How to attract high-profile guests to your podcast


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How to attract high-profile guests to your podcast

Are you chasing them for the right reasons?

Most people think if they get a few high-profile guests on their podcast their audience numbers will go through the roof.

Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.

Not only do guests with big profiles not guarantee a spike in listeners they’re often difficult to get on if you don’t have existing relationships to tap into.

So, if this type of podcast guest is something you desperately want on your show.  And you know it’s right for your content (not just something you’re doing for more listeners) here are some things you should think about…

Give yourself plenty of time

The one thing all high-profile people have in common is they’re busy.  So make sure there’s a long lead time between when you’re contacting them and when your podcast episode goes live.

There might be some people you reach out to who you don’t hear back from for months.

Alternatively, you might have a wishlist of 20 names and get 18 emails saying “Thanks but no thanks” before someone says yes.

You need to factor this in and make sure you’ve got plenty of time to book people in before you need to record those episodes.

How long does it take to put together a podcast episode?


Be prepared to fit in with them

If you want high-profile guests on your podcast, unfortunately, you’re the one who’s going to need to be flexible.

You can’t say to somebody “I really want you on the show but the episode comes out next week so can we do it in the next few days?”

You need to say “Hey I’m recording a podcast and I’d love to have you on as a guest. Is there any time that would be convenient for you?”

That might be in five days or it might be in three months.  So you’ve got to have the wiggle room there so you’re not desperately trying to fill the chair with anyone.

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


Batch record your episodes

Ideally, you want to record your episodes well ahead of their release date so if a podcast guest cancels or something goes wrong you’ve got a decent buffer.

With my show, You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere, I was interviewing people for 6 months before my podcast went live.

This was because I knew when that first episode rolled out and I was meeting a weekly deadline I wouldn’t be able to get people on short notice.

This not only gives you more options when scheduling guests it saves you from having a weekly stress-induced heart attack.

Why you should batch record your podcast


Make sure your concept is easy to understand

When you’re approaching busy guests for your podcast you need to be able to sell the idea for your show in one or two lines.

If you say “My show is an interview series where I chat to interesting people” that’s not a compelling enough invitation for someone with a hectic schedule.  It also gives them no idea what they’re in for.

Whatever you do, you want your podcast guests to feel as comfortable as possible and that means they need to know what the show is about and exactly what you’re asking them to do.

Why you need to define your podcast concept


Think about creating shorter seasons

It’s a lot harder to book 52 podcast guests than it is to book six so don’t get stuck in the mindset that once you start you can never stop.

Maybe book six, roll those out, then try and book another six for season two.

You’re relying on other people when you’re doing an interview show so setting a lower benchmark will help you succeed.

How to make podcasting easier with seasons


Be genuine

Start sending those emails and making connections BUT always make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Only reach out to high-profile guests if they’re the perfect fit for your podcast, not because you think you’ll be able to piggyback off their audience.

Anyone worth their salt will be able to smell that desperation a mile off and if they do it’s unlikely they’ll come on your show.

At the end of the day, high-profile guests are great but they don’t guarantee a million extra listeners so you need to make sure you’re getting them on for the right reasons and making the experience great for them.

How do you grow your podcast audience?


Consider guests with lower or no profile

People trying to build their profile are often much better podcast guests because they want to talk to you.

If you sit down with someone who has a great story but is relatively unknown, you’ll often get much stronger content than someone who doesn’t need the exposure.

How to get the most out of your podcast interviews


Remember, the first podcast guest is always the hardest

If you’re starting from scratch, the first guest will always be the most difficult to lock in but once you’ve got someone of note to invest in your concept it’ll be easier to get other people across the line.

And once that first high-profile person has said yes you can let other people know you’ve had them on the show, which can make them feel more comfortable saying “yes.”

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.

1 Comment
  1. Brian Keenan says:

    Very helpful! I appreciate your insight.

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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!