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


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There’s no simple way to grow your podcast audience

When you’re wondering how to grow your podcast audience, high-profile guests can feel like a silver bullet.

But while having successful, well-known people on your show is hugely advantageous, it’s no guarantee your podcast will go from 10 listeners to 10,000 overnight.

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The impact varies from guest to guest

If a high-profile guest has a huge social following it’s easy to assume one tweet will have all those people flooding into your show.  Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.

How effective a guest is at growing your podcast audience will depend on a bunch of factors that are entirely out of your control.

Some people have a highly engaged audience who’ll follow them wherever they go.  Others might have followers who are interested in reading articles on their website or looking at photos on their Instagram feed but might not care enough to seek out an interview with them on another platform.

It all depends on the kind of relationship your guest has built with their audience and that’s something you can’t influence.

How to attract high-profile guests to your podcast


What are the benefits of high-profile guests?

Now that we’ve gotten the doom and gloom out of the way we can get to the positives…

They introduce your show to a new audience 

Discovery is a huge issue in podcasting especially when you’re trying to grow your audience.  So if a guest shares your show that exposes it to new ears and eyes that might never have found it, or you, otherwise.

This increased visibility is incredibly important to audience growth.

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It builds trust and authority

If your guest has a community of followers that trust them, you’ll get some of that goodwill by association.

If they’re saying “I trust this podcast enough to be featured on it,” their audience is likely to trust it’s worth checking out too.  That’s really powerful but so is the credibility and authority you get from having successful people on your show generally.

When potential listeners come across your podcast, whether via your guest’s recommendation or otherwise, seeing names they recognise on previous episodes helps build your show’s credibility.

That, in turn, increases the chances people will check it out.

The more interest in your podcast, the more potential to grow your audience.

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You can rely on someone else’s expertise for content

Coming up with content week in, week out, is one of the most difficult aspects of podcasting.

Having high profile guests on your show means you’ve got access to their expertise and experience and this can make for some really engaging and interesting content.

It also helps when it comes to sharing your show.  If your guest has a name or face that’s recognisable, sharing that on social media can help generate interest.

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How do you increase your chance of success?

If you want to grow your audience with high-profile guests you need them to share the show.

Whether or not they do is entirely up to them but here are some things that can increase the chances of that happening…

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, the angle of your show might be different to content they regularly share on their social media.  That means they might be ok to do the interview but they might not want to share it.

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Make sure they have an amazing time

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

You never know when you might want them to come back on or when you might get a chance to work together in the future.

Be organised, prepared and respectful of their time.  But above all else make it fun.

If they have a good time and see that you’ve really put in the time and effort to make it a good experience, they’ll be more than happy to share the show.

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Make it easy for them

Once the show goes live make sure they have links to everything they need to share the show and any creative you’ve knocked up e.g. images, videos, audio cards.

Some guests might find it helpful if you prepare a post they can copy and paste, but most guests will think that’s a bit presumptuous and will prefer to use their own words.  There’s nothing wrong with asking which method they’d prefer.

Also, make sure you tag them in any of your social media posts because that will often be the easiest way to get them to share.

How do you grow your podcast audience?


Don’t be pushy

If your guest retweets you or shares your show that’s AMAZING but don’t expect it and definitely don’t bug them if they haven’t done it.

The relationship you’ll lose will be much more valuable than any retweeting they do because the jump in numbers often isn’t as huge as you’d expect it to be.

Appreciate how precious the content they give you is and then everything on top of that should be seen as a bonus.

There are very few things you can do that will grow your podcast audience overnight so you have to remember this is a long term game.

Add high-profile guests into your mix with other strategies and it’ll all help to get more ears on your show.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!