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


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Can someone else’s profile grow your podcast audience?

When you’re wondering how to grow your podcast audience, high-profile guests can feel like the silver bullet you’ve been waiting for.

But while successful, well-known guests are great for content and cred, it’s no guarantee people who love them will come and check out your podcast.

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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 all of which 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 they’ve written or looking at their Instagram feed but aren’t interested in listening to them on a podcast.

It all depends on the kind of relationship each 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 starting from scratch.

So if a guest shares your show that can expose your content to new ears and eyes who might never have found it, or you, otherwise.

This increased visibility is incredibly important to audience growth.

How to promote your podcast before it’s live


It builds trust and authority

If your guest has a community of followers who 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 extremely powerful but so is the credibility and authority you get from having successful people on your show generally.

When potential listeners find your podcast, whether via your guest’s recommendation or otherwise, seeing names they recognise in previous episodes will help build your show’s credibility.  This, in turn, increases the chances people will check it out.

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

How to use language to connect with your podcast audience


You can rely on someone else’s expertise for content

Coming up with content every week 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 (that you didn’t have to come up with yourself).

How to find content for your podcast


A great guest can be the reason someone listens 

If your guest has a recognisable name or face, promoting the fact they’re on your show can get people excited about the episode, even if they haven’t listened to your podcast before.

It’s much easier to get someone interested in hearing from someone they already know.  So, high-profile guests can be a way to pique people’s interest in your content even if they don’t know who you are or what your show is about.

How to promote your podcast


How do you increase your chances of success?

If you want to grow your audience with high-profile guests you’ll need them to share your 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 podcast 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 the content they regularly share on social media.  This means they might be ok to do the interview but they might not want to share it.

Making sure you pitch your show to people who fit perfectly with your content will reduce the chance of them not sharing, or saying no in the first place.

Why you should create a podcast for your business


Make sure they have an amazing time

From the minute you contact them to the very last email, the experience should be a joy.  You should also 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 you’ve put in the time and effort to make it a good experience, they’ll be more than happy to share your show.

How to get the most out of your podcast interviews


Make it easy for them

Once the show goes live make sure they have links to everything they need 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 all your posts because that will 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.

Appreciate how precious the content they give you is and 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 you’re playing the long game.

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.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

[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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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!