. Would you be willing to come on my show?” Chances are good they’re going to come on your show. They’re going to talk with you. They’re going to like you and they’re going to invite you back.

Now, you’ve got double growth. We did this early on in The Binge Factor. I had Pat Flynn, the Godfather of Podcasting on the show. He doesn’t invite anyone on a show that doesn’t pay. You have to pay to be on his show nowadays. Sure enough, at the end of the conversation, he’s like, “Let me get you scheduled on my show.”

We got what we wanted out of it, and we couldn’t afford to pay for it in the early days of our business but we were able to make that swap happen. Now, it is still one of the most powerful. Me being interviewed on his show still to this day, somebody will say, “I listen to this episode and I decided to come work with you.” We get that all the time. That has had long-term residual value and that’s probably a few years old now.

That’s true of podcasting in general as long as the topics you are speaking on are evergreen or are still relevant. If you have a daily new show, that’s going to age out of relevance pretty quickly but if what you do is tried and true and doesn’t change, your podcast and the companion landing pages created on your website, and all sorts of things continue to provide value for years to come. Tracy, you were a guest on a dozen podcasts at one point early on and that provided tremendous value for a few years, didn’t it?

Yeah. That was a little different model back then because there weren’t as many people guesting as there are. There wasn’t the machine that is podcast guesting nowadays where every publicist and their sister has a guest matching system. I’m a big proponent of PodMatch. We talked about that before. I think it does a way better job of matching up without the ugliness of pitching that goes on from the guesting services.

There’s a high-level concierge guesting which I love. There’s someone who’s going to go out there and is going to find you exactly the right shows. They’re going to build a relationship with that host. They’re going to get you on it. The ones that send out random emails to a whole bunch of people are a waste of time.

 

 

I would rather you use a PodMatch system every day of the week because it is much more friendly to me as a host looking at and being able to choose the right matches and the AI gets it faster. I can go in any given week and there are 6 or 7 suggestions that the AI does for you. It does it on a daily basis, but I only go in once a week. Also, 5 out of 7 of them will be right. I’ll invite them on and I’m done with my guest outreach for the month.

I do a couple of extras from people that do referrals or things like that. It’s that top-level more concierge relationships that I built over time. That makes it super simple for me because it’s already dialed in but I know exactly what I’m looking for. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you have a feedback loop you can do in PodMatch, which is so powerful. I take them on my show but afterwards, I can say, “This was a perfect fit for me.” I take the time to do a review or give them a rating. If I tell the system that it was good for me, they’re going to give me more of those types of matches in the future and it gets better and better.

That’s what I see happen and it doesn’t quickly within a couple of months of use you find it so dialed in. I can’t get my assistant to do it. I’ve tried. They do a better job. These are some things. Let’s talk about those power moves. With the power move of starting up, you most definitely want the people who already have podcasts in your industry. You need to be appearing side by side with them. If you can only do it by inviting them to your show, that’s okay. Give first because if the reciprocal nature is there, it will happen automatically.

That’s the second power move. Give to receive. Create reciprocity in the process. Go out there, reach out on LinkedIn, and invite someone to your show or who already has a show. You’re not on their radar yet. It’s great. Put them on your radar. Let them say, “Come on my show.” Nine times out of ten, they’re going to invite you on there. When you’ve done the work to know that they’re a right fit and their audience is the right fit, they know that their audience is going to want to learn from you, too.

That’s a powerful move for any new show. The thing is even for the season podcaster who’s being invited to go on your show that’s brand new, I have a lot of new podcasters who are always apprehensive about that. It’s like, “They’re probably not going to be on my show because it’s one of the first few episodes. I do not have an audience yet.” That’s not true.

You have a higher percentage opportunity to grow your show from guest swapping than you do from inviting any other guest on your show. Share on X

Any good podcaster knows those first few episodes are going to be the most listened to and it’s a good opportunity for them. Even though your show is new now, in the long-term, they’ll be heard by every one of your listeners whereas somebody who is in episode 44 or 50 or something may not be heard by as many people.

My favorite thing to do is go find those elite shows that claim that they don’t take any guests’ solicitations and are too hard to get on. I invite them to my show because they will always invite me back. It’s also a way to get into something that you might not have had access to otherwise. That is also a power move for you. Use your podcast smartly.

The other part about guesting that I want you to think carefully about in the guest swapping model is if they’re doing something that you could learn from. Are they doing a good job of putting stuff out on TikTok or Instagram and you don’t do it. That’s a great way. Go and invite them on your show. Talk to them about things and at the end of the call, ask them.

It’s like, “I see how you’re promoting on Instagram and I was hoping you’re going to do that for our interview right now, but could you also tell me a little bit about how you do that?” Podcasters are so open to sharing their ideas and their tactics. If you see someone who you want to be like, invite them to your show and learn from them. Take it as an opportunity. You gave them publicity. There’s no way they’re not going to answer your question.

They usually like to talk a lot.

FYB | Podcast Guest Swapping
Podcast Guest Swapping: If your podcast is new, the most important thing you can do is reach out to the other podcasters in your niche.

 

Podcasters like to talk. You’ve done some podcasts but you don’t always do swapping, right?

I have certainly done podcast swapping. Especially in the last few years, I’ve done more co-hosted podcasts that don’t have a lot of guests like this one. On occasion, we’ll have a guest.

We have a coaching crush here as we call them.

Sometimes only one of us will do it. Either you’ll do it alone or I’ll do it because it gets to be a lot having three people on. We used to in our earlier podcast. We were co-hosts and we’d have a guest and we would both be involved in that.

That show didn’t lend itself well. Our 3D print podcast didn’t lend itself well because there were 5 podcasts on 3D printing and 4 of them were crap. They were junk. It was not worth listening to the other shows so we were like, “We can invite one host occasionally, but we didn’t have anyone else that we could invite on a regular basis.”

Podcasters are very open to sharing their ideas and tactics. If you see someone who you want to be like, invite them on your show and learn from them. Take it as an opportunity. Share on X

It was too small a niche, I think.

We really had to look out to who else could we invite and we invited a lot of innovation podcasts, news media, and event coordinators that helped us. There are other ways for you to take a look at that in case they’re similar audiences but not exactly in your niche. That’s something that you have to take a good look at. If you’re in a tiny niche, what other shows are my listeners listening to? What other types of categories? Be expansive and you’re thinking on that if it’s a very narrow field. That can happen.

The last thing I want to mention about podcast guesting and the powerful guest swapping is the idea of a collab. We’ve been doing a lot of that. When I say collab, it’s an Instagram term, but think about it like this. I invite you on my show and then I go on your show. Now I have two shows back to back that I can promote on social media.

I promote each one of them separately when they air but now I promote them together. I’ve got a third piece of more powerful content. We’re both tagged in it because sometimes, your guest doesn’t do a great job of sharing their guest interviews. We have to push them to share it but now, I’ve shared their show and my show. I put them together in a post. They have to share that one out. That would be silly for them not to share a promotion about their own podcast at that point in time.

That collab model of doing it and doing it properly where you let them know ahead of time, “In the next hour, let me text you to let you know that I’m going to collab.” They have to accept the collab on their end. It now has a power boost within Instagram. That can help you boost your shows at the same time. That boost can be tremendous on social media.

FYB | Podcast Guest Swapping
Podcast Guest Swapping: You most definitely want the people who already have podcasts in your industry. You need to be appearing side by side with them, and you can only do it by inviting them on your show.

 

Also, because you might do a clip from your show and a clip from their show, doing that in that way can be also a power move in terms of getting the algorithms to work in your favor on Instagram. This also works great on YouTube. YouTube doesn’t quite work in the same collab but if I do a Short of my clip from being interviewed on someone else’s show and then I link to the original show even though it’s not on my channel, YouTube is going to make a tremendous boost out of it because I’m boosting long-tail content from short content.

I’m boosting it like a teaser so you can do both directions. You can do it at each other’s shows. “Here’s a little Short of me on this person’s show and here’s the interview I did with him.” You’re cross-doing that and creating a cross-collaboration across YouTube. They love that because what do they want? They want their viewers to dive in and stay on YouTube as long as possible so they can go from one piece of content to another. It’s real powerful. Let’s say my interview with Pat Flynn came out first. Once the interview of me on Pat’s show airs, then I can go and alter the end card and say up there, “Suggest this one as the next video.” Now it’s a double video. It’s a doubleheader.

It’s definitely a power move, Tracy. It can be disappointing when the other host doesn’t share your show as well. The other thing is if you do a good job sharing it and you make sure they’re aware of it, that guilt factor sets in and we’re like, “I need to step up my game and help promote your show because you did such a good job with mine.” If you ever know that a guest has a social media manager or a PR team or something and you provide them with all sorts of materials to share, they love you. You make their job easy and they’re going to promote it. That’s even better.

I’ve had it happen. We started doing this collab model. Thanks to an advice that was given to us by Angie Lile who was a coaching crasher. That was how we stepped up our game and followed the algorithmic process properly. We were doing it. We just weren’t doing it in quite the way that would get the algorithm to help you. We now do it that way.

Now that we do that, what I’ve heard back from the host that we’ve done that on, where I’ve done a lot of swaps in the recent days, they keep coming back and telling me my episode of my guest interview on their show is outdoing the other episodes. We’re beating out and getting to the top of the view list which makes them want to have me back again.

Using other hosts to grow your audience and reciprocating back is going to grow the podcast community overall. You're growing podcast listeners everywhere. Share on X

They see the power of they’re getting more listeners. They’re getting more views. They’re getting more from a guest interview with you. What that also does is they’ve also referred other podcast hosts to me. I’m getting better and better referrals to bigger shows from that as well. I don’t know about you, Tom, but I think this should be on your radar, guest swapping.

It has to be. There are some people that in their podcasting journey have a list of people they want to have on their show as guests, especially from the beginning if they’ve been thinking about it for a while and that’s great. That makes sense. However, the reality is I see a lot of podcasts that are like, “Why does it take me such a long time to find guests?”

They’re not thinking about any of these things. I hope these tips are going to be helpful to a lot of you podcasters out there. There are tools available that can help you get connected with other podcasters and oftentimes, you’re more desirable as a guest when you have your own show and you’re willing to do those podcasts swaps.

Before we close, I want to do some quick little tips for those of you who are PodMatch users. I want to give you a few power tips to making sure that you get the guests swapping opportunities because there’s no mechanism for it. I messaged Alex Sanfilippo back and said, “I wonder if we should have a mechanism for it in PodMatch.” I suggested the feature. However, the idea here is this. If you are a PodMatch user, make sure you set up your podcast and not just your guesting profile. Make sure you do both sides of the equation.

Make sure you link up your podcast website and not just say, “I have a podcast,” because that’s also a section where people will go on. They’ll click through that and they’ll check out the podcast website. That’s what hosts typically do. They’re going to check that out first rather than read your whole profile and your pitch about why you should be on their show.

FYB | Podcast Guest Swapping
Podcast Guest Swapping: Oftentimes, you’re more desirable as a guest when you have your own show and you’re willing to do podcast swaps.

 

They’re going to do that and check that out. Make sure you have both sides of your profile selected out. There’s also a setting in it where you select that you want to guest and you want to host where you’re allowing both sides of the equation to go into effect. Make sure you turn that on and that will help you. Now, there are some caveats to it. Make sure you know if you’re in the guest view or the host view when you’re trying to accept or reject people or if you’re using the AI.

Make sure you know whether you’re accepting them to be a guest on your show or if you’re accepting to be a guest on their show. Make sure you know which one you’re in when you’re doing the accept and pass so that you’re doing that properly because you would hate to reject a great guest for your show if they were just on that side of it thinking that they were asking you to be on their show.

You sound like you speak from experience. It’s like you’ve made a mistake and rejected somebody.

I made that mistake before. Only because I’m pickier so I don’t go in the guest side as often. I more go in the side where they’re pitching me. I allow that. I only look at the guesting side maybe once a month because I’d rather invite you on my show and find out if there’s synergy in our audiences. Also, find out if there is synergy in you. I’d rather give first and then find out and then go and say, “Sure. I’ll come on your show,” as a follow-up. I do it that way more often. By allowing both, you’re opening yourself up to some great opportunities and ideas.

You’re telling the other people and the algorithm that you’re open to both which I think gets you more offers and opportunities, right?

Exactly. A final note. For those of you who had a lot of interviews and maybe you’ve burned out on them and you’ve decided to do a lot more solo shows, still keep the opportunity open for an occasional podcast guest that is a host on another show. It’s because of the audience power, that there’s still some great opportunity for you to expand your audience. They want to hear it. You can operate in a different way.

You can invite that host to have a conversation with you about a topic rather than doing an interview. There is still a way for you to powerfully use guest swapping with another podcast host without having it be an interview. Think about that in putting that into your repertoire if you’ve decided to move into solo shows.

That’s a great advice, Tracy. As I said, you would know. You’re the power guest swap and I would say power PodMatch user. Do they have stats on that with how many collaborations or how many things you accept or people you book? Is there info like that on that platform or no?

Yes. When I asked Alex about it, he said he’s starting to see a significant trend in Facebook and LinkedIn groups that offer a lot more guest swapping who say, “I’ve got a show. Do you want to be on my show and I’ll be on your show,” where they are offering it there, but they don’t have as many swaps happening because the mechanism doesn’t quite work like that. It separated into guesting and hosting but I suspect that it is happening. Alex did say that when a podcast guest is also a host, they get more bookings. They have a higher booking rate than those that are straight guest because a host knows that they get the drill and that they know how it works.

It makes perfect sense to me.

I’m so glad we covered this topic. It is something that I think is underutilized and we don’t do it enough to help our shows grow. You can do it in the beginning. You can do it as an advanced tactic. It doesn’t matter when you do it, but using other hosts to grow your audience and reciprocating back is going to grow the community overall. You’re growing podcast listeners everywhere. It’s a power move. Thanks everyone for reading. We’ll be back next week with another topic.

 

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Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard

As podcasting and monetization marketing experts, husband and wife team, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard help major publications, sports stars, and entrepreneurial influencers broadcast their original messages. A highly successful inventor and product designer, Tom has been rethinking brand innovation to build in authority and high-converting revenue streams. Tracy brings an insider media/promotion perspective as a former Columnist for Inc. Magazine, contributor to BuzzFeed and international speaker. Together, they are the blog writers and podcast co-hosts for Feed Your Brand and The Binge Factor. They provide businesses of all sizes actionable tactics and strategies to spread marketing messages, grow valuable audiences, and retain valuable platform authority without a lot of time, cost or effort.
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