As entrepreneurs, you should train yourself to have a keen eye for opportunities that knock on your door. This includes the privilege to be invited and interviewed on a podcast. It’s one of the golden opportunities where you can build trust and expand your reach by promoting your brand.
But - not all entrepreneurs are naturally gifted public speakers or are comfortable to talk behind the microphone.
You may have attended numerous client meetings, dealt with challenging clients, and even participated in conferences to grow your business and further your career. So, how is a podcast interview any different?
For one, you’re not the one ‘maneuvering’ the flow of dialogue. So, how do you retain your listeners’ attention and keep it engaging?
Secondly, expect follow-up questions you’re not prepared to answer. The flow of an interview can go from point A to point B, or point B to point Z. So, how are you going to deal with spontaneous questions that you haven’t prepared for and are not on your list?
These are some of the realities of podcast guesting. It can be scary, but it doesn’t need to be.
This week, I share five tips that can make you a great guest even if you don’t have much - or any - experience behind the mic.
Guesting Tip #1: Identify the outcome you want to achieve by being a guest on a particular show.
Do you want to promote a book?
Do you want more people to know about your brand?
Do you want to get more people to sign up to your list?
Whatever outcome you hope to gain from guesting on a podcast, you need to make it crystal clear to yourself so you know how to handle the interview.
Also, knowing the kind of show you’re guesting on will help you determine how to answer the questions as you relate your remarks to that particular show.
So, how do you go about this?
Let’s take a look at the next tip.
Guesting Tip #2: Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Preparation is the key to success with virtually everything we do in life and business - and that includes promoting yourself, your brand, and what you have to offer while being a guest on a podcast. So, how do you prepare yourself for your guest appearance?
Do your homework
Listen to a few past episodes to get a “feel” for the show. What is the conversation style? Is it casual, formal, or spontaneous? Is it okay to use jargons, or should you avoid it?
Consider the format
Do the episodes have midrolls? How long does the show usually run? Knowing the estimated talking time you have will give you a glimpse of how you’re going to divide and prioritize your talking points to make sure you get your message across.
Listen to the host
Does the host like asking follow-up questions? If so, how does he probe his guests? Does she include humor in the conversation, or does she like talking more than she lets the guest answer?
While preparation does not always guarantee a smooth-sailing conversation, it allows you to be more confident once the host hits the record button. And when you feel confident, you’re going to sound confident.
Remember, your audience can hear the confidence - or lack of it - in your voice. So, how the audience will perceive you is totally up to your preparation.
Guesting Tip #3: Share the spotlight with the host.
In my post How to Improve Your Podcast Interviewing Skills, I mentioned the unique perspective that our Podcast Rockstars guest, Yann Ilunga, had about sharing the spotlight with the ‘star of the show.’
Yann is a podcasting consultant who has hosted several podcasts. He is coined as the “unicorn-level digital marketing expert” and is the creator of the Podcast Growth Mastermind, a group that has been named the “Podcast Community to Join” by Forbes.
In his interview on Podcast Guesting: Improving Your Interviewing Skills & Being a Great Guest, he said that the host is the star of the show.
You read that right.
Don’t worry because you, my dear, are the co-star.
With that said, think of your interview as teamwork rather than competition. You and the host can make great things happen if you work together and share the spotlight instead of working against each other - stealing the spotlight as you go.
Guesting Tip #4: Find a balance between your goals and providing listeners with valuable and interesting content.
Is it okay to go on ahead with your sales pitch?
There’s no problem with that. However, you have to consider that while your ultimate goal is to promote your new book or your newly launched course, for example, it is crucial that you give the audience some value.
How does this look?
It is not enough to say that your book has all the tips new entrepreneur needs for them to launch their business successfully. The listeners themselves should want to grab a copy of your book or enroll in your course because they see how your material would make them better - if not the best - version that they can be as an entrepreneur.
Keep in mind - everything in life (almost everything) is a two-way street.
Give the listeners a taste of you (and your brain) and know when the right time is to pitch your product or service.
After all, timing is everything.
Guesting Tip #5: Promote your interview on your social media platforms and your newsletter.
Your guest appearance may not be your show, but it’s still you. Being invited as a podcast guest increases your credibility, builds trust, and expands your reach.
After your interview, ask the host if they can provide you with marketing collaterals that you can share on social media.
If you think your content would be relevant today, tomorrow, and in the years to come, that's awesome! You can continue promoting your guesting episode even years after the show went live.
As you head to your next interview...
So, let’s do a quick recap before you run off to your interview.
Know what you want to get out of the interview.
Start researching on the show you’re guesting on.
Share the spotlight with the host.
Provide valuable content to your listeners
Don’t forget to promote on all your social media platforms.
Are you still hesitant?
Don’t just take my word for it.
Follow these actionable steps and watch yourself rock that interview.
What’s that one thing you always do (or don’t do) when you face the mic for an interview? Share your answer in the comments and encourage new and aspiring podcast guests.