Your whole business starts with reaching more people. That means one thing — getting people to your website.
Are you finding that people who come to your website without any other introduction generally don’t subscribe to your list or buy anything from you? That’s pretty typical because they don’t know enough about your or your business to make a purchasing decision.
Customers need to feel a connection with online business owners before they make a decision to buy. Blogging and content marketing are great ways to start building your relationship, but consumers want to know that you really care.
The benefit of being a podcast guest
That’s where speaking comes in. People can connect with you more fully when they hear you speak. Let’s talk about how you can bring people to your website by speaking on podcasts and other online venues. Podcasting is a great way to start for 2 reasons:
- There are lots of podcast owners who need guests
- It’s an audio-only format, so if you’re nervous about speaking it’s an easy way to start
When you speak on a podcast, the audience sees you as an authority in your field and that’s a win for you! Listeners have an opportunity to get to know the person behind the business, a win for your audience.
Plus, it’s a win for the podcaster. Many podcasters spend hours trying to track down guests they can interview. Then they have to spend time writing an email to grab your attention, arrange a time to record, and come up with interview questions. When you volunteer to be featured, you’re taking one more task off a busy podcaster’s shoulders.
The secret about podcast interviews
Here’s a secret you may not know–you can often send THEM the questions you want to be asked. If not, they will almost always send you the questions in advance, so you can prepare your answers and actually have them displayed on your screen while you answer. You can even rehearse in advance — and if you’re new at speaking, you absolutely should rehearse.
But don’t sound like you’re reading — be sure to speak enthusiastically and don’t sound like a robot.
How to get interviews on podcasts
Create a list of podcasts in your niche. Here are 3 ways to find podcasts:
- Use Google. You’ll put in [your topic + podcast] without the brackets. This simple search should generate dozens of potential podcasts.
- Search the iTunes podcast directory. The directory has a huge list of podcasts that cover a variety of industries. Choose the category that closely describes your niche. Or open your iTunes app and use the Search box. Here you see the podcasts that come up when I search for “presentations.”
- Try Podcast Guests, a website that matches podcasters with guests.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to restrict your appearances to podcasts in your niche. You may want to be featured on podcasts that have crossover appeal for your audience. For example, if you teach people how to speak more effectively, as I do, you might want to appear on podcasts aimed at salespeople, trainers, and entrepreneurs — 3 very different niches.
As you create your list, you’ll want to take into account 3 factors:
- Popularity and ratings: If no one is watching or the podcast has low ratings, skip it
- If it fits into your marketing: The audience for the podcast should be your target market
- If the host features interviews: Some podcasts are presentations by the podcaster, so they don’t take guests
Once you’ve found some podcasts that look like a good fit, it’s time to start building a relationship. You can start by listening to 2-3 recent episodes. Then subscribe to the newsletter and follow the host on social media. Do this 3-4 weeks in advance, so the host will remember your name when you reach out.
Then send a personal email (or perhaps Facebook/LinkedIn message) describing why you were attracted to the podcast and asking for a meeting to discuss if you could be a guest.
Give some information about yourself. You want to mention your story and experience and how it relates to their audience. If you have a speaker one-sheet, include that as well.
Don’t forget to include your contact details. Ideally, you want to add a website where the host can learn more about you and your email address (if you used a Facebook/LinkedIn message).
Tip: If you know any of the previous guests, the BEST way to get an invitation to speak is to ask that guest to introduce you to the podcaster.
I have more information about finding online speaking engagements in my blog post, “Why authors may not be good marketers–and what to do about it.”
Preparing to be a podcast guest
When you meet with the podcaster — or discuss your episode by email or message — be sure to get the following information:
- Your topic: You should have an exact name for your episode
- Length of appearance: You should know how long you’ll be speaking
- Type of episode: Is it an interview? Do you do a presentation? Most podcasts will be interviews.
- Questions you’ll be asked: Many podcasters have a set series of questions they ask all their guests, such as “What book are you reading now?” or “How did you get into the field you’re in?” Podcasters want you to be prepared, so they’ll give you the questions in advance.
- What you can offer: In most cases, you can offer an opt-in gift, but check. In some cases, the podcaster will just want you to provide contact information. In a few cases, you can sell a product or service.
Often, you’ll get an immediate invitation to speak. Be careful to put your appointed time to record the podcast on your calendar. Then, you’re ready to prepare.
The podcaster will have instructions for you about equipment, being in a quiet location, etc. Make sure you can fulfill the requirements. You’ll need a good microphone or headset. Here you see the microphone I use, a Blue Yeti. You’ll need headphones or earplugs if you don’t use a headset (which is a combination of microphone and headphones).
Sometimes, you’ll use Skype; if so, you need the Skype desktop app and an account.
Work on your content and be sure to practice, especially if you’re new at this. If you’ll be giving a presentation, you need to time it in advance to make sure it fits into the time you’ll be given. If you’ll be interviewed, write out the answers to the questions in advance so you won’t hem and haw.
Create an opt-in gift on a landing page, if that’s what you have agreed on. Have a special, short URL that your listeners remember and easily type in on their phones.
Make sure that your opt-in gift to appeal to the podcast’s target market. It should be something valuable and relevant to their needs. Subscribers aren’t happy when you throw together a terrible gift that doesn’t meet their needs.
Always remember that the purpose of speaking is to get people to your website.
During the podcast session
Make sure you won’t be interrupted. I close the door to my office and put a sign on it that I’m recording.
Be careful not to make inadvertent noises. I was once told that I was hitting something — perhaps my desk — and I wasn’t even aware of it! Your mic will pick up the slightest noises.
Give your full attention to your session. If you’ve written out answers to the questions, have them available, whether printed or on your screen. But be careful not to shuffle papers or click your mouse while you’re speaking — yes, the mic will pick all of that up.
Following up after your podcast episode
Podcasts are recorded in advance. The podcaster will tell you when it will go live.
As soon as the podcast is live, thank the podcaster and share it with your list and on social media. Spend a few days promoting the interview and reach out to the podcaster again. Ask the host if they need another guest and recommend someone else. The podcaster will greatly appreciate this and may refer you to more speaking opportunities. Or partner with you in another way.
Schedule future social media posts to continue to promote your podcast episode. Every time someone listens to the podcast, you have the opportunity to get a subscriber. One of the great things about podcasts is that they are around for a long time and can bring you a stream of subscribers on an ongoing basis.
Some podcasters will give you the MP3 file of the podcast and let you use it on your website, with a link to their podcast. You can even transcribe it and reuse it as a blog post, report, or e-book. In other words, there are lots of ways to repurpose your podcast session to grow your list and bring in more income!
What are your experiences with being a podcast guest? Do you have questions? Leave a comment and please share this post using the social media buttons below because lots of other potential speakers will benefit!