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Regardless of what industry you or your business are in, there are likely scores of thought leaders, influencers, speakers, authors or other professionals you would love to have on your podcast. Sounds easier said than done, right?
So how do you land not just more guests, but the right guests for your podcast? It comes down to one metric: value. Specifically, the value that your guest can provide for your audience and the value for your guest.
To help guide you through the process of reaching out to guests and starting this value exchange on the podcast, here are four of the best tips I have found most helpful in conducting this process.
1. Make the pitch personal
Creating a pitch has got to be personal. As someone who has interviewed over 1,000 people and been on over 250 podcasts, I connect better with the hosts (and guests) who make an effort to get to know me. A pitch that is 100% templated is not only completely noticeable but also impersonal. Start with what draws you to this person and include a personal anecdote. For example: I loved the episode you had with Jane Smith — you both navigated how to set boundaries for yourself in this conversation. My audience is constantly asking questions about how they can build better relationships and boundaries are a huge part of that. My podcast would.
Most of the guests you’re going to want to interview likely receive dozens — if not hundreds or more — of pitch emails and calls every week. To cut through the white noise of this, your pitch is going to need to stand out more prominently than the others your target guest receives. A pitch that sounds more like a personal invitation rather than a normal pitch goes a long way.
2. Word of mouth
As someone who has built a seven-figure business entirely on word of mouth, I cannot stress how much weight a personal recommendation or introduction carries. When a client refers someone to me, it’s the biggest compliment they could ever give me. In the same way, getting a personal introduction to a guest from a mutual connection goes a long way. People who either know you personally, are more familiar with you and/or your brand or who can be offered a warm introduction to you by a mutual connection will be much more likely to respond positively to your inquiry to interview them for your podcast.
If you’re unsure of where or how to start utilizing your network in this way, try researching relevant industry events such as conferences, as well as blog or book authors, motivational speakers or even other podcast hosts for your industry.
Not everyone can boast a professional network of hundreds or thousands of professional leaders, especially podcasters who are still relatively new to podcasting. This is why it’s crucial to continue building and growing your network. The stronger and larger it is, the better your chances are of finding and landing higher-profile guests to interview. Furthermore, the more guests you can interview, the more opportunities you have to be introduced to additional potential guest interviewees for your podcast in the future.
3. Consistency is the key, persistency is the lock
As entrepreneurs, we’re all familiar with the old adage of “consistency is key.” But if consistency is the key to success, persistence is the lock that it opens.
Landing guests — especially high-profile guests — on your podcast won’t happen overnight. Not unless you are extremely lucky, anyway. Luck and chance aside, be prepared to receive a lot of “no” responses and to see even more of your outreach emails, calls or messages go unanswered. It can be hard to remain positive when this occurs, but remember that you will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
No success ever comes quickly or easily. After all, it often takes years of hard work and effort to build a brand from scratch into one that is recognized as a winning leader in its field. However, if you don’t remain persistent in your outreach to potential guest interviewees for your podcast, or in your follow-up communications with them, then you can’t expect to ever land an interview with a guest you truly want to have on your podcast.
4. Clearly outline the benefits for guests appearing on your podcast
Sometimes, it’s better to allow your past works and successes to speak for themselves. When the time comes to pitch potential guests for your podcast, leverage these successes as points for why it would be beneficial to be interviewed as a guest on your show.
The more prominent you or your podcast are, the easier it will be to showcase the benefits of appearing as a guest interviewee on your podcast. For example, if you can outline analytics such as the number of episodes, downloads, awards or even other guests who have appeared on your podcast that a potential interviewee may be familiar with, the more likely it is that you will land an interview with the target guest in question.
Whoever you desire to interview — and regardless of when or why — everyone you meet and talk to has a story they want to share. Granting them an opportunity to share their story in an interview on your podcast can provide immense value to both you and your guest, so long as their story remains relevant to your podcast itself, your brand and your audience.