The hard work of pitching and landing a guest interview on your favorite podcast is done. In case you missed it, here’s our guide to getting booked on podcasts. The work you do to pitch yourself will come in handy when preparing for the interviews.
Trust us when we say, prep is everything.
In order to be the best guest that show’s ever had, you need to go into your interview with intention. You want to understand who the host is, what the show stands for, and what value the audience is looking for from you.
With these 5 tips (plus 2 bonuses at the end), you’ll be ready to absolutely crush your interview and leave listeners wanting more.
Don’t make the mistake of guesting on a podcast you’ve never listened to before.
Take some time the week before your interview to listen to 3 episodes with guests who are similar to you. Maybe they speak about the same topics or come from a similar background as you.
While you listen to these episodes, make notes of the following:
The point of this is to make sure you understand the flow of the podcast, the host’s interview style, and how you can differentiate yourself from past guests.
It’s also helpful to keep all this information in a document along with links to the host’s socials, their website, and podcast feed. That way, when you go to prep for your interview, you have it all in one place.
Pro tip: Hosts will sometimes share interview questions with you beforehand, but it’s not always the case, which is why all of this prep is key.
You likely already did some host research during your pitch process, but take it a little further when prepping for the interview.
Check out their social media and make notes of any posts they shared that resonate with you. These could be spicy points of view on Twitter, videos they shared on LinkedIn, or even interviews or articles they’ve been featured in themselves.
Also, figure out if you have anything personal in common. Do you both have kids? Do you live in the same city or state? Do you have similar hobbies? Did they travel somewhere that’s on your bucket list? Are you within the same age range?
While you likely won’t talk about these on air, it’s great to have some personal tidbits handy in order to make a stronger connection with the host and break the ice before and after the interview is recorded.
Hosts like to know that their guests care about being on their show. The more you get to know them and their podcast, the better relationship you’ll form and the more you’ll both get out of the interview.
Just because you’re on a podcast tour doesn’t mean you have to tell the same stories every single time.
In fact, the best podcast guests add unique nuances to their core stories based on the specific audience they’re speaking to. This way, if you happen to create a superfan out of a listener who tunes into multiple of your interviews, they’ll get different values from each one.
Step 1: Figure out your core stories - What makes you unique? What can you share from your past that made you who you are today? What failures have you overcome? What blueprints or steps can you share to help the audience get from A to B?
Step 2: Get to know the audience - Each podcast attracts a different listener. For example, an email marketing podcast will attract a different listener than a social media podcast. Even though both fall under that marketing umbrella, the listeners are looking for a different value from each show. That’s why it’s key to understand who you’ll be speaking to and what matters to them.
Step 3: Pick and edit your stories - Now that you have your core stories identified and you know what the audience is looking for from you, take a moment to edit and add specific nuggets of information to those stories that will resonate with the listeners of that podcast.
Not only will this help the audience connect with you more, but it will also keep your interviews fresh and purposeful.
Most hosts will introduce you to their listeners before the interview begins. (Make sure you share a short bio description with hosts beforehand so they know how to intro you properly.)
However, it’s important to have a short elevator pitch/introduction ready because it typically comes in handy with the first question.
This could be anything like:
“Tell us how you got started in this industry.”
“How did you get to where you are today?”
“Can you tell the listeners a little bit about you, personally and professionally?”
Having a prepped intro will set you up for success and will help you make a strong first impression with the listeners. Make sure you keep it short and sweet, under 3 minutes if possible, and hit on the high points of your story.
Typically, you share a little bit about your professional background, how that led you to where you are today, what your expertise is, what sparked your passion in that industry/topic, and something personal about you.
At the end of the interview, it’s very common for the host to ask something like, “Where can people find you?”. You want to make sure you take full advantage of that opportunity so the listeners can continue to learn from you on their own terms.
The more value you provide for them in the interview, the more likely they are to want to follow you and your company. Once they do that, you now have the chance to continue to build that trust and eventually convert them into loyal customers.
We recommend you have 2 call-to-actions ready to go:
Some examples of this could be an episode from your podcast where you talk in-depth about that topic, an ebook you wrote, a guide on your blog, a quiz on your website, etc.
Or if you’re running an e-commerce business, you can either direct listeners to a specific landing page to get a discount (www.yoursite.com/podcastname) or provide a unique coupon code for those listeners to use on your products.
Now that they’ve had a chance to listen to you for 40+ minutes, they’re more likely to have an affinity for you and your brand, which means they’ll be easier to convert into customers.
The last thing you want is to schedule your podcast guest interview in between two meetings. You want to make sure you go into the interview feeling cool, calm and collected and that you also don’t have to rush off early.
We recommend you block off 30 minutes before and after your interview. We like to call these your Prep and Cool Down blocks. This will allow you to not only prepare well before the interview but will create some breathing room for you in case the recording goes longer than anticipated.
The nerves and jitters you feel before an interview are totally normal. But what you don’t want is to have those nerves and jitters take over the way you present yourself on the podcast.
That’s why it’s so important to remember to breathe through your answers. Don’t be afraid to take a pause or even to make a mistake and ask to repeat yourself. Remember, that’s what post-editing is for.
You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to take your time, talk slower than you think, and breathe through it all.
Pro tip: We know listening to your own voice can be a little uncomfortable. But we promise, the more you do this, the more you’ll get used to it. Also, remember that you’re your own worst critic. The audience won’t notice the little stutters you make. Let it all go and trust that your knowledge will come through authentically.
Now that you’ve listened to past episodes, researched the host, curated your takeaways, practiced your elevator pitch, prepared your CTAs, blocked your calendar accordingly, and remembered to breathe (very important), you’re ready to take on the podcast guesting world.
Being a guest on a podcast is an experience that can change the trajectory of your business. That’s why it’s so important to take full advantage of the opportunity and give that audience your all. You want to make sure they walk away thinking, “Wow, that’s one of the best podcast guest interviews I’ve ever heard.”
Authenticity, vulnerability, and the willingness to open up will take you far. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and show the world how great you are.