3 Unique Ways to Get Better Results from Guest Episodes

Episode 508, we’re going to talk guests again today. We’ve have had the guest conversation before, but today, we’re going to talk less about if it’s a good idea or not and more about three ways, three sort of guests styles you can go with to get better results, better engagement from featuring guests on your show. I want to jump right into this because I think so often, the question is: guests, yes; or guests, no? Instead of guests, why? I think having guests on your show and featuring people on your show can be a really, really, really fun thing to do, not just for your listeners, but for you. One of my sort of cliches when I had guests on this show a lot, early, early, early in the show was I’m brought on people who I really wanted to talk to and who really thought would have something interesting to say and mostly, that I really wanted to ask questions to. Then I shared the answers from that conversation with you in the podcast.

Now, some of these were people who I just thought were interesting and we had a cool conversation and it was fun, but some of these were new people, quite frankly, I wanted to be coached by. So we got on a call and I asked the questions I wanted to ask in a really general sense, obviously. I’m not broadcasting my coaching calls. Although, there are guests who would be totally down for you to do that. But these were just things I wanted to know. I think if you’re going to have guests on your show, really create a boundary around the fact that you want to have guests you want to talk to. So when you’re getting pitched and you will, I still get pitched all the time, I highly, highly highly recommend if you’re not excited.

If you’re not over the moon, “I want to talk to this person,” don’t because those are never good.

Those episodes are locks. They just are. They’re rough to record. They’re rough to edit. They’re hard to promote because you’re not excited. So if you’re not fired up, it’s always going to be a no. Now, let’s say it’s a yes and you’re like, “I want to get some new mojo, some new energy on the show,” which is by the way, a great time to bring guests in, I will say that even now, I tend to lean on guests when I’m feeling a bit uninspired, but I am also needing some fresh mojo and energy. A great way to do that is to invite a guest on. My favorite way to do that is actually going to be this first piece that we talk about today, which is to think less about experts and more about your clients.

Even if you want to bring them on to talk about something about them, you want to talk about their expertise, you want to feature them, start with the people paying you. Start with your clients because even if you have a conversation that’s not a traditional testimonial case study kind of episode where we’re coming on and we’re talking about how cool you are and the work you guys did together was, you have a real opportunity to highlight the caliber and quality of people you work with. You are giving your audience someone to identify with. You are giving them a representation of who the people are that work with you. So they can go, “Oh, I want to be cool like her. I should work with Stacey. She’s awesome,” and inevitably, somewhere in the conversation, they’re always some testimonial stuff that’s just like, “Oh, Stacey’s so cool.” They’re just is.

But look to your clients first and do not undervalue that component of key study and testimonial. Time and time and time again, I’m laughing because we have clients who have filled their program. Several, if not, all of the people who they booked into the place, or who they got on sales calls with whether they ended up in the program or not for whatever reason, it was, “I loved your interview with so-and-so.” “I loved the conversation you had with blah, blah.” Those case study kind of conversations is what took them from, “Oh, that sounds really cool,” to, “I need to do this. I want to do this. I need to talk to that person about this because this is it. This feels like the thing.” So do not undervalue that.

Now, this doesn’t have to mean that it’s, “Okay. I helped George with selling X, Y, Z boxes of lemonade.” First of all, that’s terrible. They don’t sell boxes of lemonade, but you know what I’m saying? It can be a conversation. When you do this, bring the guest on. When you invite them, plant the seed, “I’m really proud of our work together. In the course of this program, you went from here to here,” or, “… you achieve this. I would love to talk about what that process was on the podcast and really highlight the work you’ve done.” That last sentence, “… highlight the work you’ve done,” is actually the thing I like most about testimonial episodes and I don’t think it talks about fair enough, and that is coaches and consultants are great, but they do not get results.

The client gets the results. It’s just the way it is. Even for us, when we do podcast production, we’re doing a lot of those work, but I can’t grow a show because you’ve got great production value. You have to use the marketing materials we give you. You have to be promoting your show. You have to be consistently getting us quality content. And yes, we’re helping you think of those titles and plan those things, but you still have to go and record them. Trust me, that is a hurdle, not necessarily for our clients, they’re all doing a great job, but I am behind the ball. You know what I mean? It does take you to showing up. So that’s one of the things I love about featuring clients is we get to talk about all the things they did with our support, not just what we did for them because that’s a dangerous picture to paint. It’s a dangerous, I think, perspective to present. So really be formatting your show to talk about the things they were to do because of your support, the things that were possible because of the services you provided.

I want you to be looking at that when you’re thinking about it and you can plant that seed again right in that invite email, right in that initial, “Hey, I’d love to have you on the show,” and then when you bring them on the show, you’ve got them in, you’re going to be interviewing them, you’ve got them in whatever software you’re going to be using. Maybe it’s Zoom, maybe it’s Squadcast, maybe it’s SinCast, whatever it is, set the pace for them, paint a picture, walk them through what it’s going to be like in this conversation.

Set some expectations and set some goals.

“Hey, I’d really like us to start with talking about kind of where you were before we started working together, why this [insert program name here] felt like the right fit for you, or [insert coaching program] or just hiring me if you’re a single solo preneur coach kind of set up,” whatever it is, “Where were you before then? What was it that said, ‘Yes, this is the solution I want to go after’? Then I want to talk a little bit about our work together, how we work together,” X, Y, Z, spell it out, “… and then I really want to end it with where you are now and some lessons learned, maybe some advice for somebody who’s going through a similar situation or whatever that is.”

Then you go in and you have a conversation with them. This is not about checking question boxes. This is not about a listicle of, “Well, first I was sad and then we worked together and now, I’m happy.” No, it’s a conversation. So by setting those expectations, by giving them some goals, the mile markers that are going to be along the way, you really set them up to be engaged in the conversation moving in the direction you want to be in. You’re going to follow this up with a solid call to action to join this program or apply for this coaching service or book that sales call or whatever their next step is to get the results that whoever you had on the show, I think we named him George, right? What George did. Easy breezy. I love these episodes. They’re valuable.

The other great thing about these episodes? Repurposing magic. This is where we can pull quotes from for social proof on social media. This is where we can pull stories from or quotes from for emails, for sales sequences. This is where we can pull audio for future promo clips or Instagram story clips or video ads to just put over an image background, whatever it is. There are a lot of options. You can also have somebody actually create whole case studies from this. That’s really, really powerful. The next thing I want to talk about is one of my favorites to listen to, and that’s where we focus on one thing. We’re going to get to one place.

We’re going to have a conversation about one thing, and it’s going to be just that, a conversation.

The thing I think differentiates these episodes from fly on the wall, chatty, get to know the person being interviewed conversation is there’s definitely tangible value for the listener. The best way to get here is to again, have that starter conversation at the top of the episode. “Hey, on this episode, we’re talking about X, Y, Z,” and here’s the other misstep, it’s got to be specific. You’re focused on one thing.

I, all the time, hop on a podcast interview with someone where I’m being interviewed and they’re like, “Wait. I just want to talk about podcast production…” and that’s a huge topic, but if I can go in and I can talk about launching a show, like one of the things we talk about a lot are the three myths of podcasting. What are the myths you need to know? That’s a one focus thing. It’s generally sort of like pre-launch with the podcast or somebody who’s thinking in idea land and or somebody who’s launched a podcast and something’s feeling off, usually because they’re falling into one of the myths, but it’s specific. It’s this one thing. I’ve had other instances where it’s been more about me and my journey and my story, and those are great and there’s definitely takeaways.

But when we can come in and talk about, this episode’s a great example, how do we get better results from guests? And have one conversation together about that, it gets really interesting for the listener and there’s generally, a lot more actionable, implementable value when we have this clear, focused talking point, when we have this one place we’re going. This is also a great way to reign in real long interviews. If you’re running into instances where you’re like, “Yeah, I love doing interviews,” but they end up being like an hour and a half and that’s not working out for me, focus on one thing. Give people the opportunity to listen in, be a fly on the wall as two really great people have a really focused conversation. That is value. Okay? That one’s a quick and easy one.

The last one I want to really spend some time with is something that I don’t see a ton of and I think is really, really cool, especially if you traditionally have a very solo show. This is a great way to buy time and have guests when you need to take a step back. This is a great thing to do if you’re going to have some parental leave, like you’re having a baby, maternity leave, paternity leave, you want to call it. Or you’ve got a launch time coming up where you need to be present for the launch and the launch content is already created, but on the backside of the launch, you’re like, “I’m not going to have time to prep that content on the backside of the launch.” That’s going to just take us back into nurture content. It’s not really going to need to sell anything because maybe this is us closing our program, our cart for the one year program that we run, whatever it is. This can be a great place to put these things.

Or as bonus episodes and different seasons when you want to offer a bit more, especially if you want to maybe want to feature your clients or guest coaches or guest experts you have in your membership, this is a great way to promote that and that is with short featured expert guest hosts. So this is not going to be you hopping in and interviewing somebody. It’s going to be you recording a quick intro, setting the stage, “Hey, today, we’ve got Stacey on. She’s going to be talking about one way you can get better results from featuring people on your podcast. It’s a real quick tip. Make sure you get your notepad out because you’re going to want to take action on this. Yada, yada, yada. Stacey’s a guest expert in our blank, blank, blank program,” whatever. That’s what you’re going to do.

Then it’s going to be something they record on their own and you’re going to give them a time limit. Say, “Hey, I want a five minute or 10 minute tip.” So this whole episode comes out to 10 or 15 minutes. That’s it. But you get to feature somebody who’s in your program, somebody who’s on your team, somebody who is a client of yours, somebody who’s going to be a mentor in your program, whatever it is. I love these kinds of episodes because they take a lot of the work off your plate while allowing you to keep the podcast going out and featuring people who you want to feature. This can be a really, really cool way to do that.

The thing here is, and this is why I wanted to spend some time with this one, it takes the most front end work because when you’re in an interview conversation, you’ve got the back and forth. You can redirect them if you need to. However, if they go and record on their own and then come back to you with that tip and you’re like, “This is 45 minutes long. This is not going to work,” you have to go back to them and say, “This is 45 minutes long. It’s not going to work,” and that’s just not super fun times. So make sure you’re being really clear upfront with what you need from them, why you need it and the boundaries or the parameters. Explain the container, essentially. “Hey, we’re giving one tip. I think something on X, Y, Z would be interesting. What do you think?” Go back and forth in that step, the planning stages with them, unless they’re just a total pro and they’re like, “Oh yeah. How about X, Y, Z?” And you’re like, “Cool.”

But if you need to go back and forth with them, coach them a little bit, that’s fine, absolutely fine. Then I recommend recording the intros to these after you have the recordings from them. So this does take some planning. This is going to take you having some lead time to produce the other pieces and then the actual final product. But I love, love, love this idea of featured experts, guest hosts instead of just guests. Another reason this works really well? Nobody else is doing it. This isn’t even something we’ve done with any of our production clients yet. It’s something I have in mind for a few people for 2021, but it’s something I’ve heard on a couple of podcasts and I really, really, really like it, especially for those of you running membership programs or masterminds or group courses where you have other people supporting your clients. This is something that we may even do on this show next year is bringing in some of the team to talk about the thing they do in this whole circus. You know what I mean?

So this is a great way to feature your team. This is a great way to feature your, again, your guest experts in a program, in a mastermind. There’s so many membership sites now that are doing once a month, they have a guest expert come in. Cool. Another way to do this, clip out one tip from your guest expert. Record the intro and say, “Hey, we pulled this from our guest expert call. Here’s one tip from Susie who came in last week,” or, “Here’s Sean. They were a great guest inside the program and I wanted to make sure that they were able to share this one tip with you because they spend a lot of time talking about it and it was really impactful for our whole group. So I really wanted you to meet them. Meet Sean.” That’s a really, really, really fantastic way to promote your program when talking about you not having to produce a whole nother episode.

All right? All right. I’m putting that away. Those are my three tips. I love, love, love these ideas. Having guests is great. Having guests is not bad, but I want to make sure that they are also getting you results. When we had the conversation about, should you or shouldn’t you? One of the reasons I tend towards no is I want to make sure you and your audience and the guests are all getting value. That’s only possible if we have a really clear understanding of why the guest is coming in. These interview types, these possibilities are really great ways to make sure that we have a clear goal for everyone at the end of the show; value for the listener, value for the guest and value for you as the host. Okay?

All right. That’s it. I’ll see you. We’ve got one episode left of 2020, and then we’re going to be ramping into our podcasting one-on-one series for January. So if you are not yet subscribed to the show, make sure you do that. If you haven’t reviewed the show, make sure you do that. More importantly, there should be some really fun stuff coming to email next year starting in January with this podcasting one-on-one series. So I want to make sure that you are also on the email list. So if you are not yet, make sure you fix that this week. All right? I will see you very, very soon. Have a great week.

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