I’ve been a guest on several podcasts. Sometimes, I feel like the red carpet is rolled out. Other times…not so much. It doesn’t matter if your guest is an a-lister celebrity or a total newbie. They’re giving up their valuable time to be on your podcast; they deserve special treatment. A guest who feels special will be a lifelong fan. One who feels like an afterthought is probably not going to help promote your podcast, and they might even speak to others about how they’ve been treated poorly.
So the next time you have a guest on your podcast, go the extra mile. Make them feel like a star! Here are 15 tips to help you make them feel special:
- Do your research.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how some bloggers don’t do it. I was once on a podcast where it was very clear that the podcaster didn’t know much about my blogs or what I do. I felt like I wasn’t important enough for this podcaster to research anything about me, and feeling unimportant stinks. So become James Lipton for a hot minute and be thorough when researching your guest.
- Offer to meet via Skype first.
Not every guest has time to meet with you via Skype before you record, but you can at least offer it. This is especially great for guests who aren’t on podcasts often and are feeling nervous about recording.
- Follow them on social media.
Nothing says, “I don’t care about you” more than not following your guests on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks.
- Work on your intro skills.
How you introduce your guest makes all the difference, and a lot of podcasters get this wrong. Don’t say, “I’ll let so-and-so tell you more about him/herself.” Like doing no research, it makes your guest feel like you don’t care who they are. Think about what you’re going to say about your guest as an intro and even practice it a few times. Don’t wing it.
- Compliment without blowing smoke.
To continue with the last point, during your intro and throughout the episode, compliment your guest. Don’t blow smoke (people know when you’re being insincere), but definitely let all of your guests know that you’re impressed by their skills or accomplishments.
- Ask how you can help.
Before you start, ask your guest how you can best help them at the moment. When researching your guest, you should get to know their various projects, but some people (most people) have a lot going on. Would they rather you focus on the work they’re doing at their full time job? Are they trying to promote personal blogs or other projects? Do you wish you’d help them gain more social followers? What do they have coming up in the future that you can promote? Ask your guest what their goals are so you can help him/her accomplish them.
- Don’t rush.
It is important to be considerate of your guests’ time. However, if you’re rushing the spot, it can make them feel unimportant. Once, I was on a podcast where episodes were typically 30-45 minutes, and some were even 60 minutes. My episode was only 20 minutes. It made me feel like the host didn’t think I was important enough for a full episode. So don’t rush it! When you ask someone to be your guest, talk about the time commitment so they are aware, and then use that time.
- Ask for advice.
It’s flattering when someone values my opinion enough to ask for advice. So, when you have a guest on your podcast, ask for it!
- Ask for future guest recommendations.
Along the same lines, you can also ask guests for recommendations for other guests. You’ll want to do this after you’re done recording, not on the show.
- Share some “insider” information.
It always makes people feel important when they know something other people don’t know. What small piece of “insider information” can you share? Of course, you can’t trust every guest to keep his/her mouth shut, so be discerning in what you share, but even little things no one else knows yet, like who your next guest is, can make your current guest feel important.
- Make time for your guests on their schedule.
It’s off-putting when someone invites me to be on their podcast and then tells me a time I need to be there. Unless it’s a live show, you should schedule recording at a time that is convenient for your guest, rather than demanding they work around your schedule.
- Schedule content promotion.
Give the episode some special promotion, but also schedule some time to promote other things the guest is doing as well. DO they have their own podcast? Do they write a blog? Are they launching a book? Give your guest some social shout-outs outside of just promoting your own podcast.
- Support your guests’ projects.
Along the same lines, take a little time to support your guests’ projects. Beyond social promotion, take time to attend a live webinar they’re doing, buy their product, etc.
- Connect your guests with others.
Relationships are powerful. Think about who might help your guests reach their goals. Can you connect these people? Don’t be too pushy, but when relevant, make email introductions that are beneficial to both parties. It makes people feel very special that you think of them and want to help them.
- Say thank you.
Lastly, say thank you. Not just after the podcast recording is done, either. Send a special email or even a $5 giftcard on Facebook with a note. If you have the person’s home address, a handwritten card is even better. A little thank you can go a long way.
How do you make your podcast guests feel special? Leave a comment with your tips!
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Allison, thanks a lot for your tips!!! They helped me a lot!!!
These are great tips. As a podcaster, I try to do MOST of these things most of the time. As a sometimes-podcast guest, I am often dismayed by the host’s lack of preparation and manners. Let’s hope more podcasters see your post. Thanks for sharing.
Great pointers! Thank you.
I typically provide my podcast guests with a ‘How to Be a Great Guest’ handout that includes suggestions about what to do before, during and after the interview.
Based on the feedback received, guests seem to welcome it especially if we’re airing the interview live.