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Do you have to pay your podcast guests?

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Do you have to pay your podcast guests?

Will you be out of pocket before you’ve even begun?

If you want to interview guests on your podcast you might be thinking “Holy crap! Do I have to pay all these people?”

Lucky for you (and your bank balance) the expectation with most podcast guests is they won’t get paid.

But that means you need to make sure they get something else in exchange for their time and content.

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What about high-profile guests and experts?

If you’ve already got a decent-sized audience, payment probably won’t come up because trading time for exposure is seen as a fair exchange.

But when you’re starting out you won’t be able to use this as a bargaining chip, so some guests may ask if you offer payment.

Having said that, I’ve overseen the production of over 50 podcasts and I could count the number of times I’ve had to pay a podcast guest on one hand.

As with anything, there will be exceptions but as a general rule most podcast guests don’t expect it and most podcast hosts don’t offer it.

How to attract high-profile guests to your podcast

Read

Make sure guests get something valuable in exchange for their time

While it isn’t likely to cost you any of your hard-earned cash it’s important to recognise how much value you get out of a guest agreeing to be on your podcast.

In fact, one day you might end up making money off their interview if you get to the point where you can monetise your show. So, keep that in mind when you’re sitting across from someone who’s said yes.

Even if you’re not monetising, your guest is still giving you valuable content you can share with your listener and that’s something you should be incredibly grateful for.

And that’s why it’s important to make sure they have an awesome experience so the fact they’re not getting paid doesn’t matter.

How to make money from your podcast

Read

Be generous

Since you don’t have to be generous with your money be generous with everything else.

Turn up early and make sure you’ve tested all your equipment so your guest doesn’t have to wait around while you deal with technical issues.

Send them a thank you note when it’s done so they know how grateful you are for their time.

When the episode goes live make sure you give them a big pump up on social media to let everyone else know how much you enjoyed the chat.

And most important of all…be prepared!

Do your research, ask interesting questions, and do everything you can to avoid making it feel like a bad date.

For most podcast guests a fantastic experience will be payment enough.

How to get the most out of your podcast interviews

Read

Be flexible

If people are doing you a favour by coming on your show, the last thing you want to say to them is “I’d love to have you on but I can only squeeze you in at 9 am on Tuesday.”

Getting good guests on your podcast means fitting into their schedule so you need to make sure you’ve got a decent amount of time between when you contact people and when you’d like their episode to go live.

One thing that can help with this is batch recording your podcast.

This will help you get ahead of yourself and give you the flexibility you need to work around other people’s commitments.

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.

2 Comments
  1. Denny says:

    I won’t to turn my podcast (haven’t started yet) content into a project, then a book. What if any copyright ownership do the guests have?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Denny, That’s probably a question you’ll need to ask an IP lawyer but I’d imagine you’ll need to get your guests to sign a release form when you record them if you want to use the content they bring for other purposes because when they sit down to record the interview they’re just agreeing for their voice to be used for that specific project. Rach

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