“…Alex Sanfilippo, welcome to the show!” ? I’ll never forget the first time I heard those words as a guest on a podcast. One thing was for sure; I had no idea what I was doing on that side of the mic. Thankfully, I had experienced as a host at this point, but I had never considered what it took to stand out as a podcast guest.
That first time I was a guest on a podcast wasn’t my best. I talked too much, I was all over the place, and I forgot to tell the listeners where they could find me. (Sorry to that first host who had me on their show, you know who you are, haha)
Fast-forward, after hundreds of times being a guest on people’s shows, I’ve now figured out 10 things that have helped me stand out. ? In fact, it’s now not uncommon for me to hear from the host that the most popular episode they’ve ever recorded was the one that I was the guest on.
I’m sharing with you today that my 10 biggest secrets for podcast guesting have helped me stand out, drive business to PodMatch, and serve the world on a deeper level.
Before I share how to stand out as a podcast guest, there’s one important thing we have to cover.
The most important thing is to make sure that you’re ONLY going on podcasts that have your ideal audience as theirs.
Don’t go on comedy shows if you’re an entrepreneur helping people find jobs. Don’t go on a sports podcast if you’re talking about remote education. Not all opportunities are good ones.
Not all podcasts are created equal for you or me. I actually say no to being on more podcasts than I say yes to being on. Only show up if you can add the value and the right audience you know you can serve.
? Got it? This is the most important thing that I’m going to share in this post…
10 Surefire Ways to Stand Out as a Podcast Guest:
#1. Lead with value.
I tell myself (and normally end up saying on most podcasts) that I seek to be a person of value, not a person of profit. This is my reminder that every time I’m on a podcast, I need to treat it as if I were in front of a room full of people listening to me for an answer to their problem or for a way to better themselves. Lead with this value! Your story only matters if it helps someone else.
#2. Be willing to go deep.
You have to be transparent. Don’t follow your normal script. Create a unique, authentic experience for the audience of that specific podcast. Follow what I call the 3 Rs of content: Real, Raw, and Relevant.
How to Make Your Conversations Meaningful
#3. Promote the podcast you’re on.
Before you are a guest on a podcast, you should always listen to at least one recent episode of the show. When I do this, I search for one of their previous episodes that would relate well to the topic we’re going to cover when I’m a guest. Then during our recording together, I reference that other episode in detail. Calling out episode number, title, and guest name and how it relates AND that the listeners should also look up that episode.
#4. Mention the work that goes into being a host.
Most people who listen to podcasts don’t host their own shows. This means they don’t realize how much work goes into being a podcast host. If the host is doing a good job, point out that being a podcast host is a labor of love. Also, mention how easy you have it as the guest. When the host asks a good question, let them know that they just asked a very insightful/powerful question. ?
#5. Use the host’s name and reference their listeners as they do.
Don’t go over the top, but make sure to repeat the host’s name throughout the conversation. It shows you really care to be there. If they have a pet name for their listeners or refer to them as their squad or tribe, make sure you refer to them the same way. Don’t just say “for anyone who is listening today.” (Be personal!)
#6. Keep it short! (SUPER HACK ) ⚠
If I have one ultimate hack for becoming the most popular episode on most podcasts that I’m a guest on, this is it. Pacific Content surveyed Americans, and 50% of them said podcasts are “too long.” So here’s my strategy:
- Look at the last 20 – 30 episodes of the podcast before you’re a guest.
- Determine the shortest interview episode and write down its total time.
- When you go to record with the host, at the same time, they press record, start a timer on your smartphone, and keep it visible.
- Give short, powerful answers, so your episode is now the new shortest episode by the end of it.
? Here’s what this does: When people are looking to listen to a new podcast, they always scroll through episodes before picking one to listen to. People almost exclusively pick the shortest episode they can find; this is called a low barrier to entry. Meaning, if your episode is the shortest, it’s going to be the one they listen to first.
? Yes, I know, I just created competition, but that’s okay because I believe it creates better content for the world to consume!
“Blessed are the short winded for they will be welcomed back.” – Clay Baird
#7. Give something away for free.
If you want to make the host and listeners feel involved in what you’re doing, give them something for free. (I mean 100% free, no email required.) Set up a page on your website or some way for them to get additional value from you for listening to this show. Make sure they know it’s exclusive! This will help them feel special and like they are part of an exclusive club. (I talk more about this in this blog post: Designing the Ideal Podcast Guesting CTA)
#8. Help them with the title and branding.
I mean no disrespect by saying this, but some podcast hosts aren’t great at coming up with titles. If that’s the case, or even if it’s not. Make a recommendation on what the title can be. A compelling title makes the episode a win-win situation! Additionally, do the host a favor and get some good pictures taken. If you want to go a step further, do what I did; I made an Unsplash page with images of me that can be used. Check it out: Approved Media for Alex Sanfilippo. ?
#9. Share the episode and link to it.
Unless you’re really unhappy with the episode, you need to share it. Ever heard the saying, “Sharing is caring?” Well, it’s true. If you don’t share it, you don’t care, and if you don’t care, you’re not a person of value. Now, if you want to be a person of value, share the episode, and if you want to go above and beyond, I’m going to challenge you to do even more than sharing on social media. Make a page on your website for prior guest bookings. (Here’s mine) Also, send it out in your email newsletter – Really support the host who had you on their show!
#10. Circle back with the host later (and share it again!)
Catch up with the host down the road. Ask them how the episode did and how you can continue to support them. Doing this will encourage them to reshare the episode, and you should do the same. You can circle back with the host by making a calendar event at a later date or use a dedicated program to do this. I use a free tool that Jordan Harbinger created called ConnectionFox.com – I encourage you to use a tool like this to manage all of your relationships!
These are 10 ways that I’ve been able to stand out as a podcast guest!
In conclusion, I’d encourage you to read an additional blog post. I asked 30 podcast hosts how to be a good podcast guest based on their combined experience interviewing thousands of guests. I learned a lot. Here’s the link. The purpose of this post is to help equip others to add even more value through podcasting. A rising tide lifts all ships – Let’s all elevate the world of podcasting together! ?