3 Mistakes Podcast Hosts Make with Guests

Welcome to episode 524. Man, that’s a lot of episodes. I want to talk today about guests. I think there are some big, big mistakes we’re seeing when podcasts are building their businesses or their shows rather, around having other people come on. I think guests can be a really, really great part of your podcast if they fulfill the purpose of your show, if they serve the purpose of your show, and when you’re making these mistakes, you’re never going to get the results you want from having a guest.

And you know, when we think about why we’re having a guest, we’re looking to further extend our expertise. We’re looking to feature someone who we’re building a relationship with. We’re looking to connect our audience with resources we know will support them. And we’re looking always at, is this guest going to allow me to get in front of the audience they already have? That’s a critical part of this. It’s got to be. And if it’s not stop having guests. This show rarely, you may have noticed, features guests. The people I feature on the show are either important parts of my network and community and support, and so I want you to know about them too because I know they’ll be incredibly helpful to you as well and I want to see their businesses grow with amazing epic clients like you. Or they’re clients of Uncommonly More and I want you to see what working with us looks like.

I want you to be able to step into the shoes of somebody who already works with us so that you can see the impact that working with us has. And so I’m not making the mistakes that I’m going to share here because I have very specific goals for having guests on the show. If you do not have very specific goals for having guests on your show, stop having guests on your show and that really leads us to point number one.

Don’t rely on your guests to give you the title of your show.

To give you the questions you should ask, to give you the topic of the conversation. You know, your audience, you know your show’s purpose, you know the purpose of that guest being on your show. That’s what you need to be covering.

I don’t actually care what the guest wants to talk about. If they want to have an episode of a podcast all about answering the questions they want to answer, they should host their own podcast and many of them do. So what I want to be doing instead, is I want to be taking the time, doing the research, structuring the show so that it supports my purpose and my listeners. Yes, it is important that your guest be appreciated and your guest get a voice and be sharing things. You’ll notice that even though all of the guests on the show in the last year have been either clients or people who I loved and respected and wanted you to go work with, it didn’t matter which reason I had them on, they promoted their stuff too. We talked about their stuff too.

Partially because it makes it easier for you to see them yourself in their shoes. But also because that’s my way of showing appreciation for them showing up. The other way.I show appreciation for them showing up, I don’t put all the prep work of a podcast on them. You would be amazed at how often I get pitches to be on shows or I’ll pitch someone to be on their show, and they send me a pre-interview that is 20 or 30 questions writing their show. What am I titling it? List 20 questions you want the host to ask. Write the show notes, that’s a legit one. “Please share your intro and three to five points that you will be making during our interview. We’ll be using this as show notes.” Yeah. No. Stop having your guests do the show host’s job. That’s your job.

Number two. Don’t have just anybody on your show.

One thing I do really respect is I have been on some podcasts recently where I did have a pre-interview form, but it was questions about me. It was part of their research because they wanted to make sure I was in alignment with their audience. So they asked me about it the kind of people I worked with, the kind of work we do. They didn’t know me. We pitched them. They were vetting me. I’m assuming they also review those and look at my website and potentially come listen to this show. Maybe that’s you, that’d be fun. They’re listening to me on other podcasts as a guest to see if I’m helpful or annoying. They’re vetting me. They’re making sure that I’m going to be able to provide value for their audience because they are protecting the asset that is the trust they have built with their listenership.

I don’t care about guests nearly as much as I care about you coming back again next week. As much as I care about you reaching out and saying, “I love the show. I can’t wait to work with you. What’s that look like?” You know what I mean? So make sure you are protecting that. And that means not just having anybody who asks on your show. And this becomes especially tempting when you pitch a big show and they’re like, absolutely, let’s do an interview swap, but you’ve heard this person on other interviews and you kind of know that they’re not going to present in a way that is valuable for your audience, but you really want to be on their show because you really want to get in front of their audience. You have to decide if that’s worth it. And it might be, it might totally be. It might also not be, but you have to decide. You can’t just go, okay, cool.

You have to make an intentional decision around is this the right thing for my show? Is this the right person for my show? This also gets really tempting when you have really big names pitch your show, and you think absolutely, because they’ll share the podcast. They almost never do. Some do. Occasionally people do. But I find that relying on a big name to, or any guest to share the show, cannot be your marketing plan. It cannot be the only reason that they’re a yes when they asked to be on your show. It can’t be because it’s not reliable enough of a return. It just isn’t.

The third thing which kind of ties into this is, don’t make it hard to share.

Because oftentimes I sit down with podcasters and they’re complaining about, “Oh, I had so-and-so on my show and they never shared an episode. They never mentioned it. They didn’t retweet any of my tweets. I don’t think it was worth it to have a big name on. They just didn’t … They’re not sharing.” I go, “Cool, what kind of share assets did you give them?” Like, “Oh, well, nothing but you know, I tagged them on Twitter so that they knew the episode went live.” First of all, you’re trusting that they check their own Twitter or that anyone checks their Twitter. Check to make sure to see when the last time they tweeted was. Trust me, I’ve had this actual conversation and that person had not tweeted in like 18 months before that. And I was like, well, they probably still don’t know the episode’s come out. That might be part of it.

But make it really simple to share. Send them the graphics, a link. Say, “Hey, this is what we wrote up for our social in case it’s helpful for you.” Especially if you really, really, really want them to share. Make it really, really easy for them to do. And if you are having a client on to talk about their experience, you already have somebody who wants to share how incredible it is to work with you. Don’t skip the step where you give them the assets to do that. Make it really simple. And if you’re a show that has guests regularly, this is one of those process systems that you need to build. This is one of those process pieces that you need to have. And here’s the … You don’t have to write it. Have whoever handles your communications on your team, write up an email. Have whoever writes your social write-up some social with each guest episode that can be sent to the guests, that goes to your communications person. They handle that email. Get a link from your production agency, that’s us, to the folder where the guests can get the assets.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs to exist. If you’re somebody like me, who doesn’t have guests very often, I’ll be honest, we don’t have a system for this. We just don’t. I try and remember to send them a thank you for being on the show and links that it’s live. This happens wildly and consistently. I’m going to be the first to fess up about it, but it’s a big, big, big mistake to be making. And it’s something that I am going to commit to correcting because we do are going to have some guests coming up in Q2. Oh, it’s been a long time since we had guests. If you have questions, if you are ready to get some support in your show so that you could be avoiding these kinds of mistakes right off the top, because I can tell you right now, not a single client of ours makes any of these mistakes, it’s time to sit down. It’s time for us to talk. Head over to uncommonlymore.com/podcastproduction and let’s get you some real support with your show. I will see you again next week.

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