Podcast Guest – A Beginners Guide

posted on August 02, 2023
Podcast Guest – A Beginners Guide

As part of our ever-evolving media landscape, the past several years have seen the emergence of the podcast as a new opportunity to amplify personal or company brands. A podcast is a fantastic platform to reach out to people you might not have been able to with traditional media. Because episodes can be downloaded and consumed on demand, podcasts are proving to be an extremely versatile medium to have your voice heard. But before you decide to be interviewed on a podcast,  there are some important considerations before you dive in.

Look around the Internet and you’ll quickly notice that there’s a podcast about almost every subject. Have a listen to the ones you think are a good fit for you or your company. Pay attention to the hosts’ questions and the guests’ answers…is the subject matter familiar to you? Could you answer the same or similar questions? If so then it’s reasonable to think you could be a guest on this podcast.

Get to Know the Hosts

Once you’ve vetted ones where you’re a good fit it’s time to research the hosts. The principal question you’ll want to answer – what’s their motivation?

A good rule of thumb is to think of a podcast like a blog. While some are clearly the work of amateurs, others are self-published by enthusiasts or companies – even competitors – who use it as a lead-generation tool. Often the creative investments made to websites where these are published make them indistinguishable from content published by legitimate media organizations.

With an abundance of easy-to-use editing tools, amateur podcasts can take on their own professional quality. The bottom line is to understand why a podcast host would want to speak with you. Is your expertise the reason? Will you be breaking exciting news as part of the interview? Or, are you paying for this for your own marketing purposes? There is no right or wrong answer. Your PR team can help you determine if it’s the right fit, identify the best spokesperson for the job, craft talking points and measure reach and impact.

Podcasts Cost Money to Produce

If you were to limit your podcast considerations to only those published by verified media organizations then we probably wouldn’t be writing this blog! In truth, a great many are hosted and published by people as a sideline to their day jobs. The expense to produce some podcasts is absorbed by company marketing budgets while others recoup the outlay or even turn massive profits from sponsorship and advertising revenue. Another category is the pay-for-play model or in this case, pay-to-talk, where hosts charge guests (a wide range of fees) to have pre-planned interviews recorded, edited, and published. 

Whether you’re being interviewed because your presence will attract ears to the podcast and eyeballs to its corresponding website or because you’ve paid to be interviewed, it’s important to understand that there’s a production cost associated with its creation.

Get Conversational

Audiences consume podcasts for the same reason they (still) like radio – we enjoy the simple pleasure of listening to people talk to one another. In the same vein, the best podcasts are conversations – complete with uhms, aahs, and lengthy pauses. 

While it can seem very natural and simple to participate in, you’ll want to take some steps to prepare for the recorded interview. Here are some top-line tips:

  • Align with the Host – no matter the format (pay for play, etc), get the details about dates, times, connection points, how the interview will be recorded, and the general structure of the conversation.
  • A Quality Microphone & A Quiet Space – editing software cannot remove the sound of your cat or dog when you’re trying to make an important point. Do what you can to use dedicated devices for recording and situate yourself where you can avoid distractions.
  • Ask for a Redo – because it’s a recorded conversation you can and should reserve the right to ask for a pause or to answer a question over again. Kind of takes care of your noisy pets but you want to limit these requests.
  • Add Value – Speak with authority and share your experiences, your A-Ha moments and be real so you can truly connect with the audience and achieve flow state.
  • Be Yourself, Not Perfect – your podcast recording is likely to live on the internet forever so your grandchildren will someday listen to it. So, be yourself, and have fun!

No matter your professional function or company’s industry, being a podcast guest provides an exciting opportunity to share views and educate audiences. Remember to take the time needed to fully understand the podcast. Set yourself up for success by preparing the things you will say as well as the environment and technology you’ll rely upon. As in any interview situation, treat it as your meeting and it’s sure to go great!

Reach out to Escalate PR, Boston public relations firm for more information on podcast scheduling, coaching, and media relations.