Sure it can be a daunting thought to start a podcast, and what if you don’t like it?
I think it’s fair to say that for *most* of us, deciding to start a podcast is a major decision, and invariably a lot of thought will have gone into it as it is a commitment in time, energy & resources regardless of how you actually implement your podcast production.
It is typically a shift in our comfort zone – it certainly is for me as I move towards launching my own podcast Stitchery Stories.
So why not dip your toe in the water of podcasting by being a podcast guest?
Podcast hosts who run an interview based podcast are usually looking for guests to interview, so this is a great, and easy way to get started on your podcasting journey. But as with anything, just launching yourself on any podcast host that will have you is not a wise use of your time. You should take the time to think about your strategy for being a podcast guest.
Podcast Guest Strategy
Even if you just want to ‘have a go’ at podcasting to get used to the format and hearing yourself as you talk about and explain things, there are plenty of things to think about, to get right, before you schedule some guest appearances.
- Which podcasts do you want to be on?
- Which podcast hosts do you like, who you would feel comfortable with, whose style matches yours?
- What audience do you want to connect with? Connecting with an audience similar to the one you want to grow yourself would be a good move wouldn’t it?
- What opportunity will you have to drive traffic to your website / landing page?
- What do you want people to do when they go to where you send them? Sign up to something usually to give something useful away.
Think about if you have a free offer that would be relevant to the show subject & audience, that you can encourage the listeners to visit. Is the landing page URL easy to say and remember? People are listening and might not have the ability to go check it out right away.
- Which social media profiles do you want to share?
- Do you have a standard ‘bio’ written? If not go and write one. This will be shared with the host, and they will usually just copy & paste this onto their show notes page. Remember their show notes page will provide excellent links to your website & social media profiles – make the most of this link building opportunity.
What audio set up do you have? Good audio makes all the difference and you can achieve that without spending a fortune. A headset with microphone is a great option, and something like the Logitech H390 for around £35 gives nice sounding audio. By having the microphone and earphones you help prevent that annoying echo and feedback between microphone and speakers. Your host will thank you for it! And NO, your mobile phone is absolutely NOT good enough to try and take part in a podcast interview. It will sound horrible and will not do you any good whatsoever.
Please put the effort into listening to previous episodes of the show. You get a much better feel as to the style of the host and the sort of direction the episode will move into.
Organise with the host what the overview of the episode will look like. What high level questions do they want to ask you, what topics are up for discussion.
And then prepare thoroughly for it. Think of good answers and points of view for the expected questions. Don’t read out answers for goodness sake, but it is handy to have some notes in front of you to remind yourself of the points you want to make.
Find out how the host handles ‘bloopers’. Typically to make audio editing easier it is accepted practice that if you make an error and would like to repeat what you were going to say, then leave an obvious gap of 3 seconds and then start your sentence again. But please check with your host as they may have their own way of handling situations like that.
When it comes to interview day, then again please be respectful of how your host likes to get things done. Feeling prepared, and happy to be taking part, really adds to your confidence levels which come out strongly in your voice. Our voice displays our emotions in a very powerful way.
Finally there will be your pre-recording checks – they are pretty much the same for host & guest, and the subject of another post!
So there are some thoughts on how being a podcast guest, with a conscious strategy in place, can be an excellent way to develop podcasting confidence. Have Fun!
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