The Pitfalls Of Over-Guesting: Mastering Guest Appearances While Prioritizing Your Own Podcast

Being a guest on other podcasts can undeniably grow your reach, particularly beyond your own show. But just when is guesting too much? Are you aware whether perhaps you are guesting more than you do your own show? In this episode, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard tackle the pitfalls of over-guesting and how to find the perfect balance of mastering guest appearances while prioritizing your own podcast. Guesting can do wonders for your visibility and impact, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your own show. Join in on this conversation to learn how to avoid over-guesting and understand how best to maximize your time and exposure.

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The Pitfalls Of Over-Guesting: Mastering Guest Appearances While Prioritizing Your Own Podcast

In this episode, we are talking about the pitfalls of over-guesting. That’s guesting more than you do your show. Over-guesting, it’s a term.

That’s a thing?

It’s a thing and we’re going to talk about that. Mastering guest appearances while prioritizing your podcast. We’ve been talking about podcast swapping a lot. It’s where I go on your show and you come on my show. There’s an equality there and a balance to that. When you’re not doing that and you’re guesting on a bunch of shows that aren’t reciprocating, we have some imbalance between our show and their show, and between how our name shows up there and its authority ranking. That’s what we’re concerned with. That’s some of the pitfalls of over-guesting that we’re going to talk about.

I’m very excited to talk about this. There’s almost a bit of a cognitive dissonance where people are thinking, “What do you mean? What does over-guesting mean? You can guest too much?” I bet there’s some confusion and uncertainty there that we’re going to shed some light on.

There’s never such a thing as too much publicity. Is that what you’re thinking?

That’s what a lot of people would say. Any publicity is good publicity. Any exposure is good exposure. We’re going to share that there are some other things to consider here.

 

Feed Your Brand | Over-Guesting

 

What I want you to do is think about your show first. You are building and investing in a platform of information, messaging, authority, ranking, and search engine optimization, whether it’s in Google or the pod player apps like Apple, Spotify, and all of those places out there. You’re investing in that by doing your show. Even if you aren’t investing money, you’re investing a lot of time in doing that. You need to understand where you are with that.

I’m going to assume here that you’re at minimum producing a weekly show. If you’re producing less than that, you need to balance out the equation of what we’re talking about here. We’re assuming, because that’s our advice to you out there. Produce a consistent weekly show. Fifty-two weeks a year, you have a podcast episode that airs. You don’t have to record them 52 weeks in a row. You can batch record but you’re going to produce and publish 52 weeks of the year.

You’re going to show up for your listeners on that consistent basis is another way to say it.

That’s what we’re going to say here. When we’re talking about our numbers and what we’re sharing here, we’re sharing that as if you’re doing a weekly show. Change your numbers if you’re doing it monthly or seasonal. What we found is that there’s a balance between promoting yourself, your show, your guests, those episodes, and somebody else doing it. In other words, when you guest on a show, you’re relying on their promotion process as well. Here’s the thing. There are a lot of you out there who just don’t do a good job of promoting your episodes. Surprise. We see it all the time.

Despite our best intentions, there’s only so much each of us can do. Maybe we’re at a point where we’re bootstrapping it and we can’t afford a social media manager or a VA to do some of the things for us. That’s understandable and okay but then, herein lies some of the potential problems.

If you are not doing a great job of promoting your show and you guest on a show that does a fantastic job of promoting you, they’re going to outrank you. Your show is being pushed down. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to do it. It means you don’t want to do it so much that you’re pushing your show down. You’re creating this low level of promotion that you’re already doing and making it seem even worse because you are posting consistently and constantly. You’re getting some amount of credit for that with the search engines.

 

Feed Your Brand | Over-Guesting

 

You’re producing a show every Wednesday like we’re doing right here. We get some benefit from doing that, from being consistent and constant about it. We get more benefits by sharing and promoting it and making sure that we’re doing everything that we can do on social media, driving traffic and listeners to it, putting it in our newsletters, and doing some of those other things out there.

If we’re only doing a minimum amount of work and the other person does a much better job of it, the search engine is going to give them the credit first. We’re getting pushed down in the model of that. That’s what we have to understand. Anything we do that comes above us is doing a better job in promotion and is going to push us down. They do a better job in searching and optimization. If you’re not titling your episodes well but they are, you’re getting pushed down.

This is important. We want a boost from somebody bigger than us. That’s a good thing but we don’t want to overdo it to the point where it pushes us out. All our work isn’t being recognized at all. That’s the concern here. I found over the last couple of years of doing this that there’s a 1 to 4 ratio. If you guest on a show that’s bigger than you once a month and you produce four episodes, you’re going to be perfectly balanced. If you produce 4 episodes in a month and you guest on 1, you’re going to be perfectly balanced.

If you do a reciprocal, it’s an even exchange, don’t worry about it. If I guest on your show and you guest on my show, that’s an even swap. That’s okay. We’re still even. We’ve lowered it down. You could still do two guesting spots a month because that one’s an equalization between my show and their show. That’s the first step we want to analyze. It’s saying, “How much are we going to guest if we’re doing the bare minimum and producing our episodes once a month?”

I’ve had it happen where a podcasting customer we do production for says, “I’ve got too much on my plate. I’m going to pause my podcast and be a guest on other shows for the next three months.” What would you think about that strategy in the context of someone who has their show, has been podcasting and publishing regularly, and then takes a hiatus, putting priority on guesting on other shows?

Here’s the second side of things. If you’re not doing a good job of promoting your guest appearances, then that is a failure strategy. It will fail more than doing your show because it’s only as good as the podcaster on that show that you’re going to guest on does a good job in promotion. If next week they’re going to promote somebody else, they’re going to push you down in their list. You’re not going to stay high because their show isn’t about you. Your platform is your most important asset. If you’re not adding to it, then you’re not helping yourself. If you are so busy that you can’t produce your show and promote your guest appearances, then it’s a waste of time to be guesting.

Your own platform is your most important asset and if you're not adding to it, then you're not helping yourself. Share on X

Isn’t it also true that when other people are promoting you, it’s great that they’re sharing it on social media that you’re their guest but they’re driving traffic to their show, not yours?

They’re controlling the narrative, where it goes, and how they send it to you if they send it to you at all. They will only show up in a fleeting way because they’re producing the next episode and the next episode. It’s constantly old content for them where you’re not old for your platform. You’re always relevant to your platform. It makes more sense when you think of it that way.

If you don’t embed or add guest appearances to your website, then giving up your podcast to guests is imbalanced. You will lose in the process in the long run. Short term, you’ll see the little boosts that are happening and hopefully, you’re going to get a little bit of exposure to someone else’s audience. Maybe you’ll have a few listeners who come and become clients. There’s some worth to that but it’s short-lived.

It won’t last because a long-term residual value is in making sure that those guest appearances add authority to your platform. That needs to happen in your space. It needs to happen on your website. if you’re not doing that, at minimum, rethink this idea that guesting is going to be more powerful and worth your time. It’s not going to be any more worth your time. If you don’t promote better, embed, or produce your show consistently and constantly, you quickly can over-guest.

I can imagine your guest on someone else’s show and then they learn, “You have a podcast too.” They go check it out and you haven’t published an episode in two months. That’s probably not going to motivate them to give your podcast a try.

Here’s the one thing. This occurs across Google, YouTube, and the podcast player apps. In all three places, you will end up falling in your authority ranking, your search engine optimization, and how you show up. You will lose in the list in all three places. It won’t happen on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok because that is all timeliness anyway. If you’re not currently posting something, you’re not relevant to their algorithms so it wasn’t going to happen anyway for you there.

Feed Your Brand | Over-Guesting
Over-Guesting: Rethink this idea that guesting is going to be more powerful and worth your time. It’s not going to be any more worth your time if you don’t promote better and if you don’t produce your own show consistently and constantly.

 

Those things have long-term residual value on Google, YouTube, and your podcast app, the player app itself. Its search engine doesn’t care when those things are posted. It only cares that they were posted and what they were about. You can stay relevant there for a much longer time but you can’t do that if you’re not consistently out there. It’s not going to work. That’s one thing to consider.

The second part of it is that guesting is a much more difficult sales model because you have to rebuild your trust every single time you guest. Every single time I guest on a new show, I have to build trust with the host and the audience. I have to start my storytelling all over again. I spend a lot of time having to go to orient them to get to know me so that they will trust me. They got to know, like, and trust me. I have to build that up in whatever that episode is. That’s the only time I have to do that.

On my podcast, I’m building trust over time. I can do it on a micro level over time. I can tell you a great story, share a case study, and give you some statistics and resources. Over time, you’re going to build such trust with me that everything that I share with you comes at a much higher jumping-off activity place. I’m more likely, as a listener, to take action because I’ve been listening to you for a while. That’s not the case when you’re a guest on a show. You have to restart it every single time. It is much harder to guest and get results unless there’s the perfect audience match, the host that already trusts you and gives you the right credit level. You can see some ineffectiveness in the process.

I’m a huge fan of doing both. Don’t get me wrong. I produced over two episodes a week. I have a ton of content out there. I use guesting as much as I use having guests on my show as lead generation, collaboration, and networking. It’s okay for me to do a weekly guesting spot but I have such long-term built authority. I have thousands of articles and search engine listings. I will outrank someone that I guested on 99% of the time.

We find our podcasters who have their show and are producing and publishing on a regular basis at least one episode a week, and some of them do more than one like you a week, often outranking their guest for their name, business name, and podcast name when they’re a guest on their show. This can flip if you are doing a certain volume of not only your episodes but also guesting. It can flip and it’s much more beneficial to you, than it is to them, for you to guest on their show. It can be the inverse but it does have to do with consistency, constancy, and proportionality.

That’s why I said this balance between the two. I think of it as a 1 to 4 ratio. If I have 100 episodes, I shouldn’t be guesting more than 25 episodes. Think about the balance of content. It’s 1 to 4. This is one of those out-there things that most of you won’t discover until you are like, “That didn’t work for me. I spent all this time thinking I was building my brand with guesting and it wasn’t working.” This is one of the reasons.

Make sure that your time and energy are really well spent in giving you the best long-term residual value. Share on X

We are looking at that gap, those patterns that are happening throughout everything in the marketplace, and starting to see where the optimization, where you should be spending your time and energy, where you should be spending your money for that matter as well. We’re out there taking a look at what’s working across many types of podcasters, marketing, and models. We’re seeing what’s working and that’s what we’re bringing you here. This is one unusual view. I’m sure you won’t learn this from too many people unless somebody spent a year over-guesting.

We have had some people who the only thing they ever do is guest or they do a book launch and it’s a blitz of guesting where they do 50 guest appearances. Those I am not discounting. As a publicity blitz strategy, if you’re going to do that, that’s a purposeful thing. I’m going to sell as many books as I can and I need exposure with as many audience members as possible. Go do that. Understand that it may have a short-term downgrading effect on your podcast, and you are going to have to come back up on that and work to balance that out later in the year.

There are some good reasons why you want to do a blitz and drive a certain amount of people to buy your book on the first day it’s on Amazon. There are reasons why you would do that and you should try to do a blitz but we’re always about the long-term value. What’s in your best interest as a podcaster? That’s the lens that we’re looking through this and talking about it in the perspective that we’re bringing to it. There are always other good business reasons why you might put a variation on what we’re suggesting but day in and day out, what you have outlined and what we’ve been talking about is going to be in your best interest.

I said to all of you early on to do one per month. The thing is that you don’t need to because they don’t always air in a timely manner. Sometimes it’s three months before that one airs. Set out to try to do about twelve guest appearances a year and let them fall where they may. It’s okay if you end up with 2 in 1 month and then spread out a little. It’s not going to harm you in that. It’s the overall balance of looking at you doing 52 episodes and comparing that to 12 guest appearances so having that balance of that. Do not worry about that. Don’t worry if you do 13 or 11. Don’t be exact about it.

This isn’t a hard fast rule. These are recommendations based on our experience for what will work best.

Think of it as guidelines, tips, ideas, or things to try. As we’re going into planning for 2024, we’re always thinking, “What’s our plan for next year? What are we going to do? Am I going to do 52 guest appearances? Am I going to do twelve? What is my plan for this so that I go in with a better intention of what I’m going to accomplish coming out of it?” That’s why we’re sharing this with you. Think about the pitfalls of over-guesting. Make sure that your time and energy are well spent in giving you the best long-term residual value. Thanks everyone for reading. We’ll be back with another episode.

 

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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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