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Want 5 quick ways to improve as a podcast host or guest?

12 Steps for Being a Great Guest on Podcasts (And How to Get Booked)

12 Steps to Follow That Will Help You Get Booked on a Lot of Podcasts

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How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

Podcast guesting. How many of us got in thinking it would be simple and easy, only to end up wasting a lot of time and money? But that doesn’t have to be the case for you. In the following 12 steps, you’ll learn how to stand out and get noticed as a guest on podcasts. Here’s how to be a great podcast guest and get booked on your favorite shows.


#1. Start with why

“When you know your WHY you will know your WAY.” – Michael Hyatt

The most important thing you can do before trying to get booked on podcasts is to figure out WHY you want to do it in the first place.

A few wrong reasons to be a guest on podcasts:

  • You want to get rich.
  • You want more people to know who you are.
  • You want people to buy your stuff.
  • Now you’re probably saying, “Alex, what’s the heck? What’s the point then?” 

We always start with the why… Your “why” must be deeply connected to the service you offer to the world. What are you offering or doing to help others? (What’s your purpose?) Once you figure out how you add value to others and express that well as a podcast guest, recognition, sales, and profits will follow. Remember, this is all a byproduct of serving others.

ACTION STEP: Figure out your “why” and get as clear as you can about it before moving forward.

#2. Get the right gear

Regardless of what some people tell you about podcasting gear, you don’t need your own recording studio or expensive microphones, spotlights, and cameras to be a good podcast guest. You can get everything you need for under $400.00.

I did a full walkthrough of my home-studio and all of my gear. Here it is: Alex Sanfilippo’s Home Office / Home Podcast Studio Setup

The secret is the environment you record in, not so much the equipment. You can have the best microphone in the world, but if the AC is on, it’ll sound bad. And you can have a great camera, but if the kids are fighting right behind you, the video won’t be used by the host.

So what does that mean? All you need to do is make the small investment. Don’t use your iPhone’s earbuds as the mic, and don’t use your laptop’s default built-in camera. This little investment is enough to make you stand out!

Quick Overview of the Podcast Gear You Need To Get Started:

USB Mic.
Get a simple USB mic that you can plug directly into your computer. You want the mic to be dynamic because that way, no background sounds will be picked up.

USB Webcam.
An HD webcam doesn’t mean you have to get a DLSR camera. An HD webcam should be enough to set you apart from those who only use the built-in laptop camera. (This is the camera I use!)

Internet streaming.
This is probably the most expensive part of podcast guesting. You need a stable internet connection with streaming capabilities.

Turn off the air conditioner.
This is a simple trick that many people overlook: Turn off AC before you start. This will remove most of the static background noise.

Create an undisturbed (echo-free) space.
You don’t need a studio, but you do need to make sure you have an echo-free room where you won’t be interrupted during the interview.

Once you’ve followed the recommendations above, you’re ready to start guesting on podcasts.

#3. Craft a powerful CTA

Your Call To Action (CTA) is what will make or break your success as a podcast guest. Where are you asking the host’s listeners to go? What do you want them to do? If you tell them, “Check me out on social media,” that’s not a good answer.

Instead, you want to create a single destination that serves as your CTA landing page that you want hosts to send listeners to. This can be a page on your website, a product, a service, or even just an email newsletter signup – the important thing is that it’s ONE THING /ONE PLACE.

If you don’t have a CTA yet, I have another guide (don’t worry, it’s free too). You should go through it if you haven’t created an ideal “podcast guesting CTA” yet.

Designing the Ideal Podcast Guesting CTA 

#4. Write your bio

When you write your bio, don’t make it super long. If you can’t tweet it, it’s too long!

Here’s the secret to a great bio: be aware that it’s not for you. Position your bio in a way that adds value and gives the hosts an idea for talking points to pick up on. This is because most podcast hosts read the resume before they begin the interview. Keep it short, interesting, and engaging.

💡 PRO TIP: Your bio is not your resume! …or your life story. Please keep it short!

#5. Get high-quality photos

Make sure you have high-quality headshots. You don’t necessarily need to hire a professional photographer. If you have a recent smartphone, then the built-in camera should be good enough.

Don’t skip this step. I promise you that you’ll get booked more if you have good pictures of yourself. All hosts will ask for pictures of you. The last thing you should be sending g a 10-year-old picture… Get something new! 😀

Here are a few simple tips when taking a picture with your phone:

  1. Don’t take a selfie. Make sure the picture is taken by another person directly in front of you.
  2. Don’t use a cropped photo. Those photos you took with a group and then cropped yourself out of don’t make the cut here.
  3. Leave some space around you. Don’t be so close to the camera that the hosts can’t add words around you.

#6. Build your guesting ‘one sheet’

What should be on your one-sheet? I’ve done a ton of research on what makes the best one-sheets. And I’ve found that there are 8 things that you need to make your one-sheet great.

Take some time to fill out the downloadable one sheet. This 6th point is extremely important and should not be skipped!

One Sheet Template
This one-sheet template is a free download containing the 8 questions that need to be answered, plus instructions for how to fill each out. (This will get you booked on podcasts!)

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND GOING PUBLIC: Before we transition this guide to the interview portion, we first need to put everything we’ve covered together in a public place. That’s what #7 below is all about!

#7. Create a public profile

Having a public profile is very important. All hosts will ask you if they can see your one sheet. It’s best to have it somewhere on the Internet so they can access it easily. It’s even better if they can book you directly through your one sheet.

I can tell you that it can be a lot of work to create a public profile if you’ve no experience with it. But I have a simple solution for you.

And the best part is, it’s the website you’re already on: PodMatch!

Create your one sheet using PodMatch before moving on to step #8.

The best thing about PodMatch is that it’s the only platform that uses the exact same information you already provided in the first 6 steps of this guide. It’s literally the exact same questions! PodMatch is a publicly available, one-sheet solution!

But wait, there’s more… (Yes, I meant for that to sound salesy) It’s also the fastest way to find podcast hosts looking for guests. I explain this further in this guide. But for now, here’s a link to create a PodMatch account.

Example One Sheet: Alex Sanfilippo

^ This link takes you to my PodMatch one sheet that I created and that I send out to all podcast hosts that want me to be on their podcast.


ACTION STEP: I redirected my ‘name domain’ ( straight to my PodMatch public profile! It’s not only earned me a PodMatch commission but also simplified how people reach out to me to book me on their shows. This is something you can do too.

#8. Filter through shows

Not all podcasts are created equal. That means not every podcast is a good opportunity for you to be on. It has to be in your niche or area of expertise. This is super important; otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.

I’ve been invited to many different comedy podcasts… I don’t really know why, because I’m not that funny. (That was meant to be a joke…LOL) When I started getting invited on to random podcasts, I was excited about it! So I said yes. But then I realized I was wasting hours every week and not seeing a return on investment (ROI).

Recently someone told me they’d never be a guest on another podcast again because they had never sold a book as a podcast guest. They thought it was a waste of time. Truth is, that was only the case because they appeared as guests on the wrong podcasts!?

On the other hand, guests on my podcast have always reported that their books sold a lot because of their appearance on my podcast. And that was only because my podcast was the right one for them!

Before you say yes to being a guest on a host’s podcast, make sure you can add value and do business with their audience.

HOW I DO THIS… I use PodMatch because it automatically matches me with podcast hosts that are a good fit, so I don’t have to play the guessing game. I can see all of the details in one place without wasting time.

#9. Reach out to get booked

I’ll tell you the truth about this. Some people complained after reading through it that they didn’t get invitations to be on podcasts. No one has booked them. There’s a reason for that; let me explain…

As with everything in life, you only get out what you’re willing to put in. The same goes for podcasting!

Yes, I’ve been on over 100 different shows in less than a year. Want to know my secret? I reach out to the right podcasts (see #8 above) and to ASK to be a guest. I send them my public profile link.

To get booked as a guest on a podcast, you have to reach out to the right people. 👋

I’ll give you one last tip for your initial outreach message. (I cover more of this in the last step of this guide) Make sure the first contact you make with the host is a short, unique message that gets right to the point. Don’t send your resume or a book.

I can promise you that the shorter the request, the better your chances of being accepted as a podcast guest. It also makes it easier for the hosts to decide if you’re a good fit or not!

I understand the temptation to come up with a default outreach message that you can copy and paste and send to everyone. Don’t do that!

Recommended reading: How to Pitch a Podcast That You Want to Be a Guest On (Please take a few minutes to learn how I pitch to be a guest on shows. Getting this right is the difference maker in how many shows you’ll actually hear back from!)

How To Find Podcast Hosts

This is the most effective, efficient, and inexpensive way to find podcast hosts looking for guests like you. (Hopefully, you’ve already set up your PodMatch account, as I mentioned in step #7 of this guide. If not, take a break from this guide and do it now).

Hire a booking agent
If you want the red carpet treatment for getting booked on podcasts, a booking agent is the answer! It’s the most expensive option, but if you have the budget, it’s worth it!

Direct messages via social media
This is the crude way to go about it, but it works! Especially on LinkedIn, you’ll find a ton of great podcast hosts. Reach out to them via DM and see if they’re looking for guests!

#10. Add a ton of value

As a guest on a podcast, you’re not there to sell anything. You’re there to add value. Don’t show up to pitch your product or service.

What I’m sharing here’s not a popular opinion. In fact, some people teach the opposite. But here’s what I’ve learned…

If I don’t market my podcast (Creating a Brand) or my service (PodMatch), the hosts do it for me. And you know what? Listeners trust the hosts more than they trust me!

Something I’ve repeated in almost every one of the 200 podcasts I’ve been on in the last year is this:

“I seek to be a person of value, not a person of profit.”

When you enrich people’s lives instead of trying to sell them something, they want to work with you.

Here are 3 ways you can add great value as a podcast guest:

The 3 Rs of Content

Make sure you’re real, raw, and relevant. Real: be yourself. Raw: Share the messy details and feelings. Relevant: Make sure it matters to the audience!

Answer questions clearly
When a presenter asks you a question, answer only that question. Then let them ask a follow-up question if it’s needed. This helps the audience follow the conversation.

Give practical advice
Make sure what you’re saying is meaningful to the listener. Give them some practical, actionable steps to follow. After listening to you, they should be compelled to act!

#11. Don’t talk too much

Talking too much will never get you recommended by hosts. If a podcast is always 25 minutes and you talk for 45 minutes – You just made a host’s job a pain in post-production editing.

“Blessed are the short winded for they will be welcomed back.” – Clay Baird

Sounds like it should be a Bible verse, right? It’s not. But it is true!

ACTION STEP: Ask the podcast host how long the recording should be. Then start a timer on your end to make sure you keep that time in mind.

What You Should Do: Talk in Soundbites
Share your point in the fewest words possible. Imagine the host wanted to make an audiogram with the words you’re saying. Keep it short and powerful so they can do that! Speaking of soundbites, check out: Why Every Podcast Guest Needs To Speak in Soundbites

#12. Be the favorite guest

Make it your goal every time you’re a guest on a podcast to be the host’s favorite guest they’ve ever had. You want them to be so excited about your interview that they want to see you again and introduce you to other hosts.

Take a close look at the 4 questions I’ve listed here. Ask yourself these things before you start. ?

Also, make sure you communicate well before the interview, show up on time, and are ready to record.

Ask yourself these questions to get in the right frame of mind:

  • “If I were the host, what would I expect of myself?”
  • “What does the audience expect of me when I speak?”
  • “Am I fully focused on this interview?” (No distractions)
  • “What do I bring to the table today that no one else has?”

Your next step (Do this NOW)

First off, let’s recap the above 12 things: Start with why, Get the right gear, Craft a powerful CTA, Write your bio, Get high-quality photos, Build your ‘one sheet,’ Create a public profile, Filter through shows, Reach out to get booked, Add a ton of value, Don’t talk too much, Be the favorite guest.