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PodSchool Podcast | Are high-profile guests a good way to grow your podcast audience?

 

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Can you grow your podcast audience with high-profile guests?

The impact might not be as impressive as you’d think….

A lot of people think getting high-profile guests on their show is the silver bullet when it comes to growing an audience.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the spike in listeners often isn’t as impressive as you might have hoped and it’s also not guaranteed.

No matter how big the star is.

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Having said that, there are still great benefits but ultimately, how effective these guests are for you in terms of audience numbers depends on a bunch of factors that are out of your control.

Some people will have a following of people who would go anywhere to see them do anything.  Others will just want to consume the content they find on their website and social pages and won’t venture further afield than that.  It all depends on the kind of relationship your guest has developed with their audience and that is totally out of your hands.

What are the benefits of using high-profile guests?

  • It introduces your show to a new audience that might not have found you otherwise
  • It builds a small amount of trust before the audience of your high-profile guest has listened to anything you’ve done because of the association you have with someone they trust
  • It will give you so much shareable content that you can continue to use over and over again (which is invaluable)

Some things to think about when dealing with high-profile guests…

Make sure your show fits perfectly with their brand

If it doesn’t there’s no way they’ll share it and to be honest, they might not even do the show in the first place.

Even if they do, your show might be an interview series about their life story but their social pages and website features practical tips and advice.  If that’s the case, they might be happy to do your show because they find it interesting but it might not be something that fits with the rest of their social content, so they might not share it.  And that’s okay because their Twitter feed is not your Twitter feed.

Make sure they have an amazing time

From the minute you contact them to the very last email, every step of the experience should be a joy and you should treat every relationship with a guest as a recurring one.

You never know when you might want them to come back on your show or when you might get a chance to work together in the future so you want every memory of dealing with you to be amazing.

It’s really important to think of things from their perspective and to be appreciative of the fact they’ve given you a bucket load of usable content and if you get nothing else out of it, that’s more than enough.

If you’re DESPERATE to have your show shared by guests here are some things that will help make that happen…

Make sure there is something in it for them

When you’re starting out you probably won’t have a huge audience to offer them so the best thing you can do is make them feel like coming on your show was time well spent.

Be respectful of their time, be super prepared and be mindful of the fact it’s entirely their choice if they share your show.

More often than not, if you come at the experience with the best of intentions, that little human being will look across at you (the Little Podcast Engine That Could) and think “I want this person to succeed and I’m going to help them do that”.

Make it super easy for them to share your content

If they are going to share your stuff on their social platforms you need to make that process as easy as possible.

They need to have all the information at their disposal which can be as simple as sending an e-mail with all the details or using click to tweet which allows you to auto-populate a tweet for them.

Just be mindful of what you put in that tweet because less is more.

Some guests might find it really helpful for you to prepare a post they can copy and paste, but some guests might think it’s a bit presumptuous.

Try and get a sense of which camp your guest falls into by asking them “would you like me to shoot you some info about the show after it’s finished?”  If they say yes, ask them “what info would be helpful?”

Don’t expect anything

If your guest retweets you or shares your show on their social platforms then that’s AMAZING but don’t expect it and definitely DON’T bug them if they haven’t done it.

The relationship you will lose will be so much more valuable than any retweeting they will have done because the jump in numbers is often nowhere near as huge as you’d expect it to be.

At the end of the day, you have to understand how precious the content is that they have given you by coming on your show and and that should be enough.

If you get a few extra retweets or they share your show on their socials then fantastic but the only way they’ll ever do that is if they’ve had a great time and felt it was worth their time.

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Read full show rundown

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining me. This week I'm going to be talking about high profile guests and whether getting them onto your show is a silver bullet that some people claim it is for growing your audience numbers. There is no doubt that having somebody on your show that a lot of other people like is going to have some benefit for your podcast but it's not going to take you from zero to 700,000 listeners in one episode. It's important to go into all aspects of podcasting with a healthy realistic expectation and the same goes for when you've got high profile guests on. I've seen a few people become very disappointed with the lack of impact that it had on their show. So I just wanted to talk a little bit about the benefits of high profile guests, some of the things not to do and some of the ways that you can increase your chances of a guest sharing your show and therefore hopefully opening up the floodgates for whoever would like to spill in. Ultimately how effective this is for you is going to depend on a number of factors including how engaged the audience of your guest actually is. It is amazing the difference in different people's audiences. Sometimes there are some people who if that individual tweets that they've gone to have a sandwich somewhere then all of their fans just want to see them eating a sandwich.

[00:01:25] Other people have audiences that they could tweet something that is a bit of content that they've done for somebody else but they might not be the kind of engaged audience that wants to go off their page and look at somebody else's page. You just can't predict what an individual's audiences are going to do and all of that comes down to the kind of relationship that they've cultivated with the people that follow them. And that is just luck of the draw. Sometimes you'll get people who will tweet out a link to your show and next thing you know there is a giant spike in your numbers. Other times you'll get people that will tweet out to huge numbers and nobody will come and check it out. So it really just depends on the type of relationship that they have with their audience and what kind of people those individuals are.

[00:02:10] The other thing to think about is does your show fit in with their brand. If it doesn't they're probably not going to share your show on their social platforms of course they're not going to do your show if it doesn't fit with them at all but you might have something that's maybe a little bit more personally driven and maybe their social platforms are geared more towards advice and information. At the end of the day some people have really carefully curated the content that goes onto their social feed so they might be mindful of not tweeting it. And that is okay because their Twitter feed is not your Twitter feed so it's really important to cool your jets and not be a pushy broad or dude.

[00:02:48] Some of the other things that will impact it, is whether they had a good experience on your show. So it is important from the minute that you contact them the very first time to the very last email you ever send that you are delightful to deal with and you have to treat every single relationship that you have with every guest as a recurring relationship. You know your relationship with that person doesn't end when they leave your show and they've tweeted it and you've gotten the requisite followers that you wanted to get out of them. You never know when you might want them to come back on your show and you want to have the kind of relationship with them where they think this is a no brainer because they had an absolute blast last time.

[00:03:29] So it's really important to think of things from their perspective and also, at the bottom of everything, be respectful of the fact that they have given you a bucket load of content that you then get to repurpose and ship out. And that, if they do no tweeting at all, should be enough.

[00:03:48] Now people do go on a bit about getting high profile guests on their show as the sort of cure all for growing an audience. And it is great. There's no doubt about that and some of the reasons why it's great is that it can introduce you and your podcast to an audience of people that might not have found you otherwise. And not only that, it builds a small amount of trust in those people because they have that know like and trust factor with that individual. And then by association the fact that that person thinks that you're a bit of all right and that your show is decent enough to go on, gives them a sense of word of mouth and trust that their audience can feel safe going to check you out. So there's a bit of reflected glory that you get from those people. Their audience look at you like you're someone worthy of their attention because the person that they are following is interested in you or thinks that your show is good enough to have been a guest on. It will also give you so much shareable content and I always say that is why you should be grateful for that time and anything else is an additional bonus.

[00:05:39] But if you are desperate for the retweets these are some of the things I would recommend doing.

[00:05:50] 1. Make sure there is something in it for them.

[00:05:54] When you are starting out you probably won't have much to offer them in terms of reach so so it is very important that you make sure there's something in it for them. When you are starting out the best that you can do in that department is just make it a bloody joy of an experience. Be very respectful of their time, be super prepared when they come in and sit down with you, be very mindful of the fact that it's entirely their choice if they share your show. Just make it something they do not regret. And more often than not that little human being sitting across from you will look across at the Little Engine That Could, giving it their best, and think I want this person to succeed and I'm going to help them do that. So make sure you come out with good intentions.

[00:07:18] 2. Make sharing your content easy.

[00:07:23] If they are going to share your stuff on their social platforms you need to make that process as easy as possible. They need to have all the information at their disposal which can be as simple as sending an e-mail or using click to tweet which creates a link they can click on and it will auto-populate their Twitter message. Just be mindful of what you put in that tweet because less is more. This might change if you have got somebody on who would find you preparing a little bit of content helpful and that is something that it wouldn't be bad asking that individual because otherwise if you do send somebody a piece of content already created like a Facebook post or a tweet, while you think you might be being helpful, it can actually put people off because it can come across as a bit presumptuous.

[00:08:58] 3. Don't expect anything.

[00:09:25] If they retweet you or share on Facebook that is a blessing but do not expect that it will happen and please do not bug them if they have not retweeted. Do not email them saying "why have you not retweeted" because the relationship that you will lose will be so much more valuable than any retweeting that they will have done because the jump in numbers is often nowhere near as huge as you expect it to be. I've had some of my guests on my podcast, You've Gotta Start Somewhere, tweet out to significantly large audiences and in the back of my podcast host it's been tumbleweeds and crickets. I really don't want to burst your bubble on this one but it's not the guaranteed bump in numbers that some people claim it is because it depends on too many variables that are just out of your control.

[00:10:16] You have to understand how precious that content is that they have given you and how much you can do with that. And that should be enough by itself. If you get a few extra retweets or they share on their socials then that's fantastic. The only way they'll ever do that is if they've had a great time and they want your little show to win because you've been very respectful of them. So I guess the bottom line of all of this is just don't be a dick. Don't be pushy and be respectful and understand that even if you get no social thumbs up you've gotten so much from the interview.

[00:10:57] As always I will leave links to everything on the show notes page at PodschoolPodcast.com. Thank you so much for downloading this episode and if you are enjoying the tips I would love it if you'd leave a review in iTunes. It will just help other people find the show and of course if you want to get a bit more in-depth knowledge you can head to PodSchool.com.au to find out more about my podcasting course that takes you all the way from coming up with an idea to monetising your show and all of the creamy finicky bits in the middle.

[00:11:28] Thanks so much for joining me. I'll see you next week and until then. Happy podcasting.

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