How to Record Better Podcast Interviews

Today’s episode is your guide to creating guest conversations that not only educate but also convert listeners into clients.

In this episode, we dissect the essential trio: mastering the tech game, prepping your guests for the spotlight, and structuring interviews to ensure they still highlight your expertise, AND include the calls to action necessary to keep your show a marketing and sales asset (not just another expense).

Learn how to prepare your guests for the podcast stage, even if they’re new to the world of audio. Discover strategies that transcend the ordinary, ensuring your conversations resonate long after the episode ends.

This isn’t just about recording better interviews; it’s about strategically using your guests to help your listeners make decisions and setting the stage for conversion and client success.

Ready to amplify your podcasting journey? Hit play, and let’s dive into the art of crafting unforgettable conversations.

2:00 – Where to find tips on improving how we show up as a guest on other people’s podcasts.

3:55 – Tech tools I recommend for recording podcast interviews (and why we don’t love Zoom)

7:00 – Preparing your guest for the tech side of being a guest on your podcast

10:50 – Prepare guests for authentic and engaging conversation by looping them in on the questions before your interview

12:00 – What I do at the start of an interview to keep these conversations engaging for the listener

15:00 – How to structure podcast interviews so that you’re still able to use these episodes as sales and marketing assets

17:50 – How to include calls to action in an interview podcast 

21:21 – A resource on calls to action in your podcast

Mentioned In How to Record Better Podcast Interviews

Podcasting for Profitability Roundtable

Riverside.fm

SquadCast

ZenCaster

How Julia Gruber Transformed Her Podcast Into a Sales Asset

Using Your Podcast to Launch a Book with Andrea Liebross

This is How You Fall Back in Love with Your Podcast

How Effective Calls to Action Impact Podcast Profits

Chat with Stacey about working with Uncommonly More

Rate and Review the Podcast

So you're going to invite guests. Maybe you're putting together a series of case studies, maybe it's a series of experts. Whatever it is, if you're going to invite somebody onto your show, we want to make sure that this episode quality is of the same caliber as our solo episodes are. However, when we invite a guest in, we have a lot more variables and a whole other person worth of tech to make sure is on point. And so today I want to walk through three things to watch out for when recording podcast interviews. And really, when you work through these, you will figure out how to record better podcast interviews. Let's get into it.

Welcome to the more profitable podcast with Stacey Harris. I'm Stacey, and this is the spot to learn more about the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to build your more profitable podcast. My team and I work every day with podcasters like you to shift shows from frustrating time sucks to productive members of your sales team because your show should be built to generate and convert leads. So let's get into it. One thing I want to note ahead of really, really digging into this episode is as we talk through these elements, and here's what we're going to talk about. We're going to talk about the tech component, so what you can actually be recording on and what I recommend, we're also going to be talking about some preshow prep for your guests. And the third element we're going to talk about is sort of structural. We'll dig into sort of how we approach recording and breaking up the files, et cetera.

With that said, as we're talking through these things today, I want you to remember that the best guests are podcasters, and that's because they have an awareness of these elements. So as you're thinking through how to record better podcast interviews and set your show up for success, I also want you to be thinking about how you can be a better guest. And we did a whole episode on being a good podcast guest. I will link to it in the show notes because it's absolutely worth a listen. But I want you to recognize that as you see where you want to have changes made and how guests are showing up for your show, think about how you can be showing up for other shows with that same energy, because it is a real life factor to consider the larger components of a show when you pitch it. So that's my small soapbox moment. Before we get into this, I also want to remind you we have coming up in a couple of weeks, another podcasting for profitability roundtable would love for you to join us. If you are looking to get some answers to your most intense podcast questions or just super basic podcast questions, make sure you sign up over@uncommonlymore.com.

Roundtable right after you sign up, you will also have an invite to submit your question. So don't worry about having to hold on to it in your noggin. You can absolutely drop it there and we will visit it on our call. We are making some shifts as we move forward with these roundtables. There will no longer be a recording. The call will be for those who are live on the call. We will not be sharing a replay or recording of the call. So do yourself a solid.

Mark your calendar. Be ready to join me again. Uncommonlymore.com roundtable is where you can reserve your seat. We will be doing these monthly, so if you've missed this one, catch the next one. All right, let's talk about recording better podcasts because I have to, like, emotionally, I can't not do it this way. I have to first discuss some tech components because there's r1 easy change that you could make right now, and that is stop recording your podcast interviews via Zoom. It's not my favorite platform, and I'm going to tell you why. It's not what it's built to do.

And so when you export the audio, even if you export two files, so that you've got a separate file for you and a separate file for your guests audio, which if you're going to record in Zoom, is absolutely better because at least then we can cut out noise, et cetera, on both sides, we can isolate our edits more. But Zoom compresses that audio. So when you hand that over to your editor, there's already been a level of compression which changes the scope of things we can do as far as correcting things, as far as rounding out high points or low points in volume, we have the opportunity to do a lot more editing and a lot more audio magic when we don't have a Zoom file. Because, again, Zoom is already compressing that audio because they're just trying to export the most efficient file, not the best quality file. Makes sense. So instead, I do highly recommend using a tool like Squadcast or Riverside FM or something like that. My favorite, because I know you're wondering, is Riverside FM. Riverside FM is cost effective.

It does everything you need it to do. The other thing I like is I can set up a studio. And so now when you book in a spot with me to record a podcast interview, you get a link not to a zoom room, but right to the studio. And so you just hop, click that link, sign in, and we get to rock and roll. Easy breezy. And from a host perspective, I have full control of everything that's happening audio wise, I'm going to get separate files for me, for my guest, and a file that's both of us. If I want to get a quick transcript done, I'm going to have absolutely everything I need really, really easily, without any compression. I am going to have high quality audio and video.

If you have a video podcast, this is the move. I will have high quality audio, I will have high quality video, and those will be in separate files, meaning I have independent control over host and guest. This is going to be your best sort of first slate. This is going to be your best setup to optimize your end product because we have the most room to work with. Okay. The second component of this is prep, not just for you, but for your guests. A lot of times what I find is that people show up unprepared because we didn't prepare them. We haven't set any kind of expectation.

So to expect someone to know how they need to show up, know what we're going to be talking about, know what they need tech wise, that's a big ask. Now, I will say full on, without a shadow of a doubt, your prep lift gets easier when you're dealing with podcasters. So this is one of the places I'm really fortunate, because the only guests that we include in the show these days are clients of our agency. So either you've been through the profitable podcaster mastermind, or a podcast strategy intensive, or you work with us in production. You are a podcaster, so you have a mic, you understand sound quality, and setting yourself up for the best sound quality you can. You understand position from the mic and things of those nature. You can move a conversation forward. There are some attributes that just make podcasters better guests.

Does that mean it's impossible to be a good guest without having a podcast? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. You can have all of this understanding and not have your own show. Maybe you've been a podcaster for a long time. Maybe you've done a lot of podcast guesting and you just don't have a show right now. Whatever it is, you can be a good guest and not have a show. But when I book a guest who is a podcaster, I know my lift is smaller because I don't have to email you and make sure you have a mic. I don't have to email you and make sure you understand that you need to wear headphones.

I don't have to prep you for the tech side in the same way that I need to prep you if you are somebody who's inexperienced with podcasting. I say this because for a lot of our clients, their clients are not podcasters. In many cases, their clients are not like business owners. They're regular schmagular consumers. These are clients who run b to c brands, business to consumer brands. They've never been on a podcast before. They are consumers, not necessarily creators in that same way. And so they may not have a mic, they may not have an understanding of these tools.

They may not have an understanding of how to log into something like a squadcast or a Zencaster or a riverside FM or whatever it may be. Honestly, that's the norm. I know that feels weird to you and me, but for most people, especially before a few years ago, even getting somebody on Zoom, they were like, wait, what? What do I need to do? What's this going to look like in the background? Like, all of those components were not in sort of mainstream day to day users, right. And so you got to be prepping your guests for the experience based on where they're going to be coming from. So one of the things I try to do, and we've got notes built right into our booking form that talk about this is we try to keep it pretty conversational. We don't have set questions. If you are somebody who is bringing in guests who may be less familiar with carrying on this particular flavor of conversation, because the back and forth on a podcast is different than the back and forth in real life, I think we can agree on that. Right.

You might want to let them know in advance the questions you're going to be asking. And even if they're not the exact questions, these are the six things that might come up or whatever it is, but allow them to start thinking about it. Allow them to start putting together some ideas of what they're going to want to say, because they're not going to be comfortable in this spot if they've never done this before. And so it is your responsibility to prep them. This is not just at the time of booking. You could be sending these in follow ups, you could be sending these between the booking and the actual date, but it's also going to be once you get on the call. I always, always schedule interviews with enough room to chat a little bit first. It's not recorded.

It doesn't go on the show. It's small talk. It's how have you been? What's the weather like? What's going on? Oh, hey, this is fun. It is warm up. And the reason I do this is because it allows the rest of the conversation to flow much more like a conversation and less like a call and response interview. I mean, I understand that it is an interview, but nobody wants question, answer, question, answer, question, answer. Like the world's most boring tennis match. We want to hear a conversation.

We want to feel like a fly on the wall in your chat. And so part of this prep is literally in the call is literally as you get in having some room to just connect as a person to another person. Because that connection between the two of you is the connection with the listener. And if there's no connection between the two of you, it is going to be real hard for the listener to feel connected and engaged. And so I want you to be looking at, where are you prepping your guests right now? How are you prepping them? How much prep might they need? If you are somebody who's running a lot of interviews, that's sort of the core of your show format. You might even be thinking about something like pre interviews where you have a conversation to start to refine what kind of conversation you actually want to have when you get to the show, making sure you're on the same page, that it's a mix because you might be expanding outside of your immediate network. This is actually one of the things I love about limiting our guests to clients is I already have a relationship. When we get into the call, it's pretty quick to onboard you in because we know each other already, there's already things for us to talk about.

I don't have to create. I don't have to manufacture that connection. If you're doing a show format where you've got consistently guests and it's often people you don't have a relationship with, you're going to need to look at ways you can build that connection. You're going to need to look at ways that you can get to know them. And that doesn't necessarily mean they have to be like right there. It might be that you're putting more time into consuming some of their content listening to other interviews they've done, so that you can make sure you expand on those conversations or have a feel for where you want to go with your conversation. That might be a little different because certainly if we're having a guest format so that we can attract that person's audience to us, we don't want them to be having the same conversation they've had on every other show. There's no reason for them to share that with their audience.

Their audience has heard that. That's not going to do anything for them. So we want to have a conversation worth pointing their audience to. Here's a story I've never told before. Go check out so and so's podcast. So that's what I want you to think about as you're thinking about prep. Thinking about it from all of these angles. The final thing I want to touch on is structuring your show.

And I don't so much mean your format. I'm talking inside of the interview. The format here is that you're going to have a guest. Right? What are some of the elements you need to have? We talk often about in this show. We've got that hook at the front of the show, and then we've got sort of a general intro, and then we've got your first call to action. And then we get kind of into the meat of the episode. And then we've got our final call to action, and we go to our pre recorded outro. That's sort of the general structure of this show.

That doesn't change too much when we feature interviews, as you've heard before in case studies and as you've heard ahead, actually link a couple of interviews in the show notes so that you can just straight up hear me with someone else and hear this format. But we still do the hook up front. I do have some that don't have that because they're old enough. They were before I made that shift. But I've got that hook up front. I've got the pre recorded intro, and then I've got just me solo. I'm coming in and I'm pointing a direction. The thing I like about that is a, it allows me to make a sort of native in it call to action for whatever it is that I'm pointing people to at that time.

And two, it allows me to plant some seeds for the episode. And so I can actually point to a moment in the show that I really want the listener to hear. So I record this after the interview has been recorded. Generally speaking, I record these immediately after the interview has been recorded, or I will forget what things I want to include here. We're all human. Let's just be honest with ourselves. That's the best time to do it. If that's not possible, that's not possible, and that's absolutely fine.

If you can build into your schedule. And this is what I have, is when a podcast interview goes on on my calendar, it reserves enough time on my calendar that I will be able to do the interview and record the intro outro so that I have the recording time set out to do both all at once. That's what's helpful for me. So think about that as you're scheduling this stuff, speaking of structural and sort of the process stuff, right? But again, it's allowing me to plant those seeds so that when I make that call to action or when we mentioned in the episode, they really hear it. It really sinks in for them. They actually pay attention. It sort of piques their ears, especially if they're passively listening while you're driving or whatever, which is really common. Then we have the interview.

Interview, for me, is generally asking a lot of questions about their customer experience because again, for us, we're talking about social proof case study kind of episodes. When we look at wrapping up that interview, I don't want to do a call to action in the interview because it's weird for the person who's doing the interview with me. And also, especially if you're not doing a case study episode where if you're featuring a guest, you're having a conversation with a featured guest. This is not somebody who's worked with you. Maybe it's another expert that you're highlighting. Maybe it is, honestly, even somebody from your team, you don't want to have that weirdness of sitting there. Right? So I then also have an independent outro similar to my intro. I'm doing things like pointing to the seeds.

So we planted the seeds. We saw them grow in the course of the interview, and now I'm essentially going to harvest them. I'm going to go in and I'm going to say, I loved the conversation here that we had around XYZ. This is why that's so important. And oftentimes I'll make an additional point. I will expand on whatever my point was in the actual interview or maybe expand on what I sort of primed people with in the intro, whatever the case may be. I am sort of closing the loop on those seeds I planted in that intro. Oftentimes, I would recommend I say oftentimes because I don't like to say always for things, but in most cases, you're going to want to be pointing to the seeds that are going to tie into your call to action.

So again, in my case, this is fairly simple because I'm tying it into, I'm interviewing somebody about what their experience was like working with us. It's pretty easy to pull into my call to action if it's somebody who did a podcast strategy intensive. My call to action is podcast strategy intensive, and I'm tying in here's how you can have that experience, too. For the profitable podcaster mastermind, same thing. The call to action is that. So it's a pretty easy thing for us to bridge the gap to. Let's say you did an interview, though, with a featured expert, maybe going back to ways we use guests, maybe it's somebody who is fantastic at getting clients. The result they need an understanding they need to have before they can work with you.

I use this example a lot, but again, if I'm looking at you've got to have an understanding of what your offer is. It would be great for me to feature a coach talking about building your offer and how to do that and what to look for and all of these things. I could feature them as an expert. It would be weird for me as the close of the episode, while they're still in the interview being like, and this is how you can take that information and work with me. However, with that solo outro, I can say the reason I wanted to bring on Jill was because Jill is such a pro at really helping my future clients refine this element so that we can then take that and do these things. Make sure if this is what you're something you're needing support with, that you reach out to Jill. If you have this understanding, if you're listening to the interview and you're nodding along, let's talk about XYZ. And I can then lead them into whatever that call to offer was because I showed them and I really helped them go through the process of asking themselves the question they needed to to self select, do I need Jill or do I need you? And so again, this is why we like that solo call to action, because I can do that.

I can guide them through that decision making process. This is what we're talking about when we talk about convert, right? We've talked a lot recently about generate and educate. This is what we're talking about when we talk about convert. And we want to be doing that even with our guest episodes. Otherwise, there's not a lot of value, because, again, we've primed them all up and we're not willing to tell them where to go. If you want to hear more about calls to action specifically, I will leave a link in the show notes on an episode we did recently on calls to action, because it's a really good one to listen to if you haven't yet. But this is what this outro is for, is for that call to action, not for you to sort of have a love fest for the guest. Not a place for you to thank and thank and thank the people for listening and the guests for appearing.

No, this is a place where you tie it together. This is how we use guest episodes as conversion tools. Okay, these are the things I want you to be looking for. I want you to be reviewing as we move through into a new quarter. Let's be looking at how do we make these better? What are you currently recording with? What's your prep process look like? How are you currently structuring those interviews so that they're still assets even when they're featuring another voice but your own? Look through those things and see where as we move into this new quarter, you can be improving your guest process. And if you have questions about this, a great way to get those answered is of course, the Roundtable. But also, this is something that we frequently go through with our podcast strategy intensive clients. We have actually had podcast strategy intensive clients where we mapped out this process literally.

We did it specifically for case study interviews, but we mapped out what their questions were going to be. We mapped out what their structure of those episodes would be, how the calls to action would look. We mapped all that out together and refined their process. So this is a great thing to be using that podcast strategy intensive for. If you want to sit down and map out the next quarter, I would love to support you. So head on over to uncommonlymore.com intensive to book yours now. I'll talk to you next week. Thanks so much for listening to the show.

Remember that content consumption does not make changes, so commit to doing something from today's episode. Maybe it's taking action on what we talked about. Maybe it's reaching out to me and learning more about podcast strategy intensives or what podcast production looks like with our team. All of that is over@uncommonlymore.com. And if you haven't yet signed up for the podcast newsroom, I want to remind you that is a great next step. If you're not really sure what comes next, hang out over there. Get those exclusive private episodes. That's over@podcastnewsroom.com.

And the last favor I will ask, because social proof is endlessly important for sure, is to leave a rating or review for this show. If you go to ratethispodcast.com more, that's the easiest way to do it. But I would love to hear what you thought of the show, what you think of the show, and if the show has been helpful for you, I can't wait to chat with you. So this is just the start of the conversation. Reach out so we can keep it going. Talk soon.

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