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How to Leverage Podcast Guest Appearances for Audience Development

How to Leverage Podcast Guest Appearances for Audience Development

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

Podcast guest appearances are powerful for many reasons, but one of the most overlooked benefits is audience development from podcast guesting. In this blog post, Cristina Marcello explains how to create a podcast guest booking strategy, identify the best-fit shows, and what to do after the interview to engage and develop your audience. Get ready to learn to harness the power of podcast guest bookings to cultivate and expand your audience!

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I have worked with over 100 individuals and thought leaders to get them booked as podcast guests. And throughout that process, something became exceedingly clear. Here’s what happens. Somebody is a guest on a podcast. The episode goes live.

The guest grabs the podcast link, maybe creating a nice little copy around it. Then shares the link on social with their audience and their following. You’re listening to this and thinking, okay, yeah, what’s wrong with that? Well, there’s nothing wrong with that per se, but there’s so much more we could be doing. And that is what I am excited to talk to you about today. Hi, I’m Cristina, and I’m here to talk to you about how you can leverage podcast guest appearances/bookings as a means of audience development.

Now, when I talk about audience development, what do I mean? When I speak about audience development, I mean community building. Now, how can you use podcasts to build a community? Fantastic question. The first piece we need for all this is to get booked for podcast guest appearances.

So again, guest booking is the beginning of the audience development piece we will discuss. The second piece is content. So we’ll discuss guest booking, content, and distribution. So let’s start with the meat and potatoes. Let’s learn how to be a podcast guest and everything it takes.

The First Step For Successful Podcast Guest Appearances

So the first thing that you’re going to think about when you are a guest on a podcast is, let’s define your point of view. Why do you want to be on a podcast? What do you want to talk about? Somebody once told me a very long time ago, you know that thing that you always talk about? It always comes up.

For some reason, you think about it year after year, and you somehow will get there in a conversation. They told me that’s what I should write a book about. And I love that. I think that’s great advice. If there’s a central theme that you keep coming back to in your life, maybe that is something that you should look a little bit closer at, and perhaps that is something that you should write a book about.

You Should Talk About This on Podcasts

Alternatively, maybe it’s something that you should talk about on a podcast. So that’s just one way to consider again: what you want to talk about on a podcast and your point of view. Another thing to consider is, is there a consumer problem you just run into repeatedly. Is there a challenge you face at work that is just time and time, and you found a solution? Or you have a proposition, a new idea, or maybe you’ve overcome a personal obstacle.

There are a myriad of reasons, infinite, truly, why you might want to be on a podcast. So it would be best if you narrowed down what that is. Once you have narrowed that down, we know what you will discuss. That’s fantastic. Now we have to identify what podcasts you’re going to be on.

To speak about that point of view. Let’s look at four things when we discuss determining whether or not a podcast is a best-fit podcast. The four things we will be looking at are content, context, audience, and reach. The content is what you’re talking about. So what is the podcast talking about, and is that the same topic that you want to be talking about?

Topics, themes, et cetera. These are the content pieces that we’re talking about:

  • What are they talking about? (That is what we mean when we talk about content.)
  • What are we talking about for context it’s?
  • How are they talking about it?

So maybe you have the same you’re talking about the same things, but you could have polar opposite points of view on those topics, and that could be a good thing. Maybe that’s something that you’re looking for. Perhaps you’re looking for a healthy debate or disrupt a little bit, have a disruptive conversation over a specific topic or a theme, and that’s fine. But again, you need to make sure that you have that narrowed down so that when you look at these pieces, you can identify whether or not this podcast is a good fit for you.

Because if a podcast typically is not looking for a debate or a challenge, then again, probably not going to be a best-fit podcast if that is something you’re looking to do. So again, content, what are we talking about? Context, how is it being discussed? The audience, what people are they attracting to this show? Who lives in the audience?

Qualitative Measures to Guage a Podcast’s Audience

We can look at some qualitative measures to gauge who is in this audience again. We could look at the comments, first and foremost, the reviews of this podcast to get some information and feedback on who these people are and who the listeners are. Another thing that we could look at, again, qualitative information here, is we could go ahead and look at the episodes and try to understand who they are directed to. Listen to the podcast, and listen to multiple episodes of the podcast. Who does it feel like this podcast is for, and does that align with who you want to be talking to?

Audience, content, context, audience, and now reach. Now, unless you’re working with a company that has episode reach estimates, it’s going to be a little bit difficult to gauge whether or not how big a podcast is. But there are some, again, measures that we can look to to define that. One of those is how they perform on social media. Does the podcast host have a social media platform?

Does the podcast have a social media platform, and how do they perform? There is also how many people have left reviews; if there are a lot of reviews, probably a pretty popular podcast, versus if there aren’t too many reviews. But I also don’t want us to get caught up here in terms of reach because content, context, and audience are so much more important. I like to think about this often, and an example that I give sometimes is I could put you in front of 5000 people who are just, I just pulled them off the street, 5000 people. Or I could put you in front of 20 CEOs.

Now, if your mission is to talk to industry leaders, then maybe the 20 CEOs would be a more powerful group to be in front of than the 5000 random people I pulled off the street. So again, reach is important to some degree, but I would keep that example in mind that if we’re hitting the right audience and the content and the context are there, the reach is maybe less important. So we have defined your point of view and identified a best-fit show. Next, we’re going to want to do the pitching. Now we’re going to reach out to this podcast, and we’re going to tell them why you should be on it.

You Did Your Research, What Now?

Now you just did a bunch of research. Podcasters receive multiple emails daily from people who want to be booked for a podcast guest appearance. So it would be best if you led with value. I say that intentionally. You want to look at a podcast again, research it and see where you fit in, and then that is what you want to lead within your interview.

You can add your bio as it goes along, but you want to synthesize why your point of view and the shows benefit the audience. So the podcaster is in charge of ensuring they give their audience the content they’re looking for. So you have a unique perspective, an experience you want to share, and lead with how that benefits the audience in your pitch. You also are going to want to keep it short. I receive many of these emails myself, and if they go on and on and on, you want to keep it as short as possible.

So that is a little bit about pitching. Formatting, again, is something that I would be mindful of. You want to be intentional with things that you underline or bold or links you use because any change in the font is essentially a call to action. So when you bold something, you are calling action or calling attention to that bold piece. So again, be intentional in your formatting.

Keep it short, concise, and make sure you lead again with value. Now, we’ve sent off the pitch, and the show’s host reaches back, and they want to go and do this interview with you. So that’s great. We get you scheduled, you do the interview, and you have a fantastic discussion with this person. The next piece is, again, the episode will go live.

“Remember zero click theory – we don’t just want to share the link, so what will we do? We’re going to take that content and repurpose it.”

We will briefly take a second to talk about zero click theory. Again, I am briefly going to discuss it, but it is something that I would recommend after this lesson or after this video. You look into it a little bit deeper on your own. So zero click theory, at its core, means that social media websites do not want you to leave their website. If you notice, there are few places to link from a social media site. For example, when you are on Instagram, it will typically say link and bio or anything because the only place these social media websites want you to leave that link is somewhere like a bio because they want you to stay on site.

Don’t Share The Episode Link (There’s a Better Way)

So just sharing the link is not only not that effective because the algorithm will crush it, but there’s so much more we can do with that link. So again, if our intention is audience development, let’s look at it this way. We get you booked on a podcast, or you get yourself booked on a podcast. Fantastic. Now you are engaging with a new audience, and you will be attracting people to your brand, which could be a personal brand. Still, to your brand next, we want to keep engaging with them, but we also want to expand our reach because podcast episodes are just content treasure troves.

From one 30-minute Interview, you could create multiple different pieces of video content. If no video is associated with the podcast, you could create animation. If you still want to use audiograms, you could use audiograms. You could also create graphics, still graphics for again, social posting. You can create blog posts.

There is almost endless content that can be repurposed from a podcast episode. So that is our next piece here, which is content. So we take that podcast episode, and instead of sharing the link, you can share the link maybe in a comment or something like that. I’m not discouraging sharing the link, but there are more effective ways to talk about this podcast and engage people who go beyond that podcast audience and share those same thoughts and ideas. So again, we’re continuing to develop our audience.

“Creating content from podcast episodes is a great way to develop your audience further.”

We are building upon each block. Now, having tapped into somebody else’s audience already, having this content, how can we then further develop our audience? That next piece is going to be distribution. So through distribution, through distributing the content that we already have, we’ve engaged with one individual’s audience already. Now we can put this content in front of our audience, maybe on social media, but we can also put it in front of more audiences.

Getting The Most From Podcast Guest Appearances Requires Sharing

So I encourage you to share these pieces on social media, but the assets should go much further than that. And one industry podcast, industry secret if you will, is that a lot of community building and engagement is happening in industry-specific newsletters. So if you can go ahead and pitch your podcast, the appearance of some of those assets, if you will as well, to these podcast newsletters or just industry-specific newsletters, you’re going to expand that reach again and further build your community.

You’re going to identify where they live in this process:

  • Are they on those industry-specific newsletters?
  • Where do they get advice from?
  • Do they get advice from these newsletters?
  • Do they get advice from a particular blog?
  • Is there a specific journal that they look to also?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • Are they on Discord?
  • Are they on Slack?
  • Or are there private Facebook communities that we should be putting this material in front of?

So really, going beyond just the social media aspect of where we could distribute this content and going even further into these niche communities too, then again, further build your audience.

Let’s take one final look at everything that we’ve discussed today. So to use podcasting to build and develop an audience, first of all, you need to get booked on a podcast. To get booked on a podcast, you must define your viewpoint. After determining your point of view, remember to look for best-fit podcasts. And to do that, we can look at content, context, audience, and reach.

“Leading with value when pitching podcasts to ensure the best-fit and successful podcast guest apperiences.”

After defining the best-fit podcast, you will pitch the host or the podcast’s production team. And the main thing to keep in mind with that is to remember to lead with value. Don’t just spray and pray. Make a personal connection with every person that you email. Next up, you’re going to get on that podcast, and you’re going to crush that interview.

Once the Interview Is Live: It’s Up To You!

After you crush that interview, it goes live. Remember, zero-click theory. We don’t just want to share the link, so what will we do? We will repurpose that content into a myriad of other content that could be maybe 10, 15, or 20 more pieces of material you can then share with your audience—again, furthering this community development through engaging with them in these content pieces.

Next up is, again, the distribution. So we have all of this content and put it on social, but we can go a little further. Remember that the industry-specific tip is that those newsletters are gems, and that is where a lot of action is happening and a lot of community development occurs. So make sure you tap into those newsletters and identify other places outside of social media to share that content—those pieces all combined again with the podcast guest appearance/booking as the flywheel that spins it all up.

Make an audience development plan that you can use on your own or with your team to expand your core audience further and engage with them on a deeper level.


About Cristina Marcello

Cristina Marcello has worked in broadcast media for 10+ years. Currently, they are the Connect Manager at Podchaser, where they coach specialists on podcast guest booking and work with clients looking to leverage guest booking for audience development. Cristina is also a certified audio engineer and has worked in major AM/FM radio markets both in production and public relations.


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