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How to Find (and Invite!) Podcast Guests

Guests create a lot of value for listeners, and they’re a great way to keep your audience engaged.

Do you have an interview-based podcast? If so, that means you need guests! Guests create a lot of value for listeners, and they’re a great way to keep your audience engaged.

But how do you find (and book) high-quality guests your audience will love to hear on your show? Here are five tips I’ve gleaned from my years of booking same-day guests for TV news stories, as well as my time working in the podcasting industry. 

1. Look to Your Community 

Who do you already know that would bring value to your audience? Chances are, there’s at least one person in your existing network who’s a knowledge resource you can take advantage of. Your friends and colleagues will likely say yes right away!

2. Search Your LinkedIn

You might be pleasantly surprised by how many people you have access to via your LinkedIn connections. Find people who went to your school, but you don’t have to stick with people you already know well. Don’t hesitate to reach out to acquaintances and friends of your friends to see who’s interested.

3. See Who’s Writing a Book

One way to get big experts is to see when they’re launching something new. This allows you to do them a favor and promote their launch by having them on your show!

A great way to do this is to look at a publisher website like HarperCollins’ “Coming Soon” section. Search for authors publishing in your niche, and boom! Reach out to them saying you’d like to help promote their launch by featuring them on your podcast. 

4. Share Your Clout

We all have different kinds of clout, so figure out how to share yours with your ideal guests. 

One way to book great guests is to let them know who else you’ve already got on your show. If you have other big names, they will likely want to be associated with those names. You can also try sharing your audience size. You may not have a ton of downloads yet, but if you add your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Linkedin followers together, you likely have a larger audience size than you realize. And if you plan to share your episodes in all those places, your guest will be exposed to a large audience. 

Don’t forget that your email list is also gold! If you have an engaged email list, you have your readers’ ears. For example, I don’t have a huge email list, but I do have a high open rate. About 60% of the people on my email list actually open and read my emails. 

Last, but not least: pitch the dream. Even if you haven’t launched yet, you’ve still got a dream pitch you can share with your goal guest—and sometimes, that’s all it takes!

5. Assume the Sale

When you end your email, assume they will want to be on your show. Keep your email short. Share a couple date options, and ask them to pick the date and time that works best for them. And if you can, share a reference—ideally, someone you both have in common. 

Want to see how it works? Here’s an example of this in action: 

Hello [Name], 

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I got your contact from [Reference], and we’re looking forward to having you on our show about [Topic]. 

Past guests include: Arianna Huffington, Dave Asprey, and Randy Jackson. 

We record either by Zoom or Squadcast. Here are the next available time slots in 2021.

Feb. 17 – 11:30 am OR 12:30 pm

Feb. 24 – 11:30 am OR 12:30 pm

We’ll send you a brief outline of show questions ahead of time. If you have any questions, let me know. My cell is xxx-xxx-xxxx. 

Feel free to use the template above, and make changes based on your show and the guests you’ve had. If you give it a shot, I’d love to hear about it—reach out to let me know how it worked for you!

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